If there is one job that will always be in demand, it’s teaching. Teachers are some of the most essential members of society, shaping the next generation and giving them the skills, they need to thrive as adults. Even if you love kids and the idea of being a teacher, you may worry about a low pay, a dwindling education budget and struggles you might face on the job. Compared to those earning six-figures in tech or marketing, a teacher’s average salary seems small, and you may wonder whether it’s worth it to earn your degree in education.
Many educators who enter the field often stay in the same position their entire lives. Someone who works as a kindergarten teacher at 24 likely will be doing the same thing at 50. For some, that’s a dream come true, but others are worried that it isn’t enough to get by in our rising economy. The first thing you must ask yourself is do I really want to teach?
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Far too many people choose degree paths that they think they’re supposed to follow. Maybe they settled on the idea when they were young and their family has encouraged them ever since. They might feel pressured to meet others’ expectations or follow in their parents’ footsteps. But you have to decide in your own heart whether a career in teaching is something that interests you.
Why Teaching Is Invaluable
In the K-12 setting especially, teachers who are compassionate, enthusiastic, and genuinely believe in their students make a world of difference. So many lives have been saved solely because a kind teacher took interest and made a student believe in themselves. Educators aren’t just those who stand in front of a classroom and give presentations. They are caregivers, role models and examples of what students should aspire to be. It’s a lot of pressure, but when you believe that your role has the power to make a difference, you want to live up to the standards. There are tips to follow on being a better teacher but the willingness and passion must be present for any of the tips to work.
No matter what your subject specialization is, if you bring the right qualities to the table, you can find teaching to be the most rewarding thing you ever do. There are, of course, plenty of struggles. There will be days you feel like you aren’t cut out to be a teacher. You’ll question why your students don’t like you. You may even wonder if some of them hate you. But there will also be moments that you know you’ve made a real impression on a child’s mind, and that feeling is what teaching is all about.
How Do You Become a Teacher?
Unlike many other jobs today, becoming a teacher is possible with a bachelor’s degree. You can start as early as 18 and be in the classroom by 22. Paying for your degree is possible through a student loan, which you can borrow from a private lender to pay back college on your own terms. This is especially helpful for recent graduates or teacher’s aides who are earning their license and have a limited budget.
Your first step should be to check your state’s teaching requirements. If you want to teach elementary, middle or high school, the requirements may differ. Once you know exactly what you have to do to earn your teacher’s license, you can look for the right undergraduate programs near you and start building your future in education.