Why Do I Love Teaching?

I love my job! It’s half-term and I am writing this blog from my bed. Once I have written this, I plan to get up , do some marking, planning and maybe meet a friend for lunch. This is the life, right? As good as the holidays are, there are many other reasons why I enjoy being a teacher. Those who read my last post will think that I’m a teacher because I stumbled into the profession. Although this is what happened (See my previous post), that is not the reason I am still a teacher. I am now in my 4th year of teaching and I still love every minute. What I want to discuss is why do I love teaching and how do I know I love it?

Why Do I Love Teaching?

I was recently on a trip in a local town centre; my students were competing in a local trade fair with products they had made themselves. Although these students were excellent, it was a former student that I bumped into that made my day. She was back from university for a long weekend (hopefully not missing any lectures) and we got chatting. At my institution she studied travel and tourism and as a business teacher I was drafted in to help teach ‘The Business of Travel and Tourism.’ For those of you who have taught this unit will know that teaching limited liability and cash flow forecasts to a bunch of T&T students is near impossible. During our catch-up, my student told me that part of her degree involved composing cash flow forecasts. To my extreme satisfaction and pride, my student said that thanks to my teaching, she remembered how to create them and even ended up teaching all of her friends on the same course. For me, this is why I love teaching.

I love that you can pass on your knowledge and enthusiasm for a subject. I love when I can help a student overcome a problem. I love when a student achieves a higher grade than expected because I spent that little bit of extra time with them. I love when a student remembers something I told them the week before! I love when you see a previous student and they have gone on to be what they want to be! I love inspiring people and helping them find their way. Finally, yes I do love the time off 🙂

How Do I Know I Love It?

Ever heard of the phrase, ‘you don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone’ or ‘you don’t miss the water until your well runs dry’? Both of these clichés helped me discover my love for teaching. Growing up, I didn’t want the lowly paying job of a teacher, I wanted to be a high-flying city boy earning millions and driving fast cars. After my first year of teaching (and one year into my qualification) I still didn’t consider teaching as my career, it was more of a stop-gap. I regularly applied for jobs on the internet working in London within the finance industry and eventually got a job offer that would give me the flash lifestyle I desired. Excellent, I could now leave the world of teaching behind, yes I would have to drop my units mid-term and yes I would heap loads of work on my colleagues and friends, but I didn’t care because I was getting a pay rise and the job of my dreams. What I didn’t know was that I was actually leaving the job of my dreams….

After no time at all, I would find myself at my new desk, daydreaming and wondering how my students and former colleagues were doing, all the while doing a job that made me feel like a liar and a thief and giving nothing back to society. Teaching was my water and the well had run dry

I missed teaching…

The realization hit me like a tonne of bricks, for the second time in my life, I’d made a stupid decision and it had backfired. I must have done a half-decent job back at my old college because my legend of a manager (thank you, thank you, thank you!) took me back with open arms. In fact, when I swallowed my pride and made the call to beg for my job back, she knew how the conversation would end before she picked up the phone. Fast forward a couple of years and I am still going strong. So how do I know I love teaching? Simple, I’ve tried other things, I’ve tried leaving and I missed it. Now I can reflect on my short time in the profession and my decisions and I can honestly say there is no job like teaching. So if you are reading this and you love your job, you should know what I’m talking about. If times are tough and you’re thinking of quitting, I would weigh up your options and think about whether you would miss helping people, benefiting society, inspiring your students?

Those Who Can, Teach!

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When you ask most teachers why they entered the profession, the usual answer is “I’ve always wanted to be teacher”. The majority of my colleagues and teacher friends (yes we do mix in the same circles) grew up idolizing those who taught them and always aspired to fill their boots and inspire the next generation of teachers. Another familiar story is a son or daughter carrying on the family tradition, following in their mother or fathers footsteps. But this contradicts the famous saying of ‘those who can, teach’. Just because you have always wanted to be a teacher does not mean you can actually do it! When people ask me why I became a teacher there is a simple answer, I fell into it. I know what you are thinking, how can you fall into teaching? I will tell you how using a simple equation:

Not enough studying + Too much partying = a very poor degree

I cant even bring myself to write down what grade I achieved in my economics degree but lets say that it stopped my big-money-finance-role-in-the-city ambitions dead in their tracks. I was left working part time in a supermarket thinking about what I would do with my life. A friend of friend worked at a local college and needed short term cover for a business studies class and said someone with my personality should apply. I should state now that I am an outgoing and positive person who could be considered as a bit of a showman. What I mean by this is that I can think on the spot and ‘wing’ it. Fast forward 2 weeks and I was in front of my 1st class with the students none the wiser they had someone pretty much walk in off the street and teach them their level 3 qualification. I didn’t freeze, I didn’t freak out or get nervous. I just stood up their and taught, all the while the famous quote was running through my head, ‘those who can, teach….those who can, teach”. Then it dawned on me that……..wow, I can teach!

But why am I telling you this? If you are out there reading this and you are thinking about becoming a teacher, its not just about what you WANT to do, its all about what you CAN do. In other words, can you be a teacher?

What do you think?

  • What do you think is more important? Wanting to be a teacher or ability?
  • How did you get into education?
  • Why do you want to be a teacher?

Next time: Now that I can teach, do I want to?

The Truth Of Teaching

– WARNING –

This blog is composed by a real teacher and will contain the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth of teaching. Read this if:

1. You are a teacher – Feel safe that you’re not on your own

2. You are thinking of becoming a teacher – hopefully this will help you make your mind up one way or the other

3. You are a student – If you really want to know what teachers think then read on…..

My aim is to update this blog on a regular basis to give whoever is interested an insight into the day to day life of a teacher. I am 24, Male and teach in a respected FE college. I hope that anyone who reads this will join in any debates, share their opinions and hopefully solve any problems that you or I come across in our teaching environments. Feel free to ask any questions, ENJOY!