Being a teacher is a thankless, selfless, rewarding job that isn’t for the weak. The truth is, teaching is not a fallback career. It isn’t something anyone should choose when they’re unsure of what they want to do with their life.
It’s been said, “Those who can, do. Those who can’t, teach.” I like to think that it’s more like, “Those who can’t teach, do.”
Most daily tasks can be done mindlessly without a second thought. You wake up and get out of bed. You take a shower. You drive to work. You drink when you’re thirsty and eat when you’re hungry. These are routine daily events that don’t take much concentration. But what if someone asked you how to do your daily routine?
That’s essentially what teachers do all day long. They take a task and break it down into small elements to explain. From walking to talking to tying your shoe—there isn’t anything in life that you learned without being taught. Parents invest in teaching their children these things because they care about their well-being. Likewise, teachers have a deep desire to help.
If you’re thinking of becoming a teacher, consider these points before investing in your training and possible career switch.
- You don’t have to be an expert in that field. I know lots of individuals who would be fabulous teachers and they don’t do it because they feel they aren’t experts. You don’t have to be. Being an expert isn’t a requirement for being a teacher. You’ll learn things as you go along (we all do!).
- Money should not be a motivation. Teachers are underpaid—we all know that. But even if a teacher’s salary is desirable to you, it should not be your motivation. You need to be dedicated to the job and invested in your students—not a paycheck.
- Patience is a virtue. Teaching is not for the quick-tempered or impatient. It takes time and energy to invest in people.
- Know when to get out. I am against anyone doing anything in life that makes him or her miserable. Teaching is a job that affects too many people. Don’t damage your students if you’re better off in a different career.
- Would you want yourself as a teacher? This is the most important question every aspiring and existing educator needs to ask themselves. If you can’t honestly say yes, you need to find a different career path.
Don’t ever underestimate the power of an educator!