Interesting time to be in England, just as MI5 is attempting to recruit teachers as “spies” in a new recruitment drive! For real! The Telegraph reports that, according to the job description, successful candidates will be responsible for building contacts with people who can “provide information of relevance to national security”.
But why teachers? Well, as The TimesOnline points out, “Teachers are quite used to moving into new environments, quickly establishing the rules of engagement, the number of people who should be allowed to visit the lavatory and what constitutes the correct PE kit.”
This sort of experience is just what the MI5 recruiters are looking for, apparently, with the advertisement reading:
“Your experience of dealing with people means you can build trust and relationships with all sorts of individuals, which makes you the ideal candidate for securing the information we need to protect national security.”
Seriously though, I found the advertisement oddly affirming of a profession that is all too often undervalued, and where teachers are thought of as “those who can’t (do anything else in the ‘real world’). Teaching is a highly skilled profession, and those who practice it often exhibit a wide range of skills, knowledge and competence that is taken for granted both within and without. This advertisement serves as a timely reminder that a teacher’s CV can make them highly marketable, and perhaps more significantly, serves as an illustration of the way in which an emphasis on developing key competencies is so important!
PS – Nick/Vince, if I don’t return from the UK please send all my mail c/- “M” 🙂