Students in search of a meaningful career often pursue a teaching degree. Teaching allows educators to grow their skills continuously, and it frequently offers high job security. Many children grow up seeing their teachers as role models. When these children become adults, they often remember how certain teachers made a difference in their lives.
Beyond the opportunity to change the lives of many students throughout their careers, teachers choose their work for several additional reasons. Some of the benefits of this career include interesting work, mental challenges, shaping the future and working with children. However, these reasons to teach just scratch the surface. Here are a few more reasons you should become a teacher.
The Benefits of Teaching
You Use All Your Strengths
Many jobs require you to have very specific skill sets or to grow your knowledge in very specific areas. A teaching career, though, allows you to use many of the strengths you already have. Teachers can use their unique personality and talents to make connections with students. They can teach subjects they are passionate about and allow that passion to help them build rapport with the students. Teachers can bring their own creativity to everyday lessons and build a supportive and engaging atmosphere for student learning.
You Impact the Culture
Teachers have the power to have an impact on the culture of their classroom whereas employees in corporate positions frequently merge into an existing culture. Teaching in a classroom offers a different work culture from a corporate job in the office. Teachers spend most of their day with students rather than co-workers. Working with children of any age can be challenging, but it is also fun. Most teachers experience bright spots in their days when children say something surprising or funny. Teachers also get to support students through the learning process and be there for those “aha!” moments that make the work feel worthwhile.
You Never Stop Learning
Every year that you teach brings has a different group of students with its own unique challenges and rewards. The days of teaching the same thing year after year are long over. Teachers today continue learning, fine-tuning skills and adapting methods to ensure that their students' needs are met and that they pique the interests of the students in their classroom. Great teachers find ways to incorporate current events and new topics into their classes to increase student engagement and learning. For example, GCU alumnae and Arizona Educational Foundation’s 2016 Teacher of the Year, Christine Marsh frequently invited local and state legislators to her classroom where the students had the opportunity to pose questions about policies and procedures.
Every Day Is Different
Most experienced teachers will tell you that every day in the classroom is different. No matter what your lesson planner says you will do that day, it is likely that the reality will diverge from the plan. This may be due to something out of your control, like an emergency assembly, a fire drill or a guest speaker. Other times, students take the discussion down a road you had not anticipated. There are days when a student is having a rough time and you know it is more important to take care of the student’s needs in the moment than to rush forward with a lesson plan. While teaching requires flexibility, it also provides freedom from monotony and allows teachers to look forward to something new each day.
Teachers are needed in every community. Once you earn your teaching degree and become a teacher, you generally have excellent job security. Many teachers stay in their careers, even teaching at the same grade level or the same school, for many years. Teaching salaries are determined by multiple factors and vary across states and districts.
Communities Need Leaders
Teachers and schools are the heart of a community. Every community needs people to act as a moral compass, to take positive action and to make decisions that will benefit the families in town. Teachers can be involved with many students and families at the school level, but because they are often well respected, they may also be asked to serve as leaders in their communities and volunteer on boards or at events.
You Get a Chance to Effect Change
One of the biggest benefits of becoming a teacher is the impact you can have on the future. As one person, you may influence anywhere from 20 to 120 students each year. When you multiply those numbers by the number of people those students meet, you can see how your reach can be exponential. The students sitting in your class are our future lawmakers, doctors, technicians, grocery store workers and rideshare drivers. They will have to take responsibility for society in the future. The knowledge and values that they build in your classroom can greatly affect how they move in the world in the future.
The Challenge Is Rewarding
No teacher will ever tell you that teaching is easy. Most teachers, though, will tell you that it is worth the challenge. Teachers may see students come to school hungry or neglected. Such challenges can be difficult to handle and to face. However, teachers also see the best of humanity. They see students who were shy come out of their shell when learning about something that excites them and students who were not predicted to be academically successful thrive under the right conditions. They even see children help each other no matter what their differences are. While things in the classroom can get tough, teachers know that if they have created a safe space for learning, any challenge they face can eventually be overcome.
Earning your special education degree can lead you to an extremely rewarding career as a special education teacher. At Grand Canyon University, you will have the full support of our College of Education as you begin your degree program in teaching or school administration. Learn more about getting started in our Bachelor of Science in Special Education program by clicking the Request Info button on this page.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University.