Why Consider Becoming a Teacher?
Teaching is a challenging job with many unique frustrations, but the rewards of teaching are numerable. Some of the many benefits include the following.
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- Experience the Joy of Making a Difference
Teachers get incredible joy in seeing the difference they make as students gain new insights, become more interested in a subject and learn about themselves. Every day, teachers mold the future through impacting their students’ views and understandings. Teachers foster creativity, develop character, give students lenses with which to view the world and provide students with the skills they need to reach their potential and lead productive lives. Many individuals are attracted to teaching by a sense of service, because they want to make a clear, tangible difference in the lives of others. As a teacher, you see the fruits of your efforts everyday as you use your intelligence and creativity to help students become excited about and learn about the science in their lives.
- Have a Vocation, Not a Job
For many people, their work is a means to an end. They work for a paycheck in order to live their lives. But those called to teach have a true vocation. To those with whom you interact most during your day of teaching - the students - you are not an employee but a friend, a mentor and a guide to the world. A teacher makes a difference in the world by enabling each of his or her students to fully maximize their talents, imagination, skills and character.
- Enjoy Interpersonal Interaction
Teaching science provides those people who want to work in science the ability to do so while also enjoying a high level of interpersonal interaction. Teachers interact with their students, other teachers and community members regularly. Many students decide to pursue teaching over other science careers for this personal interaction.
- Benefit From Variety
Many people cringe at the idea of doing a job that involves repetition of a specific task over and over. Teaching is a job that offers a great deal of variety. Each year, teachers get to work with a new group of students with unique personalities, experiences and ideas. Teachers can introduce new topics into the courses, change the way they teach a particular topic or design new classes to teach to keep things new and exciting each year.
- Be a Lifelong Learner
You will never learn a topic better than when you start to teach it. Students always ask the most interesting questions, prompting you to dig deeper and learn more about the aspects of science they are most curious about. Teaching science allows you to be a student of science throughout your career as you incorporate new research findings, technologies and science events into your classroom.
- Laugh Every Day
Adolescents are both easily amused and very amusing so working with them provides many opportunities for laughter. Sometimes it will be silly jokes you will make up as you teach that will make your students laugh. Sometimes it will be funny statements that your students share with you that make you laugh. A day of teaching when you do not laugh at least a couple times will be quite rare.
- Have a High Level of Autonomy
While required classes have mandated curricula that teachers are expected to follow, it is the teacher who decide what will happen in the classroom each day. Teachers teach their curriculum in very different ways depending on their knowledge, personality and beliefs. Not many jobs provide an individual with so much room to be creative and autonomous each day.
- Spend More Time With Your Family
One of the great perks of a teacher’s schedule is that it matches up with a child’s school schedule. While you will likely bring some work home with you, you will be able to be home with your children in the afternoons. If you teach in the same school system that your children attend, you will have the same vacation schedule and will be able to spend your summers home with your children. Speaking of vacation….
- Enjoy Lots of Vacation
While some schools have moved to a year-round schedule, where teachers’ vacation is divided up throughout the year, most teaching jobs allow you to have a couple of months off in the summer where you can choose to get another job, teach summer school, or just relax and revamp for the next year. In addition to summers off, teachers typically get two weeks off during the winter and one week during the spring.
“When your personal work is used to help students better understand science for everyday life, inspire future scientists, and help other teachers spice up their classrooms- it is extremely motivating to create the best lesson plans possible. Your work and understanding of the material is a domino effect, to improve science education across the board.” Erin Burns, a UNC-BEST student, discussing her motivation for the lessons she designed on protein synthesis, which she presented to local science teachers at the Biology Teaching Symposium.