Is Teaching Right for Me?
As a college professor, one of my favorite courses to teach was “Introduction to Education.” Why? Because it allowed me to instruct students while they were just coming into adulthood and had no idea what being a teacher really entailed. It allowed me to take these blank slates, and lead them on a journey of career discovery. I exposed them to the good, the bad, and the ugly of teaching, in the hope that if they chose to teach, it would be for the right reasons. Some students may not have been so lucky. Maybe they had a strictly by book teacher who painted teaching as a bed of roses.
Because of this, I decided to pen a short piece aimed at helping undecided teacher education majors determine if teaching is the right career choice for them. Just complete the quick activity below, and follow the directions afterward.
How to decide
List your reasons for deciding to become a teacher on a sheet of paper. Please list one personal, professional, and social reason. Challenge yourself to think more in-depth, and take into consideration all of your motives.
Below you will find an example from each category, but don’t restrict yourself to them.
- Do you have teachers you admire and want to emulate?
- Do you have family or friends who are teachers?
- Do you gain a sense of fulfillment by helping others?
- Do you feel that you have a talent for explaining concepts to others?
- Do you view education as fulfilling a need in society or the community?
- Do you think you will function well in a structured environment like a school?
- Do you consider yourself to be a “people person?”
- How do you feel about the idea of being surrounded by people the whole day?
- How do you feel about recognition in the community for your work?
Now reflect on your responses. How do you feel about teaching as a prospective career now? Do you feel like you are going into the teaching field for the right reasons? If so, go for it. We could use people like you in the teaching field.