If you haven’t been living under a rock recently, you’ve likely see the news about the state of the public education system. You might have even seen news coverage of one or more teacher strikes or walkouts. Teachers all over the country struggle to make a living wage, at the same time, are spending out-of-pocket to meet the needs of their students. You might be asking: “Is this article supposed to be convincing me to become a teacher or run screaming in the other direction?”
Now, the average school can’t hook you up with a cereal bar, in-house climbing gym, or shuttles to and from your home, but there are perks to be a member of the National Education Association - not necessarily monetary perks, but perks nonetheless.
Become an elementary teacher if you…
- like kids: You will spend all day with kids. You should truly enjoy spending time teaching students how to tie their shoes, and teaching them how to be kind tiny humans. If you do not like tiny humans, you will not enjoy this job.
- like wearing sneakers to work: Elementary teachers get all of their steps in every. single. day. Never underestimate the happiness that comfortable rubber-soled footwear can bring you on a daily basis.
Become a math teacher if you…
- like helping people solve problems, and find satisfaction in taking on a challenge.
- want to build a future where people actually understand how taxes, pricing, interest and the economy works. Trust me, I can wax poetic for days about how language arts teachers help students critically think, and analyze literature, but what good is literature when your future students are trying to balance a budget?
This one seems obvious, but become a teacher if you want summers off. You can spend time with your kids, paint the house, write that novel you’ve been talking about for years, or work a job to make ends meet. If you need to take a summer job, try to choose something that is completely unrelated to lesson plans and teacher evaluations. This way, by the time summer is over, your classroom will look way better than your target register, or your spider-infested bunk at sleepaway camp.
In all seriousness - more than ever, kids need passionate educators in the classroom that care about the future of the country and the world. If you’re lucky, you might teach a future president, astronaut or both. If you’re good, you’ll teach kids to be kind and view the world with compassion, open minds and open hearts. Become a teacher.
Article by Jessica Morana