Is teaching the right career move for you? Let’s find out…
Thinking about a career in teaching? You’re not alone. Teaching is a fantastic way to share your knowledge, inspire others and learn about yourself in ways you never thought imaginable. Teachers have a golden opportunity to watch the growth in their students as their lessons inspire them over the years – which is powerful feedback in and of itself!
The old adage “Those who can’t do, teach”, actually couldn’t be further from the truth. Teachers prove on a daily basis they can not only continue to ‘do’ and pursue their hobbies, but do so with the additional tasks of assisting others in their learning journey.
There’s a lot more to teaching than marking assessments or planning excursions, with great teachers improving their skills in leadership, compassion and patience on an everyday basis.
Even the best teachers among us can forget the reasons they decided to become teachers in the first place, and it’s those exciting opportunities that need to be looked at repeatedly throughout your career. Whether you’re just starting out as a graduate teacher or a senior educator, leader or a highly regarded university lecturer, Point To Point takes a look at the expectations versus realities of moving into a career in teaching.
Your teacher colleagues will be on the same page
Expectation: Your colleagues will be as eager to teach as the students are to learn, and you’ll spend your lunch breaks with them discussing new methods of teaching.
Reality: Just as with any job, you’ll meet all sorts of characters during your education career. There will be teachers who strive to make every day as nurturing as possible, teachers who prefer to yell to get their point across, and even teachers who seem to spend all day in the staffroom. Not all teachers are created equally, but you can choose to be a positive influence on your colleagues by showing up with a good attitude and not falling into the trap of inter-staff gossip.
Tough students make tough teachers
Expectation: All of your students are eager to learn, focused and positive, without behavioural issues. They frequently and earnestly thank you for the hard work you put in.
Reality: Some students will be like this, easy to manage and taking in your lessons like a sponge. Not all humans are created equally, and you are bound to have at least one troublesome student in your class. However, choosing to see this as an opportunity to find different methods to teach is an important one. The student may respond in a more positive and focused manner if you can work together to find a method that helps them learn in their own way.
Teaching is a relaxed, and structured career
Expectation: With so many online teaching resources and class plans already mapped out, teaching in the 21st century is a breeze. Right?
Reality: Teaching goes far beyond the literature you’ve been given for class, and the marks of a great teacher include going above and beyond for every student. You may find some students do not find your lesson plan an effective way to learn for them, or you may find yourself with a sobbing student who wants to confide in you.
Online resources and class plans are great, but the true mark of a teacher is the care they put in their students, and that is something a textbook cannot teach.
You made a difference
Expectation: You’ve managed to teach every single one of your pupils something they can take away and incorporate into their own lives. You’ll be a permanent fixture in their memories as a true educator.
Reality: Whilst, not every student will remember you or what you taught them, there will be a very special handful of them who, as they make their way into their own careers, will think of you often and remember your lessons.
But, by showing up every day and imparting on them wisdom that goes beyond your textbook criteria, you have made a difference. It may not feel like it every single day, but somewhere out there is a student who has graduated directly because of your assistance.
As they smile at this milestone they’ve reached, you too can share that success with them; as this is your victory too.
And that is the single greatest satisfaction to all teachers.
Time to teach
Decided that teaching is for you? Point To Point is ready to help you land a teaching role which suits your qualifications and future goals. We take the hassle out of finding a teaching job that is right for you, so you can focus on your advancements as a teacher and the new opportunities awaiting you.