What would it be like if pupils wrote the job descriptions for their ideal teacher? We went to St Wilfrid’s Roman Catholic College in South Shields to find out, and shared the results on LinkedIn.
Ranging from 11 to 16 years-old, these young people have outlined what they need from their favourite teacher.
13-year-old Hayden is looking for someone "able to have a laugh – but not too much". The right candidate will be "good at pointing things out, cheerful and fun… but not too fun". They will also understand that "there might be more going on for a student than it first appears" and will be sensitive to this.
15-year-old Rebecca thinks the perfect teacher is "is authoritative but not authoritarian". The candidate will be "understanding, compassionate and will want to be there", as she can tell if they don't.
12-year-old Anotidaishe wants his new teacher to be "a mixture of Jackie Chan and Pep Guardiola, with strong organisational skills and definitely not lazy". The ideal teacher will "believe in students, even when they don’t believe in themselves".
The job description has been published on the world’s largest professional network, LinkedIn, to reach the network’s diverse range of 26+ million UK professionals and tempt them into the classroom.
The campaign comes at a time when the UK is facing a teacher shortage when pupil numbers are booming and aims to help fill the STEM, maths and language teacher gap. The number of teachers starting training as secondary school teachers was 17% below target and an estimated extra 47,000 secondary and 8,000 primary teachers will be needed by 2024, to maintain current pupil to teacher ratios – that’s an additional 11 teachers needed in every secondary school on average. This year alone, there was a shortfall of over 1,500 people joining Physics and Maths teacher training. Teach First's November report also cited that a 78% increase in recruitment of modern foreign language teachers is needed by 2019-20.
"Teaching is an amazing opportunity to expand young minds and inspire the next generation," said Russell Hobby, our CEO. "With the teacher shortage we’re facing, what better way to get people into the profession than get the kids themselves to describe what kind of person they’re looking for in a teacher? We all remember that teacher we liked, or who inspired us to follow our dreams, so we’re hoping this campaign will get all kinds of people thinking about going into teaching, from office workers and lawyers to accountants and journalists. With Teach First, professionals can use their skills and experience to make a real difference in the lives of children who are currently being left behind by our education system. So, if you think you have some of these characteristics, why not give it a go!"