Our Community - Our Future

The best job in the world

‘You can be whatever you want Joseph, but don’t be a teacher’.

These words were said to me on many an occasion by my mother, partly as she had grown sick of the amount of time my primary school teaching father spent working. I guess she didn’t want me or my sister to consign ourselves to a similar life of long evenings planning and marking. It didn’t work of course. Both my sister and I became teachers, with my sister following in dad’s footsteps as a primary school teacher whilst I opted for ‘big school’ (I made the right choice…)

There have been times when I’ve wished I’d listened to mum. Sometimes this job is really hard, and it is easy to fall into a trap of working all hours and barely coming up for breath. But, if I’m honest, those feelings of regret are few and far between. Instead I think I made exactly the right career choice for me. I loved being a classroom teacher, I love working in a school, I love working with young people and all the other wonderful adults who share the same passion as me, whatever their role in school. I am incredibly privileged to be able to lead school and I never take that for granted, even though I’m six weeks away from a decade of being a headteacher.

Being a member of staff in a comprehensive school is the best job in the world, especially when we get to work with fantastic students like we do here at MHS. Not every learner here is perfectly well behaved, not all are here on time, not all attend often enough and not all will achieve as well as they should. That’s all part of life in a comprehensive and whilst we’ll always strive to help them do their best, there will probably always be some who will struggle. But, equally, I never want to lose sight of all those many, many students who do behave well all the time, who are here every day, who compete all their work and who do everything that is asked of them. To all those students, please know that you make our school what it is. You are the core of our success, an example to us all, and you should never underestimate how important you are.

My dad has dementia now and having just turned 87 he’s finding life a bit tough. He forgets things and struggles to remember both his childhood and what happened last week. But, remarkably, get him on the topic of ‘Bradford Moor First School’ around 1990 and he’ll talk for hours. Being a teacher is who is he, it shaped him and it’s shaped me. It’s the best job in the world.

Have a great weekend,

Joe Barker


Our Community - Our Future
Marple Hall School
Hill Top Drive
Stockport SK6 6LB Headteacher: Mr Joe Barker
Tel: 0161 427 7966
Fax: 0161 426 0931
Email: info@marplehall.stockport.sch.uk
Safeguarding: safeguarding@marplehall.stockport.sch.uk