Guest Post: 7 Reasons Why Teaching Is (Mostly) The Best Job In The World
A few weeks ago, you may remember Liz Gregory telling us why Summer was great. There was so much agreement with her in the 7 Reasons HQ that we just had to get her back on the sofa. Thankfully, Liz was only too keen to make a reappearance. And this time she’s bought along her box of chalks. Or are they marker pens? I can never tell when I’m sans contact lenses. If you didn’t check out Liz’s blog – Things To Do In Manchester – last time, then you better do it today. Unless you want detention. Right, enough of the stupid school quips, I’m off to the bike sheds.
1. Holidays (Part One). We may as well deal with any resentment up front, so we’ll start with holidays. I get 11 weeks per year. Teachers in schools get more. I understand that people in the real world get insultingly poor amounts of annual leave, and I feel bad about this. But no-one, anywhere (that includes you, Cameron) will take my glorious six-week summer off me.
2. Holidays (Part Two). Last year the afore-mentioned six week summer break began on July 7th. The Ashes series started on July 8th. This point needs no further expansion.
3. The Students. Yes, I know this one is hard to believe; even a cursory glance at The Daily Mail will indicate that the youth of today are a snarling, feral mass, pausing from their casual sex and drug-taking only to mug passing old ladies and commit knife crimes. You may be disappointed to learn that actually, today’s teenagers are pretty much the same as any other generation of teenagers: moody, unpredictable, funny, witty, charming…in short, they are good company. Although I do query some of their musical taste, and the overall aesthetics of wearing one’s jeans halfway down one’s backside.
4. Talking About What You Love, All Day Every Day. I teach English, which means that rather than answer telephones and push bits of paper around a desk all day, a typical Monday might include reading Wuthering Heights (and indeed performing the Kate Bush caterwauling classic as a Christmas treat), acting out bits of Streetcar Named Desire (Stellllaaaaaaa!), and teaching how to write scripts, articles or short stories….it’s amazing.
5. Seasonal Celebrations. Christmas is fun, sure. Christmas in a college with hundreds of sixteen-year-olds who are desperately excited but are trying equally desperately not to show it is even better. Students are also very keen on the confectionary that tends to accompany such seasonal celebrations, and bring it in by the bucket load; there is surely not a teacher in existence who has not felt their waistband constrict at Easter or Christmas due to a surfeit of Quality Street.
6. Stationery. This may actually be specific to English teachers, but every September the pain of a new academic year is soothed by an almighty trip to Paperchase to stock up on novelty pens and notebooks with monkeys on. This is an essential part of teaching, and its impact on the economic stability of Britain must not be overlooked.
7. Students Suddenly Realising You’re Not Ninety. I am not particularly advanced in years, but to my youthful charges I may as well be approaching my hundred and twelfth birthday. Until, of course, you are spotted outside of work, wearing jeans, talking to friends, and maybe (gasp) drinking wine. This prompts much admiration, as students recognise you for what you truly are – a plucky old person with a life outside college. This will raise your kudos above every member of the maths and science departments almost instantly.