As graduation season ends, we are inspired to consider our purpose, specifically in terms of a meaningful career. This is a time when people obtain their first job, while others reflect and consider a shift in their career.
For some, teaching has always been a certainty. You may be thinking about becoming a teacher and recall your love of working with children. For those who have not yet made a firm choice for your career, consider the following benefits of choosing a program of study that leads to a career in teaching:
Many teachers are creative in guiding their students to develop their literacy and critical thinking skills. They provide them with authentic, project-based learning experiences to equip them with the knowledge, skills and abilities to analyze issues in their communities and encourage the creation of innovative solutions. For example, when learning about the environment, teachers can task the students to explore causes and effects of pollution and challenge them to create workable solutions. They can have the students send their proposals to the community newspaper editor and get it published.
Educators have power and influence, like the ripple effect of a stone when thrown into a body of water. They can instill a love of learning, thereby creating a well-versed and literate community - one that engages in civil discourse to improve everyone’s lives.
Teachers create opportunities for meaningful discussions about current issues that align with the academic disciplines’ topics and objective. Thereby, they are supporting students’ expression of their viewpoints and helping them articulate their emerging philosophies. For instance, in social studies, students can analyze living conditions and resources in urban communities. Then, they can analyze the impact of inequities that may exist in those environments. Next, students can advocate for creating systems that provide equitable access to resources that are prevalent in affluent communities, such as fresh foods and vegetables.
Not only do teachers model effective collaboration with one another, but they also serve as role models for establishing and nurturing healthy relationships with students, families and community members.
To provide applicable opportunities for their students, teachers partner with families, community-based businesses and organizations to extend and enhance the school’s curriculum. By doing this, they are modeling how to collaborate with community leaders to recognize and accomplish their goals. For example, a teacher with an affinity for gardening may wish to reach out to their peers or local Habitat for Humanity about collaborating on a community garden. This can teach students about healthy living, plant life cycles and more.
Henry Brooks Adams summed it up perfectly when he said "Teachers are the most responsible and important members of society because their professional efforts affect the fate of the earth."1 Becoming a teacher can, indeed, provide one with a purposeful, uplifting and meaningful career.
1Retrieved from Helen Caldicott, Fate of the Earth, in June 2021
Want more? Check out all of the articles from Teaching Tuesday and return each week for a new post. To learn more about the College of Education and our degree programs, join in our efforts to elevate the education profession.
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. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.