If you’re thinking of becoming a teacher, you’re likely weighing the pros and cons of the job. No job is perfect, life and careers have unavoidable stressors and tasks that you may like less than others. But if you’re considering a career in education, it’s important to ask yourself why you want to become a teacher. Luckily for you, we’ve got seven great reasons to help you get started.
1. You can make a difference.
If you ask prospective teachers “why do you want to become a teacher”, the majority of them will likely mention the ability to make a real difference in the lives of the children they will one day teach. Each day that you work with students, you have the potential to make a lasting impression. Almost all of us can remember something positive that one of our teachers said to us or the class as a whole. There were lessons that stick in our minds and impact our viewpoints for years.
Becoming a teacher means you’ll be molding future generations through the curriculum you set and bits of personal wisdom you impart. You’ll have the ability and power to teach life lessons as well as core subjects. There’s a good chance that you may be spending more waking hours with these children than their own parents. This means you’ll be the one to help teach them social skills, time management, conflict resolution, how to cope with stressors and how to focus on a task.
If we were lucky, we had a teacher who is indelible in our minds. They showed how much they cared about us and their subject, they inspired us to be better, push harder, go further. Now is your turn to be that teacher for someone else.
2. You’ll get variety in your days.
Why become a teacher? Well, if the thought of going to a cubicle and doing the same tasks every day from 9-5 sounds dissatisfying, you may flourish in the classroom! Teaching is a job that thrives on variety with two days rarely being the same. You have the ability to spice it up as you work through new units in the curriculum, discover new topics to teach and instruct new students each year.
If you teach high school, you may teach the same lesson content several times in one day, but with new faces and personalities each period, it’s unlikely that the actual lesson will unfold the same way twice. There’s always the chance that students will ask different questions, have different struggles and different reactions to the subject matter. Your days will likely be interesting and varied, making for days that don’t feel as monotonous or sluggish.
3. You can share your love of learning.
If you’ve ever been taught by a teacher who absolutely loved their subject, you knew that it made the class more enjoyable. In fact, research shows that two of the most important elements of teaching are the quality of instruction and how well a teacher knows their subject material.1 Getting your students excited about topics you love is just one way you can share a love of learning, you’ll also get to delve into new topics and learn right along with the children. You’ll also have the chance to become a student again. As emerging technologies and instructional methods are introduced, and historic events unfold in real-time, you’ll always be learning something new.
4. You’ll have great job security.
While the specific needs vary by grade, school, district and even state, the demand for well-trained and qualified teachers is clear.2 Some jobs may have been replaced by modern technology, but there will always be a need for teachers. If you’re willing to put in the hard work and establish yourself as a great instructor, you can rest easy knowing that you’ve got a job that you can count on for years to come. There’s also a high level of mobility within this field. You can move to areas where the need for teachers is greater, or you can leave education and go on to become an administrator, counselor or even a social worker.
Teaching is also a skill that can transfer nearly anywhere. If you train and become a certified teacher, you’ll be able to work almost anywhere in the world. Whether you’re teaching English or a special subject, you could theoretically teach and explore the globe at the same time. International schools and education programs are expanding globally and look for instructors who have trained and are certified.
5. Fun is encouraged
The best teachers bring their passion, personality and sense of humor to the classroom. Great teachers are committed to finding new and different ways to deliver content so that it’s more interesting for the students. The enthusiasm you bring to the table will likely be mirrored by your students, which makes the classroom is a highly energizing environment. The greatest thing you can do is to let your unique personality elevate the learning experience. Use your individual gifts and talents to inspire and motivate your students. There will be days that feel tougher than others, your humor can help you move forward.
Teaching is also a highly social job. Becoming a teacher means you’ll be joining a team of colleagues who you can lean on in hard times and laugh with during the good. You’ll be interacting with your fellow faculty members as well as students and their parents. Becoming a teacher means becoming a key member of the community as you get to know families.
6. You’ll have a pretty great schedule.
If you’re becoming a teacher because you think you’ll have a light work schedule, you may find yourself disappointed. There will be times when you’ll need to do lesson planning after the school day has ended. Many times this work can be taken home though. If you have children of your own, the scheduling works out well since you’ll likely be on the same schedule and have the same days off.
The holidays that teachers get are undoubtedly a pretty great perk of the job. If you become a teacher you may get nearly eight weeks off each summer, paid time off in winter and spring. Most teachers also get paid holidays in addition to the breaks and professional development days without students so that they can have a quiet work day.
7. There are intangible rewards.
For many teachers, the small intangible rewards are some of the best parts of the job. There are little joys that come from teaching children and even teens. The funny things they say, even when they don’t realize they’re funny, their silly habits, the insightful questions they ask and the amusing stories they’ll write all make the job more satisfying. The memories you’ll make and the keepsakes you’ll get are things you’ll treasure for years.
But nothing can beat the moment when a student who has been struggling with a concept “gets” it. The sight of their joy when it “clicks” for them and they celebrate their accomplishment is likely one of the greatest rewards of teaching.
This is more than a job.
When it comes down to it, teaching is much more than just a way to get a paycheck. Becoming a teacher means making a difference in the lives of children, and shaping them into the adults they’ll become with lessons that will last a lifetime. If you’re interested in helping students develop academic and life skills, consider how the online graduate education programs at the University of Kansas can help you accomplish your goals.
Whether you’re already an administrator looking for ways to advocate for yourself and your colleagues, or an aspiring school principal looking ahead for ways to fully prepare for the position, consider how an online master's in educational administration from a Top 10 Best Education School (among public universities)4 can help you achieve your goals to the best of your ability.
1. Retrieved on September 23, 2019, from suttontrust.com/research-paper/great-teaching/
2. Retrieved on September 23, 2019, from forbes.com/sites/petergreene/2019/09/05/we-need-to-stop-talking-about-the-teacher-shortage/