044. “Trademark” the title of Teacher

This is probably not the most serious article of the lot but does it annoy you a little bit when someone who is clearly not a teacher calls themselves a teacher? It’s probably the same for qualified counsellors and coaches who have worked for years with several degrees and Masters to earn their title and some person does a weekend course in something or other and ends up setting up a business offering life coaching. It might be the same for the computer science graduates who specialise in big data and search matrices and find themselves pitted up against an “SEO expert” who has completed an online 20 hour course.

I’m thick-skinned enough to know that things like this shouldn’t really matter and, in the greater context of things, they really don’t! To be honest, I find it mildly amusing. 

I guess where it does become annoying is when people who clearly are not teachers think they are the same as a primary school teacher and feel they can tell me about pedagogy based on their experience (and feelings) and their belief that they are a teacher, just like me. 

The other mild annoyance is when people bunch together primary and secondary school teachers. While the jobs may have a bit in common, in general, it’s like comparing a doctor and a nurse or a garda to an army officer. The jobs have similarities but the roles are very different. Journalists and radio presenters are great at doing this. I often hear items where something relating to primary education is in the news and they bring in a secondary teacher to discuss it. 

Perhaps, the word teacher has been taken by the masses and has been bastardised into meaning nothing at all anymore, just like coach and counsellor.

Perhaps we need to come up with a new description of our job. I’ve heard names bandied about like  lead-facilitator or lead-learner but they sound too much like those awful job titles you hear in big tech companies, (though secretly I’d love to be called the Lead Thought-Evangelist in my school :-D) I’m going to pitch “Primary School Teacher” until I can think of a less-cringeworthy. Maybe there are some decent names here or maybe this article can go down as merely a whinge!

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