Although you may have read several articles about teacher burnout and the lack of support they receive from the community, teachers often love their job. Teaching is very rewarding and the satisfaction of working with students of all ages far outweigh any challenges facing the profession.
Just look at the faces of teachers as they try to engage students in learning during the pandemic. They donne costumes, perform skits, and wear wigs because they love their students and truly want them to learn. Most can’t wait to get back into the classroom so they can hug their students and interact face-to-face.
If you are thinking about entering the field of education, here are just a few of the reasons why teaching is a great career choice.
You Make a Difference
One of the most valued aspects of teaching is the ability to make a difference in students’ lives. Teachers typically report the daily “aha” moments they witness as the most rewarding. Seeing students finally make a breakthrough and understand something they’ve been struggling with allows teachers to feel the direct impact of their work on a daily basis.
If you are interested in teaching older students, you have the opportunity to play a special role in your students’ lives, as coaches, instructors, and mentors. Not only do you teach the curriculum, but you also teach critical thinking, study habits as well as life skills. You are essentially preparing students for the next stage in their life, whether that is higher education or work.
If you are interested in teaching younger students, you may be working with children who have never experienced any type of schooling. You teach them basic skills such as standing in line and raising hands to be recognized. In addition to basic skills and routines, you help children experience the world, make friends, and collaborate with their peers. Elementary school starts students off on the path of discovery as you prepare them for the higher grades. It is the elementary school teacher who can inspire children to love learning.
You may have heard the saying that the best part of teaching is June, July, and August. Well, there is truth to that statement. You have the opportunity to recharge every summer with approximately ten weeks of not working. You can choose to completely abandon any type of educational activity, or you can attend professional development. Many teachers use the summer to reflect on the prior school year and make changes to the upcoming one. Not many jobs offer this type of mental break. Granted, you often really need this time off because the school year is extremely busy; however, with this length of down time, you are completely recharged to begin the next school year.
When the economy tanks and everyone seems to be scrambling for a job, teachers do not need to worry. Teachers are always needed. There will always be kids who need to get an education, and that is done with teachers. You can teach face-to-face, online or a little bit of both. Whichever you prefer, you are needed. Also, job growth is expected to see a steady increase, on par with the national average, with 1.9 million new job openings for teachers between 2014 and 2024, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The Simple Joys
Teachers experience the joys of working with students each day. You develop a rapport with your class where you share inside jokes. You celebrate class and student milestones as well as birthdays, holidays, and pajama days. You can dress up in a costume to teach a lesson, or have classroom feasts with silly themes like “Only Red Foods” or “Super Spicy Day.” You get to show your personality as you quickly learn more about your students’ quirks and behaviors. Students will climb over each other to help you carry your books or run an errand. It’s difficult to explain these special moments because they are only achieved with you and your students.
Teachers receive pensions. In fact, pensions for teachers are often more generous, on average, than the retirement benefits received by private-sector workers. Each state is different, but many states allow teachers to retire at age 55 if they’ve contributed to their retirement fund for 30 years. And, if you would like to continue to work but not give as much time, you can substitute teach, tutor privately, or pick up an online class.