At Better than an Apple, we think teaching is great.
You get fresh, young and often hilarious perspectives from kids on contemporary issues. You get to see kids grow throughout your career, and become the people you know they're capable of becoming. There's far more to schoolkids than mischief - they are genuinely inspiring individuals that can brighten any grey Monday morning.
What's more, you'll never find a more close-knit professional community than in the staff room. They are not places for stuffy office-speak and embarrassing corporate jargon; rather the home of hilarious tales of morning lessons, problems shared, and supportive, friendly conversation.
Then you get holidays.
But we also know that teachers have a unique set of problems that they encounter daily, and yearly. Though no two days are alike in teaching, these issues are either ongoing or recur frequently to scupper your day, week, and often your evenings and weekends too.
There's no 'clocking off'
The generally accepted pattern of work/rest/play is in equal periods of eight hours a day. Not so in teaching. You'll be working way after the school bell on extracurricular activities, and then way after the usual 5pm clocking off time on marking. And then you'll probably be working at home on marking too, before you get back into school first thing for morning duty.
You love your subject more than anything...but
One of the best things about teaching is being able to impart your passion for a subject to the next generation. You probably loved your subject at school, followed it through at university, and now get to talk about it daily. However, this becomes a bit tricky when you have to teach the same material every year. As much as we all love Of Mice and Men, it's sometimes difficult to love it THAT much.
Holidays! Or, working holidays
There's a stereotype that teachers have unfairly long holidays. Let us be the ones to assure you that this is not the case. On top of often giving up your evenings and weekends, it's safe to say that at least 50% of teachers' holidays are taken up with lesson planning and (you guessed it) marking. So, while we can do this from home and to our own schedule, it really isn't a holiday.
It's that time of year again...OFSTED
Most professions have some sort of internal audit system to track how things are going, but there are few as terrifying as the annual OFSTED inspection. OFSTED come at random, with only a few days' notice, and it's up to you to perform as very best you can, so that even if the school doesn't perform well, you can be sure it isn't your fault. Technically, it's a matter of turning up to school and behaving as you normally would, but when unpredictable kids are thrown into the bargain, things can go slightly pear-shaped.
That being said...
Though there are many unique problems in teaching, they are always outweighed by the positives - and you can count yourself alongside the likes of Aristotle and Albus Dumbledore as those who have taken up this noble profession.
When September rolls around, it's always great to be back.