Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Advice for Potential Teachers....

January Blogging Challenge day 14:  If a young person told you he or she wanted to become a teacher, what would you tell her/him?

Interestingly, this happened just the other day. One of my students was talking to her peers in class and mentioned that she'd woken up that morning wanting to be a teacher. Her classmate was surprised, since apparently this student gets all upset when someone doesn't understand.

The student said, "Yes, but only after I've explained it." 

I laughed and said that if she planned to be a teacher, she should get used to that.

She went on to say that the thing that makes her want to be a teacher is the pleasure of helping people understand something they never understood before.

That's why I want to be a teacher, too.

If I were going to give advice to potential teachers, I would say that it's a hard road, but a good one.  It's not just about giving out information that you have at the tip of your tongue; it's about giving people the tools to find out the information for themselves. 

In today's world, teaching is more about what the students learn rather than what the teachers teach.  It's a career choice not unlike the ministry or public service: it's more a calling than a job.  

As a teacher you'll face public criticism by people who wouldn't do your job even if they were paid much more than you ever will be. Politicians and news anchors and parents and the average guy on the street will have an opinion about what you do and how you do it.  You will be, at times, saddened and disgusted, tired and defeated, and tired and overwhelmed.  And then, at times, you will be joyous and proud, humble and amazed, and blessed and rewarded.

But despite the ups and downs and the tilt-a-whirls that come at you, if you do become a teacher you will find that you are going to be blessed beyond measure by the students who come into your life.  Teaching is not a career to "fall back on" or to have "just in case."  It is, if you really want to see children's eyes light up when they learn something new, the only career you will ever really want.


  1. It is true that it is a calling more than a job; the only people who truly understand that are those called to it and no one who has not received the call should try it. As you said, they are many future misunderstands for a future teacher, many chances to get your heart broken, and see some of the saddest things in our societies. However, those called will always cherish the immense victories which somehow appear minuscule to those not called to make the difference.
    Wonder post Amy!