People often assume that teaching early years classes is all about enforced cheerfulness and bodily fluids. They're not wrong but it's only half the story.
Here are five reasons why it’s actually the best job in education.
- If it’s a popularity contest – you’re winning
In no other profession or educational stage will your colleagues (read: tiny humans you are charged with keeping alive) adore you with quite the same intensity as a class of four-year-olds. Constant expressions of this love may include gentle shoe-stroking and pictures of your stick figure alter ego surrounded by hearts. Treasure them.
- Just another day at the office…
Teaching early years means that you get to legitimately do things that would otherwise be considered eccentric for a woman in her thirties with a mortgage. Covered head to toe in glitter pretending to be a princess and singing Five Little Speckled Frogs? Just doing my job.
- Reputation is everything
Teaching early years lends you a certain untouchability in your private life. It doesn’t matter if you swear like a trooper, listen to death metal and own a dog called Satan: everyone will assume you are some Mary Poppins-esque paragon of innocence. Use this to your advantage!
- Colds are for the weak!
Spending every week day with, let’s be honest, tiny germ magnets, means that only the strong survive. After the first term you will shrug off infections with ease. Seriously, scientists should be doing tests to cure all known disease on your immune system.
- You get to make the biggest difference of all
You provide the foundations that the rest of a child’s education will build on. Algebra and semi-colons are all very well but they can never produce the same thrill as teaching a child to read and write in the first place. Especially when they use their new-found skill to draw you a picture labelled "best teesher ever".
Kate Townshend has been teaching in schools in Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire for more than 10 years. She tweets as @_KateTownshend