Teaching, a tough job, who chooses to do it?


A little known fact, about me, is that when I first left school, I went to teacher training college. I did the first year, at a London university, halfway through which, my mother died, and at the end of the year, I left the course. Partly because I was devastated and not coping with her death, and couldn’t manage the demands of a university course, and partly because, despite having loved helping out as a classroom assistant in my final year at school, in a local primary school near where I was also at school, I actually realised that teaching was not for me. I don’t know if it was because I am too independent, like my own space, and felt like I was stuck in the system. So I decided that I would take a year out, I found a nanny job with a lovely family, who I am still in contact with, almost 18 years later, and then eventually moved on to do what I had secretly always wanted to do, which was nursing.

Anyway, I digress. I have started helping in Big Girl’s class at school, one afternoon a week. Mainly, because I feel I want to contribute and help, and also because of being so busy, I have been careful to avoid being involved (sucked in, ahem) to the whole PTA thing. This way, I am helping at school, but under my own steam and it’s great fun. I am helping teach basic computing skills at the moment (the teacher says I am not allowed to let them start their own blogs and join Twitter 😉 ) and I also do any jobs she wants, like craft work (yes, I know, don’t laugh) or listening to the children read. Big Girl thinks it’s great, to have me there, and the other children call me “Emily’s Mummy” or “Miss” which I find hilarious. It’s a real eye opener seeing the kids in a class environment, and I remember those days of long ago, when I was supposed to be in charge, as I watch the teacher communicate, help, support, discipline (it is needed, in a class 30 lively children, occasionally) and teach. Teaching takes a serious sense of humour,  a lot of patience,  something I am definitely short on, and an ability to multi task and communicate. There is so much work to do, and a lot of paperwork and planning (another thing I remember) involved all the time.

I am loving it, but I am once again reminded of how awesome most teachers are (of course, there are the not so awesome ones, like in any job or situation) and how hard they work, and the pressure they are under from our government, and also from us, as parents,  to perform, teach the children and achieve tasks and targets. Its a tough job. I know now, I was most definitely not made for it. Our system is not perfect, but to sign up for it, and contribute to it, and help grow and educate the next generation to me, is a challenging thing. I know some parents are not happy about the strikes that have been, and will be happening in the next few weeks, here in England, but having seen how hard the teachers at our school work, and having plenty of friends and family who teach, I get why some feel they have to question the things that are being changed, that might make their jobs harder, with no reward, that might change their financial security, that will make their job “performance related” and based on a set of targets put together by people in London who probably haven’t set foot in a school in their life since they left their own at 16 (I am looking at you Michael Gove!!) and I support them.. I am looking forward to helping more at school and working in the classroom, but also want to say a big thank you to all the teachers I know. It’s a hard job, often unappreciated and I think if more parents spent some time actually in the classroom, it would give them more perspective on what teachers actually do. Teaching is definitely not for the faint hearted, or for those who don’t like children! 😉 I still have fond memories of some of the teachers who impacted my life, and taught and support me.

Sharing this with Magic Moments, it’s not really magic but I wanted to share my feelings.

Have a lovely week! Don’t forget to click on the link button to read more Magic Moments over at The Oliver’s Mad House


Posted in Everything else and tagged education, learning, support, teachers strikes, teaching.


  1. Thank you for supporting the strike and sticking up for teachers. Thank you also for recognising that it is a hard job to do and it is often thankless.

    I often wish those in government would come and actually do our job for a week and see the actual working hours, the actual situations we deal with and what it is actually like in a classroom today before they pass judgements and legislation but that just seems like too much sense.

    Thanks again from this Reception Teacher in SE London 🙂

  2. What a lovely and clearly heartfelt post. I think it’s really admirable to volunteer your time to work in the classroom. Glad you’re enjoying it and Big Girl likes having you around #MagicMoments

  3. it is so incredibly refreshing to hear a parent supporting a teacher. so much of it seems to be the other way round. Aren’t we all in it together?
    Im a wife to a teacher, you works ALL the time and rarely stops working before midnight every day. I would struggle to recommend teaching as a career i have to say. They are so totally over- worked and under appreciated and investigated and watched and questioned so often on their work!! no other profession has that sort of big brother!

  4. You are so spot on! I volunteer in my daughters’ classrooms one day each week. I’ve been doing it from the time my oldest started school. Teachers work so hard to help grow our kids and I think they often are under-appreciated. Unless you are in the classroom watching the daily activities and instruction, it’s hard to understand what their jobs are like. Stopping by from Magic Moments.

  5. what a really lovely post honey and one i wholeheartedly agree with. i personally couldnt do this job and i take my hat of to them to help children learn 🙂

    thanks for linking up with #MagicMoments

  6. Go you! That’s fab! They certainly deserve our thanks and respect, as it’s definitely not for the faint-hearted. I did some French with L’s Year 1 class last year, and whilst it was great fun it’s certainly not something I would want to do full-time.

  7. What a really lovely and refreshing read. SO nice to hear someone supporting teachers and understanding where we’re coming from.
    I LOVE my job but it IS hard, it IS stressful and the gvt don’t do anything to help that. I don’t want to do anything else – but at the same time with the way things are I’m not sure I can see myself doing it for the rest of my life either.
    I’m currently working on a supply basis to fit in with my young family which means I’m now one of the rare teachers who can actually say they have work / life balance!

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