Do you want to be a teacher? Don’t listen to those who critique the teaching profession. Follow your heart. Follow your passion. Our kids need you. Here are six reasons why the teaching profession is the best job in the world.
- You get to be a scholar. Teachers are encouraged to build their knowledge. The more teachers can bring to their students to enhance background knowledge and understanding, the more well rounded the students become. A learned teacher can inspire students to view the world with a different lens. Cultural events, traveling, and experiences enhance a teacher’s life, as well as their students’ lives. Whether the topic is the Northern Lights, The Great Wall of China, or World War II, there is always something learned that can be brought back to the students. Teachers’ hobbies and interests add a new layer to teaching. Plus, who doesn’t want a teacher, filled with random knowledge and a passion for learning, on their trivia team?
- You learn who you are. Teachers focus so much on growth of their students. The growth of a teacher is just as important. Teachers entering the field begin with their philosophies of who they are and what they stand for in education. As they experience life and longevity in education, those philosophies change. More aware of what resonates as true for them, their philosophies become deeper and rooted in empathy and understanding. Teachers see students coming to school who are homeless or leaving a home where the parents were fighting. Being a teacher allows you to help create a safe haven for them, a place where they are respected, trusted, and loved. A career in teaching allows for this personal growth in a teacher’s life. The growth of a teacher can have a direct impact on student success. Talk about a win-win!
- It is never the same day twice. Working with students and staff is vastly different than working to create a product. The needs of students are varied, as are their backgrounds and home lives. Teachers build rapport with their students, building trust in a safe environment to build their risk-taking abilities. Each day brings new curricular changes. Just like the daily lessons change, the students grow and change as they expand their thinking. Critical thinking skills improve, as does creativity and logic. So not only is each day’s focus and goal changing, the students are, too! Never having the same day twice is refreshing and unpredictable. The time flies, especially when counted in quarters or semesters.
- See things with a different lens. All teachers have educational goals in mind. There are outcomes and components and expectations galore. These are not the exciting things in teaching, but provide the end goal which must be achieved. How teachers get to that end goal can be vastly different room by room and school by school. Each teacher takes these goals and personalizes it. This becomes a model for the students that thinking can have different ways to get to the same end. What drives these lessons? Knowing students will be more engaged and intrigued by well-planned lessons that have direct student involvement.
Watching a student have an “A-ha!” moment can be one of the most amazing experiences. Imagine watching the faces of students as they release butterflies they have raised in a classroom, watching them fly away. Or the pride in the faces of the students as the curtains fall on opening night of a high school theatrical performance. These are the joyful experiences teachers get to appreciate within the work day. How cool is that? Need I even mention the excitement of field trips and book fairs?
- Teaching allows and requires reflection. Not many careers require or expect reflection. Yet reflection is the mark of an exceptional educator. This reflection can be on anything from curriculum to décor, classroom management, to the home/work life balance. This reflection guides the upcoming lessons and responses to handling life’s many twists and turns. Not surprisingly, once professional reflection begins happening regularly, there’s a natural progression to reflection in the personal life. Truly, teachers are teachers in all aspects of their lives. It’s definitely not something that gets turned off once that bell rings.
- Pride in who we are as teachers. Teachers get to work daily with like-minded individuals. Teachers share a common goal, share a love, and share a passion for making a difference. Teachers inspire each other to become better at their craft. On those days that are tough, teachers lift each other up and support each other through tough times. There is a sense of unity amongst teachers across the nation. With the popularity of Pinterest, ideas are shared in visual form and provide a way to promote that teacher’s blog or website. Not only are professional conferences still a popular way to get excited and learn something new, there’s a new trend where the conferences are even held on a cruise ship! The energy and excitement coming from educators is palpable. Who doesn’t want to be a part of that?
Not everyone is cut out to be a teacher. Even within teaching, there are those who excel at teaching the littlest learners and those who teach young adults, each bringing their passion for education and impacting students with their individual teaching style. Teachers are the lucky ones to be able to experience all they do on a daily basis. It is sometimes exhausting, overwhelming, and messy, and yet it is the most rewarding, exhilarating, and life-changing career. It is indeed the best job in the world.