The DfE’s 11 reasons to become a teacher…and what they really mean

Headteachers looking to convince bright young graduates to take up Schools Direct initial teacher-training places are having to compete against the slick professionalism and experience of the City’s best recruiters.

Possibly aware that schools are starting on a back foot, the Department for Education has published a list of 11 reasons why graduates should consider a career in teaching (see above).

In order, they follow a rhetorical arc to make Aristotle proud:

1. Money talks

Nothing sells a job quite as effectively as a good salary. And £65,000 is a pretty good salary. This is how much a leading practitioner can earn under the current pay scale.

2. More immediate money talks even better

It will take a while to reach that £65,000 salary. In the interim, trainees can receive a tax-free bursary of up to £25,000.

3. Keep talking

And, in only a year’s time, trainees could be on a starting salary anywhere between £22,023 and £27,543 in inner London.

4. Flattery will get you everywhere

Point out that teaching is a career of achievers: three-quarters of new trainees now have either a first-class or 2:1 degree.

5. You may be bright, but we are worthy of you

Ninety per cent of newly qualified teachers rated the overall quality of their training very highly.

6. And your hard work won’t be for nothing

Nine out of 10 newly qualified teachers were in jobs within six months of finishing their training.

7. Appeal to their inner geeks

You love your subject. But you can’t talk about it too much, or your friends start rolling their eyes. Well, as a teacher, you’d be able to talk about your subject all the time. Even better, you’d be able to inspire other people to love it, too.

8. And their better nature

Not only will you be able to talk about the subject you love but, by doing so, you will be actively doing good. You will be inspiring young people to fulfil their potential.

9. Keep talking, part II

In fact, you will be changing young people’s lives for ever. You will be teaching them to question, to criticise, to try and fail and try again.

10. Really, you will be changing lives

Young people need teachers in order to achieve. They need them in order to realise their ambitions. They need them in order to become doctors, lawyers and, yes, teachers.

11. Would you get that as a management consultant? Well, would you?

Every day, you’ll be going home with the knowledge that you have made a difference to your pupils’ lives. And, yes, with a large bag of marking.

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