It’s a saying which is synonymous with my generation of 30 something’s. The ads hoping to drive more people into the most frustrating profession in the world, but let’s be honest, it isn’t all glamour, glory and games, it’s a bloody tough job and unfortunately, a lot of my generation aren’t cut out for the profession, often going in with rose tinted glasses, the idealistically think that they can change the world.
In actual fact, they aren’t prepared in the slightest. A teacher does a lot more than just teach, they have to also be able to instil discipline, which until you hit your mid 30’s or even 40’s, is not an easy task because we’re still young and aren’t used to having to deal with in house politics and sticking up for ourselves.
It’s all well and good that someone has a master’s degree, but without real life experience to also back it up, you’re simply telling your charges what you know, which leads to a very unproductive lesson. Not being able to control a classroom is essential, and that means ensuring that the pupils show you respect, pay attention and do as you say. Teachers don’t ask students to do something, they tell students to do something.
‘I want this homework completed by tomorrow’ not ‘If you can do it by tomorrow please’.
Students are not your friends, they are not someone you can gossip with, they are there for you to teach, and you are there to teach them. But then there is also the issue of it being a bit of a one sided working relationship. Because a good teacher will be able to discipline, but will also be approachable enough to be a pupils confidant, support when they need it most, educator and mentor.
This is why older people, usually those who have had successful careers, make much better teachers, they’ve done with all the games, they know how to discipline without being unfair, they can spot signs that someone is struggling, or that something is wrong. They can seamlessly change teaching style to suit an individual class. All of this comes from experiencing the world, and learning from the mistakes of their younger years.
New, young teachers are notoriously bad at micromanagement, and often their lesson plans are all over the place, but that comes with age, like with any 20 – 30 something.
This is why a new service, Teach Now, has been launched, to help those who are slightly older to get into the profession for a fresh and exciting new career. Don’t get me wrong, it’s no walk in the park, but it’s one of the most rewarding professions in the world, one where you can make a huge difference to a young person’s life, one that will see you brim with pride with each year that goes by as you see your students picking up their GCSE’s. A profession where your pupils will actually like you and thank you for the privilege of having been taught by you.