On the release of The Teaching Life, co-written by Mr Macpherson he takes us through the key topics covered with co-author Kate Jones. 

Some will work in education for a few short years, and others for decades. The Teaching Life is about the period of time that any teacher will work in education, and what they want to achieve. How to make the most of that life in teaching is something that we don’t always get time to stop and consider. This new book aims to help readers do precisely that. 

Written during the summer of 2021, The Teaching Life explores the changes in professional learning and the consequences that this will have on career progression in education. Considering these two areas to be intertwined, the book explores ways in which effective professional development can be done. This includes changes in areas such as social media, professional qualifications, and emerging trends in recruitment and progression. 

The global pandemic has had many unintended consequences, and the impact on professional learning is a case in point. The traditional model of face to face CPD sessions has had to change dramatically, and with the move to online meetings has led to a glut of opportunities. This has even been claimed to be a ‘golden age of CPD’ due to the greater availability and lower cost of webinars and online courses. Is that really the case?

Although the book is not explicitly about teacher wellbeing, a core argument is that wellbeing can be enhanced by having greater agency in career progression. Ultimately, what does any teacher want to achieve in their career, and what roles are they best suited to? Achieving the right level of challenge is difficult, but is essential to feeling professionally fulfilled. 

Featuring a wide range of interviews and case studies from leading voices in education, we have included challenge questions at the end of each chapter to encourage readers to self-reflect on their own development and career aspirations. How to plan ahead to adapt to changing circumstances that are both personal and professional are key themes of the book.

The Teaching Life is due for release on December 10th 2021, by John Catt Education, and is available from the publisher, Amazon, and other online retailers. 


Early reviews of The Teaching Life

“Rarely does one read a book that captures not only the essence of its time, but also makes such a distinct and valuable contribution in its field. Full of practical advice on, for example, great professional learning, applying for jobs, working abroad, and gaining qualifications, I have no doubt this book will be a faithful companion to teachers right across the UK and beyond. Kate and Robin are honest and pragmatic about the challenges for our profession but optimistic and bullish about what can be achieved. It draws on a wonderfully diverse range of teachers and leaders to offer educationalists a rich range of perspectives, all grounded in reality, yet rooted in achieving the best for the next generation. Highly recommended!”

Andy Buck, Founder of Leadership Matters and Creator of The BASIC Coaching Method.

CEO - Andy Buck Leadership Services and author of Leadership Matters. @Andy__Buck


“A highly accessible and informative book for teachers (new, experienced and those returning to teaching) as well as school leaders to assist them negotiate between the demands of the everyday while retaining a thirst for knowledge and personal growth. Drawing from vignettes from a range of teachers and school leaders from across the UK and internationally, the book provides ideas on how to engage with transformative professional learning, to engage in learning that is cognitively demanding and reflexive and to consider what might be needed at different stages of the career journey.”

Professor Emerita Rowena Arshad CBE, FEIS.

Chair in Multicultural and Anti-Racist Education.


“Teaching can be challenging and arduous, but it can also be uniquely inspiring and influential for the lives of young people. Jones and Macpherson offer a personal and powerful account of the joy of teaching, along with lots of practical advice on how to navigate your way through a flourishing career. From accessing good quality professional development, to accessing evidence, and taking your next steps in your career, it offers a clear, helpful window on a successful teaching life.”

Alex Quigley. National Content Manager at the Education Endowment Foundation and author of 'Closing the Reading Gap' (and other books for teachers).

This Teaching Life by Robin Macpherson
Blog: Achieving the right level of challenge is difficult, but essential to feeling professionally fulfilled