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How to stop being told that I'm "too good for teaching"?

I got extremely good GCSEs and A-Levels and am currently studying maths at one of the best unis in the country. I want to go into teaching but people keep questioning why I would do that with such good grades.

Personally, I have no desire to do accounting or any other desk job or a job just working in a business making money. I want a job that is actually fulfilling. Teaching is one of these.

I also don't see how you can be "too good for teaching". Do we not want our children to be taught by people who actually know what they are on about?

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Original post by Uni_student3132
I got extremely good GCSEs and A-Levels and am currently studying maths at one of the best unis in the country. I want to go into teaching but people keep questioning why I would do that with such good grades.

Personally, I have no desire to do accounting or any other desk job or a job just working in a business making money. I want a job that is actually fulfilling. Teaching is one of these.

I also don't see how you can be "too good for teaching". Do we not want our children to be taught by people who actually know what they are on about?

Sometimes you can be too good to be a primary/secondary teacher as it would be a waste of potential.

Say, if you manage a PhD and postdoc and you're strong in research, it would be better off being a professor. Professors also teach, and teaching uni students can be fulfilling.
Original post by justlearning1469
Sometimes you can be too good to be a primary/secondary teacher as it would be a waste of potential.

Say, if you manage a PhD and postdoc and you're strong in research, it would be better off being a professor. Professors also teach, and teaching uni students can be fulfilling.

Why would you be "better off being a professor"? They may have no desire to do that and surely even being a teacher is fulling potential since they are able to use their knowledge to actually teach the content well?
(edited 10 months ago)
Original post by Uni_student3132
Why would you be "better off being a professor"? They may have no desire to do that and surely even being a teacher is fulling potential since they are able to use their knowledge to actually teach the content well?

If someone can really advance the subject area significantly, and also teach students to the edge of the subject area and their research, it would be better. That would basically be a professor.

A teacher is for subject content at lower level. Therefore not as much potential fulfilled.
Original post by justlearning1469
If someone can really advance the subject area significantly, and also teach students to the edge of the subject area and their research, it would be better. That would basically be a professor.

A teacher is for subject content at lower level. Therefore not as much potential fulfilled.


Anyway, isn't really what my point was about. I haven't got a PhD.
It is nonsense to suggest that someone is "too good" for teaching. Teaching is a profession that needs - and gets - some of the brightest and best graduates in the country - but, unfortunately, not in sufficient numbers.

There is far more to being a schoolteacher than being good at the subjects you teach! You need to relate well to children and have a genuine enthusiasm for spending your time with them. Any teacher will tell you just how demanding that is but also how incredibly satisfying it can be when you share their interests and witness their progress.

Teachers are not as well paid as they should be and are often overworked and under pressure. So it's not a job for the faint hearted. Don't be put off but do make sure that you know exactly what's involved both in the job itself and with the training. As a high flying Maths student you'll certainly be in a position to pick and choose where you want to work. And, even nowadays, the holidays and the pension scheme are valuable fringe benefits.

I would suggest trying to obtain classroom experience or observation before you apply to do a PGCE. If you haven't already seen this it's a useful starting point.

https://getintoteaching.education.gov.uk/landing/home
Original post by Supermature
It is nonsense to suggest that someone is "too good" for teaching. Teaching is a profession that needs - and gets - some of the brightest and best graduates in the country - but, unfortunately, not in sufficient numbers.

There is far more to being a schoolteacher than being good at the subjects you teach! You need to relate well to children and have a genuine enthusiasm for spending your time with them. Any teacher will tell you just how demanding that is but also how incredibly satisfying it can be when you share their interests and witness their progress.

Teachers are not as well paid as they should be and are often overworked and under pressure. So it's not a job for the faint hearted. Don't be put off but do make sure that you know exactly what's involved both in the job itself and with the training. As a high flying Maths student you'll certainly be in a position to pick and choose where you want to work. And, even nowadays, the holidays and the pension scheme are valuable fringe benefits.

I would suggest trying to obtain classroom experience or observation before you apply to do a PGCE. If you haven't already seen this it's a useful starting point.

https://getintoteaching.education.gov.uk/landing/home


I've already got classroom experience and fully know it is something I actually enjoy and seem to be pretty good at (although I'm aware there are many aspects of the job that I won't have covered with this experience).

Some of the best teachers I had at school were doctors in their subject. I personally don't see how you can ever be too good. Having much more knowledge about a subject often helps them better explain concepts as well as create interest for their students in the subject.
If it’s something you enjoy, it’s fairly irrelevant whether some rando who has never done the job looks down on it.
Reply 8
I teach part time at a Uni and I get why folks love it so much, being able to share your passion for a subject and see others engage and grow in their thinking is magical - who wouldn't want a job that gives you such experiences?

But I do see one way where you could be "too good" to teach - if you are naturally good at a subject it can be really hard to help others who aren't that way inclined - I could cite any number of professors who are too clever to be in a classroom

Many years ago (when my kids were in school) I got made redundant and looked at being a school science teacher. I had been a professional scientist and had decent A levels, but on reflection I would have been a bit rubbish in a school environment. My talent is not in explaining things in different ways but in challenging how people think and uni teaching works well for me
Original post by Admit-One
If it’s something you enjoy, it’s fairly irrelevant whether some rando who has never done the job looks down on it.


I know I shouldn't care but it still bothers me. I just think having a job I like is much more important than trying to be the best of the best.
Original post by Uni_student3132
trying to be the best of the best.


there is always someone better than you at almost everything

but no one can be better at being you, than you :smile:
Original post by Uni_student3132
I got extremely good GCSEs and A-Levels and am currently studying maths at one of the best unis in the country. I want to go into teaching but people keep questioning why I would do that with such good grades.

