I could not believe the words of recent correspondents who have begrudged teachers a loan for the paltry sum of #6,000.
Do they have no concept of the work teachers do? I am a chartered accountant and am very glad I chose that route on the advice of my parents, aunts and grandparents, all of whom were teachers and strongly discouraged me from taking that career path.
It may have been a cushy number back in 1973 when my father turned down a job as an accountant in favour of a teaching job, which at that time offered similar pay, but things have changed a lot.
Teachers do indeed know what they will earn when they get a job and it is considerably less than what a qualified accountant can be sure of once we have endured the rigours of the training process.
They may not be on the ‘breadline’, but in the current climate of property prices, especially in the south east , teachers will find it a lot harder to enjoy the comfortable living standards of accountants.
As for the hours worked, the teacher’s day is far from over at 3:30pm.
In this age of staff cutbacks, admin will keep the teacher at work till long after 5pm, and there is marking and preparing for lessons. too.
Long holidays, once the great attraction of the teaching profession, have gone. My father has seen his allowance cut from 10 weeks to 35 days.
This is two weeks more than most accountants get, but hardly compensation for the low wages and stress teachers are under.
And then there is the job itself – I have nothing but admiration for people who can stand up in front of a group of 30 rowdy teenagers and try to pass on information which they have no interest hearing, day after day.
Accountants may work long hours, but that is their choice. I rarely stay after 6pm. I’d rather have a life than impress my boss.
Kieran Evans, London.
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