Why Should You Become a Teacher?
It has been a particularly harsh winter in my area, which has inevitably led to my spending a lot of time inside and at home. However, this past weekend I was determined to get out of the house and decided to venture on over to the local mall. As I stopped in for a drink at the local coffee shop in the food court I could not help but notice a group of young people and hear the conversation they were having (yes, I know I should not eavesdrop…but they were loud!). The people in this group were all in their early 20′s and they were busily listing all the reasons why they would never dream of becoming a teacher. Their arguments included, but were not limited to such factors as low pay for long hours, lack of respect, difficulties engaging students and parents and a general lack of disempowerment of teachers who they felt had most decisions made for them. They went further to mention that there are so few teaching jobs that in order to get known in the schools and secure a job you need to volunteer your time for free with a big smile on your face!
I was a little downhearted after hearing this conversation. While I understand the frustrations of the group, I believe they really had the wrong impression about teaching and education in general. Also, while it is true that the job situation in the teaching field is very poor right now, this will eventually change as it always does. It is at that time we are going to need great young minds to enter the field of education. However, if they have decided to go elsewhere due to the lack of opportunity or the prevailing negative perceptions…then we will have a crisis hit education which could have a crippling effect. That being said, I continue to believe the best way to support education and new teachers is to espouse the many great benefits there are to enter the field and become a teacher. For this article, we will only focus on the positive!
The Benefits of Becoming a Teacher:
Ability to Make a Difference: For me personally the ability to make a difference is the most important benefit to being a teacher. Nothing gives me greater joy or satisfaction then when a former student comes back and lets me know their various accomplishments. I have former students who are now teachers, doctors and nurses. I am very proud to know I have made a difference with them and played any small type of role in their success.
Advocacy: Don’t ever think you are powerless as an educator. In fact, the exact opposite is the truth. One of the most critical things we do is act as advocates for our students and their families. Whether it be ensuring they get the proper academic supports they require, or ensuring access to social services for new families…the list is endless. It can often be sad and eye-opening to see the level of support many students and their families require, but it is intensely inspiring and uplifting to be able to help them in some way. The ability to advocate for others is a huge benefit of our vocation.
Lifelong Learning: A great thing about teaching is the fact that you learn something new each and every single day. Not only do you learn in depth about the topics you are teaching, but the profession allows you to obtain professional development in various areas on a regular basis. The opportunities to learn and collaborate with others are key benefits of the job.
Opportunities to Travel the Globe: Something that many people overlook when considering teaching as a career is the fact that the skills are very transferable. Teaching degrees are pretty much accepted worldwide which enables teachers to travel the globe to work. This is particularly attractive for younger teachers who are able to locate positions in foreign countries. It can be an adventurous, inspiring and valuable opportunity to learn about new lands and cultures, and teach while doing it! A very attractive benefit indeed.
You Will Never Be Bored: If you were to ask a variety of people who were dissatisfied with their job the reason for their frustration, many would claim it is simply not challenging enough and boring. With teaching you never really have to worry about being bored. It is an extremely challenging and rewarding profession which comes with brand new challenges each day. No two days are ever alike! You really never know what each day will throw at your and this always keeps challenge and anticipation in the air. Feeling continually challenged by your work is a reward and benefit all on its own.
Comfortable Remuneration: The truth of the matter is that it is not too likely you are ever going to become rich as a teacher. If that were the case the whole system would implode and go bankrupt! However, the desire to become rich was not why we entered the profession. Lets be honest…we knew what it paid before we started teaching. We all had our eyes wide open when we entered the profession. That being said, the remuneration still allows for a comfortable, albeit modest, living and good benefits. Of course, this is not the case worldwide as some places pay much better than others. However, the point is that many educators earn a very decent living. Do I think they get paid enough for what they do? No. However, why does an athlete make 100 times more than a doctor? It can be a very skewed system at the best of times. All in all teaching provides for a decent living for most educators and also gives them a variety of very marketable skills they can use in a multitude of areas.
The truth be told, I really could not be more satisfied with the profession I have chosen. It has allowed me to help children and make a lasting and lifelong difference in their lives. I have really only listed some of the more obvious benefits of being a teacher as there really are too many to mention. Nevertheless, after overhearing that conversation in the coffee shop, I see there is still a lot of work to do in regards to bringing back public support, respect and confidence to the education system.
Why Consider becoming a Teacher? The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. http://www.unc.edu/uncbest/teacher.html
Other Articles You May Enjoy:
Top 10 List of Positive Things Teachers Do. By Edubabbling
What Makes a Teacher Great? By Edubabbling
Why Paying Teachers For Test scores Doesn’t Work. By Vicki Davis
10 ways to be a Great Teacher. By Justin Tarte
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