Personally, I have no desire to do accounting or any other desk job or a job just working in a business making money. I want a job that is actually fulfilling. Teaching is one of these.

I also don't see how you can be "too good for teaching". Do we not want our children to be taught by people who actually know what they are on about?

What a sh*t attitude. Teaching is probably one of the most important jobs out there. Without teachers, all the other jobs & industries would disappear within a generation because we'd all be illiterate and innumerate.

Not the first time I've encountered this attitude in people. There is this prevailing view in our society that if you suck at everything else then you become a teacher. Nice culture that we've created, isn't it? It implies that children are being taught by morons who were too incompetent to do anything better than teaching. I'll stop myself from ranting anymore about it.

If you have a strong will & really want to make an impact, and are really good at what you do, you might be better off going into private teaching, or somehow getting stuck into some of the new/more modern ways of teaching. I don't know a whole lot about it myself, so I can't advise in detail. You will have to research it yourself. I am aware though that big changes are happening. Stuff taught in schools needs to be practical & useful in the real world, and it arguably isn't for example if a student can ask ChatGPT to write their essays for them. My opinion is that curriculums will need to be re-written to adapt to these changes, and likely the whole system overhauled at some point... but it's probably unlikely to happen in the public sector in the near future. Anything in the public sector tends to face massive organisational inertia which takes decades to overcome and sometimes whole acts of parliament to be passed first before people even start working on it. And 'teaching' isn't a priority to them anyway, apparently.
Reply 12
Original post by Uni_student3132
I got extremely good GCSEs and A-Levels and am currently studying maths at one of the best unis in the country. I want to go into teaching but people keep questioning why I would do that with such good grades.

Personally, I have no desire to do accounting or any other desk job or a job just working in a business making money. I want a job that is actually fulfilling. Teaching is one of these.

I also don't see how you can be "too good for teaching". Do we not want our children to be taught by people who actually know what they are on about?

If the mark of success is happiness and contentment rather than pure wealth, if teaching gives you that then go for it.

After 17 years in industry I have been in teaching for over 6 years and am truly contented with life.

Besides, teaching is intellectually, mentally and emotionally, highly stimulating.
Original post by Uni_student3132
I want a job that is actually fulfilling. Teaching is one of these.


That is what I thought.

Then I became a teacher. The insane workload, micromanagement and micro-accountability completely destroyed any satisfaction I got from the job.

Get some first hand classroom experience (your university could help you in this) and talk to teachers about the reality of the profession. Teaching is nothing like the DfE recruitment adverts.
Original post by Uni_student3132

I also don't see how you can be "too good for teaching". Do we not want our children to be taught by people who actually know what they are on about?


They just mean that you don’t need straight A*s and a first from Oxbridge etc. to get into teaching and be sufficiently competent at the job. If you do have those kinds of things then you might be under-utilising them if you went into teaching.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t do whatever makes you happy. (Although considering how many strikes teachers are going on these days I’m guessing job satisfaction isn’t sky high at the moment).
Reply 15
Original post by justlearning1469
Sometimes you can be too good to be a primary/secondary teacher as it would be a waste of potential.



What rubbish! You need techers who are passionate about their subject to be teachers. They need to have a good degree and a PGCE - many have Masters ...
Reply 16
Original post by Uni_student3132
I've already got classroom experience and fully know it is something I actually enjoy and seem to be pretty good at (although I'm aware there are many aspects of the job that I won't have covered with this experience).

Some of the best teachers I had at school were doctors in their subject. I personally don't see how you can ever be too good. Having much more knowledge about a subject often helps them better explain concepts as well as create interest for their students in the subject.


What you have been told is nonsense. No-one is 'too good' to be a teacher. We need the best in our classrooms - people who are passionate about their subject and love sharing their knowledge and inspiring young peope. Ignore them and go for it!

One point - do a uni-led PGCE - don't touch Teach First.
Original post by Crazed cat lady
That is what I thought.

Then I became a teacher. The insane workload, micromanagement and micro-accountability completely destroyed any satisfaction I got from the job.

Get some first hand classroom experience (your university could help you in this) and talk to teachers about the reality of the profession. Teaching is nothing like the DfE recruitment adverts.

Fully aware of that and already have some classroom experience. Hopefully I find a school that isn't a complete nightmare to work at.
Original post by Muttley79
What you have been told is nonsense. No-one is 'too good' to be a teacher. We need the best in our classrooms - people who are passionate about their subject and love sharing their knowledge and inspiring young peope. Ignore them and go for it!

One point - do a uni-led PGCE - don't touch Teach First.


It does seem that some people want teachers to not actually be that great at the subject they are teaching. Why wouldn't we want teachers with some of the best grades? How is teaching the next generation under-utilizing those skills? Seems to be quite a common viewpoint unfortunately.

Haven't even considered Teach First. Definitely got my eyes set on some PGCEs, just not entirely sure whether I would be disadvantaged doing an 11-16 rather than an 11-18 one as most of the unis I'm looking at do the former.
(edited 10 months ago)
Reply 19
Original post by Uni_student3132
It does seem that some people want teachers to not actually be that great at the subject they are teaching. Why wouldn't we want teachers with some of the best grades? How is teaching the next generation under-utilizing those skills? Seems to be quite a common viewpoint unfortunately.

Haven't even considered Teach First. Definitely got my eyes set on some PGCEs, just not entirely sure whether I would be disadvantaged doing an 11-16 rather than an 11-18 one as most of the unis I'm looking at do the former.

I would go for 11 to 18 if you can as you'll want to teach A level. There wasn't that differentiation when I did my PGCE. Do ask about where you'll do your placements - one of mine required a group of us to go on a uni arranged coach which often got us late to our schools.

However a good school will look for a Maths degree first and foremost - choose your first school wisely.

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