3 Reasons Teaching Just Might Be Your Calling
If you’re reading this, you’re probably motivated to become a teacher. You may be so passionate about math, science, or literature. Or perhaps you simply enjoy being around and helping children and teaching them fun things.
Take a second and think about it: Why do you want to be a teacher? The answer, whatever it may be, outlines the reason you are called to teach. A calling implies a deep-seated belief that teaching is the only profession that makes sense for you to pursue, but it is much broader than that. It can be as simple as a nudge toward the teaching profession from a former teacher, or as complex as a lifelong passion for supporting the children of your community. Now let’s take a look at the most common reasons people decide to become a teacher.
- A desire to work with young people. A popular reason for going into teaching is a desire to work with children. Some people simply like working with children because of their lively, curious, and idealistic nature, while others want to play a role in building America’s future. If you talk with your peers, you’ll probably find that many of them are entering or switching to teacher education programs because they want to “nurture the future,” in the hope of creating a better world for upcoming generations. Teaching is one of the most direct and effective ways of having a positive influence on future members of society. According to the National Education Association (NEA), roughly 7 of 10 teachers enter the profession to work with young people. The same research also indicates that most teachers remain in the profession because of their desire to improve the lives of their students and other children.
Like the countless number of teachers who came before you, you may have a sincere appreciation for the unique qualities of youth. Teaching appears to be a highly satisfying profession: based on NEA studies, 68% of teachers “certainly would” or “probably would” choose to teach if they had the choice again.
- An interest in subject matter and teaching. Some people have a desire to teach stemming from a desire to impart meaningful knowledge to students, which can be incredibly satisfying. Your enthusiasm about a particular subject, because of your inherent passion for it, may turn out to be infectious. Having a passion for what you are teaching will encourage your students to be passionate about it as well, which will assist you greatly in teaching the information. You may also be passionate about the process of teaching and learning in its own right. Pedagogy, the art and science of teaching, may be a personal interest of yours, or you may be interested in working with children who have special needs and offering them better opportunities to participate as valued members of society.
- Influence from former teachers and family. Some of you decide to become teachers after one or more positive experiences with a former teacher. Others become teachers because of family influences, particularly when a family member is a teacher or the family holds the teaching profession in high regard. You may have been encouraged to choose teaching by that one special teacher you admired when you were in school. According to a survey conducted by the NEA, 31% of the respondents indicated that the influence of a primary or secondary school teacher was the main reason they chose to become teachers.
Teachers also provide a valuable service to society and hold a respected position. Parents, especially, place great trust in teachers by entrusting their children to the care of teachers for the school day. Because teachers are in contact with many students, recognition of the service they provide is unavoidable. Prominent members of the community, such as politicians, bankers, and doctors, will often publicly laud the teachers, and star teachers are often featured in local news.
What made you feel like teaching was your calling?