Teaching, probably the best job in the world – by Simon Graham, headteacher of St Edmund’s School in Portsmouth

DECIDING on a career is understandably not always an easy decision. Yet it is clear that many talented individuals are put off becoming a teacher.

Thursday, 25th April 2019, 5:09 pm
Updated Monday, 29th April 2019, 12:51 pm
Headteacher St Edmund's Catholic School, Portsmouth, Simon Graham.
Picture: Allan Hutchings (113953-990)
Headteacher St Edmund's Catholic School, Portsmouth, Simon Graham. Picture: Allan Hutchings (113953-990)

We know this to be true as the government has acknowledged that we are in the middle of a huge shortage of teachers, at a time when we have more children to educate.

So why is this the case now?

There are common recurring problems cited for this such as pay, long hours and excessive workload. Whilst these may have some merit in them, we must not forget the many other professions and vocations who face similar issues.

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Why are fewer people wanting to enter the teaching profession?

Could it be the way in which government and society believe schools are the answer to all its issues? If in doubt, make schools teach it… even if they do not have the facilities, training, funding or expertise. This can be a real additional burden on our schools.

Perhaps though it is the negative perception and the way in which some members of society talk about those who give their heart and soul to develop the skills, knowledge and life experiences of our future generations.

Surely no one would criticise a service they get for free?

If you were to pay for education privately it would cost over £12,000 a year, compared to funding in the state sector of between £2,782 (Primary) and £4,059 (Secondary) per child.

The reality is that working within education is an amazing job. You get to work with children who are full of life’s optimism and play a part in helping to shape their lives.

You make a difference every day. Helping young people see right from wrong, developing high moral values, sharing knowledge, gaining qualifications and perhaps igniting a spark for a future career is hugely rewarding.

Teachers play a vital role in giving young people the tools to access independence in preparation for today’s modern world. Education will help shape our future society. Who would not want to be part of that story and have ‘the best job in the world’.