Thursday, April 16, 2015

Advising Students to Go Into Teaching: A Do or Don't?

By: Rachel Barry

The other day, I came across this article from Education Week.  The title alone caught my attention: "Don't Become a Teacher: A History."  Don't become a teacher??  Why is an education publication discouraging potential teachers from the education field?  Once I got over my initial opinions and started reading, it all made sense.  In summary, the article reflects upon numerous publications throughout the history of education where young people were discouraged by the general public from the teaching profession for various reasons (low wages, lack of public respect, etc.).  This is nothing new - potential educators need to be passionate about teaching. 

Being truly passionate about what you do brings success.  Success can be measured in a multitude of ways: happiness, knowledge, wealth, etc.  Most educators do not go into teaching for the money or the "summers off".  I believe that most teachers go into the profession because they truly care about student learning and enjoy mentoring children or young adults.  If these are not your main reasons for going into education, the roller coaster ride may be more difficult for you.  Standardized tests change, the population of your school adjusts with each incoming class, resources may be limited, and school goals are altered.  Teachers who are passionate about the profession for the right reasons can withstand these ups and downs.  Some may be even be re-energized!

The article ends with a statement, "And even back in 1947, this was the case - despite the challenges, said one teacher quoted in the New York Times, "It's the grandest work in the world."  Personally, I could not agree more, however, I do believe that an individual has to truly be passionate about teaching to go into the education field.

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