A new article came out on Huffington Post a couple of weeks ago with the title, "A Warning to Young People: Don't Become a Teacher." Considering I just agreed to sign away over $20,000 to earn a degree to do exactly that, this is obviously something that interested me. [Thanks to Josh over at Teachers Can Smile Too for mentioning it on your blog!]
Ever since I made the decision to point my life & career in this direction and apply to graduate school, people from all sides have been warning me to think through things carefully, that teaching is a difficult and often thankless profession, that they know someone who knows someone who hated teaching or they quit after being a teacher for two weeks.
The most interesting part of all of this unsolicited advice is that out of all the people who say these things, none of them are teachers. In fact, every single teacher that I know and have spoken to about my decision - some my high school teachers with 30+ years of experience, some friends of mine from high school/college that have been teaching for only a few years - tells me that not only do they think I would make a great teacher, but that they love teaching. And that they are so excited for a young person with my bright mind (toot toot - that's my horn) to be pursuing such a profession: because it is important, they say, and because there are too many so-so teachers out there, they say. Mostly, they say, because they just love teaching.
I know teaching will be difficult. I know it will be challenging and I will work much more than 40 hours per week and have to work on the weekends and I won't make very much money. I also know that I love social studies, and children, and the feeling that you get when a light bulb goes off in their heads and they get it. And I know I wouldn't be happy in a normal 9-5 corporate desk job [I've tried]. I need a job that is varied and engaging, and allows me to give back, help other people, and make a difference.
So, you can warn me all you want, but I'm not going to listen.