5 Rewards and Perks That Come With Being a Teacher
There are all kinds of rewards that you can get from teaching. Here are just five of them.
- Working with Students. For many teachers, working with students is an intrinsic reward and is often the most attractive feature of the profession. Coming into contact with students on a regular basis, having conversations with them, motivating them, and working with them to overcome various difficulties are all deep sources of satisfaction for many teachers. This satisfaction goes both ways: according to a survey, 58% of teenagers mentioned that teachers influenced them in becoming the people that they are today.
- Sense of Civic Duty. To many teachers, the most important intrinsic reward of teaching is the sense that they are doing something positive and constructive for the greater good. Unlike members of professions such as pharmacy or accounting, who are somewhat dissociated from the outcomes of their efforts, teachers can enjoy the fruits of their labor almost every day. Teachers actively prepare students for their next stage of life, whether that is moving on to their next phase of schooling or life outside of school. Teachers are aware of their pivotal place in developing an effective, close-knit society, not least because, as they gain experience, they receive letters and other expressions of gratitude from former students.
- Status and Authority. An important extrinsic reward of teaching is status, which can be considered to be the honor or prestige attached to a teacher’s position in society. In America, although societal views of teachers have varied greatly over the years, teachers are still held in high regard. Parents entrust their children to teachers for the duration of the school day, with the understanding that teachers will impart not only education but also good social and moral direction for their children. Fortunately for teachers, the U.S. government is committed to education reforms that could result in improved image and status, as well as improved financial benefits, for those in the teaching.
Teachers have a lot of authority and autonomy at their disposal as a result of their status. They use this authority to establish classroom rules, to discipline students, or even to remove disruptive students from the classroom when necessary to maintain a learning-focused environment.
The establishment of the NBPTS in 1987 elevated the level of teacher professional authority by providing a means for teachers to become board certified, similar, for example, to board certification for doctors. A set of principles for what teachers should know and be able to do was established by teaching professionals, rather than entities outside of the profession. Today, practicing teachers can become board certified by completing a year-long certification process to establish themselves as highly qualified teachers. This has greatly enhanced the status granted to teachers.
- The Process of Teaching. Many teachers find the process of teaching itself to be exciting and intrinsically rewarding. Some teachers strive to become better at expressing their ideas, designing presentations, and working with students. Social contact is an inherent part of being a teacher, and this contact can help to improve student understanding. Exposure to a wide variety of different students allows teachers to have unique influences on each of them, and imparting enthusiasm and love for a subject that a student may have previously seen as boring is rewarding for any teacher.
- Job Security. With the fluctuations in economic performance prevalent in modern society, few careers offer the job security of teaching. As an extrinsic reward, this can rank fairly high, considering that, although teacher salaries are considered lower than those of other professions, the demand for teachers is high and growing.
Teachers can gain tenure after a relatively short period of employment when compared with other occupations. Tenure means guaranteed job security at a specified institution, and it is generally awarded to teachers who perform well for a certain number of years. Tenure can be granted at any time between 3 and 5 years of teaching. After a relatively short period, a teacher can be guaranteed a stable position until retirement.
Job opportunities for teachers are also on the increase, partly as a result of the baby boom echo. Children of baby boomers (the generation born following World War II) and Generation X (those born from 1961 to 1981) are beginning school or are currently in the early years of school. During the 2007–2008 school year, 49.3 million students were enrolled in American elementary and secondary schools. This number constituted an increase from around 40 million students two decades ago. As the number of students increases, the demand for teachers increases. This increase in opportunity will make teaching an increasingly attractive career option for years to come.
Can you think of any other rewards that come with being a teacher?