After sharing some of my more legendary tales of the Autumn term (pupil standing on the desk shouting “I NEED A WEEEEEEE!”, anyone?) with my partner’s mum over Christmas, she asked me whether I was enjoying Teach First. I think my partner was actually quite surprised when I emphatically said “yes”.


It comes down to Mill’s higher and lower pleasures, I reckon. Even though it’s not the cushy city job like the one I interned at – where I could get free cappuccinos, and was never sworn at, and I could go to the toilet when I liked (god, there’s nothing worse than desperately needing a wee but having a solid 2.5 hours of teaching ahead of you) – it’s just not the same.

I go home on a daily basis knowing I’m doing the best I possibly can for over 100 deprived children. I go home knowing that professionally and personally I’m being developed and stretched like no other job could. I work with some truly amazing people who constantly inspire and challenge me to be better. I go to sleep proud of the job I’m doing. It’s not a cushy, easy, lower pleasure. It’s a higher pleasure.


(I still live in hope that the day-to-day will become easier though! I’m not that lofty and philosophical…)

One thought on “Pleasure

  1. Joe Kirby

    ….now they want to hear from someone who is on the battlefield, day in, day out. I launch in: ‘Look, I’m not going to lie to you. It ain’t easy. It’s damn hard. It’s so hard you’re going to find yourselves working every hour that God gives you. If you want an easy life, then teaching isn’t for you. I work anywhere from sixty to seventy hours a week. I’d say some teachers manage to get away with maybe fifty hours a week, if they’re lucky.’

    I can see the audience beginning to twitch. Maybe teaching isn’t for them after all? I wag my finger at the crowd. ‘But that doesn’t mean teaching isn’t worth doing. I’m just telling you: be prepared to work hard. And you have to be prepared for the kind of work it is: it’s exhausting; it’s challenging; it’s all-consuming.’ I pause, watching them twist in their seats. ‘But the thing is: there is no better job in the world than being a teacher…. that’s why I teach. That’s what I love about the job. We make a difference every day. We change the world every day. And what better way to live is there than that?”


Go forth and opine