On International Day of Education: Why a career in teaching can be life changing and help positively shape young minds

Expert shares five reasons why a job in education is a great step to make as we celebrate teaching

IN a period of global uncertainty one thing will always create unity – the powerful role of education across the world.

It’s against this backdrop that countries across the world will today (Jan 24) come together – and celebrate International Day of Education.

Now in its sixth year, the event is dedicated by the United Nations General Assembly to celebrating education as a tool for the development of society and global peace.

This year’s theme is ‘Learning for Lasting Peace’, which focuses on the crucial role education and teachers play in countering hate speech.

So as the world celebrates the unifying role education can play, what benefits come from a career in teaching? And how can educators help to promote peace?

Here, Matt Gregory, Director of Education at Bookmark, provides his expert insight.

It offers fresh horizons

“One of the most exciting aspects of working in education, and teaching in particular, is the broad spectrum of subjects available. For those professionals who may have reached an impasse in their career, having been teaching the same subject for a number of years, turning to a new subject can be a beneficial next step, expanding their knowledge and developing new skills. Exploring opportunities within new subjects can ignite a passion for new disciplines, thus increasing job satisfaction and leading to new prospects, particularly when taking into account the variety of subjects being added to school curriculum that are gaining prominent importance in the modern world, such as technology-based subjects”.

It provides a myriad of opportunities

“Few careers offer the level of depth you get in education. From nursery, to primary and secondary, to further and higher education, the education sector is filled with opportunities to teach children and young adults at different developmental stages. And for many, making a move to a different level of the industry is just what’s needed to advance their career by engaging with a different, and perhaps more well matched, side of education.

For instance, early years education offers the opportunity for educators to lay the groundwork for the academic success and overall well-being of children, having a long-term impact on their cognitive, social, and emotional skills – an instrumental part of education.

A career in higher education, on the other hand, can be an enriching and noteworthy path for many, empowering young adults with advanced knowledge and skills in their chosen field and enhancing their career opportunities and earning potential”.

It allows you to support those with special educational needs

“Special Educational Needs (SEN) education is one of the most rewarding paths to follow in the education sector, allowing every student, regardless of any learning difficulties or disabilities, to receive the education they need to thrive in society and reach their full potential.

It is no secret that SEN teaching and support is not suited to everyone, requiring a unique set of soft skills as well as technical knowledge.

However, the opportunities available in SEN are varied, ranging from learning support assistants to behaviour mentors, to cover supervisors and many more, enabling those with an interest in this area of education to access the field in different ways and make a difference to the lives of millions of individuals with special educational needs”.

It delivers on flexibility

“Another advantageous element of a career in education is the flexibility, enabling individuals to take on jobs in ways other than on a full-time basis.

For those with parental responsibilities, other jobs, or who simply enjoy a less hectic lifestyle, part-time positions are ideal, while also providing opportunities for skills development and growth.

Taking on a temporary role offers the chance to work in different educational settings, levels and subject areas, also allowing individuals to experience the job without making a long-term commitment. These types of positions can ultimately help fill employment gaps while also contributing to creating a varied, comprehensive CV and making candidates more attractive to employers”.

It allows you to help positively shape young minds

“Teachers and educators can positively shape the minds of children and the population in general through education and can help play a role in steering them away from hateful rhetoric. Teachers and educators in general have an incredible opportunity in their career and life to positively influence the future generation and combat negative mindsets and beliefs. A good teacher can be a massive influence on a student’s beliefs and act almost as a parent figure, playing a key role in the process of guiding them to always think in a rounded way about topics they encounter. This, in turn, can help them to reject some of the more harmful narratives often targeted at young people. Education can be a great tool in helping to defeat negative and hateful mindsets and help positively develop people”.

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