The yin and yang of teaching

On the good days, being a teacher seems like the best job in the world, but these feelings tend to co-exist with negativity over workload, bureaucracy and change. Walter Humes ponders the profession’s ‘bipolarity’ and calls for a fundamental reappraisal of teacher identity

The yin and yang of teaching

Ask teachers what gives them most job satisfaction, and the vast majority are likely to talk about the sense of professional fulfilment they get from seeing pupils making good progress in their learning and personal development. Some may recount “lightbulb” moments when youngsters who have been struggling with course material suddenly have a breakthrough in their understanding. Others may interpret progress in broader terms and refer to the increased confidence of pupils, their improved social skills, their capacity to work cooperatively, their growing maturity and sense of identity. Some ...

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