Teaching has become a battered and embittered profession in recent years.
We are now expected to work for longer into our 60s, pay more into our pensions (and receive less back in retirement).
Pay has been frozen – in real terms, cut – for years.
The workload issue is getting worse rather than better and we still have to contend with endless reform.
That’s not all, there’s also the issue of funding cuts, worsening behaviour, and a deepening recruitment and retention crisis.
Oh, and the general feeling that teachers seem to get blamed for all of society’s problems and ills.
You might be forgiven for asking: Why would anybody want to be a teacher?
But the thing is that teaching is still best job in the world.
Reasons to be cheerful
Yes, it’s all too easy to get caught up with and consumed by the negative aspects of teaching – and this is not to suggest that there aren’t some very serious issues in the profession.
However, although it’s difficult to see the wood from the trees when you are in the thick of it; if you take a step back there is still much to be thankful for.
It really is a privilege to be able to work with young people and make a difference in their lives.
Defining what the ‘difference’ is can be difficult to nail down.
For some, it will be the academic success of exam results that will help the student move onto the next stage.
However, we all know school is about much more than exam results.
The ‘difference’ could be the love in a subject, skill or sport that you nurture and develop within a student.
It could simply be the stability and support you provide.
No two days are the same
One thing that you have to say about teaching is that the job is never boring.
The variety that is served up every day is there to be savoured.
Teachers that can still do the job with a smile on their face and stay positive will have fun as well as creating a purposeful classroom environment where students thrive and learn.
What’s more, teaching is an opportunity to inspire others by being passionate for a subject or skill that you love.
So, regardless of all the pressures that make teaching so difficult, we should never lose sight of the fact that we are still empowering youngsters to realise their potential and discover their talents.
We will always have more successes than failures in terms of how a teaching day goes.
Each little win should keep us going.
In might be in the face of adversity, but teachers are still doing their bit to change society for the better.
Furthermore, whilst they might put grey hairs on your head, being surrounded by young people does also help to keep you feeling young in many ways.
Yes, teaching is still the best job in the world.