The Top Ten Best Things About Being a Teacher

Quick! What’s the best thing about being a teacher? If you are like the majority of people out there, you probably answered “summer holidays!” And this is a great perk of being a teacher, without a doubt, but it is a superficial advantage compared to the much greater, deeper satisfaction that comes from being a teacher.

I have created a list, a little bit tongue-in-cheek, of the greatest things about being a teacher. The list is delivered Letterman-style, with the tenth reason being listed first, and saving the best for last. This is my list. Your list may be different but it’s good to think about the good things about being a teacher when you need encouragement. If you are thinking about becoming a teacher, this article will give you an idea of some of the benefits you can expect to enjoy.

Okay, here we go. Countdown’s on!

Yes! Two months off every year. How we teachers look forward to June, counting down the last few days of the school year in anticipation!

Even the keenest of teachers, most loving and dedicated, looks forward to a break. And a long, luxurious break we have. Kind of. Many of us still do prep work during the summer, getting ready for the next year.

But still … we don’t have to officially “go to work.” And that IS a pretty sweet deal, no matter how you slice it! So, summer holidays are definitely on the top ten for the best things about being a teacher.

One of the most well known advantages of teaching is the hours. While teachers often put in a lot of extra hours at home, doing preparation and marking student work, they are only obligated to actually be “at work” for a shorter time than most office and corporate jobs. Therefore, there is more opportunity to make their hours fit around a family.

This is a great bonus, and does provide great appeal, especially to those individuals who want their work hours to match their children’s school hours.

The issue of teacher pay is a controversial one. Some political interests complain that teachers get paid too much, and teachers’ unions will all agree we get paid too little.

Aside from the politics, though, we have to agree that teaching usually is not a bad-paying gig. It’s a job that offers a living wage, in most cases. In most cases, the wage also increases for every year of experience a teacher has, up to a certain limit. That means a guaranteed raise for the first ten years or so.

Benefits are also an excellent reward for being a teacher. Teacher unions can be commended for this one. They have negotiated settlements for their workers that usually include medical, insurance, and good pensions. Teachers are taken care of, and this does not happen in every line of work.

For the most part, teachers are well-respected in our society. Teachers work with the young, and most people know they are doing a job that few could do. Yes, there has been controversy in recent years with political will that seems to question teachers’ competence, but overall teachers are usually people that to which people look up.

I am not embarrassed to be a teacher because it is a valuable job that helps people make their way in life. The prestige in teaching comes because the teaching profession is difficult and challenging.

One of the basic human needs is a need for belonging, and teaching can provide that. A teacher has a place to go every day, where she is much needed.

A teacher is part of a classroom, which is part of a school, which is part of a school system. As much as we may tire of the bureaucracy, there is a certain comfort in knowing that as a teacher, you belong in that hierarchy.

Every year, you receive your course assignment, and you are that teacher for the year: third grade, grade 10 English … whatever it is, but it’s yours, and you know what your job is, and what your assignment is.

In a Dilbert-like world, teaching provides a refreshing sense of structure that lets teachers know where they belong, and that’s a nice feeling.

Those who have taught know exactly what I mean here. Teaching is NEVER the same from one day to the next. The constant flux of variables: students present in class, student moods, time of year, time of day, other events in the school, lesson for the day … make this profession an never-ending kaleidoscope of variety and change.

Being a teacher is not a boring job! Frustrating, yes, sometimes. Difficult. Yes. But boring, no! For someone like me, who loves adventure, you go on many journeys right within the walls of your classroom. Journeys of growth as students grow, you grow, and the class as whole grows.

“Lifelong learning” is one of the buzzwords of today’s career development literature. Lifelong learning is one of the biggest requirements for the twenty first century worker. Lifelong learning means that a worker can adjust to the constant changes in technology and culture coming our way.

Well, teachers have had this covered far before it became a popular phrase. Teachers have had to learn and develop our skills. It’s just part of the job. And the great part of it is, we are actually paid to learn. It’s called professional development, and there are several days in the year set aside, simply to grow as a teacher. As well, teachers are paid higher for more education. In other words, a masters degree almost guarantees a higher wage. Now, that does not happen everywhere! And this focus and appreciation of learning, is a great perk to being a teacher!

The relationships you develop as a teacher are absolutely amazing. You are meeting people at a critical point in their life, and having a chance to build into their lives. It’s fantastic! You see your students every day, or every other day, and you get to know their minds, and their hearts. It is a great privilege, and such a wonderful thing about being a teacher.

As teachers, we will be remembered by students for the rest of their lives. The respect and love we show in the classroom has an impact on a student’s view of themselves, on their other relationships, and on their future. Relationships are one of the three best reasons for being a teacher.

I believe that teaching is a calling, and that calling give great purpose to one’s life. It is building people, and helping them become more of what they are meant to be. I do not know of anything more fulfilling than knowing you have taught a good lesson, that was understood. Teaching is giving of yourself to others, pouring out your knowledge and wisdom, to be used up by the students. It is helping, first the mind, but also the heart.

Teachers play a vital role, alongside the parent, in shaping the young people of our nation. And that has to be one of the greatest purposes there is.

Duh, duh! If articles could be auditory, I would insert a drum roll here … like Paul Shaeffer from the David Letterman. Perhaps you can provide the drum roll in your head, but here goes … the NUMBER ONE GOOD THING ABOUT TEACHING IS … The Light bulb moment! The best thing about being a teacher is seeing students learn, seeing them “get it.”

That moment is what makes it all worthwhile: the prep work, the hassles, and the planning. When what you planned the night before, makes a connection with a student, and they learn something they did not know before. They get it, and it’s a beautiful sight! That is what teaching is about, and that is what real teachers teach for.

THE END!