Why do teachers go into teaching. According to www.ukedchat.com most people choose teaching as a profession for quite selfless reasons.
If we take the teachers that felt they could make a difference (29%), add in the teachers that love working with their students (26%) and top it off with the teachers that felt it was a vocation they wanted to follow (25%) we have accounted for 8/10 teachers.
The message for educational managers, policy makers and politicians is that 8/10 teachers enter the profession with an internal motivation to do the job well. We all, and I include teachers in this, have a collective responsibility to maintain that motivation. A positive teacher is far more likely to be effective in the classroom than the staff room whinger. Hopefully in the minority, the staff room whingers generalise everything to put weight behind their arguments. Common excuses include:
“That will never work with our children.”
“They don’t understand what we have to put up with.”
“The problem these days is that parents…”
Everybody has a responsibility to stop the staff room whinger from polluting the school climate with their negativity. Teaching is a tough enough job without colleagues dragging each other down.
I had the great fortune this weekend to hear the wonderful Sir John Jones speaking at the National Association of British Schools in Spain. Among many treasures he shared was a delightful video that dramatically illustrates the power of a great teacher. Teachers have the power to transform lives, to motivate young people to aspire to greatness. You can’t do that if the world is pressing down on your shoulders and you’ve lost touch with why you entered the profession. I’ll leave you with the video that so delightfully illustrates the power of teachers to touch lives and make a difference. Syd Picton ran a football club for youths in North London and this short video is worth sharing with any teacher at risk of loosing touch with their initial motivation.
If you know a teacher becoming detached from their initial motivations for teaching show them the video and make a difference.