What are the advantages and benefits of the teaching profession?
We asked experts to provide some great insights.
Dean of Academic Resources and Administration, New England College of Optometry |
Motivational Speaker | Faculty Trainer | Educator
Teaching has been such a great opportunity to work with others throughout my career
Every day I walk into the classroom, it provides the chance to influence and change the lives of those that I am working with. The challenge is that we often are unaware of the impact we have had on individuals until long after our time together ends.
Teaching also provides the opportunity to continue growing and developing within your field
The world is changing so rapidly, as an educator, it is important to continue learning and keeping up with those advancements to incorporate into your teaching moments.
Teaching creates new knowledge
Teaching is also a great way to create new knowledge through research and discovery to help be part of that continued growth and development.
Chris Drew, Ph.D.
University Teacher, Swinburne University | Founder, The Helpful Professor
When I mentor pre-service teachers at university, they often start off their journey wanting to be a teacher ‘because it’s fun’ or ‘for the summer vacations’. These are both positive parts of the job, but not why teachers stay the course for their whole career.
For me, being a teacher is about being part of something bigger than myself.
Teachers sustain and build healthy, vibrant and caring communities
I started my teaching career in a small town where I grew up. Within a few years, I started to see young people from my hometown growing up and following their passions.
My students forgot that I was the person that helped them over early hurdles in their lives and built the foundations for their futures. But there is a quiet pleasure in seeing the kids from your community succeed and knowing you were an important part of that.
At the end of your career, you’ll appreciate that being a part of something bigger than yourself was the job’s greatest benefit.
Teacher, Panola Way Elementary School
A lot of people think about the teaching profession in terms of salary or earnings. However, after 17 years of teaching, I can tell you that money isn’t everything.
There are several benefits to teaching that most people outside of our profession don’t think about. So, what are the benefits of teaching? I want to share my top 5 with you.
Watching the “lightbulb’ come on when a child learns a new concept
It is very rewarding to see the confidence that a child displays when he or she learns something new. I have worked with students who have struggled with reading and math.
With much work and encouragement, the child is finally able to read a book or solve that math problem. You know that they are trusting you to help them to continue to succeed. That is a feeling like none other.
Being able to make a lasting impact on a future generation
Education is empowering. Young students learn how they can make a difference in our world. In my third grade classroom, we talk about politics. We also talk about pollution and the impact that our actions have on our world.
This year, my class did a Sea World project that was a direct result of my family trip to the park. SeaWorld does not provide straws or covers when guest order drinks to reduce plastic consumption since plastic is bad for the environment.
I used my personal experience to teach my students about the effects of pollution. They became very passionate about reducing the amount of plastic in the ocean in an effort to save our sea creatures. I have learned that students care about making our world a better place.
Teaching provides a platform for educators to pay it forward by helping students to become better citizens.
Every now and then, a former student comes by the school to see me or sends an invitation to their high school or college graduation. When that happens, I am humbled by the fact that he or she wanted to include me in one of the most important milestones of their lifetime.
Teachers are encouraged to “think outside of the box” and to become lifelong learners
Many people believe that the teachers are teaching and only the students are learning. On the contrary, teachers are constantly learning and thinking of creative ways to reach each new generation.
We also learn from the students. We stay youthful at heart because we know the latest gadgets, styles, games, and songs. We use what we learn to tailor lessons that are interesting and meet their needs. If you like being creative, teaching is the way to go.
Great work hours and weekends off
Unlike jobs in retail or other fields, teachers can count on a consistent schedule in which they are off of work by 3:00 or 4:00 (depending on the grade of students). We also enjoy being off on the weekends.
Summers off with pay
Teachers only work 190 days of the year. We enjoy the summer off with pay. This break allows for physical, mental, and spiritual rejuvenation. It is also a time for quality time with the family. Need I say more? What other career offers that benefit?
Elementary Teacher | Blogger, Simply Well Balanced
With so many teachers leaving the profession it’s easy to forget that becoming a teacher has many desirable benefits. Is being a teacher full of challenges on the daily? Absolutely! However, it is also filled with rewards and experiences that aren’t available in any other occupation.
I think I hold a unique perspective on the benefits of teaching because well, I haven’t always been a teacher. Throughout adulthood, I have worked in a few industries including laboratory research, health and fitness, and higher education.
Having held other jobs, I am able to compare the pros and cons of working in the classroom and ultimately there are more pros!
A few benefits of being a teacher include:
Not gonna lie – Holidays off!
As a working mother, this is a huge benefit. I have friends who are nurses, firefighters and restaurant workers who have the heartbreaking responsibility of not being with their families during important holidays.
The peace of mind that comes with knowing that I am able to have that time with my family is priceless.
The ability to stand or sit whenever you like
This might not seem like a benefit unless you’ve had a job where you do not have the choice, which I have. Think about it: employees who work retail, bank tellers and food service workers are on their feet all day. At the same time dental hygienist, office workers, and accountants are often stuck at a desk.
As a teacher, you have the freedom to move about your classroom, sit at your desk, sit on the floor or even take the learning outside based on what your students need.
Never a dull moment
Having spent time as a factory worker, I know the monotony of repetitive labor. As a teacher, you will never have two days that are exactly the same – which is fantastic if you love variety or get bored easily. Your students come in with different needs, backgrounds, moods, and ideas.
In a classroom community, there are a variety of interactions, challenges, and experiences every single day.
In one day, many teachers do the job of a nurse, counselor, interior decorator, janitor, coach, performer, bookkeeper, event planner, and parent. This variety keeps you on your toes and makes each day exciting and new….because you never know what’s in store.
