Why I became a teacher: love of the subject or urge to educate?
It was the passion for his subject rather than an urge to educate children that drew John Rutter into teaching, but once he got started everything changed.
I did a lot of different jobs before I became a teacher – from tour guide to journalist. But I was 33, I had just got married and I was looking for a more family-friendly job. I'd always resisted teaching as my mum and dad were teachers, but I'd done some lecturing and also also given talks on geography when I was a tour guide – which I enjoyed more than anything else. I'd been a keen geographer since my degree at Newcastle University and it was the passion for my subject that led me into teaching. I didn't go into it to teach children, that came later!
I went off to do my year teaching qualification, a PGCE at Moray House in Edinburgh, in 2003. In Scotland at the time you were guaranteed your probation or NQT year but they couldn't guarantee where. They could have sent me to the Shetland Islands but that wouldn't have worked as by now I had a baby. So, somewhat reluctantly, I got a job in a private school. I was there for three years in the end. I was blessed by the fact that the principal teacher who was my mentor was fantastic. He had come from state to the private sector and was really encouraging.
Then I got a job as principal teacher of geography at North Berwick High School. I think because I'd come into the profession late and had had a lot of experience prior to teaching I rose through the ranks rather quickly. It's been brilliant teaching in a state school.
Initially I had this weird thing where I thought I didn't want to teach girls – I think it was because I'd come from an all boys school. But I found I loved teaching a mixed class – the girls calmed the boys down and made them less arrogant. The differences in teaching at a state school are larger classes and less resources (considerably less resources) and a much greater social mix of children which I prefer.
Read more ... (The Guardian - 21 July)