Changing Career to Teaching – my biggest regret…

A teacher surrounded by excited students

My biggest regret…

I spent a number of years deciding IF I wanted to get into teaching and my biggest regret is waiting so long…
I get to be part of something bigger, something that has meaning, that changes lives. I did not feel that when working in management, running a business or dealing with more than £10,000,000 turnover…
I go to work feeling good about myself, what I do and knowing I help others. Teachers are a constant in children’s lives. We help when they are down, we guide, encourage and inspire.
We get to spend all day talking about our favourite thing… we get to think of really exciting things to do, new ways to engage people in our passion.
I am constantly learning, doing more and getting better. I get to learn from wonderful colleagues, see how they do what they do and then improve my own teaching…

Excited to learn, even in your own time…

Imagine a group of people so excited about what they do that they voluntarily go to work on their first day of their holiday to learn how to do it better, because it means that much. There is a movement called ResearchED which is exactly that – wonderful teachers paying to get together on the weekend to learn from each other and aspire to do better. This is so popular that Ofsted turned up to the last one- NOT to judge, but to learn!!

Why do we do it?

But, why do people want to get into teaching? Well, Imagine the scene… a student with low aspirations joins a school in the UK. They have moved from another country where they did not value education or were unable to receive one, where girls stayed home to look after the family and the house and boys go to work to earn some money – in other words, they didn’t get to be kids. At the new school, they become surrounded by inspiring, dedicated staff who truly care about them and giving them a high quality life. Now, fast forward a few years to their GCSE results day and they are standing there with a ticket to a limitless future. The fact they have finished their exams is astounding to them, much less the grades they see in their statement of results. This comes about because of amazing teachers, working every day to make a difference. The power we have to change lives is immense and these people will always remember that teacher.
There are so many examples of where we leave our mark – a student having family problems as parents go through a divorce, people coming from a disadvantaged background or overcoming trauma. We also get to work with excited, impassioned and inspired students who really want to challenge themselves. Then there are those who seem to coast along. We get to find ways to reach them. To show them education is about life and that can really take you places.
Teaching is to leave a lasting impression on a life.

Mr P – My Form Tutor

I am friends with my old form tutor, a gentle physics teacher who was there, constantly, for 7 years while I completed my secondary education. He has seen my best and my worst and still values the relationship that developed. He was the one who celebrated my victories or took me to one side when I was not myself or made an unusually poor decision to say “what’s up?”. Now that we are older he regularly tells me to call him John, but to me, even 20 years after leaving, he will always be Mr P, my kind and caring form tutor who always had time for me. And now, I get to be that constant for other students.
Stop and take a moment to think about just how important that is for a student. To be given a great future, irrespective of your past. To be trusted, cared about without anyone expecting anything in return. Knowing someone is there for you, no matter what…
It is a privilege to help these amazing young people figure out their own path, to show them options they never believed were open to them. I mean, who wouldn’t want that for themselves or their children. The chance to be defined by your best moments, by your character and work ethic, rather than your weakest moments.

Teachers… it may be clichéd and cheesy, but we change lives.

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