Having a good teacher can completely change your life. Teaching is one of the hardest jobs out there, from the pressure of getting good results, to making sure students are okay outside of the academic environment. But it’s time that teachers started looking after themselves as well.
Research shows that over a third of educational professionals will leave their job by 2020. This statistic highlights that we need to start supporting teachers more than ever, as it’s one of the most important jobs in the ever-growing list of potential careers. The recent rise in mental health problems amongst teenagers, with 1 in 9 children aged 5-15 having a mental health disorder, has led to schools encouraging students to talk about their mental health to staff at school, but where is this support for teachers? After all, how can we expect teachers to help students, if they themselves aren’t doing well?
We need schools to support their staff and their mental health by having more training sessions about how to improve their mental wellbeing, and by offering more support systems for teachers. A recent study conducted in 2018 showed that in the UK we need 47,000 new teachers by 2024, but how do we expect to achieve this figure when teaching is becoming more and more detrimental to teacher’s health?
Teaching is described as one of the most rewarding jobs out there, and that can be true, teachers have helped me so much whilst I’ve been at school, both with academic problems and personal ones, but I wouldn’t expect teachers to help me when they themselves are struggling.
So what can us, the students do? Whilst this problem does need to be addressed by schools and the Government, by putting more money into both schools and the mental health sector, students can do their bit too. We need to realise how much teachers really do for us. To some it seems like an easy gig — 13 weeks’ holiday, teaching Monday to Friday with weekends off — however, it’s not quite as straightforward as that.
Teachers have to plan all our lessons weeks in advance, go to meetings, makes sure we’re working to the best of our ability. Teachers only want what’s best for their students, even though sometimes it might not feel like that. So, show that you appreciate the work they put in by engaging in their lessons, doing the homework, and revising for the exams — because little things like that can really make all the difference.