It strikes me that it’s not just our inspectorate that has an issue when it comes to common misconceptions – there are also some wonderful myths that surround teaching and teachers themselves. My personal top three (in reverse order) are:
3. The best teachers teach the oldest children
I distinctly recall being congratulated on my “promotion” the year I was moved from Year 3 to Year 6. I was also once asked whether I hoped one day to be asked to teach in a senior school (no chuckling, please, secondary colleagues).
The irony, as we all know, is that early years specialists are some of the most knowledgeable and skilled teachers we have.
2. A teacher’s day is over by 3.30pm
This is an old and enduring classic. Most teachers will have heard from friends about how lucky they are to have a job where you get to finish by late afternoon. It is also the one that tends to get your average teacher’s back up the most.
Not only are most teachers in school into the early evening running clubs, attending staff meetings, planning and marking; many also then find themselves working into the night when they get home, too. Speak to the partner or spouse of any teacher and they will nearly always tell you how shocked they are by the amount of work a teacher is expected to get through in an average week.
. Teachers live at school
For proof that children believe their teachers live in school, just watch the puzzled reaction of a pupil who spots you in the supermarket at the weekend. The sight of their teacher in jeans walking down the fruit and vegetable aisle is enough to cause most children to stop dead in their tracks and stare in awe.
Whilst some myths are definitely ones we would do well to bust, I can’t help but feel there is some fun in hanging on to just a few.
Can you think of any more myths? Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin
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