Should You Become a Teacher?

As a teacher, you have the opportunity to influence the lives of many young people. As you gain experience, you’ll grow stronger and stronger ties to your community. Your students will remember you for their whole lives, in many cases positively.

Yes, teaching is a rewarding career. But it also takes a special kind of person. You need to have a love for sharing knowledge, and a passion for helping young people. You’ll need to spend long nights making lesson plans and grading papers, and you’ll need to be able to cope with stress. You’ll need a desire to shape the future, a love of young people, and a thirst for challenge. Here’s how to decide if being a teacher is right for you.

You Want to Shape the Future

Teachers make a lifelong impression on their students. You’ll spend a lot of time with your students, and you’ll be responsible for inspiring many of them to their later success. You can give your students the tools they need to succeed in an uncertain world. You may be the spark that ignites students’ passions, or the ray of kindness that helps some students survive difficult circumstances. By shaping the next generation, you’ll have a direct influence on the future of our society and on the generations to come.

You Want to Form Deep Ties to Your Community

As a teacher, you’ll form deep ties to your community, because many people remember their teachers all their lives. If you have a long career, you may end up teaching multiple generations of the same families, especially in small communities. If you want to be a pillar of the community, become a teacher.

You Are Patient, Compassionate, and Creative

Teachers need a number of personal qualities in order to be successful. It should come as no surprise to anyone who is getting an early childhood development degree that you need to be patient to work with young people, especially very young people. Patience will help you keep working with students who continue to struggle with the material, even those who never seem to have a lightbulb moment. You can also teach your students valuable soft skills by modeling patience for them.

You’ll also need a healthy dose of compassion if you want to become a teacher. If you’re not able to approach every student with empathy and compassion, you probably shouldn’t become a teacher. Students need teachers who try to understand the causes of bad behavior and poor performance, and help to address them. 

Creativity will also be valuable in your teaching career. You’ll need it to come up with engaging lesson plans and keep students interested in their lessons. You can practice becoming more creative even if you don’t feel particularly creative. 

You Know How to Handle Stress

Teaching is a stressful job. You will have to leave your personal issues at the door when you walk into the classroom. You’ll have to handle difficult students with magnanimity. You’ll have to handle difficult parents without letting them tell you what to do in the classroom. You’ll be responsible for managing your class and keeping them safe in an emergency. You need an exceptional tolerance for stress and the ability to manage it well if you want to become a teacher.

You Love Working with Young People

If you don’t truly have a passion for working with young people, then teaching probably isn’t the right career choice for you. Of course, there are different ages you can choose to work with, so if you’re passionate about, say, young adults but not small children, you can teach at the high school or college level instead of at the grade school level. A passion for helping young people can keep you going when the job is tough or you’re struggling to help a student who doesn’t understand the material. 

You Want a Challenging Career

Teaching is certainly interesting in the sense that no two days are really the same. There will always be some new situation to manage. You’ll always be coming up with new ways to teach concepts, keep students engaged, and awaken their enthusiasm for learning. No matter what level you teach, things will always be different from one day to the next. 

Only you can decide whether teaching is the right career for you. But if you’re ready to make a lasting impact on coming generations and you’re looking for a fulfilling, challenging career, teaching might be just the ticket.

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