Teaching is Worth It!

People who don’t know me well assume that I fell into teaching because it pays my bills.  They look at a male primary teacher and think that I must have been low on choices to pick a profession that the average man wouldn’t opt for in a million years.

Their impressions are all wrong.  In fact, I did have choices, but all I wanted to do was to teach.  It’s hard to explain to those who associate teaching with low pay, long hours, high stress, immense pressure and classroom management headaches.

I read a brilliant piece by student teacher Stephanie Vincent, entitled Why I Really Shouldn’t Be a Teacher. She lists 3 reasons why she shouldn’t go down the path she is going – the workload, lack of recognition and the challenges stemming from difficult parents.

Yet, with all those detracting factors, she is very happy with her choice:

By becoming a teacher I will be lucky enough to spend every day doing something that I’m passionate about. From the first day of my teaching practicum I felt as though I had entered a sacred world, and I can confidently say that I want to spend my future there. Quite simply, I love teaching and children.

Luckily, I don’t seek recognition or a prestigious job. I want a job that excites me. Every day students remind teachers why they teach. This was made clear to me throughout my practicum experience. When I was able to connect with students or when I saw students’ eyes light up when they finally understood a difficult concept, I felt deeply rewarded. Students are why teachers teach.

But what about those difficult parents I mentioned? Although I have not yet had to deal with upset parents, I did deal with an upsetting experience. I worked with one student in particular in a one-on-one setting, and we developed a close bond. During my practicum her entire life was essentially flipped upside down, and she reached out to me. It was devastating to know what she was going through. I was helpless and questioned my ability to deal with it. I discussed my fears with my teaching associate, and as always, she was amazing. She reminded me that, as a teacher, I could help this student. Teachers are in a unique position in that they can provide every child in their class with a positive environment, for at least part of their day, and show them that someone cares.

Suddenly those three reasons I talked about above for not becoming a teacher seem far away. I cannot think of anything that I would rather do. I want to learn how to teach so that I can spend every day with students and so that we can learn from each other. Each and every student brims with energy and unrealized possibility. I want to help them release that energy and realize their potential. In the end, teaching is the most rewarding and enjoyable job anyone can do.

This was just a pleasure to read.  There is so much negativity surrounding this great profession, it is a joy to read from a passionate and driven teacher.  I wish Stephanie all the best during her training and beyond.  She presents as the type of teacher you’d want looking after your child.  She reminds disillusioned teachers that if they don’t feel the same way as she does, they should perhaps consider a change of career.


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2 Responses to “Teaching is Worth It!”

  1. Jennifer R. Says:

    I have a degree in mathematics yet I teach Kindergarten. Better yet, I choose to teach Kindergarten. I love what I do. I love guiding children on the path to literacy and showing them that learning is FUN! OK, somedays you have to deal with difficult parents but dealing with difficult people is par for the course in just about any job.

    I think it’s wonderful that you teach primary school. My son just entered 6th grade and for the first time he has male teachers. He is having an amazing year.

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