Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light. – Albus Dumbledore.
In a time where it feels like darkness has infiltrated our lives, it’s important to remember the light. It’s also important to show what clarity this has brought to how incredibly strong and devoted our educators are. Having worked in education, I have a lot of friends on Facebook who are still teaching, still caring for our most vulnerable students and maintaining a safe space for our key-workers’ children to go to in a time that will feel very scary. So, to share a little light, I asked them, what’s your favourite thing about teaching?
The evolution into young adults
‘Challenging their mindsets and helping them to, in turn, challenge the status quo, seeing them grow into inquisitive young adults who have so much optimism in the world.’
‘Seeing students grow in my chosen subject, but also seeing them grow into young adults. Hearing their views, opinions and mindset change as they grow older and gain more of an understanding of the world we live in.’
‘Realising they aren't just students, but young people that go through things we used to and come out better for it. This is something I have never experienced in another job and was worth all the long days and late nights.’
Sharing and inspiring their passions
‘When a student would hover at the end of a lesson, clutching crumpled pieces of paper in their hands and move sheepishly towards you, only to ask if you could read the story they’ve been working on at home because they want your opinion. My face would break into a beaming smile and I’d gladly accept, even if it meant a little extra time with that green pen, I didn’t care. Seeing them relax into relief as you tell them how amazing it is just to have written it in the first place. Sharing that moment with them was priceless.’
That light-bulb moment
‘Seeing that light-bulb moment - when a student who has been struggling with a concept or a skill finally grasps it and the look of relief and excitement on their faces is irreplaceable. Knowing that they're growing in confidence each time they leave the classroom is why I think most teachers do this job.’
Working together as a community
You may hear students groan about school on a regular day, but when the going gets tough – whether it be an Ofsted visit or a global pandemic, students and teachers alike join to care for their school.
After hearing their exams were cancelled, students swung into action and completed as much coursework as they possibly could, whether that be Design and Technology or Drama performances.
‘We worked all the next day; weeks early they performed all their drama pieces and did amazingly! I am so proud of these kids!’
Teachers are incredible, adaptable, multi-talented individuals who, in the face of adversity, have continued to strive for the very best care they can provide for the country’s youth. They are busily learning how to teach online and provide as much support as possible.
‘I am so proud of our profession and I am proud to be a teacher!’
About the author
After completing a BA in Creative Writing and a Masters in Creative and Critical Writing at the University of Winchester, Tammy worked as a Learning Support Assistant, with a focus on helping students develop their literacy skills. She then taught as an English teacher at an all-boys comprehensive school in Berkshire. Now she has turned her sights to a career in writing, with education at the heart of it.