Your Career• 3 Min read

23rd June 2021

10 Things Most People Don’t Know About Teachers

From the outside, teaching looks like a pretty easy gig – stand in front of a class a few hours a day, sharing your wisdom and guiding young minds – and those long holidays! The reality is a bit different – if you’ve ever thought about becoming an educator, here are 10 things you might not know:

1. They Don’t Get All School Holidays Off Work

Probably the biggest myth in teaching is that teachers get school holidays off! Although teachers work an average of 180 hours a year, they have significant commitments to complete during the school holidays, This might be marking, planning or preparing the classroom for the next intake. Although the shorter hours are definitely a perk, it’s a very rare (and probably woefully underprepared!) teacher who doesn’t have work to complete over the school breaks.

2. They Often Spend Their Own Money On Classroom Resources

Most schools in the UK are reasonably well-equipped – with school budgets carefully allocated to essential resources that the class can use together. For teachers who want to make their lessons more interactive, or create special projects, they sometimes need to source their own supplies. Many teachers we know have their own kit, with scissors, glue sticks and other consumables as well as special things they might like to use – and it often comes out of their own pocket. Print out our Classroom essentials checklist here!

3. Training (and Learning!) Never Stops

We’ve said it before – teaching is a journey of lifelong learning. Teachers spend more time than you’d think on training and career development. Continuous Professional Development is a critical part of a teachers career timeline. Teachers spend many hours every year learning, either refreshing their knowledge or gaining new skills, studying new teaching strategy or training in a specialist area such as SEND.

4. They Thrive On Collaborative Work

Teaching is hugely collaborative. You just have to search #edutwitter on Twitter to find a vast community of teachers and educators, all creating and sharing resources with each other and offering experience and solutions to day-to-day teacher problems. Collaborative working extends outside of the internet though – from mentors to graduates, teachers work with a large network within and outside of their school.

5. They Might Not Have Always Wanted To Be A Teacher

Not every person standing in front of a class has always dreamed of being there – certain degree subjects lend themselves more favourably to teaching and some teachers have dreamed of their vocation since they were first asked what they want to be. Those that haven’t always wanted to teach are often swayed by the prospect of a stable career with plenty of job prospects – there’s been a shortage of teachers in Science, Maths and Languages for over 10 years and the sector is keen to attract graduates in these areas.

6. They Often Do A Lot More Than Teach

The actual teaching of their class is just one tiny part of a teacher’s working life. Many teachers take part in or run multiple extracurricular activities – from sports clubs to breakfast clubs. Teachers also often offer tutor services outside of school hours, which may be to their current pupils or paid private tuition. Many teachers are active members of their school community, and spend a lot more time doing other things on school grounds than teaching- but these activities build real connections with those in school.

7. They Can Work Long Hours

No teacher leaves school at 3.30 on the dot with a spring in their step, certainly not more than a few times a term! Meetings on anything from parental concerns to intervention occur outside of timetabled hours and teachers often take marking and planning work home to complete in the evenings.  

8. Positive Relationships with Pupils Can Last A Lifetime

Nearly everyone remembers a teacher that really stood out to them. Teachers strive to support every pupil in their class to reach their maximum academic potential. Positive relationships with teachers are often what encourages pupils to continue their education further and many successful adults attribute their success to a particularly dedicated teacher.  Many teachers cherish updates from their former pupils and stay in touch long after their formal education has ended.

9. There are Real Opportunities For Progression To Leadership

Teachers aren’t always well-known for their driving ambition, but a career in teaching offers a huge number of options for anyone looking to progress past their starting salary. With structured payscales, countless training opportunities and specialisms and a severe shortage of qualified individuals for senior leadership roles, especially in inner-city schools, there are real opportunities for fast progression for dedicated teachers.

10. Your Teaching Experience Is Valuable All Over The World

Once a teacher is qualified, their skills are valued all over the world. The opportunity to teach in another country is open to every educator and offers the chance to broaden their skill set and gain practical experience in different environments. Find out more about teaching abroad with our blog, Modern Teaching Methods From Across The Globe

We hope these points have given you a good idea of all that goes into being a teacher ‘behind-the-scenes’. Wherever you are in your career right now, if you have considered teaching and want to find out more about routes into teaching in UK schools, register below using our short form and one of our friendly consultants will be in touch can discuss all fantastic teaching opportunities available to you.

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Schools in the UK are hiring American teachers for 2022. Register now to start your journey


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