Teaching is hard work, as is the education required to get there. It can often feel thankless; however, there are many satisfying, rewarding moments in the classroom as well as out of it.
Every moment, every lesson, every course seeks to lead the student onto a higher plane of understanding. While that is a great reward, there are moments that help you recognise the rewards you receive as a teacher. Even though that list of rewards is too lengthy to count, here are ten to be considered.
10. Summers off!
It seems people usually expect to see “summers off” whenever talking about the benefits of being a teacher, so let’s get that one out of the way early. While taking the summer off is a real possibility, summer vacation can also offer other opportunities, like teaching in a different program for the summer, which will give you a chance to work in a different setting, teach other students, and meet new co-workers.
9. Experiences that sometimes seem stranger than truth!
Ah, the stories a teacher can tell! Whether it’s about the thing’s kids say or what parents do, the stories can certainly enrich any after-work conversation at home, and eventually the memoirs you might write.
Truly one of the best parts about teaching is also being able to learn all of the time. Sometimes the learning can be necessary because you are trying to stay a couple of lessons ahead of your students, but sometimes the learning is something you do when there are new and better ways to teach the subjects that you love (can I hear a shout of “Science!” “English!” or “Algebra!”, anyone?). On-going requirements for keeping your certification will help to make sure of this, too.
7. Getting great experience to be better at dealing with other peoples’ challenges.
Often, I am reminded how my experience teaching middle and high school students who were sent to a special school because of the way their behaviour interfered with their ability to learn helped me. It helped me figure out how to be a better parent. It helped me figure out how to work with adults who have trouble with problem-solving and coping skills, and even helped me be better suited for being married to a spouse who can be ornery but can reach more of his true potential in being the charming person you can see dwelling there.
6. Joy at what human beings—both large and small—bring to us!
The pure excitement of students at their first dance, the seniors preparing for their lives in college or their jobs and joining our world, the secrets friends tell and the cheering the home team and the award at the spelling bee, it brings joy to so many. Even for those who have so little to celebrate outside of school, there is sometimes joy.
5. Hope for what the future will bring.
When I worry about what will happen to this world and who will lead us into the future, I get to see the greatness of the students. I see the kindness of one to another; I see the talent at the ball game, the concert or the art show. I see everyday acts of generosity, leadership and perseverance, and I know that we will be okay.
4. The opportunity to spend every day with other people who love what they do.
How else can you spend so much time among others who love what you do? It includes the lunch lady, the school counsellor, the teacher across the hall and the vice principal; we have a common language as the staff at the school. We might separately talk about quotients, alliteration, school menus and solar flares, but we speak of the same thing – the way that this student is about to succeed – the worry about this family’s hardship – the excitement of this student’s accomplishments. We truly speak the same language but use different words to describe it.
3. Being able to influence so many.
When you teach a child, you are reaching many more – families can learn, neighbourhoods can benefit – and those generations bring about new generations. Your minutes in the classroom can turn into lifetimes and reach farther than you can conceive when you review your lesson plan for the next day.
2. Helping students to love learning for a lifetime.
What bigger impact can you possibly be involved in? One wish that I would make to a genie is for everyone to love to learn. Continuing to learn throughout one’s life is what makes good adults and sound citizens – and that helps all of us.
1. The light bulb moments.
That’s how I’ve always described them. In my mind, I can actually see a cartoon lightbulb light up above their head (I think that I can see it in their eyes: the relief and appreciation for what they’ve just come to understand). How wonderful knowing that you have helped that student reach his/her potential at that exact moment. It’s the thing that keeps a teacher moving through the mundane, the heartbreaking and the frustration. And it gives back the rewards tenfold!
Those who have the ability and opportunities to teach will be rewarded in so many ways – and these ten are just our favourites – the list goes on! Contact us today and speak to one of our friendly consultants to find out how you can apply to have a rewarding experience teaching in the UK.
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