Children in a classroom

May 21, 2024, by brzms6

The truth about teaching: myths debunked and lessons learned

By Bethany Litchfield, Careers Adviser, Careers and Employability Service © via Unsplash by Kenny Eliason

Welcome to my blog, where I delve into the realities behind common misconceptions surrounding teaching careers. As a former teacher in secondary and further education, I have first-hand experience navigating the challenges and triumphs of the classroom. Here are five lessons I have learned throughout my journey:

Myth: Teaching is an easy job with long holidays.
Truth: While holidays were a welcomed break, they often entailed extensive lesson planning, grading assignments, and attending professional development sessions to enhance my teaching practice.

Myth: Teaching is all about imparting knowledge.
Truth: While delivering content was part of the job, teaching went beyond that. It was about fostering critical thinking, nurturing social-emotional skills, and meeting the diverse needs of every student in my classroom. There were times when I had to step back from being strictly professional and instead be supportive to students who were facing challenges outside of my classroom.

Myth: Everyday is the same.
Truth: Managing a classroom was a skill that required constant adaptation. Every day brought new challenges, from navigating student behaviours to adjusting to unexpected disruptions, reminding me that flexibility and resilience were key. Because of this, it is crucial that you demonstrate flexibility in your teaching applications and interviews.

Myth: As a newly qualified teacher, it’s beneficial to say yes in order to please others.
Truth: During my first year, I quickly learned that a work-life balance was crucial. While being open to new opportunities is valuable, it’s equally important to recognise your limits and ensure that you maintain a healthy work-life balance. Learning to say no when necessary allowed me to focus on what truly mattered and avoid burnout in the demanding field of education.

Myth: Paperwork is non-existent in teaching.
Truth: Contrary to popular belief, paperwork is a significant aspect of teaching. Throughout my teaching career, I encountered numerous administrative tasks, including lesson planning, marking, documenting student progress, creating schemes of work, and maintaining records. While technology has streamlined some processes, paperwork remains an essential component of effective teaching, demanding substantial time and attention.

Explore the teaching resources on the university’s website for additional guidance. For personalised support or further discussion, book an appointment with our advisers. Your journey to becoming a successful teacher starts here. Keep saying yes to new opportunities and keep aspiring.

Posted in Choosing Your Career