MYTHS BUSTERS – What teachers are… and what they are not


By: Dee G. Russell-Thomas

Everyone has been to school
Everyone remembers their teachers
Everyone recalls their school-days
Everyone feels they know everything about teachers, schools and teaching

Teachers have a position of influence…. They will be remembered…. It could be for the right reasons. It could be for the wrong ones.

Just as with any other profession in the world… there are “The good, the bad and the ugly!”

In my experience most teachers go into the profession because they want to make a difference… a positive difference.

Teaching is easy!

Whoever says this has never taught or understood, the need for…
exam preparation
classroom management
parents evenings
nurse, child minder, carer, social worker, parent, counsellor, mediator and on and on

Teachers work 9.00- 3.00 and have endless holidays

Teachers work before and after school hours
They work a large percentage of their holidays and over every weekend

Teachers just sit behind desk all day

In recent times with fit-bit watches it has been shown that teachers can often clock up 20,000 steps a day! They move around the class, they move around the buildings , they do playground duties, after school clubs, lunch time activities….

Teachers build up a resilience against germs and bugs and do not get sick

Not true … as the recent pandemic has shown…. Teachers pick up germs and viruses just like other people

Anyone can be a teacher

Just try it!
Teaching needs patience, understanding, creativity, ability to reach children, classroom management, knowledge, commitment, energy….

Primary teachers don’t need to be very academic

Teachers require a degree to be able to teach in most countries nowadays.
They are expected to understand methodology, pedagogy.
Not only do they need subject knowledge they need to understand how children learn, why children fail, how they can be motivated, what are the barriers and how to personalise learning

Those who can do… those who can’t teach

Teaching is an under-valued but highly specialised field.
Teachers teach all other professions… they educate future scientists, business entrepreneurs, doctors, surgeons, astronauts, reporters, judges, lawyers, dentists, engineers …. Everyone who goes through school!

Teachers are over-paid

Anyone wanting to make a huge amount of money would never go into the teaching profession!
No-one is saying it is awful pay but… it is certainly not on a par with many other professions.

Teachers have a lot of spare time during the day

No they do not. They have lesson after lesson with few gaps in between. In the break and lunch times they may be on duty, if not they are often dealing with an incident, a distressed child or preparing the class for the next session. If they do have a prep lesson it is often taken to cover a staff absence

Students always behave

All teachers know this is not true and that classroom management can be one of the hardest things for a new teacher to learn. Discipline , respect, interest and motivation are all key aspects of class control and this can be exceptionally tough and has been known to break a teacher.
It is not always easy.

Teachers have all the resources they need and don’t buy extra

Many schools operate on a low budget. Teachers want the best for their pupils so they often buy extras out of their own money.

And, the last one….

Going into the teaching profession is a waste of time

Absolutely not!

Although we have explored the myths around how easy teaching is and we have acknowledged the work-load, the challenges and the misconceptions…. Teaching can be VERY rewarding.
To all dedicated, hard-working teachers, Head Teachers, support staff and teaching assistants… THANK YOU

Dee Russell Thomas

By: Dee G. Russell-Thomas

My name is Dee and thank you for joining me.
I have worked in the field of education for over 40 years…as a teacher, Head of Service, consultant and inspector and I have specialised in Art, English, equality & inclusion, guidance and counselling, advisory work and voluntary sector support. I have worked in the UK and overseas and my research papers include:-

“The Power of the Individual” Newcastle University
“Exogenous and Endogenous depression and suicide” Bristol University” UK
“Teaching English as an Additional Language “ “The English College, Sydney, Aust.
“Eating Disorders, Self Harm and low self esteem” Bristol University, UK
“Breaking the Silence” The University of Gloucestershire, UK
“Race Equality and Diversity….the importance of an inclusive society”
“Feminism and Social Justice” Santa Cruz University, California, USA
“Family Engagement” Harvard University, USA
“The Science of Happiness” Yale University, USA

Dee G. Russell-Thomas D.L. J.P; M.Ed; FRSA; Adv. Dip. Ed; MBACP; TEFL Deputy Lieutenant of Gloucestershire; Trained Ofsted Inspector & Educational Consultant U.K. Director of Global Goodwill Ambassadors; UK GGA Chair of Child Welfare

Why Become A Teacher

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