Is Teaching the Right Career for You?

Education, Home & Family
on August 16, 2011

Teaching can be an intriguing career for individuals who feel a certain calling to the classroom. According to the U.S. Department of Education, teachers have an opportunity to make an impact in the community for a long period of time. Some people want to make a difference in the lives of others, while some may be inspired by a favorite teacher. The challenge is determining whether teaching would actually be a suitable career, or whether the idea of teaching is more appealing than the actual job. Here are some points to consider.

Being in front of people. In order to be a teacher, a potential education student needs to have some comfort level in front of people. Those that are deathly afraid of talking to groups may struggle in front of a classroom. Also, it helps to have a subject area that the potential teacher is interested in enough so that he or she will be able to teach it to students for a long period of time.

Liking the age groups. Potential teachers often are drawn to certain age groups — preschoolers or high school students, for example. Honest self-assessment will usually tell people whether they actually like students. If there is not a real interest in teaching any specific age group, this may be a sign that teaching is not an ideal career choice.

Pay, benefits and schedules. Not all compensation packages are the same, but teaching is not considered the most lucrative of professions. Teachers generally are regarded as underpaid. Potential teachers must decide if they will be satisfied with the pay, benefits and schedule of a teacher. In a traditional school setting, the teacher may have holidays and summers off, but may work extremely hard during the school year. Other teaching assignments may be year-round, without the benefits of long breaks.

Administrators, parents and unions. Every job has some amount of hassles and politics. In an education job, teachers may need to deal with the likes of administrators, upset parents and union regulations. In some instances, these groups may actually work for the teacher but can also be a distraction in certain situations. The individual that is drawn to education must know that there is more to a teaching job than just being in the classroom.