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://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)
Donna Hupe teaches ED 101 – Field Experience I and has been a Pre-Student Teacher/Student Teacher Supervisor at Saint Vincent College for the past five and a half years.