Pursuing a career in education is a noble but rewarding endeavor that requires dedication and commitment. While a career in education offers many benefits, there are some challenges and drawbacks to consider before pursuing a career as a teacher. While working in education is normally considered to be a more laid-back environment (for example, teaching is famous for long summers off), the reality is more complicated and varies a lot by position. To help you ensure that your decision is as informed as possible, this article will outline some of the major benefits, drawbacks, and requirements of this field.
What to expect?
Working in the educational field can be rewarding, but it is important to have realistic expectations before you begin your job search. One needs to understand that this profession provides its challenges. Teaching students is about so much more than the basic instruction in front of a class. It is about motivating students, understanding their psyche and supporting them through difficult periods of their lives. Teaching is also an incredibly broad field, encompassing everything from a kindergarten teacher to someone teaching 12th grade math. There is a special education teacher working in the same school with colleagues teaching art, music of physical education. There are an army of principals, staffers, guidance counselors and other administrators that work in the field.
While teaching can offer an inspiring working environment and more time off, especially in summers, you can expect to have to deal with things like student discipline problems, parent complaints, and increasing administrative burdens on a fairly regular basis. Job satisfaction is also often as tied to who your principal and coworkers are as the students. But if you are the type of person who can remain calm in trying situations then this profession may be just the right fit for you.
You can teach online
While our stereotype of teaching is at traditional physical school, there has been an explosion of online learning options. If you're currently employed but have an interesting in teaching on the side or are just not ready to commit full-time to a single school, then teaching online might be the perfect opportunity for you. By teaching online you can still pursue a career in education without having to sacrifice location or flexibility. Online course platforms are a great way to get started without making any long-term commitments. You won't need to quit your current job and in addition to teaching online, you can also take any needed certification courses online, which cost less than traditional in-classroom programs. Whether you're looking for insight on what to expect in this field, how to advance your career, or simply want an introduction to online learning platforms, online course platforms can help you achieve your goals.
What are the benefits?
One of the major benefits of pursuing a career in education is that you will be helping young individuals develop as people, refine their skills and prepare them for success in careers or future schooling. In most cases, education professionals enjoy spending their days doing what they love, surrounded by colleagues who feel the same way, while also being able to see the how they are making a difference in their students every day. There are also many different types of educational institutions that one can choose to work at, which makes this profession even more attractive because it will allow individuals the ultimate freedom in terms of finding something that suits their strengths and interests.
Most schools are on a traditional Monday-Friday schedule which means you won't have to give up your weekends or evenings if you don't want to and typically have about 180 days of instruction per year (with another 10 administrative days per year). Additionally, most educational institutions will allow you to work part-time if that's the amount of time you need to support yourself and your family. Pay and benefits vary by school system (especially public vs. private), but most teachers have good pension and health care benefits as well.
What are the drawbacks?
While most education professionals will agree that they enjoy their profession, there are some drawbacks that one must keep in mind before pursuing this career path. Working with students can be stressful as they are often at a sensitive part of their lives. Whether young kids or teenagers, each age group offers its own set of emotional issues. Given the home backgrounds of students, their socio-economic challenges can become part of your classroom. Although this isn't the case with all students, it can pose a significant challenge to those who are trying to maintain discipline in the classroom. Given these kinds of challenges, it is important for those who plan on working as an educator to remain calm and collected at all times.
Those who want to pursue a career in education will be required to have an undergraduate degree. If looking at elementary education, your degree might be in early childhood development or elementary education. Teachers in middle and high school may study education and/or their subject fields. For those entering teaching from another career, programs often exist to get a certification or a master’s degree in education to prepare those who don’t have the typical college coursework you for work in the field. While most teaching positions don't require one to hold a master's degree, a degree may make it easier to find a position and some school systems increase the salary for those with advanced degrees. Certification for teaching at the elementary level is also highly recommended, but is not necessary.
If you're still in school and considering this profession for your future we advise you to make sure you take all of the courses required by prospective schools you would want to work at to help ensure that you're well prepared when you enter the job market.
In conclusion, if you're passionate about helping children learn and grow, and want to work in a field that offers set hours, a more stable work environment and set benefits, then pursuing a career in education may be right for you. But be aware of the challenges as well. Talk to current teachers about why they enjoy their work, the challenges they see and how the field is changing. Or perhaps get exposure as a substitute teacher, volunteer or means to get a better sense of what it is like to be a teacher.