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Proud to be a teacher!
Mike Tidd on
passionate voice can create change and can only be of
benefit for the country.”
why teaching
Professionals from industry are turning to a career in
teaching because of the many benefits the role brings.
They bring with them a vast range of experiences that can
is the ultimate
only enhance the profession. Experience from outside
the classroom is vital. young people need to have role
models and even though they sometimes might not want
to admit it, teachers are very important ones.
when former pupils come into my school and
remember certain times, events or even lessons, I am
HaT DO the following proud – proud to be a teacher, proud to have had a
people have in common; positive effect on somebody’s life, proud to have taken
mark Knopfler, Chris on this honoured vocation and to have helped a young
Tarrant, sheryl Crow, Nick person. working together we have helped create a
Hornby, Frank skinner, career choice for many young professionals.
stuart maconie, Jim Teaching is the best profession and don’t let anybody
Bowen, alan Bleasdale, tell you otherwise. It is as Batman once said: “It isn’t
Ian Drury, and sting? what you say that defines you, but what you do.” SecEd
answer: They have all worked as teachers.
what is it that drives us to become teachers? I • Mike Tidd is a curriculum leader for geography at
say “us” as we are different. I do not mean to offend Cove School in Hampshire.
anybody, but there is a certain type of person who
becomes a teacher.
I love teaching – it is simple as that. It is not just a
Top 10 reasons to be a teacher
job, but a way of life. Teaching has given me the chance
• To teach a subject you love and have a
to inspire and encourage a young person’s mind to love to so many thousands of students. we must praise each a community that sees the benefit of an education
passion for
the art of learning. But it is not a role that everyone other in this very sacred profession. can help to generate our leaders of tomorrow, but they
will enjoy. There are of course disadvantages: the long Nicholas Hargreaves of Radipole school in must work in partnership with the local schools. we
• To help motivate and inspire young
hours, the endless marking and paperwork, and dealing weymouth backs this up. He said: “Teaching is a as teachers are the facilitators of this role and can help
people to be passionate about learning
with occasionally hormonal teenagers! so why do it? wonderful career choice for anyone. From a young age, enrich a wide variety of lives in the process. • To learn more about your subject and
Teaching is a popular profession for many graduates. several teachers and friends helped and encouraged me Teaching in my opinion is the greatest role in
you as a person
last year 38,918 people completed a PGCE. It is a role to aspire to become a teacher; to provide young minds life that someone can have. To actually see the look
• To keep your mind young
that people find exciting, challenging and extremely with the knowledge, skills and passion to take control of of wonder and understanding on someone’s face is
stimulating. It is a profession where we are able to their lives and become the experts of tomorrow. something that cannot be bought.
• To work in an innovative environment
move people forward in their aspirations and assist “Personally, it has given me the chance to inspire To pass on knowledge and see where it takes a
• To be your own boss and develop your
their learning. young people with my knowledge and expertise. young person in life is amazing. To actually help young own lessons
Friends will know that I sometimes compare working with a group of like-minded teachers and people choose a path in life with your encouragement
• To work with a wide diversity of people
teaching with stand-up comedy. you have 30 pupils young people is extremely inspirational.” and guidance is breathtaking.
from different environments
sitting in front of you expecting to learn. It is up to us The role teachers play in their local community Russell wait, my colleague at Cove school in
to show our worth. we need to work together to make is central to a student’s development. schools and Hampshire, said: “I was inspired by my secondary
• To make a difference and give
education great. communities must work together for an area to benefit. school head, who encouraged me from the age of 12
something back to society
we sometimes get too much bad press, with the The community must be involved in their local schools, to reach my aspirations and goals. I find that teaching • To learn from others, especially the pupils
papers (apart from SecEd of course) glossing over the creating community centres so local people can benefit is an ever-changing occupation that keeps you on your
• The long holidays!
successes and achievements that teaching has brought from the facilities and technology a school has. toes. To teach the future generation of Britain with a
Notes and jottings Independent thinking
Heroes of our time How fortunate we teachers are
I’m always delighted to hear of projects which tempted to find a teaching post by september so that THE END of the school year is a very emotional performances of jazz, pop and classical music,
help to rehabilitate prisoners and young offenders in I can get involved! time. Inevitably one is saying goodbye to valued watched dance groups including our Bollywood
a constructive way. what is the point of prison (more The ever-imaginative RsC wants nine secondary colleagues who are retiring or perhaps moving on to club, heard girls reciting their own poetry written
expensive per head than Eton) if we don’t use the schools from london and East and west midlands a position of greater responsibility in another school. in a variety of languages, tried pond-dipping or
time people are locked away to educate/train them to help them pilot a sparkly new key stage 3 But even more poignant are the conversations and the launching water rockets, viewed extracts from
for a different sort of life when they’re released? shakespeare Challenge next academic year. events involving leaving pupils. A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Grimm Tales
so three cheers for stantonbury Campus, a big The idea is that participants see more shakespeare Each year, pupils whom we have seen arrive at performed by girls of different ages, took part in a
comprehensive school in milton Keynes, whose and take part actively as well as working with the the tender age of 11 leave us as almost grown up tug-o-war, and cheered on swimmers and tennis,
students have been working in partnership with HmP language among many other activities, such as young people, ready to take their place in life hockey and rounders players. Past pupils
woodhill, a young offenders’ institution, since 2002. identifying their own shakespeare hero or beyond school, be it travelling on a gap year, came and spoke to staff and brought
Today (Thursday, July 9), there is a party at heroine in modern culture. How about starting a university course, or undertaking us up-to-date with their lives. The
HmP woodhill to celebrate the end of Gordon Brown as Julius Caesar, Robert employment. link between pupils and their old
the latest project. It has involved over mugabe as macbeth, serena williams we have just held our year 13 school and their teachers can be
50 young people from stantonbury as Hippolyta, or Barack Obama as leavers’ Ceremony. Each girl receives incredibly strong.
