Being a teacher is definitely not for everybody. Some people admire this profession and respect its responsibilities and its influence on others. But there are also people who would offer a person their condolences as soon as they hear that this person earns their salary by teaching others, especially if their students are children.
What if you are considering becoming a teacher? Have you examined all the pros and cons? Before you plunge into the unknown, make sure you have all the facts.
Personal qualities of a teacher
- Good communicator – being a teacher means almost constantly interacting with somebody – pupils, other teachers, the principal, parents etc. It’s of great importance to be able to communicate effectively, which means both expressing your thoughts clearly and actively listening to the other person.
- Ready to learn – When you’re a teacher, learning never ends. You have to be prepared to keep up with the progress in teaching, as well as with novelties in your field of work. You constantly need to improve yourself and discover new things.
- Prepared for criticism – as much as you try to plan your class and carry it out in the best way you can, there can still be room for certain criticism. Teachers are subjected to observation and evaluation and they need to be prepared to accept other professional’s comments and suggestions on how to improve their teaching.
- Reflective – even though the lesson went great, there are always some aspects that could have been done differently or better. A teacher has to be able to objectively assess their own class and to pinpoint weak sides and opportunities for improvement.
- Organized – if you’re not an organized person and you’re having troubles with deadlines, this could be a wrong job for you. There are numerous small tasks that a teacher needs to get done on daily basis, which demands a person with a sense for good organization.
- Hardworking – teachers often work 55 hours a week, even though they’re mostly paid for only 40 hours a week. They usually work in the evenings or at weekends to prepare their classes and grade their students’ papers. A hard working day is their usual day.
- Love for children – the last, but definitely not the least. Every other desirable characteristic becomes unimportant if you don’t enjoy children’s company. They are the targets of your teaching and the ones who you will be spending most of your time with.
What are the benefits?
So far, maybe being a teacher doesn’t sound very tempting to you as it demands a lot from a person. But there are definitely good sides that make this job unique, interesting and attractive:
- No danger of boredom – this is definitely a profession where you can freely say that there are no two same days. There’s so much interaction with various people of different ages and changing conditions that every day becomes a little adventure. This isn’t a job where you can find yourself stuck in a rut.
- You’ll always be a student – being a teacher means constantly getting opportunities to learn something new and to improve yourself. Lifelong learning is an opportunity given to any teacher.
- You can see changes first-hand – a lot of jobs mean working behind the scenes and never getting to see the results of their work. A teacher has the pleasure of seeing how their students learn and improve themselves every given day. There is rare satisfaction in life such as seeing your students happy about getting a good grade or finally understanding something they’ve been struggling with.
- You can work anywhere in the world – teachers have a chance to teach their subject anywhere they want. Of course, you would have to have a certain degree in English if you wish to teach in a foreign country, so SCE English courses in Sydney can help you experience a different culture and teaching students on the other side of the planet.
- Long holidays – this is one of the best perks of a teaching job. Long summer holidays, somewhat shorter winter holiday and several breaks during a school year make this job great.
- Flexible hours – many parents want to become teachers because it allows them to spend more time with their children. Most of the time, you’re at work at the same time as your kids, so your free time can be spent with them. Also, flexible hours mean there are a lot of things you don’t have to do at work – you can do it at home when your kids are out or asleep.
Becoming a teacher is a big decision. It’s definitely not everybody’s cup of tea. It’s hard and stressful, but wonderful and inspiring at the same time. It’s what makes it unique. Consider the benefits and the requirements carefully and make an informed decision.