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A scribbled note shows why we love this maddening job

Teachers are facing an uphill struggle, weighed down by workload, pay cuts and government reforms – but every now and then a pupil’s kind words prove that it’s all worthwhile, writes James McEnaney

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There’s no getting away from it: teaching is really, really tough.

We put ourselves through the mill every single year, taking on an array of mental, physical and emotional challenges as we try to do our very best. Often, we achieve success not because of the powers that be but in spite in them – some of the individuals in our classes might make the job more difficult than it needs to be but their efforts can pale in comparison to the impact of Education Scotland, the Scottish Qualifications Authority and the Scottish government.

Enormous workload, real-terms pay cuts, constant false dawns ...

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