How many times have you heard someone say, “If I had to do again I wouldn’t be a . . .?” Well, believe it or not, that’s a rare consideration for educators. Its interesting to note that people who have gone into the field of education rarely change their career track. In fact the Bureau of Labor Statistics publication titled Occupational Outlook Handbook states, “Many postsecondary teachers find the environment intellectually stimulating and rewarding because they are surrounded by others who enjoy the subject. The ability to share their expertise with others also is appealing to many. ”
They go on to describe the occupational outlook this way: “A significant number of openings in this occupation will be created by growth in enrollments and the need to replace the large numbers of postsecondary teachers who are likely to retire over the next decade. Many postsecondary teachers were hired in the late 1960s and the 1970s to teach members of the baby-boom generation, and they are expected to retire in growing numbers in the years ahead.”
There are many reasons to love teaching. Some of the values of being a teacher is that many teachers have very flexible schedules – sure they must be present when they have classes, but as to the class preparation, grading, creation of classroom materials, etc., they have the flexibility to do these things when they want. Also, many faculty choose to work part-time as independent contractors or adjunct professors. This increases the flexibility even further.
So, what are the drawbacks? Most teachers and school administrators are highly dedicated, caring, and driven people who truly want to change the lives of their students. They care deeply that their students learn and better their lives, and they also care that they have a warm place to be during the school hours and a wholesome meal. These folks rise early and go to bed late, they are leaders and parents and mentors and friends to their students. While these traits are admirable, even exemplary, they can result in a work level that is ‘above and beyond the call’ of duty. Long hours, time stolen from family, and stress are not strange bedfellows to a teacher or administrator.
The call to teach is a strong one. Education is a field that is filled with frustration, angst, surprise, joy, laughter, tears, and, most of all, fulfillment. For more information on becoming a teacher, check out: http://www.teacherscount.org/wannateach/how.shtml. Become a teacher and see what all the fuss is about.