Is Teaching the Right Career for Me . . . How Will I Know?

If you are considering becoming a teacher you are going to be investing substantial money and time in building not just a career, but a new life. A teacher’s journey starts long before registration for a college class. To know if this is the right career field for you, you will need to have the answer to three questions.

A Satisfying Professional Life

First, what is important in your professional life, and will your choice help you feel respected, fulfilled, and proud of your accomplishments? Unlike many other professions, teaching is not just a job. It is a calling, a love of learning, and a deep desire to share that love with others. Some people build a career in the pursuit of fame, fortune, power, or prestige. Teaching is none of these. It is a profession of service. A life in the field of education means helping others, investing yourself in their lives, and making a tangible difference in the community you work in.

Teaching is More Than Procedures

Secondly, what do you think teaching means? Writing lesson plans, developing an active and interesting learning environment with engaging instruction is the mechanics side of the teaching coin. The other side is the different and unknown variables in the dynamics of the class. Whether the students you teach range from six to 60, not all of your students will want be engaged in the learning process, but you still have to want to teach them, to find a way to reach them. There will be times your students will have personal issues that prevent them from being cooperative, attentive, and caring, but you still have to go the extra mile when they will not, or cannot. It means being a social worker, a psychologist, a friend, a caregiver. If you understand there may never be enough resources for what you need to do your job, and your work hours will not be limited to 40 hours a week, but you can be satisfied with the privilege of positively affecting another human, then you have the heart of a teacher.

A Few Accolades and a Lot of Respect

Lastly, can you be a quiet, behind the scenes hero? You will find you sometimes need to struggle for those who need a compass in their life. Do you have the determination to work not just for the likeable and pleasant few, but also for the average, the below average, and the dysfunctional? Can you confidently say you want this above anything else? In today’s 21st century classroom, you will grapple with trying to help those in poverty, victims of alcohol, drugs, abuse, ignorance, misunderstanding, and those in fear of what is different or causes change. Each classroom is a microcosm of our society as a whole and you will face societal problems on a frequent basis.

Why do you want to become a teacher?

Here you can read the answer to that question by hundreds of aspiring teachers and what helped them answer their question, “how will I know?┬áIf you need any other reason to teach, consider the life and teaching career of Christa McAuliffe, who said, “I touch the future. I teach.” Here is her story.