What made you start teaching?
It's a difficult question to answer for those of you who have been teaching for many years. The love of teaching is often quite inexplicable, especially in today's climate when being a teacher has never been harder. As a teacher today you face rising class sizes, shrinking resources, constant monitoring and accountability, and a workload that never stops growing. Teaching is a challenging profession, but there are many compelling reasons to start teaching.
There's nothing like looking back through your pupils' completed exercise books and seeing the transformation of blank pages through their developing creativity. It might feel like a slog at the time as you try to convince them that grammar and spelling do actually matter, but as they begin to understand and you can unleash their creative potential - there's just nothing like it. Once they (and you) realise that the rules make you more creative and are not an end in themselves, they are on the right track.
Children really do say the funniest things. From the year 2 child who informed his teacher that prophets have lots of money (you can see where he was going with that) to the year 5 child who invented the suckanator 2000 to save the world from oil spills, they're always saying, doing or writing something that will make you laugh.
Making a difference
Sometimes you get to be that teacher that makes a huge difference to a particular child. It isn't clear why it happens that way, but something about the way you teach or the interests you spark have a massive impact. This is more likely to happen when you take control of what and how you teach (which is by no means certain with today's prescriptive curriculum). It can often be a case of spotting opportunities and taking them, which needs courage and confidence.
You will rarely find anyone who became a teacher for the salary or the job perks. Teachers who have stayed beyond their first year have almost always done so because they love teaching and have found a way to put up with all the difficulties that come with it.