1. No two days, classes, students, are the same. It goes in many ways to what Coe said in his recent report:
“Ultimately, the definition of effective teaching is that which results in the best possible student outcomes. There is currently no guaranteed recipe for achieving this: no specifiable combination of teacher characteristics, skills and behaviours consistently predicts how much students will learn. It follows that the best feedback to guide the pursuit of effectiveness is to focus on student progress…”
There is no recipe with teaching, it’s about being completely focused on the child and then using your knowledge, experience, skills and humanity to do the best you can for each child.
2. People. Not just the students but colleagues too. There is a camaraderie, support, caring and sharing amongst teachers that is simply unsurpassable. You’ll see it in your classrooms, you’ll see it in the staffroom and you’ll see it on social media, especially Twitter. You don’t see PoliceMeet, NurseMeet or LegalMeet do you? In how many other careers would you see employees spending their own time to develop themselves and their own money to buy resources for their subjects?
3. Magic. I love it when I am working with students and that magic moment happens. You know what I am talking about. That moment when a student who has never smiled, smiles. That moment when a student has that lightbulb moment and finally understands a learning point. That moment when a student picks up their exam certificates and says thank you. Teaching is magical.
4. Stories and making a difference. The stories we have as learners ourselves. The things that we as teachers bring to the game ourselves. The ability for us to have that positive impact upon lives. It’s why I do what I do. I want to make a difference, not just to the students in my classroom but in every classroom. I’d love to win the lottery so that I could do what I do for free.
5. The hubub. Not the humdrum. I recently wrote about why I love break and lunch duty and this reason why I love teaching pretty much goes to that. It’s the relationships you build with people over time. Some of my favourite moments in teaching have been when a tutee that I have worked with from age 11 to 16, who I have helped support through the laughs, the learning, the tears, the problems, all of it – leaves my tutor group a young adult, ready to move on to the next stage of their life.
I love being teacher. It’s about changing lives. Supporting something bigger than you. Making a difference in this world. What it is to be human. So bring your humanity to it. Care. Give a damn. Help others when you don’t need to. Help others when you feel you can’t. Smile when you don’t feel like it. Go the extra 10 miles. Think 10x. Think 100x. It is without a doubt one of THE best jobs in the world and it is a chance to have an impact upon humanity.
Over and out.