Teaching is a special calling. It is not a job well-suited to everyone. In fact, many new teachers leave within the first 3-5 years of teaching. However, there are many rewards that come with this oft maligned career. Here are my top ten reasons why teaching can be a great profession.
1. Student Potential
Unfortunately, not every student will succeed in your class. However, this fact should not keep you from believing that every student has the potential for success. This potential is so exciting - each new year presents new challenges and new potential successes.
2. Student Successes
Closely related to the previous pick, student success is what drives teachers to continue. Each student who didn't understand a concept and then learned it through your help can be exhilarating. And when you actually reach that student that others have written off as being unteachable, this can truly be worth all the headaches that do come with the job.
3. Teaching a Subject Helps You Learn a Subject
You will never learn a topic better than when you start teaching it. I remember my first year teaching AP Government. I had taken Political Science courses in college and thought I knew what I was doing. However, the student questions just made me dig deeper and learn more. There is an old adage that it takes three years of teaching to truly master a subject and in my experience this is the truth.
4. Daily Humor
If you have a positive attitude and a sense of humor, you will find things to laugh about each day. Sometimes it will be silly jokes you will make up as you teach that might get a laugh from your students. Sometimes it will be jokes that kids share with you. And sometimes students will come out with the funniest statements without realizing what they've said. Find the fun and enjoy it!
5. Affecting the Future
Yes it might be trite, but it is true. Teachers mold the future each day in class. In fact, it is a sad fact that you will see some of these students more consistently day-to-day than their parents will.
6. Staying Younger
Being around young people everyday will help you remain knowledgeable about current trends and ideas. It also helps break down barriers.
7. Autonomy in the Classroom
Once a teacher closes that door each day and begins teaching, they really are the ones who decide what's going to happen. Not many jobs provide an individual with so much room to be creative and autonomous each day.
8. Conducive to Family Life
If you have children, the school calendar will typically allow you to have the same days off as your kids. Further, while you might bring work home with you to grade, you will probably be getting home close to the same time as your children.
9. Job Security
In many communities, teachers are a scarce commodity. It is fairly certain that you will be able to find a job as a teacher, though you might have to wait until the start of a new school year and be willing to travel within your county/school district. While requirements might be different from state to state, once you have proven yourself a successful teacher, it is relatively easy to move around and find a new job.
10. Summers Off
Unless you work in a district that has a year round education system, you will have a couple of months off in the summer where you can choose to get another job, teach summer school, or just relax and vacation. Further, you typically get two weeks off during Christmas/Winter Holidays and one week for Spring Break which can really be a huge benefit and provide much needed rest time.