Some of the people in this group are beginning teachers; others are working as teaching assistants in a secondary school setting. As they start their PGDE, I want them to seriously reflect on these questions:
– Do I really want to become an English teacher?
– In fact, do I really want to become a teacher?
– What are the reasons for me to go into teaching?
– What are my personal values, strengths, attitudes, etc., that will provide me with a good chance of being able to stand up to the stress of teaching today, so that in the end, I will find this job rewarding, and will not regret having entered the teaching profession ten years later?
In this book, Clayton M. Christensen, veteran professor at Harvard Business School, shares his experience in finding happiness and fulfilment in his academic career, and in his relationships with his family and other people. The paragraph I’m going to share with the PGDE students this Thursday comes from Chapter 2, “What makes us tick”, in which he offers a list of questions to help younger people decide whether a job is a good match for them. The questions they need to ask themselves are:
“Is this work meaningful to me? Is this job going to give me a chance to develop? Am I going to learn new things? Will I have an opportunity for recognition and achievement? Am I going to be given responsibility?” Christensen asserts: “These are the things that will truly motivate you. Once you get this right, the more measurable aspects of your job will fade in importance.”