Throughout college and during my early years as a teacher friends, acquaintances, and complete strangers asked, “Why do you want to be a teacher?”
I replied always, “It’s my destiny,” and left it at that. After 11 years, I’ve come up with some more definite answers on reasons to become a teacher.
The Top 10 – Drum Roll Please
# 10 - The schedule: I’m contractually obligated to work until 2:00 P.M. That means by the time most workers are getting back from lunch, I’m going to my second job.
#9 - Discounts at coffee shops: I’ve never drunk coffee in my life. Probably never will. In fact, I find it disgusting, habit forming, and vomit-inducing, but if I did drink coffee, I could get a 4% discount at the coffee shop down the street from my school.
#8 - The chance to influence hundreds of lives: With 40-50 students per class, think of all the influencing you get to do on a daily basis!
#7 - Camaraderie: That 38 minutes I spend with my colleagues every other month forges bonds of brotherhood and friendship that last an hour and a half. It’s kind of like fighting a war together except we only get shot at once or twice a year as opposed to every day.
#6 - Prestige: I had a student one time who called me ‘sir’.
#5 - Power: The power to decide whether or not a child pees his pants or gets to use the restroom is intoxicating.
#4 - Cafeteria food: My dog loves the stuff.
#3 - June
#2 - July
#1 - August
The Real Reason to Become a Teacher
On second thought, I’ll stick with the “it’s my destiny” answer. It sounds mysterious and more intelligent than “heck, I don’t know. I guess it’s because I can do cartwheels at work and not get fired.”
On third thought, if you’re trying to persuade someone logically to be a teacher then they may want to consider another field.
I don’t know why I love teaching so much. I just do. It’s the greatest profession in the world.
If you can’t get excited about helping young people reach their potential, maybe you should be an accountant or a plumber.