and woodhill working together Henry V? a personal certificate which makes no Girls are also incredibly
through a series of workshops with Oh, what a lot of fun I could mention of any examination results supportive of one another. I
officers, teachers and others to make have with this. It is all supported by at GCsE, as or a level – but rather have just returned from our final
a DVD looking at the causes and the RsC education team and leads records the contributions which she has concert of the term. Not only
consequences of knife crime. to a Bronze arts award. Now that made to our school community and to the did large numbers of our year
The DVD is already being used in you no longer have to worry about wider community beyond. 13 give up an evening to attend
20 other prisons and young offenders’ those hideously reductive saTs with These cover a huge range: running in order to support their peers in
institutions across the country, so it their insulting two scenes, I can’t think clubs for younger pupils, coaching them their final school concert, but many
really is making a difference. of a better way of getting 11 to 14- in sports, helping them with reading, maths recent past pupils who had played in
In past years, the two groups of young year-olds “into” shakespeare. you can or other subjects, running their House, the school orchestras or sung in the
people have redesigned and painted the apply at organising charity activities, working choirs were in the audience too.
HmP woodhill visitors’ centre crèche, backstage, performing in plays, playing Their university terms have now
devised a play about life in prison, less exciting perhaps, but useful in orchestras, jazz bands or chamber ended and they were eager to see
produced a CD about drugs avoidance, nonetheless, is the latest training book music groups, singing in choirs, visiting how those younger pupils who were
and created DVDs about bullying and to have landed on my desk. There the elderly, helping with the hospital developing their musical skills when
self-harm issues. seems to be ever less opportunity for trolley shop, acting as a mentor to local they were at school had blossomed
and why does this all work so well? teachers to go out on courses, even if children at various saturday schools since then.
well, as Trevor Harris who manages the you think they’re desirable or effective, and after-school clubs, working with How fortunate we teachers are – in
stantonbury end, has told me, it is deeply so it’s often a case of reading up what Kids Company, helping at a special how many other jobs can one watch the
significant that all the young participants are you want or need to know. needs school, working with special needs young grow, develop and turn into adults?
about the same age and have much in common. Action Learning in Schools: Reframing children in Romania, writing for the school Even those who have been quite challenging
The young offenders get to know some Teachers’ Professional Development by Peter magazine, representing the school in the or less than enthusiastic about their school
succeeders and see for themselves that ordinary aubusson, Robyn Ewing and Garry Hoban Bank of England 2.0 competition, the youth while they are pupils often become eager to
kids, much like themselves, can achieve things, (Routledge, 2009), explains how action learning Parliament competition, or the Hans woyda remain in touch with their teachers once they
while the stantonbury students realise first-hand works – learning on the job by interacting with others maths Quiz team, undertaking environmental have left.
how important it is to stay focused because getting in a very structured way. projects, participating in an inter-generational art as we prepare for the summer holidays and a
into trouble is all too easy. It also offers lots of practical “how to” advice and project with the elderly, or teaching “silver surfers” chance to catch up on sleep before we can begin to
The second factor is that staff at stantonbury shows how action learning can become part of what how to use the internet. enjoy the break, it is worth reflecting on all those
and HmP woodhill have built an excellent working you do as a teacher rather than some vague, imposed That is certainly not an exhaustive list – our girls young people we have taught over the years. I am
relationship based on trust and mutual respect over add-on. and, praise be, on the whole the book is do an enormous amount for others. we hope they sure that we can all be inspired and delighted by at
seven years. long may it continue. written in English rather than in edu-babble! have learned this habit for life. least some of them. Happy holidays!
On Founder’s Day, the school grounds were
I am so excited by the latest Royal shakespeare • Susan Elkin is a freelance education journalist and thronged with pupils past and present and their • Marion Gibbs is headmistress of the independent
Company (RsC) education initiative that I am former teacher. families enjoying the sunshine. They enjoyed James Allen’s Girls’ School in London.
SecEd • July 9 2009 
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