Sometimes when I’m reading an education blog I notice that comparisons happen between teaching and other jobs or professions. It goes something like this:
“Teachers may be treated like this, but you wouldn’t treat an airline pilot that way…”
“Doctors have this, but teachers only have that…”
I’m sure I’ve done it myself. My wife is a GP and I’ve often found myself musing on the ‘what if’ teaching was like medicine.
But the thing is, there’s nothing quite like teaching.
It really is unique.
Yes, many people are involved in education to some extent – either as parents or in the workplace – but teaching is unique. No one else goes to work with the sole purpose of just teaching: expanding students brains; giving them knowledge; providing opportunities to practise new skills and become better people.
No else experiences that ‘gets it’ moment – the instant when you perceive that the student has just made a significant leap in their learning, increasing their knowledge or gaining new understanding. It’s a magical thing and we get the joy of seeing it happen every day – not just every once in a while. Think about it – in some professions they never have that moment.
There are other things to do. I read somewhere that the only profession with more interactions per hour than teaching is air traffic control. Oh, I’ve just done it. I’ve made the comparison with another profession. That’s the sign that I need to stop.
Teachers: you are amazing.
There’s no need to compare yourselves with other careers or professions – you are unique. Be proud of it.