Answering the Question: 'Why Become a Teacher?'

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 18 April 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Teachers often play an important role in childhood development, from being role models to helping their students succeed academically. There are many reasons why someone might become a teacher, such as the opportunity to work with children or job stability. Learning about the responsibilities, requirements and expectations in this role can help you decide if this is the right career path for you. In this article, answer 'Why become a teacher?' by exploring the different benefits you may get if you become a teacher, discuss what a teacher is, explore what a teacher does and disclose their average salary.

Why become a teacher?

To answer the question 'Why become a teacher?' you may want to first understand what a teacher does. Teachers are professional educators who teach in schools and universities. They educate their students in both soft and hard skills and may specialise in a variety of subjects, including maths, sciences, art, history and foreign language. Teachers may also specialise in different age groups and grade levels, from early childhood to post-secondary. Working as a teacher may involve the following duties:

  • planning, creating and delivering lessons

  • creating, collecting and grading assessments, from quizzes to essays

  • supporting students through all stages of the learning process, from coursework to assignments

  • communicating with students, parents and administrators about individual student needs

  • monitoring, directing and advising extracurricular activities, from honour societies to school clubs

You may choose a career in teaching if it aligns with your values, personality traits or salary expectations. For example, you may enjoy teaching if you value education and knowledge. Understanding what motivates you to become a teacher, as opposed to working in another educator role, involves considering the benefits that being a teacher provides. Here are some of the several reasons for entering the teaching industry:

Working with children

Working with children is often a key part of being a teacher. If you have the patience to care for and guide children through their most important developmental years, becoming a teacher may be the right career path for you. Some personality traits teachers typically possess can include kindness, empathy, patience, diligence, dedication and adaptability.

Helping students to succeed academically

Assisting students can often be a rewarding responsibility. Your role as a teacher is to educate students in specific or multiple subjects, which may help them overcome new challenges as they advance in their education. When students struggle with concepts, you can provide them with more specialised help and encourage them to improve.

While helping them develop learning strengths in the classroom, you may also have the chance to help them discover and strengthen their interests. You may appreciate this benefit if you enjoy communicating your ideas and watching others' progress.

Related: Top 6 Leadership Skills: Definitions and Examples

Opportunity to impact students' personal lives

As a teacher, you can impact a pupil's personal life by setting a good example for your students to follow and modelling effective communication, empathy and positivity. You can encourage your students to learn and improve by making the class fun and engaging with interactive lessons. By sharing your passion for giving back to the community, you may help them develop similar passions as well. You may also share your passions with the class, which may inspire them to create healthy habits. For example, you may have an interest in reading and encourage your students to read before bed and reduce screen time on their phones. You may find this aspect of teaching rewarding.

Giving back to your community

As a teacher, you may have many opportunities to connect with families from various backgrounds and give back to the larger communities. This could be through fund-raising, charity events and volunteer work. As a teacher, you might perform these opportunities alongside students and other faculties. This aspect of teaching might be an engaging experience for you if you enjoy supporting and being part of a community.

Related: How to Find Your Passion

Promotion of equality in education

If you believe in equal education for everyone, you may promote inclusivity in your classroom. You can do this by encouraging teamwork and teaching the value of quality. There are multiple opportunities to work in a variety of areas, including schools that have students with unique learning abilities. In these teaching roles, you may practice and promote education for students with special learning requirements.

Strong professional network

Working as a teacher may provide you with the opportunity to build a strong network of like-minded professionals who have a similar passion for helping students succeed. You may collaborate with other teachers to discover ways to engage students effectively during classes, promote learning and help students overcome challenges. Your colleagues could also become personal and life long friends.

Fun and interactive experiences

Teaching has the potential to be a very fun career, especially if you find joy in communicating with young people as they learn across various subjects. Teachers in charge of younger children often take them through a range of engaging activities, including arts, crafts and music. If you see yourself building rapport while teaching older students, classes may prove even more enjoyable.

The opportunity to be creative

Planning lessons and implementing new ways of teaching students can often allow you to express your creativity. Becoming a teacher can also provide small avenues for you to showcase your personality as you create a comfortable and engaging learning atmosphere for your students. If you're a naturally creative person, it could be extremely rewarding to encourage your students to engage with their personal creativity side.

Related: How To Become a Primary School Teacher (With Duties and Salary)

Consistent skill development

Teachers constantly develop their communication, leadership, organisation and time management skills through their daily responsibilities. Through tasks like lesson planning and collaborative work with students and faculty, you may build a variety of professional and transferable skills. These can include budgeting, event planning and project management.

Opportunity to work abroad

With some subjects or grade levels being of particular need in some countries, becoming a teacher may be your gateway to working abroad. When searching for a teaching job or deciding on a speciality, you might research the teaching roles in areas you want to visit. One popular speciality for teachers working abroad is English as a Second Language (ESL) since many nations are interested in having students across all ages learn English. Here, you could consider looking into possible ESL courses and the licences you may require to be able to teach abroad legally.

Related: How To Become an English as a Second Language Teacher (With FAQ)

Employment benefits packages

Depending on the school you potentially teach in, you can receive benefits packages in addition to your salary. As a teacher, you may have health insurance, which often includes vision and dental cover. You may also have paid continuing education opportunities, the possibility for tenure, paid maternity leave, sick leave and annual leave.

Long holidays and breaks

Many schools often provide long periods off for holidays and breaks, such as the Easter and Christmas periods. This may provide some ample time to pursue other passions, like taking up a short course in another field or engaging in a particular sport. Many public schools and universities offer bank and state holidays off. For example, teachers in Victoria may receive time off on state holidays like Melbourne Cup, AFL Grand Final and Labour Day.

Job stability and availability

A career in teaching can provide you with job stability, as there's usually a wide range of employment opportunities within schools and universities. Job Outlook predicts teaching careers to grow over the next five years. If you have extensive qualifications and work experience, you may be eligible for many teaching roles.

Related: Preparing for the Future of Work

Transferability of skills

Teaching may provide the opportunity to learn and develop a variety of skills. If you become a teacher and wish to change career paths later on, you can still use aspects of your teaching experience in other industries. Some of these useful and valued skills include leadership, time management, communication, creative thinking, critical thinking and research.

Competitive Salary

The national average salary of a teacher is $90,441 per year. Teachers typically work full time, Monday to Friday, in an office or classroom environment. Part-time teachers may receive a slightly lower income as they deliver fewer hours. The seniority of a teacher's role can also influence how much they earn. For example, a head of department may earn more than an entry-level teacher.

Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location.

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