Is being a teacher worth it? The rest of the world will have a lot to tell you about all the challenges of teaching. If you’re considering a career in education, you’ll hear plenty about low pay, a lack of community respect, bad policies at the federal and state level, and more. As someone who lives those challenges daily, I can tell you that the rewards of teaching make the drama totally worth it to me.
Couldn’t we all use a bit more positivity? If so, check out these 30 uplifting quotes about teachers.
What are some rewards of teaching?
If you’re considering a career in education, you need to know the rewards of teaching. There are so many wonderful things about being part of the public school system especially.
The rewards of teaching are:
- You’re never bored.
- There are plenty of opportunities for advancement and leadership.
- The team culture is dominant.
- The profession is naturally goal oriented and very focused.
- Your results will be measurable, and you’ll know whether or not you’re succeeding.
- Your practice is a mix of art and science.
- You’ll get lots of breaks throughout the year and a wonderful holiday schedule.
- You get to spend time with kids.
- You create your own work environment for you AND the kids.
The Ultimate Boredom Buster
You’ll never get bored as a teacher – it’s one of the most significant rewards of teaching.
Every year, there are so many policy changes that you have to be flexible and continue growing.
Many teachers during the pandemic became experts unexpectedly at educational technologies. Even when there’s not some major crisis driving the change, most teachers over the course of their career are constantly adding new tools and tricks to make them more successful in whatever content they teach.
I’ve never met a teacher on the verge of retirement who ever complained that they were bored, or felt like they had mastered the art of teaching. It’s always possible to improve in some area of the profession.
Finally, your days are naturally varied. One day, you’ll have to put out a fire with an upset parent, and the next day, you’ll be trying to figure out if you’re up for a leadership role in the school. On a Friday, your students will spend the whole class period testing and your room will be silent, but the day before, your review game will be noisy as heck.
There’s always a barf on the carpet, a child who accidentally called you “Mama” or an inappropriate note being passed around the room. You’ll never know what to expect!
Looking to add a bit of easy breezy fun to your classroom management? Check out these fresh takes on playing Secret Student!
Opportunities for Advancement and Leadership
Of course, you could eventually earn a job in your district as an assistant principal or instructional coach, if you’ve got the right credentials.
But even if you never add a master’s degree to your resume, good teaching and strong relationships will allow you to become a department head, lead professional development on your campus, or be appointed to a leadership team for some specific purpose.
There’s something about the team atmosphere in schools that’s very appealing to me. Every teaching team that I’ve ever worked with had their strengths and weaknesses, but I never felt alone. There was always someone to eat with at lunch time, a friend that would problem-solve with me, and I formed relationships with the parent liaison and janitors, too.
People are generally willing to help and work together, because there’s so much to be done and not enough people to do it. We all love the kids, so there’s no option but to band together and support one another.
The funny thing is that some of the people who made the best teammates aren’t people I would have chosen for friends outside school. Sometimes, we had literally nothing in common but the kids, but it was always enough! We filled the gaps in each other’s weaknesses, and made it work!
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Goal Orientation and Accountability
Teaching isn’t one of those jobs where you’re always wondering if you’re doing a great job or meeting expectations. On the one hand, it’s hard that there’s not much autonomy or freedom (see the challenges below). On the other hand, I’ve always appreciated knowing exactly where I stand.
If you’re struggling, there will be people in your room writing notes, offering feedback, and helping you write your plans. If you’re doing great, there will probably be someone stopping by to write an encouraging post-it note for your filing cabinet.
There will be concrete goals set around test scores (see Measurable Results below), with specific numbers based on data gathered by HEAD HONCHO NUMBERS PEOPLE (lol), and you’ll know your targets, just like if you were in sales.
Accountability is the name of the public school game. No one is going to be floating under the radar, and that’s uncomfortable for some people. But I’ve always enjoyed knowing exactly what was expected of me.
People tend to think of education the way they experienced it as a child. They don’t see the data behind the daily interactions and the lesson planning. All they remember is the way it felt to be part of a teacher’s classroom.
Most people will say something like, “You may never know the impact you had on a child,” and that’s true. In terms of the influence you have on a student and the relationships you build, the fruits of your labor are often unseen.
However, in real-time, you’ll see success in how quickly your students grow, and that can be very rewarding. Because teaching is so data-driven these days, you will immediately notice whether or not your efforts are paying off. You’ll often find that meaningful relationships with students lends itself well to rapid growth in both literacy and math.
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The Intersection of Art and Science
Great teachers can master both the art and the science of teaching.
The art is created through the relationships that are formed, the pizazz that teachers put into every lesson, their ability to hold children’s attention, and all the creativity that goes into running a classroom.
The science of teaching is all about the data analysis that takes place as you check for understanding and assess students. As a literacy coach, I’ve spent a lot of time learning about the science of reading and how brains develop to process and produce language.
So many other professions are heavy in either art or science, but one of the rewards of teaching is the opportunity to grow both sides of your brain.
Summers and Holidays
Everyone is well acquainted with this reward of teaching, and non-teachers love to remind teachers just how much time off they have. We could probably argue all day about that, but it’s true that teachers do get lots of built-in time off.
Especially as a mom, I have great appreciation for all the pausing points throughout the year for our family to catch our breath and spend a bit of time together.
Every state and every school district is different in terms of how the school year is calendared out and which holidays are observed. Some school districts begin in August and finish in May, while others begin in September and finish in June. Either way, you’ll have more “off days” as a teacher than you would just about any other profession outside of education.
Spending Time with Kids
One reward of teaching that can’t be overstated is how fun it is to spend time with kids all day. They’re such a hoot!
Obviously, this means you have the ability to shape kids’ perception of themselves, speak life into them and empower them to have their own hopes and dreams, and be a part of their everyday lives.
In return, you’ll get lots of laughs, plenty of hugs, and meaningful relationships to fill your day.
Creating Your Own Work Environment
Anyone who’s ever worked in a cubicle knows the importance of creating your own workspace that feels like a home away from home.
Lots of teachers really enjoy building beautiful spaces that suit their own work aesthetic. Some love rainbow colors, others prefer neutrals, and teachers often get excited over the summer planning next year’s room theme or doorway decoration. Others use wax warmers, lamps, wallflowers, and color coordinated group supplies.
For many of us, the joy of creating these spaces goes far beyond our own needs. Knowing that some of our students don’t go home to a comfortable space makes us want to build a beautiful home away from home, where students feel safe.
It’s easy to dwell on the hard things in public education right now. If you need some reading about the challenges, check out this post or this one. There is plenty of truth in both of those articles! However, I wanted to offer something more positive, because there will always be lots to love about being an educator.