The Pros and Cons of Teaching
A Positive Career
The Teaching Profession
Teaching can be a very rewarding experience, but there are also many cons to the job that not a lot of people know about going into the teaching profession. So many students leave college ready to enter the teaching field, but few know exactly what they are in for once they get out into the workforce. This article seeks to outline some of the advantages and disadvantages of working in the teaching field. If you are or are considering becoming a teacher, use this article to help you decide what your best option is.
Teaching can be a very rewarding experience. As such, thousands of college students every day graduate in the hopes of becoming a teacher and helping develop and change lives. When asked why they entered the teaching field, most young teachers report that they initially wanted to become a teacher because they wanted to make a positive impact on society and the world around them, and help change lives. This is the noble and heroic passion that most teacher-types aim for when entering this career field. Here are a few of the benefits of entering the teaching field.
1. Making A Difference
As stated previously, one of the number one reasons why people choose the teaching profession is the opportunity to make a difference in others' lives. People interested in this field are usually those that work well in the humanities and have an internal want and need to help others.
Most teaching positions guarantee many health benefits and retirement benefits, so it is a sure way to get a full time job with good health insurance. While this isn't necessarily a reason people enter this profession, this is a positive side to becoming a teacher.
3. Summers Off (Or Two Week Breaks)
Depending on the location where you work, some teachers have summers off from school. This is a brief 2 1/2 month to 3 month break that teachers get, and the great thing is they also get paid during this time. If this doesn't apply to you and you work in a year round school area, you still get breaks that are about two weeks at a time, and you have the benefit of being paid even during your time off.
4. Annual Salary
Instead of being paid per hour, teachers enter into a contract with the school division, so they get an annual salary. This is helpful for families especially because it is a reliable income as opposed to hourly wages only.
5. Hands-On Work
There are many people who prefer to get up and move around instead of being stuck in a cubicle every single day. Those who enter the teaching profession are usually people who like this hands-on structure to things so that they can remain active and not be sitting at a desk 24/7.
A High-Stress Job
Okay, so here is where we get into the negatives related to the teaching field. Many teachers each year decide to quit teaching for a number of different reasons, and usually they enter a different profession. In recent years this has become even more of a concern for teachers and education in general in the United States. Here are a few of the reasons why some teachers choose to quit.
1. Standardized Testing
Many teachers, feeling the pressure of standardized testing and test scores, decide to quit because there is too much stress to "teach to the test". With the development of Common Core in many areas, the education field is changing, and moving in the direction where classrooms across the country are to be teaching more consistently to these standards instead of each state having their own standards. Because of this, data and test scores can potentially make or break a teacher's career. They could be a great teacher, but the students could be struggling with the testing, and that's why a lot of teachers believe standardized testing to be an unfair way to assess students.
2. School Board Pressures
In a lot of areas, there are many changes being made to the way we think about education and schooling in the United States. A lot of times, pressure from the school board to implement new policies at individual schools puts more stress on the administration and teachers at that particular school, and in many cases, this is another reason that teachers choose to quit their jobs. In addition to all of the other responsibilities a teacher has, they also have to mold to the district and make sure that they are completing all data and other policies for the district. This high stress can sometimes be too much for teachers, or the teacher might not particularly agree with a new policy that has been put in place at their school.
3. Many Responsibilities
As stated previously, teachers have a LOT of responsibilities, not just in the classroom, but also related to data collection, adhering to district policies, and standards of learning. This immense pressure on teachers to basically do many jobs at once can sometimes become too overwhelming for the teacher, and they have to quit their job. Out of all job fields, teachers are one of the highest-risk groups for anxiety and depression, and this has much to do with the fact that there are so many roles and responsibilities they have to fulfill in their day-to-day jobs.
4. Parent-Teacher Communication
In most cases, communication between parents and teachers is meant to be a positive and helpful experience for the teacher, parent, and student. They are working to ensure that the student receives the best education they can, and communication is key. However, sometimes these interactions and meetings between teachers and parents can be quit negative, and so sometimes teachers quit simply because they had a difficult or bad experience with this. This is not to say that if you are a teacher and you have one bad experience, you should quit. In reference to the last point, however, sometimes this is built up on top of other reasons that the employee chooses to quit their job.
5. Changing Times
Believe it or not, the times are changing in education faster than you might think. With the advent of the internet and so many online education opportunities for students, it's possible that in the next decade there will be more online schooling available for students as opposed to face-to-face teaching. In addition to this, each generation of students are different. Because the students we teach are so much more experiences with cell phones and technology, this can be a lot for a teacher to take in. Sometimes it is difficult to understand all of the new technology and the constant pressure to add this technology into the classroom can be overwhelming for the teacher. In addition, many teachers add that it is now even more difficult to address the issue of students texting in classrooms, and sometimes, their parents are even texting and calling them in the middle of class! This is an issue that is happening everywhere in schools, and unfortunately, it is sometimes a reason that teachers feel that they cannot continue their jobs in the education system.
To conclude, the education system is an ever-changing field. Those who decide to be teachers are the brave heroes of our society, because they make all other opportunities possible for the students they teach. Teaching can be a very rewarding experience, but also a very challenging experience. If you are considering becoming a teacher, make sure you weigh the pros and cons and get experience student teaching before committing to this career.