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Sunday, 16 February 2014

Teaching the 24/7 Profession

The information about a national college of teaching has led me to do lots of thinking about our very noble profession. Anything which raises the profile of teaching and leads it back to a more respected profession can, in my opinion, only be a good thing. 

There are a vast number of professions that without argument deserve that respect: Surgeons, Medical Consultants, Nurses and Firefighters to name a few. These professions are commited and hard working often working long anti social hours. 

Of course teaching is a profession and  I would argue the only profession that NEVER switch off. I know the other professions work long and hard but being a teacher is more of a lifestyle choice than a profession. 

I am sure you would not find Firefighters taking their families along to 'potential spots for fires' yet teachers drag their families along on 'reckies' checking out potential trips' for their class. Making sure  the local farm really is suitable and has sufficient toilets and hand washing facilities for class of 5 year olds. 

Do doctors or nurses spend their days off trailing around second hand shops to buy  books to put on the ward? I doubt it but teachers do, they spend weekends trawling the local second shops for books suitable to appeal to 7 year old boys for their class library. 

I wonder if surgeons find themselves running up and down the aisles of poundstores buying packs of playing cards for their patients? Probably not but teachers do, they get excited at the prospect of buying basketfulls of what others see as tat but to them is pure treasure: balls of string, little plastic eggs, playing cards... The list is endless. 

Even a trip to the local supermarket becomes an opportunity to browse the stationary aisle for those essential Sharpie pens to label everything from pieces of art work to boxes containing the precious class lego. 

Teachers are the best recyclers, they hate throwing anything out and can be seen coming into school laden with empty cereal packets, toilet roll tubes and egg boxes for 'the junk area' 

Even the annual summer holiday is full of potential things to use in the class from leaflets and brochures for persuasive writing to photographs of landmarks for Geography lessons.  We must also not forget the regular trips to car boot sales for wet play games! 

So as you can see teaching is a 24/7 job. Teachers are a commited bunch or do they just simply need commiting?