CHOOSING A CAREER / NOV. 08, 2014
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How to Enjoy the Pleasures of Teaching

Teacher
istock

Teaching is by no means an easy career. You offer up your time and energy to help kids develop important skills they’ll need in life, while helping them learn to interact and help other kids in the classroom. No matter what level you teach, there are challenges that you face every day that are unique to your profession.

It’s the hard days that make it easy to forget why you became a teacher, and the changes you’re making in your city’s youth. It’s easy to forget that without you, many kids would be faced with a subpar education, which may ultimately lead to a purposeless and unfulfilled life. If you find yourself having one of these days, remember this:

You’re providing an escape from unhappy home lives

Thinking of kids as an equal can be difficult because their experiences and daily problems are seemingly less significant than most adults’. For instance, a kid rarely ever has to worry about making a paycheck for rent, food, clothing, etc.

But the harsh reality is that some kids go home every day hungry, depressed, without a home or shelter, and without a loving family. Some kids have challenges that greatly surpass the stress of making next month’s rent.

As a teacher, you can make a monumental difference in this type of child’s life. School is a safe haven for them where they’ll most likely receive a lunch (though, unfortunately, some schools deny lunches to children with families who can’t afford it), they get to socialize with other kids, and they get to learn valuable skills that may help them put food on the table one day.

And that’s just the worst case scenario. Maybe a child doesn’t receive the attention they’d like to at home, or they don’t live in a neighborhood that’s safe enough to play outside. Perhaps their parents aren’t the most supportive or the nicest. You, as a teacher, provide an environment that this child uses as an escape from what may be a really unhappy home life. 

You’re teaching our youth valuable skills to give them a better future

This may not be the case for every student, as not all kids take school seriously or want to make the most of their education. However, most students value the opportunity to learn on even a small level. Especially in kindergarten and preschool levels; you’re teaching a child to read and write, which are arguably two of the most important skills they’ll ever need

In higher education such as high school and college, you’re preparing kids for the future; which, in some countries, isn’t as bright as it could be. Preparing kids for tough job markets, showing them how to use their knowledge and their skills to the utmost so they can get a job is a remarkable opportunity.

Don’t let the daily challenges of teaching cloud the reason you became a teacher. Remember that even if you don’t feel like you’re making a difference, you’re affecting the daily lives of kids in a very important way. Making that difference is the true pleasure of teaching.

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