Lancashire Times
Weekend Edition
12:15 AM 25th November 2021

Teaching Voted One Of The Most Respected Careers In The North West

Teaching has been voted one of the most respected careers in the North West, according to education charity, Teach First. The charity recruits, trains and places trainee teachers in schools serving disadvantaged communities.

As part of a national poll carried out by broadcast specialist Markettiers, four in ten (45%) of those surveyed in the North West voted teachers as one of the most respect careers, alongside doctors (64%).

The charity also reveals a third (30%) of people in the North West have thought about becoming a teacher – with roughly half of those (14%) saying the past year has encouraged them to think about it.

Almost half (43%) of those in the North West agree that people underestimate how much impact a teacher can have on someone’s childhood, while half (50%) believe that teachers shape the future generation in wider society. Almost a third (29%) believe that their favourite teacher had a positive impact on their life.
“Teaching is a profession with rewards like no other,

With many joining the profession during the Covid-19 pandemic, Teach First trainee teachers are playing a key role in helping their schools support communities that have faced incredible disadvantage and uncertainty due to the pandemic. The poll is further evidence of the importance of teaching as a career, with teachers playing an essential role in the futures of young people to ensure they can maximise their potential.

The pandemic seems to be changing the public’s perceptions on teachers’ impacts, with three in ten (35%) of those in the North West surveyed saying that the pandemic made them rethink how important teachers are to their local community, by stating that they have been vital to their local area. Four in ten (45%) also agreed that teachers aren’t given enough credit for the work they do.

“Teaching is more than the usual classroom activities.

Alongside this, four in ten (43%) of people in the North West also feel that teachers in their local community need to be given being given more time to support their pupils, while three in ten think they should be paid more (35%) and that schools in their local areas need better learning resources (31%). As part of their school recovery manifesto, Teach First is calling for more support through a significant increase in funding for schools serving disadvantaged communities over the next five years, to address growing inequality in education.

Encouraging the general public to think of the positive impacts of teachers, when asked their favourite teacher of TV and film, the North West voted Matilda’s Miss Honey, followed by Karate Kid’s Mr Miyagi, and Whoopi Goldberg’s Sister Act 2 character - Sister Mary Clarence. The North West favoured the fictional teachers’ patience (32%), wisdom (25%) and communication skills (23%). It seems that they value the same qualities in real teachers of today, citing patience (63%), communication (49%) and wisdom (36%) as the attributes that real teachers display.

Mélissa Chan-Cheape, who started the Teach First programme in 2020 and is now a trainee French teacher at Great Academy in Ashton-under-Lyne, said:
“Teaching is more than the usual classroom activities. It changes mindsets, perspectives and brings out the best versions of the pupils you reach. That’s why I love John Keating in Dead Poet’s Society, because of the positive impact he had on his pupils, and the relationship between them.

“I learnt the importance of positive teacher-pupil relationships during my first-year training with Teach First last year. If you can make connections with pupils by bringing some of their interests into your lessons it can really make the difference - especially to those who need a positive role model to look up to. One of the most rewarding parts of my job is when past and present pupils tell me of a success they’ve had. It’s the best feeling, to know that I’m somebody in their life that they want to celebrate their wins with.”

Dr Helen O’Connor, Head of Programme Support at Teach First, said:
“We can’t deny the vital role teachers across the country have played in helping young people through, and now recover from, the pandemic. We’re proud to work closely with schools who need great teachers the most, ensuring they’re well equipped, feel supported and able to thrive in their roles.

“Teaching is a profession with rewards like no other, and while it comes with its challenges, we know that the satisfaction and fulfilment of unlocking the potential in young people truly lasts a lifetime. Even more importantly, for the young people they support, a great teacher can change their life.”