This may seem a random topic. However I am writing this post because the benefits of teaching are something I feel passionately about. I fell into supply teaching after graduating for selfish reasons: good hours that fit around my kayak training and no extra qualifications necessary.
However I have learnt so much more than I expected. Teaching has been an eye opening experience for me. Although I don’t think it will be my long term career here are some of the reasons I think everyone could benefit from givng teaching a go:
personal benefits of teaching
- No gym necessary: it’s a workout
If you hate the 9-5 life and sitting in an office for 8 hours a day, try supply teaching. Most supply teachers end up as support staff for SEN (special education needs) kids. This means frequent breaks out the classroom. I’ve spent hours and hours of dancing/football/basketball/tag, and i’m paid for it!
- Improve your mental strength
It’s not always fun being a supply teacher. You take on a lot of responsibility early on and if the kid you look after is having a bad day, you feel it too. I’ve been slapped in the face and called names. All you can do is take a five minute breather, and then your right back to smiling around the kids and pretending you’re fine. Honestly if that doesn’t build character I don’t know what does.
- I’ve never laughed so much at work
Kids are honest, often very quick witted and funny. They are also incredibly trusting and it will astonish you how quickly you grow to love the kids in your class. Honestly, there is never a single day when they fail to make me laugh.
- Your chance to help
In year 6 you see first hand how mean children can be. Kids seem to have an in built radar for people that are different. One of the kids I look after is so bright and has a heart of gold, but his lack of social skills makes him a target for bullying. As a young supply teacher you automatically become a role model. This is your chance to show the importance of equality and respect.
- You meet some amazing people
I have met so many amazing teachers and support staff from all over the world. Everyone you meet comes from a different background with different level of experience. It’s a chance to chat, potentially make new friends and (if you want to be cynical about it), the staffroom is a fantastic networking opportunity.
Professional benefits of teaching
- Figure out what you want to do
If there is one thing you learn as a teacher, it will be whether or not you want to work with kids. Or maybe it will put you off for life 🙂 It will also help you realise if you love the social interaction aspect, or you’d rather have a quieter office life.
- Ability to put things in perspective
The good days as a teacher can be amazing, but the bad days? They can be bad. The kids won’t go easy on you if you’re feeling rough, they’ll be the same as usual and your ability to deal with it will be worse. If you didn’t have a sense of humour before you started this profession, you will now. Or else you’ll already have quit.
- Skills to make an employer froth
Honestly whatever career you now want to pursue, you can make your CV and covering letter positively shine. Here’s a few of the skills you’ve got down: patience, working under pressure, quick thinking, multi-tasking, prioritising, and the art of smiling when you want to cry.
Don’t bash it before you’ve tried it!
Honestly I used to look down my nose at teaching. I think it was partly a defence mechanism because the automatic reply to telling people I did a geography degree was: ‘are you going to be a teacher then?’
It has been an eye opening experience for me. I have learnt so much and there is nothing like the feeling of making a child smile when they are having a rough day. Or even more heart warming: when they notice you feel down and try to make you smile!!!
Let me know if you are/have been a teacher and what your experience was like. I would love to hear from you. If you liked this post why not try some of my other posts on building a healthy mindset?
And if you are a teacher right now… hope you’re having a lovely half term! xx