A job that just pays the bills isn’t cutting it anymore—you want more than that. You’re seeking a meaningful career that will allow you to be a role model for your family. You have a calling to do something greater with your life and to build a better future for yourself.
If you work well with kids – even if they are your own – you should consider teaching. Why become a teacher, you ask? The reasons are endless. Whether it’s your compatible skills and strengths, the promising job security or the satisfaction of having a significant job that intrigues you, teaching is sure to give you the meaningful career you’ve always wanted. Learn from seasoned teachers about exactly why they love what they do.
Teaching is not something to just pay the bills. It’s not a profession where you count down the hours left in the day. It’s a career, but it’s still much more than that. By becoming a teacher, you’re leaving a lasting legacy on the world by providing love and support to children. You’re giving them the tools to live happy and productive lives.
“Great teachers recognize that what they do is simply who they are.”
“Great teachers recognize that what they do is simply who they are,” retired teacher Jeaninne Escallier Kato says. “They understand that teaching is an extension of who they were meant to be.”
“I love teaching because teaching allows me to give a child the experience of someone who really gets them and accepts them for who they are, without making them bad or wrong. So often kids don’t have that person in their life, especially if they’re problem kids. And I feel that it’s an honor to be that person,” says Rebecah Freeling, an early childhood education director.
Why become a teacher? Because you likely have some of the common qualities successful teachers share. As a parent, you’ve already mastered the art of resourcefulness. Raising a family also takes patience and planning. Plus, you already know how to communicate effectively with children. All of these qualities are essential to be a successful teacher, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Resourcefulness can be extremely helpful to teachers when you’re putting together lesson plans and projects with limited supplies. Channel your creativity to make lessons interesting and different for your students. Of course, communication is vital to reaching students of all backgrounds and learning preferences too. Your strong communication abilities will also come in handy when interacting with parents. Patience is also necessary when working with children. You cannot give up when some teaching strategies may not work with every student.
If you’re thinking about becoming a teacher, you won’t have to worry too much about job security. Even in times of economic struggle when other industries cut back, teachers will always be needed. In fact, teaching is one of the most secure professions during a recession, according to US News.
Job prospects for elementary school teachers are predicted to be on par with the rest of the workforce, while those for early childhood educators are expected to grow faster than average, according to the BLS. What’s more is that many teachers are expected to retire in the next decade, opening up positions for up-and-coming teachers.
Why work with stressed out adults when you can fill your days surrounded by fun, enthusiastic, honest and genuinely curious youngsters? Kids are cute and you may just find yourself growing attached to your students as you learn and grow together. Even the more challenging students will leave a lasting impact on you. Take for instance Freeling’s experience with a challenging student, Adam.
“Five-year-old Adam was physically and emotionally volatile. He had gotten kicked out of multiple schools before he arrived in my classroom. Adam usually resisted me when I held him to appropriate behavior. He accused me of being mean and would lash out. But I could also see in the way he greeted me in the morning or gravitated toward me that he trusted and liked me too.
“Later on I left the school and lost touch with Adam. I then ran into him at a spring festival. He didn’t have much to say, but the long, strong hug he gave me said it all. His hug told me that he saw me as a teacher who recognized him, respected him and loved him.”
“I love to learn and my students teach me something new every day.”
Why else might you want to become a teacher? Because you get to spend your career cultivating a love of learning in your students. To teach you must know, so if you enjoy learning new things or researching, you’ll love creating new lesson plans for your classroom. Your flexibility and ability to make lessons fun and accessible to your students are the hallmarks of a good teacher. You’ll also pass along to your students this passion and curiosity, and you never know what insights and perspectives they’ll provide in return.
“I love to learn and my students teach me something new every day,” teacher Jeanie Cisco-Meth says.
There are several perks of being a teacher. Elementary teachers work hard throughout the school year, but the summer is theirs to enjoy! You’ll get to spend more time bonding with your own kids each summer and return to a whole new set of youngsters in the fall. Plus, your classroom is your own. You get to rule the roost and call the shots.
Sure, you may have tough days when lessons don’t work out as planned. You may have differing goals as parents. You may have unruly students. But at the end of the day, your influence is greater than any obstacles you may face.
“It’s an honor to know that my students are walking around with a little place in their hearts that will stay open forever because of my influence,” Freeling says.
A huge influence that may make you want to become a teacher is the fulfillment it provides. There’s no denying the immense satisfaction teachers experience. Teaching is an important and respected profession, and though you may have some challenges in the classroom, it’s all worth it to see the difference you’re making in your students. You’ll touch innumerable lives through your time in the classroom.
“I truly believe that teaching is the most important profession in modern society,” Kato says. “Other than doctors, teachers hold human lives in their hands each and every day.”
Teacher William Jackson adds: “Children are like a blank slate and teachers have the unique opportunity to write, draw, sketch, color, paint and design the minds of children to influence the future world.”
Teaching isn’t for just anybody. But if the classroom is calling, you may just have what it takes—compassion, generosity and a dedication to positively influencing the lives of others. The world needs more people like you. Pursue your passions and turn your love of children into a meaningful career.
Have these educators piqued your interest? Maybe their insight from years of teaching has only reaffirmed what you already knew. Learn how the Rasmussen College School of Education could help you turn your dream of becoming a teacher into a reality.
*Graduates of Early Childhood Education programs at Rasmussen College are not eligible for licensure as a teacher in an elementary or secondary school. A Bachelor’s degree and a state teaching license are typically required to work as a teacher in a public school and some private school settings. States, municipalities, districts or individual schools may have more stringent licensing requirements. Students must determine the licensure requirements in the state and school in which they intend to work.
**Child care facilities and the states in which they are located establish qualifications for staff that work with children, and often implement guidelines regarding age, education, experience, and professional development. Students must determine the licensure requirements in the state and facility in which they intend to work.