Foundations of Education
October 12, 2011
Sittser: Changing the View on
Teaching is a unique profession in today’s workplace. It is an occupation that will not give you a promotion very easily based on performance. It is also an occupation that can be seen as something that is not highly enough reimbursed for the impact it has on the lives of young people. A teacher needs an incredible passion for children/adolescents in order to be an effective educator. The way a teacher runs their classroom has the potential to be a huge part of a student’s life and an even greater part in the effect the student has on the kids.
There are distinct advantages and disadvantages to the teaching profession. Advantages include working with the children that educators are so passionate about every day and having the chance to meet an incredible amount of new people year after year. Some of the disadvantages are, most obviously to the public eye, salary as well as certain students who are apathetic toward learning or participating. These pros and cons are similar to those that go along with every profession in this country and they require you to strive for the good times and work through the bad ones.
Working with children every day can be an incredible experience. Most evidently in elementary schools, kids have such a passion for learning. They love their teacher, they love school, and they love learning new things so they can go home and tell their parents they learned to multiply today. As the students get older, although it is harder to recognize the passion for learning, the ‘aha’ moments are that much more rewarding. There must be no feeling like working through a rough time with a student while they try and try to work through the conflict and seeing it through until the end. The reward a teacher gets from that moment when you see them completely through the problem they were having is unlike anything most people ever experience in their lives. Most people see it in their children but only teachers have the ability to have that same effect on hundreds or thousands of kids over their careers.
Salary is certainly an issue in the education profession. It is not fair that people who spend their time shaping students in to the human being they will grow up to be get paid lower than almost all other positions in the country. Outside of people directly affected by these educators, nobody can understand what importance they actually have on the student’s futures. They can make or break their morals, understanding of respect, and even their future grasp on knowledge in general. Without teachers our society would be in an incredible amount of turmoil and it would be in a hole so big it may be irreversible.
Working with so many different students can be a life changing experience for not only the students who receive the blessings from the teacher but for the teachers who get so many of their own blessings from their students who unknowingly give and give and give. Meeting new people every year is a great experience. A teacher has the opportunity to meet over one-hundred new people each year. That is not to mention all the kids parents at conferences or any new faces they see in the workplace. Meeting so many people and having an opportunity to impact that many lives is an impossibly awesome situation for educators. Teachers are in a position to drastically improve society of the future and the teachers who actually are extremely passionate toward the kids will certainly be taking steps in the right direction.
Student apathy has been an issue for as long as there have been people trying to teach other people. It goes with the job and it is something every educator needs to figure out how to work with and get past. It is an unfortunate part of the profession, but can be seen as an opportunity to work through conflicts and give the students the same respect they need throughout the process. Working through the students who do not want to learn, participate, or even be in the classroom, is a challenge and a blessing. It makes teachers realize how lucky they have been that not every student is like that, or that they still get to have those students who are as passionate about learning as the teacher is about teaching. Although a disadvantage of teaching, student apathy can also put things into perspective in a good way for educators.
As teaching becomes a more recognized profession, maybe it will also become more glorious. Even with all the positives to the profession there are certainly enough disadvantages that need to be worked on. The bottom line is it is not a job that someone should just get into because he or she needs a job. It is an occupation that requires patience, understanding, and most importantly passion. It is not a job for everybody but for those who do enjoy the impact they have on the lives of these students it can be the most rewarding experience on the planet.