Yorkshire Times
A Voice of the North
12:15 AM 25th November 2021

Teaching Voted One Of The Most Respected Careers In Yorkshire & The Humber

Photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash
Photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash
Teaching has been voted one of the most respected careers in Yorkshire & the Humber 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 Yorkshire & the Humber voted teachers as one of the most respect careers, alongside doctors (64%).

The charity also reveals three in ten (34%) of people in the Yorkshire & the Humber have thought about becoming a teacher – with over half of those (17%) saying the past year has encouraged them to think about it.

Half of those in the Yorkshire & the Humber agree that people underestimate how much impact a teacher can have on someone’s childhood (50%), while over half (55%) believe that teachers shape the future generation in wider society. A third (31%) believe that their favourite teacher had a positive impact on their life.

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 over a quarter (27%) of those surveyed in Yorkshire & the Humber 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 (44%) also agreed that teachers aren’t given enough credit for the work they do.
We can’t deny the vital role teachers across the country have played in helping young people through, and now recover from, the pandemic.

Alongside this, almost four in ten (39%) of people in Yorkshire & the Humber 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 (25%). 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, Yorkshire & the Humber voted Matilda’s Miss Honey, followed by Karate Kid’s Mr Miyagi, and Whoopi Goldberg’s Sister Act 2 character - Sister Mary Clarence.

Yorkshire & the Humber favoured the fictional teachers’ patience (26%), empathy (25%) and communication skills (21%). It seems that they valued the same qualities in real teachers of today, citing patience (58%), communication (52%) and empathy (40%) as the attributes that real teachers display.

Liam Mayo, who started the Teach First programme in 2020 and is now a trainee French & Spanish teacher at Armthorpe Academy in Doncaster, said:
“I was partly inspired to teach, when watching a French film during my GCSEs called ‘The Chorus’ which is about a former composer teaching music and to a group of challenging orphaned boys with low aspirations in post-wartime France. The teacher showed the pupils so much love and kindness which really helped them flourish - it really highlighted how influential teachers can be.

“I went to a school myself which taught a lot of students with low aspirations, especially when it came to learning languages. Now training to teach through Teach First, I really try to make connections with all my pupils and help them see French and Spanish as subjects that can help broaden their horizons. Particularly throughout lockdown last year, I would always encourage the shyer students to feel confident in language learning - because from being a more introverted kid myself, I want them to know that they don’t have to be extroverted to do well.”

Giorgia Bromley, who completed the Teach First programme this year and is now an English teacher at Armthorpe Academy in Doncaster, said:
“Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre is a great book for teachers. Not only does Jane become a teacher, but her teacher, Miss Temple shows kindness and compassion when Jane really needed it. It’s a great example of how to get the best out of your pupils, helping them to flourish into something special.

“As an English teacher, that story of course resonates with me. I’ve always been introverted - like Jane Eyre and I really connect with pupils that are similar. I decided to teach through Teach First as I really wanted to support pupils in disadvantaged communities, and by jumping in at the deep end I knew it would boost my confidence. While training I was able to develop a new reading curriculum for our year 7s and got a lot of my students into creative writing, particularly during the pandemic. I’ve loved seeing their enthusiasm and talent for English - something that I hope will stay with them for years to come.”

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.”