Do I really want to teach?
In my first two years of teaching, not a week went by when I didn’t ask myself that very question. Many people face it every day. Without question, the most popular search terms that brings visitors to my blog are “quit teaching” and “do I want to teach?” I wonder how many Google searches are done each day on the subject. I wonder how many young teachers decide each day that this will be their last semester to teach. It’s tragic, really.
At the same time, the greater tragedy is the number of people who decide before they even begin — or while they are in college — that teaching is just too much to handle. Despite loving children and having a thirst for knowledge, they go by the wayside and don’t learn what they ought to.
How do I know if I really want to get into the education business anyway?
Let’s look at some ways to tell if teaching is really your thing:
- You love the thought of making the world a better place
- You look 10 years in the future and realize you would be sad if you never even once tried teaching
- Few things satisfy you as much as observing growth in other people
- You value learning
- You value sharing knowledge and transferring that information to others
- Teaching is something you do even when you aren’t thinking about it
- You have (or are willing to develop) an uncanny level of patience
- You dislike yelling at or belittling children
- You don’t mind occasionally doing some seemingly unreasonable things for administrators
- You want to make a huge impact in the lives of individuals
After reading through this list, if you determine that at least 5 of the qualities apply to you and that at least 7 of the qualities could apply to you with little effort, then I encourage you to jump into the pool. Finish the education courses. Student teach. Teach a few years. Ask tons of questions. Get the kinks worked out of the system. After that, then decide if you really want to do it.