Teachers are modern-day heroes. Every day they work to shape and mold the lives of young minds by teaching them valuable lessons, many of which go beyond books and computers. By deciding to become a teacher, you'll have an unparalleled opportunity to influence the ones who will lead the way in the future and make the decisions that will affect the course of the world. And if that’s not important, nothing is.
Setting an Example
Teachers have the opportunity to set an example for their students. According to the Barna Group, after family members, teenagers list teachers and coaches as the most influential figures in their lives, outweighing friends, religious leaders and even pop culture icons. While you may feel your students are paying more attention to Kim Kardashian, Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga than to you, statistics say otherwise. Kids watch real-life examples and need men and women to influence them who live responsible, upright lives. As a teacher, you have the ability to live out positive and productive behavior patterns in front of your students that they will carry with them for years to come.
Filling a Void
ChildHelp.org reports that nearly six million children are victimized by child abuse every year. Of those, 78 percent are the victims of neglect, meaning that they aren’t being treated with the kind of love, attention or basic care they need for proper development. As a teacher, you'll spend hours every day with children who are mistreated or ignored outside of school and can help them receive the positive affirmation and encouragement they aren’t getting at home.
As a teacher, your primary job description is to give your students an education. With the academic tools you give them, they’ll be able to pursue their dreams and launch into successful careers and financial stability. In 2012, the Hamilton Project released stats showing that students’ lifetime earnings increased by leaps and bounds according to their education level. So whether you teach English, science, history or math, you can know you’re helping your students learn what they need to put food on the table in the future.
Depending on what level you teach, you could be filling a critical industry need by deciding to enter the world of education. California State University Dominguez Hills put together research from the U.S. Department of Labor showing that most teaching levels are expected to grow at a rate of 17 percent through 2020, while instructional coordinators and preschool teachers are projected to grow even faster. With the increase in demand for teachers, you can help develop the profession simply by filling a position.
After graduating from the University of Kansas with a bachelor's degree in sports information, Jill Lee served for 10 years as a magazine editor for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA). Also a published author, Lee now works as a professional writer and editor focusing on fitness, sports and careers.