The 5 best things about primary teaching

For those of us that are primary school teachers, we know there really isn’t anything quite like it. Are you considering taking on the challenge to train as a teacher? Read on to find out what, are, at least for me, the 5 best things about being a primary school teacher.

Every day is different

In teaching, every day brings surprises and new experiences.  Every morning, 30+ minds come marching into your classroom, each one having had a very different morning, each thinking that theirs is the most important and each carrying the proverbial baggage that comes with life. This baggage and these differences are what makes each day in primary so very different. True, you teach your maths and English lessons, go to lunch and to assembly but you never really know what to expect when you wake up each morning and there are very few jobs quite like that.

The Banter

Here I am referring to the banter with the kids. Laughter is a huge boost in any job, laughing with children is even more special.

Opportunities

When I think about the experiences primary teaching has offered me over the years I feel very lucky. Whether it is the chance to visit different museums, walk kids around London or take them away on residential trips, teaching continually presents new opportunities. It is a very powerful experience and we are privileged to share that with so many young minds. Watching children face their fears (on some occasions facing our own too) gives an element of job satisfaction that is hard to replicate elsewhere. I’ve seen Father Christmas arrive in a helicopter and a hot air balloon, I have met Olympic and Paralympic athletes, I’ve held a boa constrictor and I have listened to an Educational Psychiatrist explain the intricacies of the mind. Those aren’t opportunities that everyone gets, certainly not as part of their job. 

Making a difference

It was always going to be on the list. The fact is, we do make a difference, every single day. Often to the most vulnerable. Whatever they are going through at home or in their private life we are there day after day offering support and guidance. From helping a child learn to count, to supporting them through a bereavement we can take heart in knowing that when we go home on a Friday, the world is a better place for the care that we have shown. That’s rare.

Flexibility

Note, I am not saying long holidays. (Although let’s be fair the holidays are great.) It is true that teaching is not 9-3 and no, it is not just Monday to Friday, but we do get blocks of time off that others don’t. If you have a good Head teacher, it can be even better. If I want to leave at 4 and I don’t have any meetings then that is fine by my HT because they trust me that my work will get done. If I want to come in on a Sunday because I work better without distractions then great, good for me, I’m trusted to manage my time.

So that is that, my rundown of the best 5 things about being a primary teacher and I didn’t even mention stationery, books or the doughnuts in the staffroom. So let’s hear it for us and for teaching because at the end of the day it is pretty darn great. 

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About the author

Ben KingBen King is a Year 5 teacher and Reading lead in a West Sussex Primary. He currently co-hosts the HWRK Podcast and is a regular contributor to the HWRK magazine.

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