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Why Should I Become a Teacher?

Posted Wed., March 28, 2012

Why should a person ever want to be a teacher?  Tom Allon, a writing contributor to the Huffington Post, stated in March, 2012, “A hypothetical interior monologue is likely to be played out on more than 2,000 college campuses throughout the country this spring. When we should be attracting the best and the brightest to public school teaching, like Finland and Singapore do, we are doing the opposite.  By focusing on soulless evaluation policies and public degradation of the teaching profession, we are driving potential teachers further away from the ranks.”

The University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, has devoted a website to answering the questions linked with choosing to become a teacher.   The University System of Georgia has created a website entitled “destinationteaching.org”.  When a person googles the question “Why should I become a teacher?” he discovers there are numerous links that offer reasons for pursuing the career.

Yet, those preparing to be teachers and those who are already professionals are enduring harsh criticisms which tend to cause some to consider other careers.  Allon points out in his article, “A peer who worked with me at the New York Times on weekends looked down at me condescendingly when I told her I was a teacher during the week at a public high school.”Why would you do that?" she asked with a mixture of pity and scorn.”

How do college students, who have dedicated their time and efforts to pursuing an education degree, handle this negativity?  They must be confident and develop a desire to make positive differences in students’ lives.

One recurring reason given in the media is linked with affecting the future.  This statement should be at the top of any list of reasons.  Many have heard people announce that the reason for being successful is linked with a teacher who made a difference in their lives.  In fact, every person can look back on past experiences in schools and usually can describe a teacher who helped them learn and enjoy learning.

It is important that the new educators of the future begin to stand up to those who are questioning their decisions to be teachers.  Each one needs to take the passion that motivated them to pursue the career and channel it into responses that will strongly support their motives.  The “nay sayers” must be dealt with by those education graduates entering the career and by those who are presently in the career. 

Students in the schools are looking for teachers to help them understand how they can be successful.  They expect to have people in their classrooms who care about their future and who are dedicated to giving more than 100% of their efforts and time.  Students truly do not want to hear about why a person might want to reconsider being their teacher.  Rather they are dependent on those people who consider why they want to graduate from high school…why they want to live a better life than their parents…why they want to reach their dreams and goals.

Why should you become a teacher?  Look to the students in the schools, who are eagerly waiting, for your answers!  To check other reasons for becoming a teacher, follow these links:

http://www.unc.edu/uncbest/teacher.html (University of North Carolina)

http://712educators.about.com/od/teacherresources/tp/teachergood.htm (about.com)

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/tom-allon/education-reform_b_1338980.html (Tim Allon’s article)

http://www.destinationteaching.org/career/why.phtml (University Systems of Georgia)


You know I went through the same thing here with my father. he constantly asked me "Why do I want to become a teacher?" But he asked the question not in a reassuring way, he gave it more of an attitude sort of. I am not bashing my father at all here. I'm just saying I can understand where he is coming from. He is just looking out for my best interest like a real father does. But I flat out told him why I am pursuing this career. I wanted him to know that I am very confidant and passionate that this is the career I want to be in.
Posted by: Kevin Mitrisin at March 28, 2012 11:02am
I love the way you have handled that with your father, Kevin. You are correct whenever you say that your dad is looking out for what he thinks is best. I love your confidence and passion to be a teacher!
Posted by: Mrs. Hupe at March 28, 2012 2:34pm
When I first told my parents I wanted to be a teacher, my mother (past teacher and now principal) was thrilled while my father was not so much. I'm excited to teach and hopefully be the reason a child can look back on their schooling and remember how much they liked elementary school, or even why they decided to become a teacher. I was in my mothers fourth grade class and when I look back, I'm positive her love for teaching and students is the reason I've fallen in love with it too. I am, anyways, a younger version of her- and proud of it!
Posted by: Melanie Fetzer at March 28, 2012 3:14pm
Teachers in our family can be wonderful inspirations...thanks for sharing.
Posted by: Mrs.Hupe at March 28, 2012 3:58pm
Nothing is more frustrating or more discouraging than being a student teacher--fast approaching graduation--and having to hear current teachers complain about how much they dislike their jobs. I sometimes feel that they have lost sight of their passion they once possessed and are now blind to the individual changes they make in their students' lives. I don't blame these teachers for their supposed current state of apathy because I know that the focus and dependence upon high-stakes testing has hindered our educational system. I just hope they can revisit that passion they once had, and I hope I never find myself in the same position, questioning whether or not I have chosen the right career path. I hope that one day teachers can take back the schools. I hope that one day teachers can stimulate inspiration, imagination, and creativity once again in the classrooms without asking the question, "Are my students tested on this on the PSSA?" Most of all, I hope that teachers can recreate the love and desire they started with and experienced during their student teaching placement just as I am experiencing right now.
Posted by: Sarah Dillon at March 28, 2012 4:47pm
Thanks, Sarah...hearing from a student teacher who is witnessing some things occurring in the schools is helpful. I also appreciate that you do not blame all teachers who are feeling as though no one is there to support them. Many teachers are dedicated to being heard and to insuring their students stay inspired and creative!
Posted by: Mrs. Hupe at March 28, 2012 5:07pm

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