They may not boast millions of Instagram followers like YouTuber, Joe Suggs, and are unlikely to be as famous as the youngest member of the Kardashian clan, Kylie, but new research out today (7 October) has found that teachers are the ultimate, Original Influencers.
Two fifths (40%) of Scottish adults, said that, excluding family and friends, teachers have the greatest opportunity to inspire and shape future minds. With just 21% saying social media influencers and only 7% saying celebrities.
Nearly two-thirds (62%) said that between one and five teachers helped to positively influence them or inspired them to become the person they are today. While the majority (68%) said they could still remember the name of their favourite teacher.
The online survey was commissioned by the Scottish Government, in partnership with YouGov, as part of its Teaching Makes People campaign. It aims to encourage more people studying to consider if they have got what it takes to inspire the next generation – by highlighting that a career in teaching offers a rewarding and challenging role that can genuinely make a difference.
And, with 83% agreeing it’s one of the most influential professions to help shape people’s lives – it’s clear that teaching is held close to the nation’s heart as an important and meaningful career.
Maxine McNeill (29) qualified in 2014 and has been teaching at Bell Baxter High School in Fife for four years.
Maxine said, “It’s great to see this new research on teachers as it’s something my friends always say to me - that I’m the real influencer. It makes me laugh but it’s always struck a chord with me because it’s true. I love my job and realise what an important role I’m in because I can really make a difference to young people’s lives. I work hard to inspire, lead and motivate every day in a relevant way and hope that I nail it.
“No two days are ever the same. It’s hard work but I thrive on the challenge that working with such a diverse range of pupils of different ages, backgrounds and abilities brings. Also, I feel like I have a great work/life balance and the holidays are brilliant, which means I can do a lot of travelling, another great passion of mine”.
Deputy First Minister John Swinney said “These findings show the important role that teachers continue to play in our society and the opportunity they have to make a real difference to future generations. In a culture where the influence of social media and celebrities can sometimes put a lot of pressure on young people, it’s reassuring to see that the nation still recognise the long-term impact and influence teachers can have.
“By choosing a career in teaching, you can make a big difference to a young person’s life. It’s a highly rewarding, inspiring career that comes with many benefits. If you’re driven and ambitious, there are career progression opportunities too. I’d encourage all the undergraduates out there to consider getting into teaching.”
Previous research has shown that people attracted by and suited to teaching are generally motivated by helping to develop others and making the most of their own knowledge.
Under the new teaching pay deal in Scotland, the starting salary for a fully registered teacher is currently £32,034 rising to £32,994 by April 2020.
The latest Teaching Makes People national drive includes advertising, PR and social media activity. It’s also taking to the streets - visiting all seven universities in Scotland which offer PGDE courses.
If you’re an undergraduate student considering your career pathway, why not get into teaching? For more information check out teachinginscotland.scot