We asked a number of new teachers what they love about their work. Here’s what they had to say.
Teachers cite working with students as the number one reason why they love teaching. Many teachers get a rush as they watch a student master a new concept or come up with an innovative idea. In addition, teachers who are happy in their jobs do not get disappointed or take it personally when students experience setbacks; instead, they view these situations as challenges. Teachers love knowing that they can make a difference in a student’s life–both in and out of the classroom.
Teachers enjoy leading their own classes and love the autonomy and freedom they have on the job. One of the nice aspects about this industry is that you don’t have to wait for challenge and responsibility; unlike many other professions, teaching allows recent graduates to jump right in and do what they love–teach–rather than sit through a tiresome training period or climb slowly up the promotion hierarchy.
Stimulating the minds of children and helping them learn is a challenging task that constantly requires new ideas and a fresh outlook. Many teachers cite the opportunity to make learning fun as one of the job’s high points. For example, as one high school English teacher shared with us, “It’s hard to make Nathaniel Hawthorne interesting and relevant to sophomores. But make them wear big scarlet A’s on their chests for a day in high school and they suddenly have a new respect and understanding of Hester Pryne!”
All teachers agree that getting two months off in the summer is an added advantage to working in this profession. Teachers use this free time in a variety of ways; some teach summer school, while others attend educational workshops and conferences, travel the world, or simply relax and catch up on some reading.
Most teachers enjoy interacting with their co-workers. Faculty members tend to come from a variety of backgrounds and disciplines, making for fun and intellectually stimulating work environments. One second-grade teacher referred to her colleagues as “…friends, mutual advisers and confidantes. Besides, when you spend all your time with kids, it’s nice to have an adult conversation!”
Although teachers may present the same material year after year, their students are always changing, bringing with them new challenges and fresh ideas. Classrooms are dynamic work environments, and no two days are ever the same. According to one new teacher, “I think it takes a lot more tolerance to work in a stuffy office day after day. One of the best things about my work is that it’s never boring, and I almost never have to sit still for long.”