Every teacher devotes his or her life to education for reasons as individual to them as any other part of their identity. Still, it usually isn’t the money, and it isn’t the three-month summer vacation. Reasons for becoming a teacher are deeper than that, and while they are personal, they are almost all united by the desire to impact peoples’ lives. There is a demand for great teachers in this country, and a person is called to become a teacher in response to that need. So, what’s calling you? Why do you want to teach?
To Improve the Quality of Education
The demand for great teachers is a tangible pressing need. While our country has come a long way in education reform, we still have a long way to go. There are schools across America that are still in high need because of budgetary concerns and low teacher retention, and students still continue to drop out at alarming rates. One reason to become a teacher is to impact the education system. If you recognize the need to improve the quality of education in this country, then you may become a teacher to affect change. There is a lot of work to be done, but it is the collective effort of thousands of dedicated teachers that will make the most difference.
School administrators and government officials have an impact at the legislative level, but it is teachers who have a direct effect on students in the classroom --- that is, after all, where learning takes place. You won’t be able to improve the quality of education for every student in America, but you will be able to for your students. Helping just one student is worth it, but over a long and productive career, you have the chance to help thousands of students.
Essentially, becoming a teacher lets you take part in shaping the next generation.
To Give Back to Your Community
One of the reasons for becoming a teacher is to contribute to your community in a meaningful way. Teaching is one of the most direct ways to make an impact, and if you are driven by the desire to help those around you, being a teacher is an invaluable contribution.
Perhaps you grew up in a high-needs area and are personally connected to the struggle of students who come from low-income families and go to schools with little funding; this sort of perspective allows you to recognize how much of a difference a devoted teacher can make. Maybe an amazing teacher changed your life when you were younger, and you want to share that with a new generation of students. Many people cite a favorite teacher as a source of inspiration in their decision to pursue a career in education.
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To Change the Lives of Students
Teachers do more than teach, and their impact extends far beyond the classroom. As a teacher, you are more than just an educator: you are a mentor, a confidant and a friend. One of the most common reasons to become a teacher is to make a difference in the lives of as many students as you can. Taylor Mali, a renowned poet, education advocate and former teacher, describes this impact in his spoken word poem, “What Teachers Make.” He says, “I make kids work harder than they ever thought they could, I make a C+ feel like a congressional medal of honor, I make an A- feel like a slap in the face ... I make parents see their children for who they are and what they can be ... I make a difference.”
Teachers have the potential to interact with students at all stages of development and from all walks of life. A great teacher wants to help students along this path and to play a part in shaping the person they will ultimately become. If you want to help a child struggling with low self-esteem and problems at home, then become a teacher to encourage them and help them realize their potential. Becoming a teacher lets you impart life lessons that they will never forget and puts you in a position to influence their decisions, behaviors, strengths, weaknesses and imaginations. Essentially, becoming a teacher lets you take part in shaping the next generation.
As an education major you constantly hear the same comments from your peers over and over such as,“Wow I could NEVER do that,” “You realize you won’t make that much money,” and “So why do you want to be a teacher exactly?” For some reason the field of education is looked down upon by many. To the outside world teaching seems like such a essay job, and they think that's exactly why all us future teachers are majoring in education. However they may not realize that we want to be a teacher for many more meaningful reasons. So I will share with you a few of the main reasons many people, including myself want to become a teacher.
1. I Know that everyday I will be making an impact on someone's life
In how many other fields of work can you say that? As a teacher you know that everyday you are helping to mold and shape your students lives in some small way. You are constantly helping to broaden their minds, so that they can think in new ways. Its rewarding to know that you are helping others constantly.2.Working with kids is amazing!
Personally I think working with kids is much better than working with adults. Kids do not have a filter as we adults do. Kids are open to speaking their minds, being silly, and make the work day so much more interesting.
3. There is never a dull moment.
At the end of the day you know that you will always come home with some funny story to tell about your students. Sure sometimes students act out and can be exasperating, but no two days in the classroom are exactly alike. I know that I will never have to worry about getting bored with my profession.
4. I would much rather be surrounded by construction paper and story books than cubicles.
As a teacher there is so much room for creativity. You are constantly thinking of new and exciting ways to present lessons and making sure that learning is fun for your students. We get to build a classroom all our own, make bulletin boards, and so much more. I’m sure to most people it looks like we are just playing arts and crafts. I would never want to trade that for the mundane office setting.
5. Children are the future.
Someday these tiny human that are in your class will be all grown up. As a teacher you have the ability to help them learn skills and ways of thinking that will be needed when they are out there in the adult world. Someday these will be the people running the country!
6. Because I never want to stop learning.
I love to learn, and I don’t want a day to go by where I don’t learn something new. What better way to continue to learn than to become an educator. I will constantly be learning from my fellow teachers and even my students!
7. Watching students have that “lightbulb” moment makes everything worthwhile.
There is nothing better than watching a student's expression as they get an answer right, or when a concept finally makes clicks in their mind. In that moment all the time and effort you put in as a teacher is worth it. Students are amazed that they can do something all on their own now, and you are just happy to know that you were apart of that.
8. You become a very patient and understanding person.
Being a teacher and working with kids makes you become one of the most patient people. You come to understand that everyone has their own differences and develops at their own rate. This is something that I can apply not only in the classroom, but to life in general.
9.Working with kids brings out the child in me.
This doesn't mean that in the classroom I act like a child, rather that being around them brings back that childlike mindset. The simplest things make them happy, like coloring or recess. Being around them reminds me that I shouldn’t always take everything so seriously, and that I too should stop and take a moment to enjoy the simple things in life.
10. I could never imagine doing anything else with my life.
I honestly couldn’t imagine spending the rest of my life doing anything else. Sure I will have to spend hours making lesson plans, be up at the crack of dawn to get to school on time, and deal with a cranky kid or two but I know that my job is going to be very rewarding. I get to show others how much fun learning can be, and that sounds like the most amazing job out there to me!