Why should you choose teaching?
Benefits of teaching from an Aberdeen teacher’s point of view
by Zsofia Kiszely
Creator: Daniel Leal-Olivas, Credit: AFP via Getty Images
Most students face the dilemma of not knowing what career path to choose once they graduate. In order to inspire graduates to choose a career in teaching, the Scottish Government has launched a teacher recruitment campaign. The focus of the campaign is to encourage students currently studying and recent graduates to consider teaching in Scotland as their career path. As part of the campaign, five influencers were paired with schoolteachers to create a video that aimed to debunk the myths of a career in teaching and encourage others to join in the conversation around ‘what teaching taught me’.
An online survey commissioned by the Scottish Government, with YouGov, found that teachers are even more valued now than they were before the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, over eight months ago.
Almost two-fifths of adults (39%) in the North East said that they value the role of primary and secondary school teachers more than they did previously, whilst almost a fifth (18%) said that they have learnt something new about being a teacher in Scotland since the lockdown due to Coronavirus.
Unlike what people might think, teaching has great benefits, be it emotional or practical. As a teacher, you are able to help young people get a great start. There are a number of opportunities for career development and the pay is excellent as well. Deciding in favour of a teaching career does not only mean passing your knowledge to the younger generations, but also, probably most importantly, you will be able to guide them on the way to grow into excellent adults. Having this potential purpose in your career is indeed beneficial for your own all-around well-being as well.
Leon, 34, a primary teacher from Aberdeen, has been teaching for five years. While studying for his Accounting and Law degree, it was suggested to Leon by a parent at the Scouts Group where he volunteered that he should be a teacher. Despite being hesitant at first, he realised that teaching was very similar to a lot of the volunteering work he had done with children. Leon decided to try it by volunteering at a school for six months during his final year at university. While volunteering, he realised that he enjoyed teaching and wanted to pursue it as a career. He went on to complete his PGDE and has been teaching ever since.
“Teaching is both rewarding and challenging."
"It’s such a fulfilling job as you are able to make such a big impact on the children’s lives, both inside and outside the classroom."
"It also keeps you on your toes as the job is so dynamic, you are constantly on the go and no two days are the same. One of the highlights for me is that there are so many interesting stories to tell, working with up to 30 children every day definitely provides a lot of fun – sometimes I find myself laughing as much as the kids.”
“You also never stop learning in this job. Even after five years there are still some areas, I haven’t even cracked the surface of. You are constantly growing and evolving. It’s certainly safe to say that no class is ever the same and sometimes you can leave the lesson having learnt more than them.”
“The things you learn in your first few months shape your teaching style entirely and will follow you throughout your whole career but naturally you will see this adapt and progress as the longer you do it, the more you learn. Over the years, I have also mentally evolved and matured because of the children and the job, although I’m still in the same teaching position, I have absolutely developed as a person.”
Despite being in the midst of a global pandemic, the stability of his career as a teacher has not been much of a worry for Leon.
“Permanent teaching positions are very reliable, so job security is not something I’m personally worried about, which is a relief during this very challenging and unpredictable time. A clear benefit of this profession is that it’s something we’re always going to need, whether it’s done virtually or face-to-face, teachers will always be a necessity."
"I’d say it’s one of the most secure jobs out there, which is always a selling point."
In light of the pandemic, Leon believes that many people have a newfound appreciation for teachers.
“I think sometimes teachers are not valued for what we do, particularly in the past. However, because of home learning during COVID-19, a lot of parents have recognised the level of work and commitment every teacher provides for their students. I would definitely say I feel more valued as a teacher than I did before the pandemic, which is a nice feeling during what has been a very tough year.”
“Teachers have such a huge impact on a child’s life and it’s important we recognise that we aren’t just teaching them English and Maths, it goes a lot further than that. In fact, I think the teachers I had in school are part of the reason why I decided to pursue teaching, as I want to have the same impact on other children that they had on me.”
Leon’s advice to anyone who is thinking of pursuing a career in teaching:
“You will learn so much in this career as both a teacher and a person. Although it won’t be without its challenges, you will adapt to them all and they will make you a better teacher. The more you give to your class the more you get in return, so don’t be afraid to go for it.”
Teachers have a challenging but highly rewarding job. The Scottish Government is encouraging students, who are in the process of deciding on their career choice, to certainly consider teaching; especially those who want to find meaning in their work.
For more information about teaching and how to become a teacher in Scotland, please go and check out the link below.