When you grow up, what do you want to be?
It’s a question most kids get asked. For some, the answer is obvious: a doctor, an astronaut, a ninja, a dinosaur. For others, it’s not so clear.
I wanted to be a Hollywood star till I was well into my teens. I’ve since settled on recruitment (obviously the next best thing!).
But I wonder what my answer would have been if someone had asked my 13-year-old self to describe my ideal teacher?
Possibly a mix of Michael J Fox and Princess Leia.
Today, it would more likely be one part Jameel Jamil, one part Phoebe Waller-Bridge and a splash of Barack Obama for good measure.
Anyway, the point is I’d be looking for certain qualities. Passion, approachability, good leadership and the ability to see the funny side of life.
The reason I’m even thinking about any of this is because of an article I read the other day. It was about school kids being given the chance to write the job description to find their next teacher.
A joint effort between education charity Teach First and LinkedIn gave kids aged between 11 and 16 the chance to say what qualities someone would need to become their new favourite teacher.
These included: ‘explain why we need to do maths, because I have a calculator on my phone that can do most of it tbh’ and ‘authoritative but not authoritarian’.
Other suggestions made by students from St Wilfred’s school in South Shields were: ‘need to be smart, organised and definitely not lazy’ and ‘have a passion for the subject, otherwise I’ll get bored.’
One student was keen on his new teacher having ‘a mixture of Jackie Chan’s ability to bring out the best in his students and Pep Guardiola’s ambition for the team.’
I like his way of thinking.
Some ideas showed acute self-awareness: ‘have patience to put up with teenagers (we can be horrible sometimes)’. While others simply reflected what every teenager thinks when they look at someone older than them: ‘You don’t need to pretend to like grime music. Don’t be cringe.’
It all sounds fair enough and makes for a good read. Take a look.
And finally getting to my ultimate point - job descriptions take time to get right. And sometimes it can be hard to capture the right tone.
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