Teaching is a fulfilling job that comes with a unique set of challenges. It can be rewarding to help students learn the lessons they will need in the future. Participating in the process of honing their skills and shaping their minds is one of the noblest careers. Patience, passion, a sense of responsibility, and great communication skills — these are the set of qualities required of a teacher.
But like any other career that exists, the job of preparing students for their future professions comes with a set of pros and cons.
A Fun and Fulfilling Career
Making positive impacts that could last a lifetime is one of the most fulfilling rewards for teachers. That is why people often refer to the job as a vocation, not just a job. Much dedication is required for teachers to create a lesson plan every day, teach the lesson to students, prepare quizzes and exams, compute their grades, and manage the classroom and the students themselves.
The job means becoming the second parent of these kids, which explains the necessary passion and dedication to work in the academic field. There are about 3.2 million full-time-equivalent (FTE) teachers in the fall of 2018 filling the role to almost 56.6 million students in the elementary and secondary schools.
Being a teacher is an exciting career. Imagine teaching these students interesting subjects like math, English, history, or biology. The interest in a particular subject will serve as the drive to do more and be more for the sake of the students.
A teacher’s interest in a subject will show in how the class lessons are delivered. Teaching with vigor is what keeps students hooked. It will help engage them in the subject and prevent the lessons from becoming repetitive.
Seeing students learn and grow after every lesson is what teachers love to see. Their growth is what makes a teaching career worth it.
Convenient Employee Benefits
Teachers are required to have a degree and acquire the certification or license of the state wherein they teach. PayScale reveals that an average elementary school teacher earns about $44,288. A high school teacher, on the other hand, makes $48,541 while a middle school teacher gets nearly $46,528. Their salary has kept up with inflation since the 1990s, giving them adequate wages for their basic needs.
The career also entails receiving healthcare and retirement benefits. These benefits can be harder to acquire in jobs in other sectors. A teacher, on the other hand, can rest assured that the position comes with these advantages.
Those who participate in union agreements or collective bargaining could also have extra job security. These unions push the boundaries for teachers to safeguard their rights and call out any wrongful or unjust experience or compensation.
Meeting or exceeding standards of teaching quality also provides a series of advantages. Experienced teachers who achieve this level of quality may qualify for tenure — another additional measure of job security.
Working beyond the Shift
There are also drawbacks to becoming a teacher. For instance, there would be long hours. Most teachers experience having to work beyond the eight hours in school due to paperwork deadlines and meetings with parents.
Some of the tasks required after school hours include tutoring students and completing administrative duties that the school requires. The work could, most of the time, extend to the weekends because several exams need to be checked.
It could be mentally and physically draining.
Teaching is a fulfilling task, but it also comes with moments of stress. The job could take a toll on a person’s mental health. The Guardian reports that an “epidemic of stress” is responsible for about 3,750 teachers on long-term sick leave.
The pressure of meeting deadlines, plus dealing with policy changes and budget cuts, strains the mental health of these teachers. It could be too much to handle for some considering these statistics. This is why time management and multitasking skills and healthy well-being are essential to teaching.
Optional Time Off
When the students are on vacation, so are teachers. This is one benefit that other careers don’t have, except for sick leave and vacation leave credits. Most teachers grab the opportunity to take a much-deserved break. But in some cases, teachers still report to school to teach summer lessons.
Other teachers have to fulfill professional development hours throughout their careers to keep their certification. The training often happens over the course of summer, which leaves teachers with no choice but to spend the usual hours in school during vacation.
Patience, time, and energy are required to train the minds and skills of students to make them ready for the world after school. Like all professions, being a teacher comes with perks, but it also has several downsides. These are the realities of a teaching career today.