Why You Should Still Be Excited About Becoming a Teacher
The teaching profession has taken some hits over the last few years. Common Core, Big Data and High Stakes Tests are all hot-button topics that elicit emotional responses from people. Decorated teachers are penning public letters about why they are choosing to leave the profession after 20 plus years of service. The pay has never been great. And of course all of society’s ills seem to be the fault of classroom teachers.
So why on earth would someone want to become a teacher?
There is opportunity.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the need for teachers will grow between 6% and 12% a year between 2014-2024. Demand is much greater for special education teachers and upper level science and math educators. An article in News Week titled Millennial College Graduates: Young, Educated, Jobless reports that 14% of 20-somethings are unemployed. Rather than lose out to (and remain unemployed) private sector positions with potentially higher salaries, young professionals would do well to give the teaching profession an opportunity.
There is need.
A 4th grade teacher from Orlando, FL said that with the division in society we are currently experiencing, teachers are needed more than ever. “You have a unique and powerful opportunity to make an impact on young students’ lives to help them become good citizens. More importantly, you have a unique opportunity to be a significant source of love and support on a daily basis to young people who may be lacking this in their lives and help set them on the right path.” Opportunity is a job opening. Need is a calling. The teaching profession will always need passionate educators.
Why else should you be excited to become a teacher? The profession is doing a better job of blending art and science into pedagogy. Some educators have lamented the over emphasis on data collection and its driving force behind instruction. The approach seems antiseptic. Those familiar with Marzano’s learning scales and the constant query of students understanding of the lesson by rating themselves from 1 to 4 get it. One can only collect so much information. But, Marzano's Teacher Evaluation also includes the teacher’s ability to demonstrate “withitness” and the ability to engage students. These aspects of teaching are “art” and demand creativity and personality to connect with each child in the room.
You will be immortal.
Every single person has a memory of at least one teacher from growing up. Whether the person was particularly inspiring or encouraging or flat our challenging, everyone remembers his or her favorite teacher. Heck, I was in elementary school in the 1970’s and I still remember my 5th grade teacher yelling at me in Spanish! That was motivating to stop whatever it was I was doing.
Yes, the teaching profession is under fire by politicians, the media and your uncle who knows everything. But, there are many wonderful reasons to still aspire to become a teacher. When asked why someone would want to join the education profession, the 4th grade teacher from Orlando said, “Because you are a rock star to 22 kids who laugh at your jokes and compliment your clothes.”
Well there is that too.
David Karch works with students in grades K-12 on academics, study skills, test prep, and homework coaching. His background includes over 10 years of classroom teaching and 15 years of private tutoring. Areas of specialty for David are working with students with ADD/ADHD, Dyslexia, Executive Functions issues, and other learning differences. Developing organizational strategies, time management skills, and priority assessment are among his strengths. David tries to make learning fun through the use of hands-on games, integrating multi-curriculum lessons, and injecting humor into the tutoring sessions.