Is Teaching Worth It? Pros And Cons
Teaching is a popular profession necessary for the development of every society. Teachers have the responsibility to help raise the next generation of contributors to society.
We love what we do and the fulfillment we get from helping someone mature into their best possible self is priceless. That doesn’t mean we don’t want to be paid well for this huge responsibility, by the way.
It’s the kind of profession where you know you can really make an impact in someone’s life, especially under tertiary levels where student minds can be very impressionable.
Most graduate students would always remember a teacher who helped them navigate some troubling situations at some point in their lives.
If you’re looking at acquiring a teacher certification or license and wondering whether it’s worth it, this article will try to answer this question by analyzing the pros and cons before finally providing an answer to the question.
Advantages Of Being A Teacher
Breaks And Holidays
It’s no secret that teachers’ pay in some parts of the country is nothing to write home about. While some states may pay teachers up to middle-class wage, others pay wages that make it a challenge to make a living off.
Teachers can therefore benefit from free time during school breaks and holidays. Any teachers looking to supplement their incomes can leverage this free time by taking up other jobs.
Some teachers also leverage this opportunity to go on much-needed vacations and other trips.
Teaching jobs are easier to find across the country and globally. So long as you’re not overly specialized, finding a teaching job can be very easy.
Teachers with expertise in STEM courses and bilingual education are especially in-demand across the US and various parts of the world. Another group of teachers, highly sort after are male teachers at the early childhood education and elementary levels.
It’s no secret that male teachers don’t like to teach at these academic levels as most consider the associated risks not worth the effort.
As a result, a high majority of teachers at these levels are female teachers leaving a huge gap as interaction with males is also essential to the development of children.
This means there are readily available opportunities for male teachers at preschool and elementary levels in various parts of the country.
This one may sound controversial but teaching can be very exciting. A teacher’s job can be daunting considering the fact that teachers deal with students from varying backgrounds on a daily basis.
That said, teachers get to interact with students who are unique in their own way, interact with other teachers and parents as well.
A teacher’s day is never devoid of excitement as someone is bound to do something that will bring a smile to your face no matter how much of a bad mood you may be in.
You also get to take students out on field trips and provide a more practical experience of a lesson concept you may have taught.
Sense Of Community
If you’re looking at bonding with members of the community, then teaching is a great way to proceed. Teachers get to meet parents and other members of the community and are easily recognized in the community.
Additionally, members of the community respect teachers and always have a positive impression of them. It’s amazing sometimes how you’ve only just met a single parent but people seem to recognize you wherever you go in the community.
While it’s inadvisable for teachers and students to be friends, this isn’t the case anymore when the student has graduated. Teachers who have made an impact on students can become friends with students when they graduate.
This can lead to rewarding lifelong friendships for both teachers and students.
Full-time teachers can also get access to health insurance in addition to respectable retirement plans which may be unavailable in some professions.
A tenured position can further protect teachers from being fired for personal or political reasons. Educational institutions would be unable to fire a teacher in an attempt to replace them with less expensive new teachers.
That said, a tenure position doesn’t guarantee that you can’t be fired irrespective of your actions, but simply cushions teachers and professors so they can focus on delivering the best lessons to their students.
Sense Of Fulfillment
There’s nothing more fulfilling in life than contributing to changing the life of another. That’s exactly what teachers do. Teachers are able to help shape students to become the best they can be.
Have you ever had your student admitted into a good college or even met your student somewhere and realized how well they were doing?
The fulfillment from knowing you contributed to the development of your community makes it worth the effort.
Make A Difference
The younger generation grows up to become leaders of industries and society. This makes them the greatest resource of the country.
A teacher’s job is to shape the youth to become productive members of society. Failure or success on the part of the teacher could have a negative or positive impact on the community.
Teachers who teach in the same schools their children attend can easily pick and drop their children from school every day without the need to adjust their work schedule.
Additionally, it eliminates the need for a babysitter altogether.
Disadvantages Of Being A Teacher
There’s a negative perception associated with teaching. Teachers are believed to be people who could not get jobs in their preferred fields and simply chose teaching as a fallback career or because they couldn’t find anything else to do.
While this may be true in some cases, most teachers have a genuine love for the profession and working with children.
The probability of becoming a millionaire from the position of a traditional teacher is close to non-existent. If you’re looking for a career that would make you a millionaire, teaching is the wrong profession for you.
While teacher salaries differ depending on the state, the average teacher made $60,477 for the 2017-2018 school year according to the National Education Association.
According to the group, the average starting wage for a first-year teacher in the United States is less than $40,000 in 63 percent of the country’s school districts. In over 300 districts, teachers start at less than $30,000.
That said, some teachers in our age of information technology are leveraging technology to build riches. Teachers are now able to leverage online marketplaces like Udemy to sell courses to global audiences.
Through this and various other approaches, mostly through online activities, modern teachers have a chance to build wealth which would have been impossible in the past.
Standardized tests have been a part of American education since the mid-1800s. However, their use skyrocketed after 2002’s No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) mandated annual testing in all 50 states.
Unfortunately, poor performance on the part of students can lead to the termination of a teacher’s contract.
Some teachers have argued that this type of test is simply an indicator of students’ test-taking ability. That it provides no meaningful measure of progress and has had no effect on student performance.
This becomes a test to see how well the teacher has trained their students to take tests which serves no real practical purpose.
Lack Of Parental Support
Parental support is another disadvantage as most parents would show up to school only to lodge a complaint but hardly any real compliments.
Learning seems to only be enforced in school as busy parents simply neglect to enforce further studies when students are home.
Unfortunately, they still come to school to complain when students are underperforming without consideration for the fact their involvement in their child’s education is key to improvement and academic achievement.
Some parents even neglect to ensure that their children have finished their assignments before going to bed.
I’m sure you may have heard someone claiming teaching is easy. That teachers only spend a few hours a day teaching only to enjoy themselves during school breaks and holidays.
This couldn’t be far from the truth as a teacher’s day could involve teaching various classes, staff meetings and discussions with parents, responding to forum discussions, grading assignments, preparing lessons, and many more.
All this while ensuring that students achieve the expected results as failure to do so could lead to the termination of a teacher’s contract.
Dealing With Children
Dealing with children with varying personalities daily basis can be tricky. From very rude students to outright disruptive students, teachers need to be inherently patient people to avoid reacting to a provocation that could ruin your career.
A teacher’s day doesn’t end when the bell rings. Instead, both male and female teachers have to carry their work home for grading.
This is followed by lesson planning, and a review of student scores to determine the best way to help individual students who are underperforming.
Another disadvantage of teaching is the disrespect that sometimes comes from some students. Students in some schools have little to no respect for their teachers. This behavior can be present in teenagers who may not even care about consequences.
Without the necessary training to deal with these rebellious tendencies in teenagers, the classroom can become an uncomfortable environment for teachers.
Is Teaching Worth It
Now that we have a better understanding of the pros and cons of teaching, let’s answer the question.
Yes, if you’re passionate about working with children and have the patience. However, the highest financial compensation you can expect from teaching is a middle-class wage.
If you’re looking at becoming a millionaire from a teaching job, you should consider another career. On the other, if you want the fulfillment that comes with helping raise the next generation of contributors to society, teaching is the best job for you.