Welcome to the forum.
Are you studying to be a teacher?
I am currently a student in my last year of school. What astonishes me the most is the number of my teachers who regularly state how much they dislike their job. Often saying 'don't become a teacher'. This is rather worrying as they have a big responsibility, and without drive and passion how can they do this job well. I also find it very saddening that people waste so much of their life doing jobs they don't even enjoy!
So, I just wondered if people would take the time to answer me truthfully. Firstly, I want to know if you enjoy your job, and whatever this answer may be, why? Why is it that you either love or hate your job. Please be as detailed as possible! Would you recommend your job to someone else? Or if you could go back, what would you tell your former self when you were considering the job you currently have. Lastly, if you don't enjoy your job, why do you stick at it? Is there something else that you are forever wishing you did, are you scared you will look back at your life with regret?
I really hope you think carefully about these questions, and answer as honestly as possible. It would mean so much.
Welcome to the forum.
Are you studying to be a teacher?
Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.
I have considered it. Although as covered above, I'm finding the response of many of my teachers largely off putting. Are you a teacher?
I'm a very part-time teacher at the moment but I was a full-time teacher when I lived in Spain.
If I were you, I would consider whether you currently enjoy teaching other people how to do anything. I'm sure that by now you have been asked by friends or family to explain something to them. Did you enjoy it? Did you like the challenge? Did they seem to learn well from you? Are you comfortable speaking in front of a room full of people? Are you good at working on your own initiative? Will you be happy spending a lot of your "free" time doing lesson planning and marking?
I don't think your teachers are being very professional if they tell their students how much they dislike their job!
It's the hardest job you'll ever love. (If you wouldn't do it for nothing you probably shouldn't do it at all.)
I hope you are asking questions of yourself too, elliecooperr. Why do you want to teach? What are you so interested in that you need to teach it to others? Can you deal with difficult people (students)? Do you like people? Is there anything you might enjoy more? And so on.
I love being a teacher, I have always wanted to teach from as far back as I can remember.
Yes, some days are better than others; there are days when a lesson doesn’t go as planned or some students frustrate me, but I have never thought of not doing what I do.
It's never a problem coming into work, (unless I feel ill of course) and can’t wait to see my students.
Obviously I'm glad when it's time to go home at the end of the day, and enjoy my free weekends, but I do love my job.
Teaching is a passion and a calling. I didn’t choose to be a teacher because of the pay (although I confess the money is not great) or because I wanted summers off.
I get paid to do what I love. I don't care how much other jobs make or don't.
If teaching is truly your passion then no one will ever change your mind about it.
Do what your heart tells you, not what your (bad) teachers have put into your head about the teaching profession.
However, teaching is not for everyone and certainly there are teachers who should not be in the classroom any more, as their desire has left them.
You must love the job in order to effectively do it because it affects so many children and families.
I can say I’m a happy teacher. They are paying me to do something I would gladly do for nothing (well, it’s not the whole truth, actually. I too have breakfast from time to time, and lunch, and dinner…)
To me, it's not like going to work. It's my other home and I love making it that way for the kids.
When you can go to bed each night not dreading work the next day, well, that is a blessing in life, believe me.
I believe most teachers love teaching children. (Personally, I love working with my students. I get ELLs from all over the world. They amaze me with their growth everyday. But...) Frustration arises when there is so much more to being a teacher than teaching. There is a lot of emphasis right now on gathering data. The data is being used to rank teachers, to rank students, to show proficiency, or to show growth. All of this "data gathering" happens by giving assessments and tests to students. One of my coworkers counted all of the assessment days last year- 60 /184. The students are literally spending one-third of their days taking tests rather than learning. Sometimes the data is gathered but is never analyzed (which is really a waste of instructional time).
There is also a lot of stuff that is dehumanizing and demoralizing that comes from various places in education. It's usually not from the kids. It's stuff that administrators have to push down onto teachers. It's stuff legislators or governing bodies think is "the right" thing for teachers to be teaching. Just when you feel like you have a handle on your curriculum, or the schedule, or classroom management it will change. New programs come out, schedules have to be adjusted, the classroom management you have won't jive with the building wide support system.
Teachers that are warning you are doing so because they wish someone had warned them. If you can put up with all of the other nonsense to do your job of teaching, you'll be okay. Heck, you might even love every day with the fervor that some of the other posters have. But it's an important aspect to consider, because it isn't really discussed in the undergraduate teacher education programs.
Good luck deciding what your career will be.
Wow, some great honest questions kelly, well put. I will try to answer as honestly as I can.
I can understand your astonishment as I bet such reactions seem odd.
I will have a go at answering some of those questions, but it is just my opinion and everyone is different. I would say that nearly ANY job is difficult it its own way. There is always something about a job that is hard, even if you enjoy doing it and are 'fulfilled' in some way. Even if this is just continually getting up on time and week-in, week-out, year after year - it is hard.
Now for example teaching involves working hard at school/college/univeristy/teacher training just to be qualified. This is years of work and this is just the starting point! From here a teacher then has long hours (some teachers work 7-00am-10.00pm weekly and put in many hours over the weekend). On top of this workload there are the day-to-day pressures, behaviour of students, OFSTED inspections, observations, meetings, presssure from other sources such as line managers and parents and on top of this they do if or relatively low pay (in terms of hours and qualifications) and with continual attacks on pensions and working rights. So the job is not so easy and we have not even started on the teaching yet! So maybe you can understand why it is hard to keep up the drive and passion? Most teachers just want to get on with teaching but there are often so many other things in the way that it can be frustrating.
I agree with you fully though, it is very sad that people can spend most of their lives doing jobs they dislike, but I'm afraid that is the way of the world generally.
Do I enjoy my job?
At times yes and some days are great. I enjoy helping students when they want to learn and this is a pleasure. However, dealing with poor behaviour and sometimes abuse from students (when you are really only trying to help) is obviously not a pleasure and neither is the 'red tape' which comes with teaching. Overall, it is OK and there are worse jobs out there, but it is not easy.
Why do I stick at it? (Or why would someone stick at it?)
Well, it is not always easy to change jobs you know. Not impossible, but it would be drastic course of action when you have spend so long working toward the career. But for every bad day a teacher has, there are good days as well and this keeps most people going - though many new teachers quit within the first couple of years of teaching as it is very hard at first.
"Is there something else that you are forever wishing you did, are you scared you will look back at your life with regret?"
People will always look back on their lives and ask themselves 'what ifs' to some degree. But at the end of the day you just have to get on with things. Personally, I won't look back at my life with regret because I try to make the best of it and do what I can. That's about the best most of us can do and I'm not complaining, nothing's perfect.
Anyway, I hope my honest response helped in some way and good luck with what you want to do.
In some areas of teaching in the UK, conditions are getting tougher. I left the UK in 2004 and I have seen jobs advertised that pay the same of less than ten years ago, 10% less in one case, which means a huge drop in standard of living if you take inflation into account. Given the amount of bureaucratic work that teaching in the UK involves, I have no plans to return. I enjoy teaching and am able to do that without many of the distractions and burdens you currently get in the UK.