Read about the benefits of being a teacher, and discover why teaching is a great career choice.
There are many reasons that people go into teaching. All of us have had inspirational teachers who have contributed to who we are today, and we never forget the influence they’ve had on us. I can name the most important teachers in my life. Who are the ones that influenced you? Many teachers today say they want to have that same effect on the next generation.
You’ll also never get bored as a teacher, as every day’s different. You may have your lesson plans ready, but you’ll need to be flexible because you never know what may come up. If you need to put the course curriculum on hold temporarily to help a child with his or her problems, that’s just part of the job and one of the things that sets apart great, compassionate teachers from the rest.
Looking for more benefits of becoming a teacher? There’s a lot of variety when you’re teaching, especially if you have more than one endorsement. Sure, you want to keep your number of preps down so you don’t have too much work when you get home. But teaching more than one subject—or coaching track, tennis or basketball—can give you more diversity in your day…and make the day go faster. Compared to cubicle work, that’s a pretty great benefit.
And then, there’s the sheer love of subject matter—and wanting to share our passion with tomorrow’s adults…today. The reason many people go into teaching is first and foremost because they love what they studied in school. Remember, two of the most important components of great teaching are the quality of instruction (good pedagogy) and subject-matter expertise.
While most teachers would agree that the main benefit of becoming a teacher is the opportunity to help children become self-aware individuals and instill them with a life-long love of learning, you don’t hear much about the other perks and benefits of being a teacher.
Check out this list of the top ten benefits of being a teacher.
Ten Reasons to Pursue a Teaching Career
- Teachers Earn a Solid Paycheck
While teaching is not a get-rich-quick profession, starting salaries are comparable to many other professions. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, public-school teachers are actually paid about 11 percent more than the average professional worker. Teaching careers also offer opportunities for advancement and increased pay over time. And teacher salaries are actually higher than you’d think. You probably know couples who are both teachers and own their own house (and maybe a rental unit). This isn’t at all rare on a teacher’s salary.
- More than Just an Apple a Day
Important benefits, such as health insurance and pension plans, are becoming scarce commodities in many professions, but you can count on both in a teaching career. When’s the last time you heard of someone getting a pension after retirement? Most teachers have their premiums fully paid by their school districts, and their health, dental and vision benefits are among the best when compared with other industries. Teaching also offers additional benefits such as sick days and tuition reimbursement, so you’ll find that teaching actually pays a lot more than you would initially think if you just look at the salary.
- Love Your Education Career
Joseph Campbell’s recommendation to “follow your bliss” is universally echoed by career counselors. If you are happy at work, you’ll be more motivated, energetic, successful and confident—and the other people in your life will benefit from your outlook. Every teacher I know comes home with stories of the ways that their students made them laugh every day. If the idea of teaching invigorates you—and you want to hear new gems as they come out of babes’ mouths—that’s another great reason to pursue a teaching career.
- Nix the Nanny
With a work calendar synched to your kids’ school schedule, an education career also allows you to eliminate many childcare expenses. While earning a paycheck, you’ll have the flexibility to be home with your kids before and after school. Your schedule will be their schedule.
- Become an Expert…as a Teacher
There’s an old adage that it takes three years of teaching to master a subject. And the best way to learn a topic is to teach it: students’ questions make you dig deeper and learn more until you know the subject inside and out. In spite of some disdainful modern versions, the original expression comes from Aristotle: “Those who know, do. Those who understand, teach.”
- Teachers Have Reasonable Hours
With students in school just six hours a day, teachers often spend less time on the job than their corporate counterparts. With the 8-hour workday corporate workday becoming a 10 to 12 hour day in some other occupations, you’ll find a teaching career leaves you with more time for family, friends and other interests. Sure, you’ll have some long days—plan on time for parent-teacher conferences, grading homework and attending after-school activities—but overall, if you’re efficient, a teaching career can leave you with a life outside of your job. Other professions might not let you achieve such a good work/life balance.
- Share your Passion in the Classroom
Who’s the teacher that got you excited about a subject, the one who inspired you to start putting in extra time because you just loved what she was teaching? That’s what happens when teachers share their excitement and enthusiasm: it’s contagious. Sharing your love of the subject matter with students is another one of the benefits of being a teacher.
- You Can’t Beat the Job Security of Being a Teacher
While requirements may differ from state to state, once you’ve established yourself as a good teacher, you’ll find there are always jobs available. And, unlike many industries, downsizing is a rare occurrence in education. For information on the most high-demand subjects and areas, see our teacher shortage article.
- Teachers Have Serious Vacation Time
If the thought of only having two weeks of vacation gets you down, you should definitely consider becoming a teacher. With a couple of weeks off for the fall and winter holidays, another week off for spring break, and almost three months off in the summer, you have the opportunity to invest in other interests:
- Pursue your summer dreams – Teachers have more time to trek around South America, visit exotic Southeast Asia, join an expedition to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro, spend a month eating their way through Europe, or take summer music, Zumba, Crossfit or yoga classes.
- Summer moonlighting – With summers off, teachers find it easier to develop a complementary, seasonal career…and one that will significantly supplement their income. For example, you’ll often find teachers working as docents in our national parks each summer, a classic case of having your vacation and getting paid for it too!
- A doctor in the house – Teachers often spend their vacation time furthering their own education and investing in professional development. If adding a master’s degree or Ph.D. to your résumé is part of your life plan, but not your budget, teaching can help you find the time and the money to make that happen.
And, the number one perk of becoming a teacher?
- Knowing all the answers!