Being a teacher is tough! For example some days you will get a hard time off some pupils. It is important to remember that for every day you are the enemy of the kids, there is twice as much time that you are their hero and you will be fondly remembered for the rest of their lives. Remember that when you are stressed about the mountain of copies you have to correct. Don’t get me wrong it is completely worth it!
It is especially a hard time for young teachers in Ireland. There is a lot of pressure. The government have cut NQT wages and have made NQT get 300 hours worth of teaching and 10 workshops before they can become a fully registered teacher. However, ALL teachers get a lot of slack in the media!
‘They have an easy job.’
‘They get 3 months off for the summer’.
Graduates did not choose the profession for the pay, but they are finding it increasingly difficult to secure a post in Ireland so many are looking abroad. A lot of my friends went to England to teach.
Subbing can be tough too. You wonder ‘will I get work this week? What school will ring me? Where they be located?’. Now enough of the negatives.
I am writing this post because I think a lot of NQTs and teachers are feeling down right now and I want to remind them of some of the wonderful benefits of teaching!!
I have been subbing the last few weeks. Two weeks ago, I taught English, History and Irish in a school in Kildare. Last week, I was an English and Maths teacher in a school in Dublin.
Some advice for my fellow subbers or future teachers is to BE POSITIVE! I have gotten a lot of credit off principals and my fellow teachers for being positive about teaching even in the current climate.
I did not even notice I was being so positive, I was just so happy to be teaching! That shows you cannot fake it, they will see through it! It must be genuine!
Also making an EFFORT, I wanted to teach so bad that I got a bus, train and then a taxi to one of my schools. If you really love teaching, you do not mind if its a hassle because it is so worth it to be in a classroom!
It will get better in Ireland. SO chin up and remember all you can do is be positive and try your best! There are thousands of people in the same boat as you so do not feel down about yourself!
So while the work is full on, the pressure is tremendous and the abuse can be constant, teaching really is the best job in the world!
Now enough yapping and time for some of the benefits!
- Hanging out with teenagers all day keeps you young and ensures that your vocabulary, fashion and music tastes remain current and relevant. Right now I have learnt that Justin Biebers song ‘What do you mean?’ is the BEST SONG EVER! #DownWithDaTeens #2Cool4Skool
- You become a role model and a counsellor. Vulnerable teenagers look to you for advice and guidance and that feels amazing!
- You make a massive difference in the lives of young people even when you don’t even realise it. You might not know how many teenagers have taken your advice to heart and will go on to repeat them to their own children or even their own classes but it’s actually more than you think. YOU will inspire some students to be a teacher like you! After their parents, you SHAPE the pupil! You make a difference to their life!
- Teaching becomes your life. It forms part of your identity. It is not merely a job with nice hours (9M TO 4pm and nice holidays). You would be lost without teaching and you wouldn’t change it for the world. Some days are tough, but you cant imagine yourself doing another job!
- When the teenagers laugh at your jokes especially 5th year or Leaving Certs! It is NOT EASY. So you live for the moments when you are the king/queen of banter!! I guess I am a cool teacher now?!
- The sheer and utter chaos of a classroom. Noise, mess, laughter, giving out and excitement.What isn’t there to love? Sometimes, it makes me feel like I need a sleep, drink or a bar of chocolate, but 99 per cent of the time, it makes me happy!
- The challenge and success of getting the kid that hates you to like you. WIN!! You will NEVER FORGET this moment! FINALLY!
- Watching friendships blossom between teenagers is a lovely sight!
- When your harsh words and discipline pays off. You don’t like giving discipline and you don’t like giving extra homework or detention but the students will eventually understand why you were a bit of a witch and they will eventually thank you.
- You build positive relationships with students, colleagues, parents and the wider school community such as the cleaner and the caretaker.
- You are constantly learning new skills. You came in this job to teach English. You now also a range of clubs in your school! You have learned arts and crafts to design posters and activities for the students!Also you break up fights and counsel students!
- It is important to remember that the children teach you as much as you teach them. Every teacher has had that moment where something a pupil says really moves them and changes their perspective. Teachers are very privileged to be working with young people everyday!
- There is constant laughter. Learning is meant to be fun! As a teacher, you must know how to have the ‘bants’. Have a laugh with the students! School is a long day! And they will respect you more if you teach them but also make them laugh too!
- The parents can be nice pretty too. For every parent that gives you a hard time and complains to you. There are 20 parents that worship the ground you walk on for going the extra mile to help their child!
- The thank yous! I cannot describe how much they mean! The end of year gifts are great (chocolate, please) but the cards and the verbal gratitude from your students is just amazing!
- You get to meet colleagues with a passion for teaching equal to yours who will become friends for life. Treasure them!
- Getting to see students ‘make it’ after they leave school is an outstanding feeling. Knowing that you played a small part in someone achieving their dreams is the ultimate in job satisfaction!!
- That moment where a student finally gets it! You’ve been hitting a brick wall with this lesson but suddenly that look of realisation dawns on their face and you know you’ve cracked something! Finally! Well done you!
- Seeing excitement in children thrilled by a topic makes your day worthwhile and also seeing a class of faces hanging onto your every word makes your chest swell with pride.
- No day is ever the same. Ever!! Barely another other jobs are like this.