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Is a Career in Teaching for You?

Is a Career in Teaching for You?

Is a Career in Teaching for You?

Whether you’re a college student looking for something worthwhile to do with your life after graduation, or you hate your job selling widgets because there’s no meaning in it, chances are good someone will suggest teaching as an option. Should you be attracted by the seductive statistic that one-third of the teaching force is over 50 and will leave many openings when they retire?

That depends.

It depends on whether your interests, passions, personal style and life goals fit with teaching. The following information might help you make an informed decision.

What’s so great about teaching?

Make a Difference

Do you remember which teachers had a positive impact on you, and which ones took a sledgehammer to your confidence and desire to learn? You could be one of the positive ones.


Except for your student teaching, your first year on the job and a few visitations per year after that, what you do in the classroom is up to you. If you have a neat idea, there’s no boss to run it by.

Family-Friendly Schedules

What could be better than having holidays and summers to be with the folks you love and do what you enjoy?

Creativity and Innovation

If you’re the dull and overly obedient type, you might not want to go into teaching. But if you love to dream up new ways to present material, think about things or make learning fun, then the classroom is for you.

Your Classroom’s Your Stage

You spend your days with an audience that may think you’re wonderful. If performing is fun for you and you believe you know things that can make a difference in some kids’ lives, then you probably owe yourself some time in front of the chalkboard. Then why wouldn’t you want to be a teacher?


If you stay in the classroom, the cap on your income will probably be about $75,000. If you’re frugal, that could do nicely—provided you don’t cave in to envy of your college classmates’ business salaries.

Safety Can Be an Issue

It’s still more dangerous to drive to school than to stand in a classroom, but some teachers find cops roaming the halls and metal detectors at the door unnerving.

Search Teaching for over $38 million in scholarships.

Teaching Isn’t for the Timid

If you love learning but can’t stand the thought of being on stage all the time, either in front of your class or herding kids through a lunch line or a field trip, then you’d be asking for a lot of unnecessary stress.

Some Schools Are Depressing

You can tell the minute you walk into a class whether the atmosphere is an upper or a downer. There’s no more invigorating place than a school where kids are eagerly learning and actively involved with teachers and other professionals. In teachers’ lounges in other schools, it’s like the night of the living dead, with people who mentally checked out of the profession years ago.

Social Worker/Teacher

In many schools, you’re also a triage nurse for multi-problem families. If that challenge speaks to you, then it’s wonderful. But some teachers go home each night burdened with the seeming hopelessness of the baggage their young charges carry around with them. The most important thing to remember is that you should only pursue a teaching career if you really want to, not because it’s convenient or there are openings. If you can keep a class interested in what you’re teaching, handle the different learning styles of 30 kids and help the lonely kid in the last row connect with somebody who’ll be his friend, then you might just make a difference in many young lives.

© 2008, Teaching

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