17 Pros and Cons of Being a Teacher

Teacher

Teachers have the ability to shape young minds and impart the wisdom that will serve them well in their adult lives.

While being a teacher is not always easy, it can fill you with warmth knowing that you are playing a vital role in the world of education.

Exploring the pros and cons can help you to decide if this is the kind of career that you will find rewarding.

Pros of Being a Teacher

Teachers do not always get the credit that they deserve.

However, there are quite a few pros to becoming a teacher that you might not have even thought about.

1. You Can Learn a Variety of Subjects

As a teacher, you will have the ability to learn a variety of subjects.

It is a chance to improve your math skills, dive into more about history, and even read some of the classic pieces of literature.

As you teach the subjects, you will become more passionate about everything – and this knowledge can help to make you a more well-rounded individual.

2. You Can Choose the Grade You Want to Teach

You will have the ability to choose the grade you want to teach.

As you begin your college classes focused on education, you can focus on the kind of students you want to teach.

Once you have your degree, you can obtain certification for specific grades.

Then, you control which schools you apply to – and even what subjects you want to specialize in within a particular grade level.

3. You will Shape Young Minds

Teachers are responsible for shaping young minds.

Not only will you be helping them to learn basic aspects of education, but you will also be helping them to become more responsible individuals.

You will oversee their behavior, provide positive reinforcement, and more within the classroom.

As they grow, you will see how you were able to have an impact on who they have become.

4. You Can Go on Field Trips

Regardless of the subject that you teach, you can go on field trips.

Some schools and grade levels have more field trips than others.

However, it is a chance to take your students into the real world to show them more about a particular subject.

It can be a great hands-on experience – and you may start to look forward to visiting a particular site with your students each and every year.

5. You Get Summers Off

Most teachers have the ability to take summers off.

This can be 10 to 12 weeks that you get off without having to worry about going into the classroom.

It is a chance to catch up on housework, go on a vacation, or simply relax.

Of course, if you do want to work, there are always summer camps looking for teachers to follow a particular curriculum with the attendees.

6. There is a Strong Demand for Teachers

Teachers are in high demand throughout the country.

In many areas, there is a significant amount of growth – and schools cannot keep up with the demand.

As such, classrooms are overcrowded because they do not have enough teachers.

You can fill the need by showing up with your college degree.

Even if you are working toward your master’s, many schools will work with you so that you can start to teach.

7. Various Discounts Exist

Many companies want to thank teachers in any way that they can – and they do so by extending discounts.

As long as you can show your teacher ID, you can get discounts in school supply stores, car dealerships, theme parks, and more.

Some school districts offer entire books of discounts that you can take advantage of, which can help to compensate for lower salaries.

8. Benefits are Great

Teachers often get a lot of great benefits.

Some of the benefits include health insurance, paid time off, free training, and more.

Most teachers will also get some kind of retirement plan or pension.

This will help you to retire without wondering whether you will have enough in savings.

Every school district is different – and there are also differences between public and private schools.

An inquiry will tell you all the benefits that you could look forward to receiving.

9. The Physical Demands are Low

Unlike other careers, teachers do not have to worry about a lot of physical demands.

You may have to push the occasional table and desk around to make sense of your classroom, but the heavy lifting is done by janitors.

It ensures that you do not have to worry about hurting yourself by carrying something that is too heavy.

Even older students are usually available to help with any of the more demanding physical requirements.

10. There are Various Advancement Opportunities

Once you have a few years of teaching experience under your belt, there are advancement opportunities that you can explore.

While many of them require you to obtain more education, they can also lead to higher salaries.

Such opportunities include becoming a principal, a dean, or even a superintendent.

If you want to stay as a teacher, you can also look at moving to a higher grade, overseeing an extracurricular activity, or moving to a private school.

Cons of Being a Teacher

There are some cons to becoming a teacher.

You will want to read through them so that you know all that you are going to be up against in this career field.

1. The Pay is Low

The salary of a teacher is lower than many other careers, even though it is arguably one of the most important and noble professionals.

The annual median wage for teachers in 2020, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics was $60,660 per year.

Depending on the city in which you teach and the grade level, the salary can be dramatically lower.

It is important to know what your salary will be before getting started assuming that pay is a determining factor for your career.

2. Testing Requirements Can Be Stressful

Many states have strict testing requirements.

It can be stressful to meet the standardized testing as it will mean that you are teaching your students to pass a test, not necessarily teaching your students the curriculum that they can benefit from.

In some instances, if a large percentage of your students do not pass, it can affect your employment status within the district moving forward.

3. Your Day Is Not Over When You Leave School

Teaching is not a traditional 9 to 5 job.

Once the school bell rings for the day, you will likely take piles of paperwork home.

You will be working on the next week’s curriculum.

You will be grading papers, and you may even be required to attend various training seminars.

All of this will be in addition to the time you spend in the classroom.

It can easily add up to 60 hours a week or more if you are not careful.

4. Budgets are Often Limited

School budgets are notoriously low, which means that resources are also low.

You may not have the supplies that you need to teach curriculums effectively.

It can be extremely frustrating to get more funding for your classroom.

Due to the low resources, you may also find that you have to spend money out of pocket to cover such things as pencils, paper, and more for your students.

Some teachers spend $100 or more a month on out-of-pocket expenses that will not be reimbursed by the school.

5. Students Can Be Disruptive

Students of any age can be disruptive to the learning process.

Teachers are responsible for being the first line of defense for students who have behavioral problems.

You will need to stop teaching so that you can deal with the student in question.

Sometimes, students will fight with other students.

Other times, an individual student may lash out at you – and you may even be injured in the process.

Not all schools have behavioral issues, but some have more than their fair share.

6. Parents Can Be Demanding

Parents are not always the hands-on supervisors for their children that they should be.

They will demand why their child is failing a class, even though they did not participate in any of the student-teacher conferences.

Parents may also not follow the recommendations that you pass down in regard to behavioral issues, tutoring, or other issues.

Some of your days will likely be spent reaching out to parents to address concerns that you have with specific students.

7. Teachers’ Unions Can Be Complicated

Many teachers will be forced to join teachers’ unions.

Your political beliefs may not line up with the union.

It can lead to frustration and aggravation, especially as there is often a lot of fighting in terms of what kind of curriculum should and should not be taught to your students.

Pros and Cons of Being a Teacher – Summary Table

Pros of Being a TeacherCons of Being a Teacher
You Can Learn a Variety of SubjectsThe Pay is Low
You Can Choose the Grade You Want to TeachTesting Requirements Can Be Stressful
You will Shape Young MindsYour Day Is Not Over When You Leave School
You Can Go on Field TripsBudgets are Often Limited
You Get Summers OffStudents Can Be Disruptive
There is a Strong Demand for TeachersParents Can Be Demanding
Various Discounts ExistTeachers’ Unions Can Be Complicated
Benefits are Great
The Physical Demands are Low
There are Various Advancement Opportunities

Should You Become a Teacher?

Becoming a teacher can be an extremely noble profession where you can touch the lives of many – year after year.

Whether you teach elementary school, high school, or even seek to become a professor in higher education institutions, the pros and cons are often the same.

Weigh them so that you can decide if you are ready to take the good with the bad.

It can also be advantageous to talk with current teachers to see what advice they have about going into the career.

Jamie Willis