High School English Teacher
In reference to your query on the benefits of being a teacher, I believe I can share some truthful insights as to why/how this profession is so rewarding.
Being a teacher is hard
Stephen King once described being a teacher feels like you’re walking around with jumper cables attached to your brain. He’d go home and crash. But, after the nap was over, he wrote Carrie. And that’s exactly what I’ve found in my teaching life.
Because so much of my time is taken up with being “on,” when I get the downtime I’ve learned the value of it. I rest, but then I get back to work. I do something to recharge.
Relationships with students and colleagues
Another benefit to teaching is obvious but worth highlighting here: the relationships you form with your students, students’ caregivers, and your colleagues. These partnerships can sustain you when, not if, times get tough.
No one can do this job alone. It takes a village to raise a child, and it takes that same village to support a teacher. We need each other.
The ability to make a difference in someone else’s life
On a deeper level, teaching is one of the few professions out there where you can directly see the difference you’re making in someone else’s life.
We don’t always know what happens with our kids after they leave us, but during the time we teach them, when we see a student who couldn’t read a paragraph finish a book, when someone who has trouble writing her name completes her first story, there’s nothing better than knowing you helped them get there.
There are so many ways we can measure our students’ success (socially, emotionally, and academically) and when we realize that we’ve helped them achieve their own version of success, there’s no better feeling in the world.
Science Teacher | Founder, teacherofsci.com
While teaching is a very stressful, busy job, it has many benefits. There are some cliche ones; long holidays, the chance to make a difference or the fact that it is a well-respected career choice. However, there are some benefits that are less obvious.
For me, one of the greatest benefits is that I get to laugh, really laugh every day.
You never know what the kids are going to say, they are incredible. Sometimes they will say something completely inappropriate (and not know what they’ve said) which causes me to burst out laughing…leaving me with a room full of confused faces!
Once you’ve built a strong relationship with your students, they get to know what makes you giggle, then the fun really starts. After all, a happy classroom is a productive one.
I worked for many years in corporate jobs before becoming a teacher, I laughed more in the first few weeks in a classroom than I did in years in the corporate world. Working with kids is brilliant for keeping a smile on your face and a laugh in your belly.
The best part of being a teacher is that I get to make a difference in young kids’ lives
I have been a teacher for about 30 years. There is no better career I, personally, could have chosen. There are so many benefits of being a teacher.
If they are struggling in a particular area, I can not only help them understand it but also show them how it fits into other aspects of the curriculum and their life as well.
When kids are not struggling, but instead need enrichment, I love providing them with lessons that challenge them to dig deeper than they thought they could. I am humbled that I get to be a role- model and mentor to the kids, too.
Also, for me at least, I absolutely love creating assignments specifically for my students when I can. I love the challenge of finding just the right book, creating just the right questions, inventing just the right project or game to spark interest.
Founder, Test Prep Nerds | Homeroom Teacher, Xiwai International School
After graduating from college, I went straight into the business world, sitting at my cubicle for 9 hours per day. I was absolutely miserable sitting in that gray space knowing exactly what the day would consist of.
I would come home from the end of my workday and feel disheartened at the lack of impact I was making on any one person’s day or life. The skills I had gained from this job felt interchangeable like anyone could come in and take my place in a week and do just as well.
I love the diversity of the workplace and the ability to bring new and old experiences together
I transitioned into a career teaching, specifically at international schools abroad, and no longer have that sad gray office space or the days that seem endless and full of monotony. I feel that my own personal skills and energies are an asset in the classroom and that what I can offer to my students as an individual is not replaceable.
How I lesson plan, interact with the students, and the communication I offer the students is inherently different than any other teacher in the world because of how personal the job is.
The days of teaching, especially for primary school teachers, is full of situations that cannot be expected, requiring teachers to think on their feet and offer a mixture of support, guidance, discipline, and care.
Each day, I have an opportunity to take what I learned from the days and years of experience and apply that knowledge and wisdom in my classroom. What I have learned and gathered from my years of experience, again, is going to be different from the rest of the teachers down the hall.
I love the diversity of the workplace and the ability to bring new and old experiences together to form a constantly evolving and adapting a set of skills and environment in the school.
Certified Yoga Teacher | Yoga Therapist, Healthful Journey Yoga, LLC
I’m a Certified Yoga Teacher with 17 years of experience in teaching classes at the workplace, at recreation facilities and athletic clubs, and in my own studio for 3 years. Throughout my experience, I have derived numerous benefits from teaching:
Teachers have the power to change lives
In my work with clients with various health problems, (i.e.) clients with respiratory problems such as Asthma learned simple, yet effective ways to improve their breathing capacity through breathing exercises rather than have to rely on inhalers or steroid medications with numerous side effects.
Teachers also learn continuously
They educate themselves before they become teachers and learn from their students as well. When I’m teaching my yoga class, I’m learning from my students what their needs are, and how I can be a better teacher.
If certain students are struggling with a challenging pose such as Down Dog, perhaps I can demonstrate an easier modification of the pose, or decide to teach a less challenging pose.
There is a deep satisfaction in imparting knowledge to another person
Moreover, seeing how the person is impacted by this knowledge. Anyone can say they’re a teacher, yet can they effectively convey information to reach the various learning styles of their students? (i.e. Kinesthetic vs. auditory learning).
Some teachers will talk about a particular subject and hope their students came away with some understanding of what they were taught. In other words, “Tell me, I might hear what you say. Show me, I might remember. Involve me, I understand.“