Monday, May 7, 2012

Teaching as a Profession

(Today’s post is for the letter T in the A-Z challenge.)

teachingIn Why I NEVER Recommend Teaching as a Profession from The Tempered Radical, Bill Ferriter states,

“I came to pretty startling realization this week, y'all:  If I had it to do all over again, I'm pretty darn sure that I wouldn't choose teaching as a profession.”

When I read statements like this, it makes me sad. But it also made me look back at my career to decide if I agreed or disagreed with this. I’m happy to announce that I disagree with this totally.

Yes, there have been tough times in my teaching career and times when I have been utterly frustrated and depressed. But looking back at my whole career, if I had a chance to do it again, I definitely would. I might make some changes to the way I did things and also the attitude I had at certain times but overall, I would do it again in a heartbeat.

The main reason why I say this is because I made a difference. No, I didn’t make a lot of money and no, I didn’t receive a lot of gratitude but I know I changed some lives for the better.

I don’t feel that I wasted any year in such a way that my students did not learn something or benefit from my teaching or knowledge.

The exciting thing for me is when I meet a former student and they let me know how something I said or did impacted their lives that they are living now. It gives me a secret thrill to realize that I may not be famous or rich but I have left a tiny mark on the future. These are the little “marks” that I know about and who knows how many other “marks” are out there that I don’t know about (and I hope they are mostly positive!).

I have always wanted to be a teacher ever since I was a little girl. I worked towards this dream and accomplished it. I realized that just becoming a teacher wasn’t the end of my dream but just the beginning. Every year I wanted to be a better teacher who was effective and able to change lives for the better.

It saddens me to see people think they want to be a teacher but want to be one for all the wrong reasons. Some think it is a way to get into coaching or some think it is an “easy” job. Some don’t realize how labor intensive teaching is, not to mention emotionally draining at times. I see many former teachers going into retail businesses or waiting on tables because they make more money or they don’t have to do so much paperwork.

I tend to think that any career that a person goes into is going to be labor intensive and emotionally draining if it is done right. This person puts 100% or more into being great at what they plan to do. I believe in that saying that “you get out of it what you put into it” and maybe that is why I loved teaching. Those who reluctantly put themselves into something won’t reap the same benefits as someone who willingly puts their everything into it.

I’m not saying that teaching is for everyone. I’m just saying that I am glad I went into teaching and have never regretted a minute of doing so.

If you are a teacher, would you do it over again? Why or why not? Please share.

Image: 'Teaching is not Rocket Science'

1 comment:

Lori said...

I'm 27 years in as a speech/language pathologist. I don't often recommend education as a career. Would I do it again? Maybe. I can't imagine doing anything else but I can't imagine the first 20 years being the slog that these last 7 have been between NCLB, the failing economy, the politics of disrespect for teachers, and the paperwork, oh, the paper. I think if I were at the beginning of my career today I would be seriously looking at working in private practice, or hospitals as an SLP. I'm not so sure I'd make 27 or my targeted 34 if I was starting today.