· By Oonagh Simms
Let's support teachers as well as treat them...
Teaching is, quite honestly, one of the hardest yet undervalued and underfunded jobs in this country. I often stare bewilderedly at anyone who goes into teaching wondering what saintly star they fell from. Because if any of us occasionally think our jobs are hard- pffft-
we know absolutely nothing.
The only reason any of us have the opportunities we have- that I have the confidence and the skills to run my own business- is because we had really great teachers. Who persevered through all the eye rolling and the chat back and the late homework and the skiving, to actually motivate, share their knowledge, guide and coach. And it should be heartbreaking that as a country we sort of don’t really give a shit. Because, hey, we’ve left school now. And there are way more ‘important’ things to think about.
Recruitment of teachers is at an all time low- we’re now approaching almost 10 years that they’ve had no payrise and at the same time their workload has increased exponentially. It’s really no mystery why almost 50% of new teachers leave after 5 years. Teaching assistant posts are being scrapped leaving large classes with even less support than before. And don’t even get me started on the rise of zero hour contracts those teaching assistants are on when they provide such a vital academic and emotional need to pupils. It’s a national imperative that teachers and teaching assistants are not only paid well but treated well and it just seems to be ignored.
But don’t worry, because it’s only ALL OF US that we’re doing a disservice to. When we slash resources for language teachers because… why? We don’t think communicating is important? Or we think music isn’t an essential part of the curriculum because…what? We don’t value creativity? The systematic dismantling of our education system and the continued disenfranchisement of teachers impacts every single one us- even if we don’t have to do P.E anymore.
So it really is the time of year to say…OH MY GOD YOU’RE AN ABSOLUTE HERO AND I REALLY APPRECIATE THE HARD WORK YOU DO to all our teaching staff. To your kid’s teacher, or perhaps your mate who’s a teacher or maybe even a favourite old teacher who is still slogging it out. And why not say all that with marshmallows? Because for the next 2 weeks we’re giving 10% from each of our ‘Gourmet Collections’ to the Education Support Partnership- a UK charity dedicated to improving the health and wellbeing of the entire education workforce. We also give you a free gold foiled 'Ta Very Much' card with each order- so you can send them your own message of solidarity. Because it's the end of term- hurray! there's never been a better time to support teachers as well as treat them- they definitely deserve it.