The Department for Education's recent announcement that Sex and Relationships Education (SRE) will be mandatory in schools, starting at age 4, is one that may scare some teachers. Sex is often seen as a taboo subject, even in general society, and for a teacher speaking to a classroom full of children delivering SRE could be an embarrassing prospect.
Whenever I discuss empathy in class, a glimmer of light always ignites somewhere in my sub-conscious and I am instantly taken back to when I first read about the Thestrals in Harry Potter: Order of the Phoenix. Harry could see the skeletal horse-like creatures that pulled the Hogwarts carriages because he had seen death.
To feel that what you're doing each day for your pupils 'doesn't count' is arguably one of the most devastating things that a teacher has to carry home with them at night. Far heavier than the 60 literacy and numeracy books you've rammed into your bags for life that evening, and its a weight that cripples you with each passing day.
Learning takes time, perseverance, effort and the knowledge that the learner has a right to be wrong, to make mistakes and to figure it out gradually. A learner's own imperfect answer which is the result of patience and reading is better than someone else's supposedly 'great' answer, acquired quickly online.
I'd advise other people who are looking for a rewarding career change to consider teaching - especially if you like working with young people, are interested in a subject area or are keen to find a career path with a wide range of opportunities. Teaching always has been and always will be my way of tackling those January blues, and it could be yours too.
I can't get you better pay or more invaluable hours of support from a teaching assistant. I can't even help with the mountains of paperwork under which you are surely drowning - sorry! But I can show my gratitude - to you and to all teachers, and teaching assistants, who give so much to the children they teach.