"I knew I could help young people to better themselves and felt my work would have purpose."Mary Osei-Oppong – Business Education and ICT Teacher at Brannock High School
Enjoy a unique vocation
Being a secondary school teacher means being able to share your knowledge and expertise, and your passion for your specialist subject – from physics to computing to home economics. But teaching is about so much more than providing children and young people with an education. It’s about connecting with them, finding out what makes them tick, and what helps them learn.
You’ll have a key role to play in one of the most important stages of a young person’s journey in life, opening up new and exciting possibilities for them. Having that influence is another reason why teaching is such a rewarding profession. Find out more about the benefits of being a teacher.
Inspire, and be inspired
The wonderful thing about teaching is that you never stop learning. So you’ll not only have the satisfaction of sharing your own knowledge – you’ll also get to explore new topics and learn something new yourself.
There’s nothing quite like a tricky question from your class to get you thinking, or exploring an area in more depth. Young people are often right up to date with the latest trends, technology, science, and social events. Part of the challenge is keeping up with them.
Work in a lively, diverse environment
As well as the chance to help the next generation fulfil their potential, teaching could suit you if you’re looking for a fast-paced, ever-changing and diverse environment, with plenty of variety in your day-to-day work.
And whether you’re leaving university or looking for a new career, being a teacher has a lot to offer.
Every day at school is different. And every year, there are new faces to get to know. Children and young people are full of surprises, and often show real strength of character to overcome personal challenges, or learning difficulties. Helping them flourish is one of the most rewarding aspects of being a teacher. You’ll also meet pupils and other teachers from all walks of life. Your school connects you. And your differences are what make life there so interesting and enjoyable. Find out more about life as a teacher.
Benefit from a higher than average starting salary
Teaching is one of the true vocations. You’ll be proud to be a teacher and also be rewarded for your professional skills, expertise and training.
Being driven by a desire to make a positive difference to the lives of young people won’t come at the expense of your ambition and aspirations. As well as a good starting salary, you’ll receive pay rises with promotion and progression. And there are opportunities for development and leadership roles, as well as wider options for you to pursue. You’re there to help young people succeed. And you’ll have support to help you succeed, too. Find out more about pay and other financial benefits.
"There’s a lot of opportunity and fast progression for those who want it."Duncan Barclay – Physics Teacher at Inverurie Academy, Aberdeenshire
You’ll find there are opportunities to take your skills further, and expand your knowledge and experience. And there are ways you can make a positive impact on the lives of your pupils, both within your school as a whole and the wider education system. Find out more about career progression.
Every teacher has a story. What will yours be?
As a teacher, there’s always something going on, and lots to keep you busy – whether you’re getting ready for a new term, planning your next class, or helping pupils prepare for exams.
"I really wanted to challenge myself in an interesting and varied career and I thought ‘what about teaching?’. You need to keep on top of developments and the curriculum, and you’re challenged every day by the great questions young people ask."Stuart Law – Physics and Science Teacher at Douglas Academy
There are challenges, just as there are with any job. But you’ll be supported. And you’ll find other teachers are there to help you, and share their experiences.
Read about some proud moments from teachers.
New research shows that teachers are more influential than social media stars
Insta-stars and YouTubers with millions of followers might steal the limelight – but research* reveals that teachers are the original Influencers. We’ll subscribe to that!
- 40% of Scottish adults said that, excluding family and friends, teachers have the greatest opportunity to inspire and shape future minds.
- 62% said that teachers helped to positively influence them, or inspire them to become the person they are today.
- 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.
Teachers on teaching
"I originally graduated with an honours degree in Fashion Marketing and worked in retail management. I never felt I had the chance to make a meaningful impact on the lives of others. Being a teacher brings me a real sense of fulfilment."Chelsea McDonald – Health and Food Technology Teacher at Notre Dame High School
"You wake up and you don’t know what you’re going to meet and that makes it exciting, interesting and enjoyable."Stuart Macdonald – Chemistry Teacher
"Every year brings new classes which inspires me to find new ways of teaching, as no two classes are the same."Mary Osei-Oppong – Business Education and ICT Teacher at Brannock High School
From subject teachers to headteachers, career changers and PGDE students – get their honest thoughts on a career in the classroom. See what teachers have to say.
4 more great reasons to become a teacher
Upwards and outwards mobility
As a teacher, your skills, expertise and professionalism are highly regarded and sought after. And as well as leadership roles within schools, teaching opens lots of doors within the wider field of education and beyond.
You’ll be part of a friendly team
Teaching is a sociable occupation. You could find you form great friendships with your colleagues. And as well as daily contact with your pupils and other teaching staff, you’ll also have the opportunity to meet parents and caregivers and become involved in the wider community.
Work life balance
Teachers work hard, and the role is demanding, but you should find there’s flexibility when it comes to managing your time. The summer holidays are an advantage, plus there are half term and spring holidays to look forward to. And for parents and caregivers, being on the same daily schedule as your children can make life easier.
I found the job security very attractive and I also knew I would enjoy the social aspect of teaching, the interaction with pupils, and the variety that their personalities bring to my work. Computing Teacher at Auchinleck Academy
You’ll be a decision maker
As a teacher, you can decide what’s best for your pupils. And while you’ll need to follow the curriculum, you’ll be in total charge of your lessons.
Why not give our podcast series Why Teach a listen?
Five teachers currently working in Scotland share their personal insights and experiences with you. Find out why they chose teaching, and why they’d recommend it as a career. Dig out those headphones, and listen to our podcasts.