Are you thinking of following your passion and becoming a teacher?
If so, you're in good company. There are around 3.7 million teachers in the US, with more joining their ranks every year.
There's no doubt that a teaching career is a rewarding one. The question is: Is it the right career choice for you?
In this post, we'll dive into six major benefits of becoming a teacher and doing something you love. Read on for some compelling reasons to become a teacher!
1. Make a Real Difference
It's not a cliche to say that a teacher can make a major difference in the life of a child.
Each child you teach comes from a unique background. Each has his or her own strengths to cultivate and weaknesses to overcome. As a teacher, part of your job is to help each student conquer those weaknesses and develop into knowledgeable, confident adults.
Imagine how rewarding it would be to help a child with ADHD channel their energy and learn a difficult topic. Or imagine helping a student to discover a strength or interest they didn't know they had. It could be your encouragement that leads to them becoming a future doctor, writer, professor, or artist.
In a very literal sense, you are shaping the next generation and leaving your mark on the world.
2. Create Your Own Work Environment
In most professions, you work in an environment that was created by someone else. You're usually limited in what you can say, do, and contribute.
Contrast that with becoming a teacher, where you get to create your own classroom environment every day. You have the ability to create a warm, happy, and positive environment that's perfect for learning and sharing.
Most schools allow teachers some freedom to arrange and decorate their classrooms. This gives you the chance to express your creativity and share things that inspire you (and hopefully your students too). There are endless options to create eye-catching displays, fascinating projects, and exciting lesson plans for your students.
This is perhaps one of the greatest benefits of teaching: You'll never be bored because no two days will ever be the same!
3. Become a Role Model
Whether they're kindergarteners or high school seniors, your students will pay attention to the way you speak, think, and act.
Teachers are role models, whether they're trying to be or not. What you teach goes far beyond textbooks and pop quizzes.
By your behavior, you teach kids how to problem-solve and how to control their emotions. You teach them how to be better organized and think for themselves. You teach them how to take responsibility for their actions, how to apologize, and how to get along with others.
Your students will emulate the way you act, so set a good example as a positive and inspirational role model.
4. Good Work-Life Balance
Recent polls have found that the average American works between 44 and 47 hours per week. In some professions, 50-60 hours a week (or even more) is the norm.
As a teacher, it's unlikely you'll work anywhere near that number of hours, as most students attend school for six or seven hours a day.
True, there are papers to grade and lessons to plan. You'll spend some evenings at parent-teacher conferences or other school events. Overall, though, chances are that you'll work far fewer hours than your corporate-world counterparts.
And let's not overlook one of the biggest reasons to become a teacher: June, July, and snow days! The average teacher works 185 days a year, compared with 230 days in other professions. This allows you plenty of time outside the classroom to pursue other interests and spend time with friends and family.
5. Exciting Job Opportunities
Teachers have terrific job security, as they're in high demand in most areas. Another exciting aspect of becoming a teacher is the world of different opportunities that open up to you.
Once you've taken the necessary steps to become a teacher, the sky is literally the limit. You can teach in a public or private school in your area, or make the jump to teaching at a college or university level. There are also various tech and vocational schools that value your credentials.
Do you love to travel and experience new cultures? Becoming a teacher opens the possibility of teaching English or other subjects overseas. Whether you spend a semester abroad or make another country your new home, imagine the amazing experiences you'll have along the way!
6. Terrific Health & Retirement Benefits
We already mentioned job security, but that's not the only practical benefit that comes with a teaching career.
Health insurance, pensions, and other traditional perks are becoming increasingly scarce in the corporate world. As a teacher, you're almost guaranteed to receive these perks and more as part of your teaching contract.
Many teachers receive full medical, dental, and vision insurance, fully paid by the school district. You'll also receive paid sick days and a pension plan or 401(k). If you're continuing your own education, you'll likely receive tuition reimbursement as well.
When you factor in all these benefits, teaching actually pays a lot more than the base salary suggests. Bonus: You get to do what you love all day, every day.
The Benefits of Becoming a Teacher (And More)
There are few career paths as rewarding as becoming a teacher.
As a teacher, you're making a real difference in the lives of your students. You're not just teaching them facts they need to pass a test, but valuable skills they'll use for the rest of their lives.
Are you wondering how to become a teacher and experience these teacher benefits for yourself? One of the best ways to dip your toes in the water of education is by becoming a tutor.
Click here to learn how to become a tutor and start down the path towards a rewarding career as a teacher.