What is it like being a teacher?

Published: Thursday 5th October 2017 by Courtney Farrow

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Today is World Teachers’ Day. We spoke with Matthew Whittaker, Head Teacher at Sirius Academy, to discover more about the profession.

World Teachers’ Day is all about celebrating the incredible role that teachers play in our society, providing education for both children and adults of all ages and abilities.

Mr. Whittaker was more than happy to chat with us about his career as a teacher and his role as Head of Sirius Academy.

What can you tell us about life as a teacher in 2017?

Firstly, I would say that being a teacher today is a very demanding role, but it’s also a very rewarding one.

The community that I personally work with is one of high deprivation – one thing we see is that many young people’s aspirations aren’t that high. However, part of our role as teachers is to raise these aspirations and give our young people a sense of value of education.

Making young people realise that they can achieve is one of the most rewarding parts. We always encourage our students to believe that they can have a successful career after school.

There are two crucial aspects to the job: academic and life skills. Getting students the qualifications they need after school is very important, but we also prepare them for adult life in the real world.

This could be anything, from discussions about sexual health and relationships, to financial education, like how to get a mortgage.

Why did you personally go into teaching?

I chose the career because I wanted to make a difference. Other than a parent, I don’t think there is any other job that is quite as important as being a teacher. Any other job you do after school is because of the help of your teachers.

It certainly wasn’t for the money!

What advice would you give to those considering a career in education?

If you want to be a teacher, you will need to study and get a degree. Whilst studying, be sure to do voluntary work in schools. We have many aspiring teachers contacting us to see if they can get some experience in the classroom and spend time in a school setting.

I would strongly advise that you work in both a primary and secondary setting in your training days so as to get a real feel for what it’s like to teach all ages.

Although it isn’t a physically demanding job, it can be a mentally draining one, so having the right experience and seeing if the career is right for you is key.

Many of our student teachers have a real passion for education, and that’s great to see.

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Published: Thursday 5th October 2017 by Courtney Farrow

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