So you’re thinking of becoming a teacher, but you’re not 100 percent sure you’re ready to make the leap. You wonder if you’ll find a job after earning a degree, you’re concerned about your future salary, and you’re not sure if you’ll be ready to tackle a classroom full of students.
Well, there’s good news. The need for teachers is constant and some specializations, such as special education, science, math, and English as a Second Language, are in high demand. And if you teach in a state like Massachusetts, you’ll earn an average annual salary of $82,042, according to the National Education Association (2019). Your options for a teaching degree have also expanded, so you’ll be able to find a program that fits your schedule and will prepare you to succeed in the classroom.
Of course, knowing that you’ll find success as a teacher isn’t enough. You also want to know whether you’ll enjoy waking up for work every day.
That’s why we asked educators how they knew teaching was right for them. Putting their responses together, 5 themes emerged. If you say yes to these 5 questions, now might be the perfect time to start on the path to becoming a teacher.
1. Are You Concerned for Our Future?
‘Inspiring the next generation’ sounds like a cliche, but to teachers all over the world, it’s their everyday reality. You’ll go to work knowing that your students will have to grapple with a changing climate, transformations in our geopolitics, and the opportunities of artificial intelligence and automation. That means it’s imperative to equip our youngest generation with the tools to innovate and lead in a changing world.
“Teachers get in on the ground floor of the most important investment there is: our future. By improving our craft, we create greater opportunity for generations to come. Invest in the future, become a teacher.”
Beth Short, Northborough, Massachusetts
4th, 5th, and 6th Grade Teacher
2. Do You Enjoy Working With Young People?
Students often approach the problems they face in unique and interesting ways. Sometimes that means they come up with new solutions, and sometimes that means they fail at simple tasks. Whatever the result, you’ll find inspiration as you walk alongside young people during their journeys of discovery. They’ll end up teaching you about perseverance and the possibilities of the future as much as you teach them about science or math.
“Few things are more satisfying than sitting alongside a six-year-old as he reads an entire book on his own or listening in as an older child who’s always resisted reading share with her literature circle an important insight into the main character's motivation. Teaching is important, challenging work—and the benefits are tremendous."
Dr. Valerie Shinas, Cambridge, Massachusetts
Former Middle School Teacher