Many of us believe that teaching is a vocation: a career to which we are called.
We are driven by a desire to contribute towards social change, to provide opportunities for children and young people to survive and thrive as global citizens.
As teachers, we often talk about our love for education with our families, friends and colleagues.
Why it's great to be a teacher
But there are some things our pupils probably don’t know about why we feel privileged to be a member of this wonderful profession. Here is what I would tell them:
1. The best part of our job is you
The best part of being a teacher is having the opportunity to work with children and young people.
You make us smile when you make progress. You challenge us with your quick wit and natural curiosity. You make us beam with pride when you learn from your mistakes.
You inspire us to become better teachers and better people.
2. We challenge you because we care
We want the best for you. We want to see you reach your potential.
So please understand that, when we ask you to try something again or complete an additional task, we are only trying to help you grow and learn. We want to see you succeed, to achieve your goals, to strive for excellence.
3. We work hard to give you the best chance in life
Last night, we worked late preparing your lessons.
We got really excited about a new idea that we wanted to try in our classrooms. We edited resources that we thought would help you understand a topic or concept better.
We feel privileged to play a small role in your lives.
4. We don’t want to give out sanctions
None of us signed up to become teachers so that we could give out detentions. When you have to miss your break, we do, too.
We just want you to learn right from wrong so that you can make better decisions in the future.
We are always looking for opportunities to praise and reward you. We love to see you happy.
5. We worry about your exams just as much as you do
We don’t sleep particularly well the night before your exams, and we’ll also be worrying about you the night before results day.
We are a team, and we are in this together. We know what your future dreams are, and we want to help you make those dreams a reality.
6. We care about your views
If you’ve enjoyed a lesson, please do tell us. It makes us happy to know we’ve done a job well.
Never be afraid to tell us if you’re finding something tricky either. Come and see us at an appropriate time, and give us some feedback about how we can improve your learning experience.
7. We make mistakes
Nobody is perfect. Although we do try our best, we make mistakes.
We might have left your exercise book at home, or maybe we forgot to print that exam paper we promised you.
We were tired and had a lot on our minds when we called you by the wrong name. And we were already thinking about the next task when we accidentally spelled something wrong on the board.
8. We are growing as professionals
We are always growing and developing as teachers, to make sure we can do our jobs the best we can.
9. We love to feel appreciated
Although we love to receive flowers, chocolates, wine and cards, there really is nothing better than hearing two little words from our pupils: thank you. It fills us with pride to know that you recognise how hard we work.
10. There’s no other job we would rather do
There is no greater honour than being able to watch children and young people grow into confident, articulate global citizens.
Teaching is more than a profession: it is a lifestyle choice, and there’s no other profession we would rather be in.
Sarah Mullin is a deputy headteacher and doctor of education student. Her book, What They Didn’t Teach Me on My PGCE, is currently a number-one bestseller on Amazon