In the current climate of schools reportedly being ‘at breaking point’ due to funding cuts and teachers being ‘driven out of the job’ because of the demanding workload, you’d be forgiven for asking this question. However, as someone who is about to enter their twentieth year in the profession, I’d like to offer a counter perspective.
Okay, so admittedly I was one of those children who played schools in my bedroom when I was growing up – dutifully lining up my dolls and teddies in order to take the register, marking their sums and praising their efforts. From an early age I had my sights set on teaching and I have never looked back.
After an unplanned gap between uni and teacher training (because I was having too much fun to apply in time!) I taught English as a Foreign Language in Barcelona before completing a PGCE and starting my first job in Blackpool.
Fresh faced and spurred on by the opportunity to give something back to my home town, I was perhaps a little over optimistic about what I could achieve in my first year at a relatively big school in a deprived part of town. I now look back on that first year with a mixture of pride – it was tough but I survived (just!) and mortification at some of the rooky mistakes I made (but definitely learned from).
Over the next few years I focused on being the best teacher I could be, sought out extra responsibilities and moved schools a couple of times as I progressed from Class Teacher to Assistant Head, Deputy Head and after eleven years to Head. Back then I was quite young to be a Head but that’s not quite true nearly a decade on!
For the last year or so I have been an Executive Head which basically means I have responsibility for more than one school. Being a fairly new and evolving leadership role, this is unchartered territory for me but knowing there are opportunities beyond headship that did not exist a few years ago keeps the buzz of being in the profession going. It is absolutely true that no two days are the same and that working with children is the best job in the world.
So whether you do it because you want to share your passion for learning or because you want to spend at least some part of everyday laughing (kids are brilliant at making you laugh without even trying!) or if you want to do something that feels fulfilling then why on earth would you not choose teaching?
Whether you are looking for a new direction in your career or like me you were the child who loved school so much that you played schools at home and know that this is the profession for you, why not find out more about the teacher training we offer?
You can find out more by visiting the Altius Alliance website.
Lisa Woolley NPQH, MA Ed, BA Hons, PGCE
Executive Head Primaries, The Laurus Trust