So, You Think You Want to be a Teacher?

Being a teacher sounds good, right? You get your summers and holidays off.  You work Monday through Friday from 8 am to 3:30 pm. Great hours!  Pay is okay and there are lots of perks for teachers. Yep, I think I'll be a teacher.

Whoa. Not so fast! Being a teacher is so much more than just thinking you'll be a teacher. In fact... What Are You Thinking?!?!

Being a teacher is a passion. It isn't something you think you'll do. It is something you have to do. I would equate being a teacher to having a calling. You teach when there is nothing else in the world that you can imagine yourself doing. You teach not because you get summers off, but because summers are time to rest, recharge, and prepare for next year's kiddos, AND further your own education and attend workshops. You know that the pay is lousy and that doesn't matter. You aren't in it for the money anyway.   Holidays off?  Well, that is true, but.... you are the last minute shopper at Christmas and the one falling asleep during Easter Sunday because every spare minute before and after school is spent planning and presenting lessons, contacting parents, and readying your room. Great work hours? Well, not so much. Don't forget about early morning bus or playground duty (in any kind of weather) and after school meetings or tutoring. And, what about conferences and evaluations that take place after hours. And about your perks.... Parents have you on speed dial and, in some cases, administrators are unlisted and unavailable.  Kids recognize you in any disguise on Saturday in the grocery store. Take my advice, Don't go to the store thinking you won't run in to anyone you know. Trust me on this. You will.  Not only will the kids recognize you, but they drag their parents over to your cart and, yes, they will scrutinize everything in it.

So, to the young girl I met tonight (and anyone else) that is thinking around the edges of becoming a teacher. Don't. Not unless you are prepared to be passionate and dedicated with every breath you breathe.  Not unless there is no other place in the world you'd rather be than in school. Not unless you are tough enough and strong enough to handle it. Teaching isn't for the faint of heart or the weak. Teaching is one demanding profession. It isn't something that you Think you'll do. It is something that you Have to do.


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4 comments

  1. Absolutely!!! I love how you put this. So very well said :)

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  2. Great post...I am sharing it in a group I have who all the members are student teachers or new teachers!

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  3. Truth! I love your writing style, and totally agree with what you have to say! Our kids deserve teachers who see teaching as their calling, not just heir job.
    Oh, and the disguise in the grocery store - hilarious, and I wish I had thought of that years ago!

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  4. So true. Reminds me of when I decided to change my major in college. I just new it was what I had to do.

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