Oct. 22: Personal Growth

One thing that I have mentioned previously that has certainly changed throughout the course of this semester is my opinion on teaching.  I was nervous about working with kids this semester, and it can still be a nerve-racking ordeal, but overall I have come to realize the benefits of teaching and now truly look forward to and enjoy the time I spend at UMFS.  Here are the top 10 reasons to pursue a teaching career according to http://www.alleducationschools.com:

10. You’ll Earn A Solid Paycheck as a Teacher

While teaching is not a get-rich-quick profession, starting salaries are in line with other graduate professions. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, public teachers are actually paid about 11 percent more than the average professional worker.

9. More than Just an Apple a Day

Important benefits, such as health insurance and pension plans, are becoming scarce commodities in many professions, but you can count on both in a teaching career. When’s the last time you heard of someone getting a pension after retirement? Most teachers have their premiums fully paid by their school districts and their health, dental and vision benefits are among the best when compared with other industries. Teaching also offers additional benefits such as sick days and tuition reimbursement, so you’ll find that teaching actually pays a lot more than you think.

8. Love Your Education Career

Joseph Campbell’s recommendation to “follow your bliss” is universally echoed by career counselors. If you are happy at work, you’ll be more motivated, energetic, successful and confident—and the other people in your life will benefit from your outlook. If the idea of teaching invigorates you, that’s a great reason to pursue a teaching career.

7. Nix the Nanny

With a work calendar synched to your kids’ school calendar, an education career allows you to eliminate most childcare expenses. Even though you’re earning a paycheck, you’ll have the flexibility to be home with your kids before and after school.

6. Become an Expert…as a Teacher

There’s an old adage that it takes three years of teaching to master a subject. The best way to learn a topic is to teach it: students’ questions make you dig deeper and learn more until you know the subject inside and out.

5. Teachers Have Reasonable Hours

With students in school just six hours a day, teachers often spend much less time on the job than their corporate counterparts. With the 8-hour workday rapidly becoming the 10 to 12 hour day in other occupations, you’ll find a teaching career leaves you with more time for family, friends and other interests. Sure, you’ll have some long days—plan on time for parent-teacher conferences, grading homework and attending (or leading) after-school activities—but overall, a teaching career will leave you with a life outside of your job. A teaching career truly lets you achieve a work/life balance.

4. Share your Passions in the Classroom

Did you have a teacher that got you so excited about a subject you started putting in extra time and work? That’s what happens when you share your excitement and enthusiasm. Sharing your love of the subject matter with students is one of the best benefits of being a teacher.

3. Can’t Beat the Job Security as a Teacher

While requirements may differ from state to state, once you’ve established yourself as a good teacher, you’ll find there are always jobs available. And, unlike many industries, layoffs and downsizing are rare occurrences in education.

2. Teachers Have Serious Vacation Time

If the idea of having more than two weeks of vacation a year appeals to you, you should definitely consider becoming a teacher. With a couple weeks off for winter holidays, another couple weeks for winter and spring breaks, and almost three months off in the summer, you have the opportunity to invest in other interests:

  • Pursue your obsessions – You’ll have chunks of time to trek around South America, visit exotic Southeast Asia, join an expedition to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro, spend a month eating your way through Europe, or take a series of music or yoga classes.
  • Summer moonlighting – With summers off, it’s easy to develop a fun, seasonal career. For example, you’ll often find teachers working as docents in our national parks each summer, a classic case of having your vacation and getting paid for it too!
  • Doctor in the house – Teachers often spend their vacation time furthering their own education and investing in professional development. If adding PhD to your name is part of your life plan, but not your budget, teaching can help you find the time and the money to make it happen.

And, the number one perk of a teaching career?

1. Knowing all the answers!

 

While many of these reasons deal with job stability and salary, I still feel very strongly about numbers 8, 6, and 4, that is, loving your job, learning new things by teaching them, and being able to share your passions.  Here is the link to a wonderful article online titled: Why Teaching May Truly be the World’s Most Important Career.  The liftaway quote from the article is “a teacher is estimated to have 2 to 3 times the impact of any other school factor”, which is really incredible.  These things are involved in my personal growth in this class, but that is not to say I live up to these standards at UMFS at all, only that I have a new respect for teaching and I have come to truly enjoy it.

Here 9 quotes about teaching, my favorite one is by Frederick Douglas: “it is easier to build strong children than to repair strong men”, only because I feel it embodies the importance of teaching and the destruction that follows when good teachers are absent.

One more thing that has changed: I have started treating this class, as well as the work I do in my other classes, as experience and not as a grade for school.  This change is very important to me.  A teacher told me a few semesters ago that once you start working out of enjoyment and stop working for a grade, you will not only learn more but the grades will come.  I have been working very hard this semester and only recently did I realize that I am working for myself to gain experience and have barely stopped to consider my grades at all, although everything still seems to be in order.

Image taken from http://techintranslation.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/vocation-2.jpg

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