According to the National Center for Education Statistics, over 15% of teachers quit after the first year. Imagine completing your bachelor’s degree and all the necessary requirements only to figure out that teaching isn’t right for you. Rather than waiting to determine if teaching is right for you or not, think about whether these 5 statements are true for you to help you make the decision now.
I’m Passionate About My Subject
Do you eat and breathe biology? Have you always been a history nerd, sharing your knowledge with others whenever you can? If you’re passionate about your subject, teaching others about it is enjoyable. Students can tell the difference between a teacher who is faking it and a teacher who truly loves teaching and what they’re teaching about. If you love the subject(s) that you’ll cover, you’ll have an easier time passing that excitement to your students.
I Enjoy Working with Kids
Classroom management is challenging. Students are going to try your patience and push you to your limits. If you don’t enjoy working with kids, these difficult moments are going to outweigh the good ones. However, if you enjoy working with kids, you’re going to find the good things about working with kids. You may have a natural flair for dealing with behavioral issues, making your life as a teacher much easier and classroom management issues almost non-existent.
I Value Making a Difference Over Making Money
Let’s face it. Teachers’ salaries are notoriously low. If you’re going to become a teacher, you need something more than money motivating you. So, what’s your deeper reason for becoming a teacher? Did you have a teacher who made a difference in your life? Do you hope to impact future generations? Think about what you hope to get out of your career and determine how strong your conviction really is for teaching.
I’ve Got the Necessary Skills
Just because you want to teach doesn’t mean that you have what it takes to excel in this career field. Don’t get me wrong. You can develop the skills and traits needed to become a successful teacher. However, individuals with the necessary skills are going to have an easier time starting out as a teacher. Ask yourself:
- Do I have an easy time communicating with others?
- Am I effective at motivating others?
- Do I have thick skin?
- Can I think on my toes?
- Am I creative?
- Am I flexible?
These are all great skills and traits to possess as a teacher. If you don’t have them already, are you willing to put in the time and energy to develop them and others?
I’m a Lifelong Learner
After completing your bachelor’s degree, you’ll have all the information you need for your entire teaching career, right? Wrong. In fact, this couldn’t be further from the truth. With technological advances, new educational research, and legislation, there are constantly things for teachers to learn. Becoming a lifelong learner keeps you on top of your game. It also exemplifies the importance of education to your students. If this isn’t something that you’re ready and willing to take on, teaching just might not be the right choice for you.
Now it’s time for some soul searching. Is teaching right for you? Are these 5 statements true about you or is it time to rethink your career path? If they aren’t true, you should choose something that you’re passionate about and will enjoy doing for many years to come. If teaching is the right career path for you, however, you can look forward to all the ups and downs that teaching can provide you.