So, you want to become a teacher? Well, congratulations. It’s a rewarding – and important – job. You will be responsible for providing a positive learning environment for the future generations of the human race. There will be bright minds, and less able ones, and you will need to treat both in the same, consistent manner.
But, it’s going to be tough, too. So, if you dream of becoming a teacher, read on for some honest truths about the profession. Sure, there are some great rewards to be had – but there will also be many difficult times ahead. Here are a few important things you can expect.
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Your pupils will forget everything
A lot of new teachers struggle to get to grips with the fact their students forget about everything they teach in their lessons. But, think about what you were like at school. Can you say with honesty that you remember everything? What you are teaching isn’t necessarily the subject, it’s more about how to deal with information in an informed way. Remember that, and you will find you are much happier.
You could end up anywhere
If you are on a teacher training course, you probably cast your mind forward to the future and imagine where you will end up. Eton? Marlborough? The best state school in the country? The truth is, you could end up anywhere. Yes, you might find yourself teaching in shiny new classrooms, but the chances are that you will end up somewhere a fair amount dingier. It’s also worth realising that just because you teach in a poorly performing school, it doesn’t make you bad at your job. In fact, some might say that the better you are at teaching, the worse schools you should work in.
You will need to be strong
There will be times when you will be close to your wit’s end when you are a teacher. Stroppy, uncontrollable kids, will attempt to make your life a misery. Some of them will need a hug while others will need a kick up the backside. You’ll need to have the strength and conviction to make the right choices. Oh, and one more quick point – it’s the same for some of the parents.
You will work long hours
Forget about what you have heard about teachers enjoying long breaks and short days. With the amount of lesson planning and marking you need to do, it’s is a complete myth. This is especially true in your first few years. Be ready for it.
You will get sick
When people start to work in the sewers, they get sick – a lot. In your first year, your employer will expect you to have at least six months off through illness. Think about your exposure to all that icky stuff, bugs, and lord knows what else. Well, it’s the same situation in schools! OK, maybe not quite as bad as that. In all seriousness, you will be exposed to a lot of nasty bugs when you are teaching kids. It will take a few years for your immune system to build up, but once it does, it will seem like you have superhuman powers.
Well, we hope we haven’t put you off teaching. It’s an excellent career – but just be prepared for what’s to come! Good luck!