This is rather an interesting question! The answer to which, by members of the general public, may well indicate how society in general views the teaching profession.
We are well aware that the media can project a rather negative image of educators in general with the newspapers often having negative articles about state education. We know that the previous Education Secretary, Michael Gove, has reportedly referred to the profession as the ‘left wing blob’.
Parental views of the profession may well be influenced by the interactions they have with teachers at a parents evening or what they see of teacher comments in their child’s work books or the last report their child had from school or even what their children tell them about their teachers.
Our pupils/students may well have a view that is biased by any number factors! It is worth recalling our own personal experiences as a pupil at school.
Teachers themselves may have a variety of answers to the question that may be influenced about which group of the teaching hierarchy they are considering at the time.
Business leaders may well have a wide range of views possibly depending on the school/university leavers that they interview for posts.
Each year Ipsos MORI do a variety of polls for any number of organisations and one is the Veracity Index. In this poll they ask a representative group of 1,116 adults aged 15+ across Great Britain who they would generally trust to tell the truth or not. They suggest a number of professions to the interviewees and ask them to indicate who they would trust.
The most recent Veracity poll was conducted between 5th and 19th December 2014 and the results are interesting:
TRUSTED TO TELL THE TRUTH
Politicians in general: 16%.
Government Ministers: 19%.
Civil Servants: 55%
The ordinary man/woman in the street: 62%
So there you have it Teachers are trusted to tell the truth almost as much as doctors and more than five times more trusted than Government Ministers!
This has been the situation over the several years that Ipsos MORI has been producing this veracity index. It would clearly indicate that the teaching profession is perhaps more highly regarded than many of its detractors would have us believe.
A word of caution though, this position of high regard could easily be lost……the figures from North America are very different.
I guess we need to keep on doing what we are doing!