Other Professions That Might Be Just As Bad As Teaching

“I quite often find myself comparing teaching and education with other professions and sectors, just to check whether the particular point I’m raising is actually valid and happens just within education. From doing this, I’ve found that there are many overlaps and similarities between education and other sectors, and that most of the time the other sectors have got things set up a damn sight better.”

I’m no expert in what every career is really like under the surface, just in teaching, so sometimes I am left wondering if I am just presuming the grass is greener on the other side. Here’s some of the main career sectors I have questions about and suspect could be just as bad. I would like to know if I am right or not, as those answers will impact on the points I am making through this blog.

I consider jobs as a musician, dancer or actor to have a very high workload and quite a high amount of personal invasion on your work performance and your private life. For your average professional entertainer as well, the pay is never going to be particularly high unless you do some serious selling out.

Politicians also have their personal affairs put under a microscope, and are very vulnerable to being made a scapegoat. However, the power, status and money that goes with the job more than compensate for this.

Emergency Services
You hear of paramedics and firefighters being subject to a lot of abuse, and are considered to be always on duty. I can also imagine police get their private lives scrutinised quite badly. The pay I don’t think is much better than teaching.

Social Work
I bet they get blamed for everything, with quite a lot of full scale scapegoating happening.

Armed Forces
Bullying is probably through the roof in the armed forces, and the pay is very low considering how dangerous the work is.

In order for another career to be as awful as teaching is though, there would have to be a significant amount of workers struggling with all of these: high workload, bullying, scapegoating, invasive performance management, personal abuse and poor salary compensation. Other careers I considered bad for one aspect, for example legal work having a high workload, were fine in other areas, such as good salaries.

Having changed careers from teaching, I can safely say that the grass is actually greener over here and it’s not just an illusion. I’d like to think that I am wrong about the careers I’ve mentioned above, and that most of the workers in those sectors are very happy. I would absolutely love to hear from anyone who can give me any information about that.

If you’ve been effected as a teacher by high workload and bullying and you think you could benefit from some anonymous, off the record advice, then email me.


JoeN said...

I suspect you might value the leading article I wrote for the TES last month, about some of the conditions some teachers have to work under.

I'm one of the ones whose worked inside and outside teaching. It seems to me, to be something of a scandal that teaching unions are all too keen to strike about changes to their pensions but not to stand up for those in the profession unlucky enough to work in the most challenging schools.

Teachers in this situation face daily abuse from children no one I have ever worked with outside the profession would endure for a moment. The other thing I have noticed, is how the staff rooms in such schools look like doctors waiting rooms the staff are under such severe stress. Yet their union reps seem incapable of addressing what in other industries and in an earlier age, would have been seen as intolerable working conditions.

The Edudicator said...

Oh I read that article, and tweeted it as well by the way! I agree that there is not enough action against working conditions aside from pensions.

I'm expecting in the near future there will be some high profile bullying cases brought against senior management teams, which will hopefully open the flood gates.

Do you think that most of the stress comes from challenging pupils though? I agree that teachers are unsupported and seem to be left to sink or swim and develop their own thick skin with no protection.

Do you think it's a management and a protection thing, or that it originates from the students themselves?

JoeN said...

So much depends on the school. Schools are very individual organisations and that is one of the political problems. The Left can't stand that and in an ideological drive to homogenise them, neuters them. Good schools are real, meaningful communities and great schools are unique, meaningful communities that those lucky enough to belong to, feel a part of for the rest of their lives.

Sadly, that means the corollary is true and weak or failing schools are dysfunctional communities in which new teachers will be bullied, go unsupported or left to drown.

The Edudicator said...

I'm not sure it's just weak or failing schools that teachers are bullied in, I was treated badly in one that was aiming for outstanding from Ofsted, and got it, at the expense of a few teacher's mental health. Their staff retention still leaves something to be desired.

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