[June 2017] If you’re thinking about going into education, get ready for one of the most exhausting, yet fulfilling jobs on the planet! Here are 10 questions to answer as you consider heading into this career path:
Can you manage customer service? Teaching is a customer service job like no other because ultimately, you are a public servant. Concerned parents will call. Your data will be shared. You will be asked to report upon classes, individuals, reports on progress, the status of your curriculum, mediating between student and student, student and parent, parent and administration. Developing and nurturing these relationships is the key to establishing a healthy and supportive community for your students.
Are you willing to face the politics? No one likes this part — but are you willing to take a stand for your students and your school? Teaching is never simply about what happens in the classroom. It’s also about fighting for what is right for your students, the values of your community, and sometimes in defense of knowledge itself. Education is political, and everyone has a stake in the decisions you make in your classroom, as well as the decisions your school, district and state make.
Do you excel at problem-solving? Rapid-fire problem-solving is the epitome of the educator’s life and it comes at you from all sides, all day long. Teachers have to be decisive. You can’t expect to make the right decision every time, but you are certainly expected to make some tough calls with a moment’s notice.
Do you love the community? You don’t have to live in the community you serve as an educator, although it certainly has its benefits. But you must be willing to engage fully in the town, city, or neighborhood for which you work. To fully understand what your students need, you absolutely have to know where they are coming from.
Can you make it your life? Of course, there’s time for family and friends, but once you become a teacher, like it or not you are always a teacher, 24/7/365. Teaching is much more than a job. It’s a way of life.
Can you retain focus for long periods of time? Between grading papers, compiling and analyzing data, crafting formal lesson plans and sitting through meetings, there is little time in the day for you to lose concentration. You need to stay focused, organized and awake.
Can you stay centered in the heart of chaos? Learning can be messy, loud, frustrating and confusing. Each work day is fast-paced and you’re never really able to take a full breath. You need to be able to stay centered. Because your students need that consistency in their lives. You need to be the calm in the storm, despite it all.
Do you love performing? Understand that mastery of your discipline alone will not lead to success in the classroom. Teachers are performers, from the moment they walk into the school until they step out of the school each afternoon. It’s not about the content, but how you teach the content. Performance is perhaps 85 percent of the job, as you are always on stage, whether in front of a classroom or meandering through the hallway.
Are you willing to change? The great and perhaps terrifying thing about teaching is that as soon as you feel like you “got it,” the game changes. When you decide to teach, you decide to take on a profession that you can never quite master: you will always be improving, always learning, always growing and adapting to the ever-changing educational landscape. You might not ever know if you’re doing it right, but you’ll certainly never be bored.
Are you looking to make money? All kidding aside, teaching will never be about the money. The benefit is that most teachers have the unique opportunity to wake up every morning, loving what they do. The challenge is that the funding that creates your paycheck is subject to the whimsy of the political landscape.
Helping teachers help their students engage and succeed in the learning process is at the center of CuroGens Learning’s philosophy. For information about our unique teacher resource program, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for a free demo.
Read the entire article in Education World.