I AGREE with the comment by Elizabeth Hoodless (TES, December 25) that "the lure of teaching is vocational not financial". However, this should not be taken to mean that governments can continue to under-pay teachers.
The vocational side does get strained as you work the long hours necessary to develop curriculum, plan your week's work in the depth and breadth necessary for a wide ability range, and read to keep abreast of developments.
The strain comes in part from the long hours during the week and weekend work, but in the main from the stinging comments by politicians and some members of the general public.
In the end you wonder if it is all worth it when you feel such a lack of gratitude for the work you are involved in.
Incentives are needed not only to keep excellent teachers and administrators in the field of education, but to help attract quality people into the teaching profession. We need graduates to be hooked for a long time, not just a couple of years until they see their colleagues in other professions are leagues ahead of them and then want to change direction.
Kevin Page Principal Bonn International primary school Europa Strasse 28 53175 Bonn Opinion Letters 21 The EditorJ The TES JAdmiral House J66-68 East SmithfieldJ London E1 9XYJ Fax 0171-782 3200J E-mail email@example.com TESJJanuary 15 J1999 Listening in: any weakening of the modern languages curriculum undermines Britain's reputation jacky chapman