What It Takes To Be a Teacher
“Choosing a career is a challenging, exciting, and perhaps even a threatening task for most today” (Morales, 1994, para. 1). “You may have a clear idea about a career you’d like to pursue. Then again, you might not have a clue” (Mariani, 2011). In today’s society there are thousands of careers to choose from. Woman, as well as men are open to career options from Computer Engineering to Teaching. As our society begins to advance there are many careers which can one day be taken over by more advanced technology, such as computers. Teaching however, is a career that will always be in demand. Teachers are responsible for teaching fundamentals which are needed in everyday life. Not only is teaching a promising career, it is also a rewarding and beneficial career. Pursuing a career as a teacher is very demanding, however, it can be a rewarding career.
“Teacher: one who’s occupation is to instruct” (Merriam-Webster’s, 1993, p. 1059). “The teaching process can be broadly defined as the transmission of knowledge” (Morales, 1994, para. 14). “Teaching developed into a profession after the early 1800’s when the first teacher training was founded in Europe” ( The World Book Encyclopedia, 2011, p. 68). Since the 1800’s, teaching has long evolved and become extremely important to society. “Whether in elementary or high schools or in private or public schools, teachers provide the tools and the environment for their students to develop into responsible adults” (U.S. Department of Labor, 2009). Teaching is a career which I have always found interest in. “A puzzling question comes to mind: Why would anyone choose to teach in this day and age when there is such a wide range of careers from which to choose and when becoming a teacher is being made tougher and tougher?” ( Morales,
1994, para. 3). For me the answer to this question is simple. Teaching is a rewarding, and beneficial career. There is so much more to teaching then showing students how to read, and
write. According to the United States Department of Labor (2009) “Teachers play an important role in fostering the intellectual and social development of children during their formative years”.
The path to becoming a teacher will require years of schooling. “The traditional route to becoming a public school teacher involves completing a bachelor’s degree from a teacher education program and then obtaining a license” (U.S. Department of Labor, 2009). “Aspiring secondary school teachers most often major in the subject they plan to teach, while also taking a program of study in teacher preparation” (U.S. Department of Labor, 2009). Along with years of schooling, “Every state requires a public elementary and high school teachers to obtain a teaching certificate before teaching in that state” (The World Book Encyclopedia, 2011, p. 68). As technology continues to grow and people become more knowledgeable the requirements to becoming a teacher are gradually becoming more difficult. “Evidence of tougher certification requirements is widespread. State legislators are mandating teacher accountability by passing laws that make it more difficult to enter the teaching profession” (Morales, 1994, para. 4). Being able to teach is not the only skill teachers need to have in order to land a teaching position. “In addition to being knowledgeable about the subjects they teach, teachers must have the ability to communicate, inspire trust and confidence, and motivate students, as well as understand the students’ educational and emotional needs” (U.S. Department of Labor, 2009).
Although teaching may look simple there are many responsibilities a teacher holds. “They plan, evaluate, and assign lessons; prepare, administer, and grade tests; listen to oral presentations; and maintain classroom discipline” (U.S. Department of Labor, 2009). Teachers also hold another responsibility as stated by April Whatley, “ Teacher educators are those individuals responsible for the development of future teachers” (2009). When one decides on becoming a teacher they must first realize there are certain job conditions they will be forced to work with on a daily basis. “Teachers may experience stress in dealing with large classes, heavy
workloads, or old schools that are run down and lack modern amenities” (U.S. Department of Labor, 2009). A positive aspect of being a teacher is the hours and vacations you receive.
Unlike any other job most teachers work normal 40 hour work week, but have two months of paid vacation. “Many teachers work more than 40 hours a week, including school duties performed outside the classroom” (U.S. Department of Labor, 2009). During the summer teachers have the advantage of a long vacation. “Most teachers work the traditional 10-month school year, with a 2-month vacation during the summer” (U.S. Department of Labor, 2009).
Teachers salaries range widely depending upon where one works, how much they work and what degree they hold. “Median annual earnings of kindergarten elementary, middle and secondary school teacher ranges from $47,100 to $51,180” (Krasna, 2010). Throughout the day teachers deal with students who can often cause stress when they become disobedient. There are also other factors that teachers deal with on a daily basis that can cause stress, such as grading large amounts of work. “Teachers may experience stress in dealing with large classes, heavy workloads, or old schools that are run down and lack modern amenities” (U.S. Department of Labor, 2009). Throughout most of the day teachers are working with students. “Teachers are sometimes isolated from their colleagues because they work alone in a classroom of students” (U.S. Department of Labor, 2009).
Like any other career there are many positive and negative aspects to becoming a teacher. One large advantage is all the paid vacation time a teacher has. All the extra time a teacher has allows them to pursue other things. “ During the vacation break, those on the 10-month schedule may teach in the summer sessions, take other jobs, travel or pursue personal interests” (U.S. Department of Labor, 2009). Being a teacher also has its disadvantages, “One challenge is that there isn’t always a clear answer to the questions people face” (Krasna, 2010). In today’s society it is becoming more difficult to land a job as a teacher. The credentials to become a teacher becoming more difficult. Although, it is getting more difficult to land a job as a teacher, teaching is a career that will always be needed, regardless of what time period one is in, or where they are located in the world. “Schools in the United States and Canada hire new teachers each year. Some opportunities occur because experienced teachers retire or leave to pursue other career paths” (The World Book Encyclopedia, 2011, p. 68). There are many opportunities to increase you position as a teacher. “Master of education programs typically prepare their recipients to be elementary secondary or special education teachers and can offer courses in teaching methods , curriculum and instruction , classroom management and mathematics” (Krasna, 2010). According to the U.S. Department of Labor (2009)
With further preparation, teachers may move into such positions as school librarians, reading specialists, instructional coordinators, and guidance counselors. Teachers may become administrators or supervisors. In some systems, highly qualified experienced teachers can become senior or mentor teachers, with higher pay and additional responsibilities. They guide and assist less experienced teachers while keeping most of their own teaching responsibilities.
Being a teacher is an extremely beneficial career, although, it is definitely a career that is harder then it looks. Throughout all the research I have done, I have come to realize this is definitely a career I want to pursue and commit my studies to. There are many benefits to becoming a teacher. Teachers impact many lives and help many people. To attain my goal of one day becoming a successful teacher I will need to earn my degree in teaching. I hope to one day be able to lend the world my knowledge, and be considered a teacher. “Teaching offers inner rewards; a sense of having contributed to the betterment of humanity, a sense of having made a difference in this ever-changing world” (Morales, 1994, para. 14).