Laura Smith discusses her experience as a student teacher and why it's not the easy career it's made out to be.
If teachers just worked an eight hour day, your students wouldn't get any graded papers, letters of recommendation, school plays or concerts, as well as fewer coaches. So why do people complain about teachers having a handy time? Here are the up’s and down’s of what a career in teaching is really like.
 
A great teacher can't be replaced. People only see the teacher strolling into the school doors at half eight in the morning ready for the day. They don't see that the teacher is carrying a classload of copy books or lots of bags with the materials for today's classes in them. People don't see that side.
 
You do see the teacher leave the school gates at four o'clock and assume that they are going home to put their feet up and watch the soaps for the rest of the evening. What a perfect picture painted, but it's far from the case. Teachers go home straight after school because they want to skip the traffic rush, go home, make dinner and start into preparing work for tomorrow's students. The future of the country’s education is in the teacher’s hands.
 
Teaching involves a lot more than just the typical day in school. Teachers strive to do the best for their students. To them, all students can make it and achieve their potential. If a teacher didn't encourage, praise, acknowledge their students, a negative impact would manifest in the lives of the young people.
 
Yes, I chose to go into the teaching profession, and no, I’m not looking for sympathy or for people to have the attitude that ‘I signed up to this career’. As student teacher, I want my students to realise what a creative and good life they can have if they work hard. The teaching profession can be undermined. While I was on placement, it was non-stop. You are always trying to go the extra mile for your students. When a student is struggling with your subject, you want to give them all your knowledge.
 
A career in teaching is rewarding. To have a student struggle with school and the pressures of it to then actually pass a class test is something nobody else can really feel proud of. You feel like they have achieved the world by simply passing that forty per cent mark. The career, although it has its drawbacks, can also have some pretty good up’s (p.s I’m not just talking about the holidays). Teachers can influence young people and their lives. From my own experience in school, I wanted to be a teacher because my Music and English teacher never stopped being ambitious and enthusiastic about their job. Even when they were having a tough day, they never showed it.
 
Correcting tests and copies? Initially, I moan about it but then when you read and correct a pupil’s work, it’s like an insight into their imagination, an insight into their own lives. From the
Monday morning slump to the Friday feeling to seeing every side to a student’s life. Each student has a story to tell when entering a classroom; a story teachers can know all too well.
 
A career in teaching can be heavy going but I would never change it for the world. You see a student progressing from the day they step foot into your classroom and the end goal of the exam you know they are well capable of.. A lot of a teacher’s life and hard work is done in the classroom but even more work is done behind the scenes.