Foundations and Assessment of Education/Edition 1/Foundations Table of Contents/Chapter 1/1.1.2

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Why Do Teachers Teach?

By: MChat004

Table Of Contents


After reading this article the reader will have an understanding of reasons people choose teaching for their profession.

They will know the challenges and rewards of teaching.

The reader will also know what the future looks like for teachers.

What Does It Take To Be a Teacher?[edit]

Teachers teach for many different reasons but mainly for how rewarding it is to see students succeed. The Marriam-Webster Online Dictionary says the definition of a teacher is “one whose occupation is to instruct” (Teacher Mariam-Webster 2009). There are many different kinds of teachers and to provide instruction is definitely not the only requirement. Teachers need to be prepared with lesson plans ahead of time. They need to explain information in the easiest way for students to understand it. They need to be creative and interesting to keep students attention by adding visual aids and interaction activities to help students get a better grasp of the information. A teacher’s job extends further than just the classroom. When not preparing for lessons they grade papers, make tests, try to communicate with parents to keep every child prepared, and try their best to make learning enjoyable (Teacher Bureau 2008). Teaching requires much more than just the average six hour day in the classroom. Linda Christensen states in her article Teacher Quality, “I wanted teachers to see themselves as curriculum producers, as creative intellectuals rather than technicians serving out daily portions of someone else’s packaged or downloaded materials” (Christensen 2005). In the world of a teacher a lot of preparing and behind the scenes work goes into every regular day on the job. It is impossible to plan on showing up and "just winging" it as class goes on. Preparation is a must!

What are the requirements for teaching?[edit]

To be a teacher you are required to pass certain tests, earn at least a bachelors degree, and receive a teaching certificate. Besides having all of the educational requirements, it takes a special type of person to be a teacher. Teachers are required to have a lot of patience and to be happy people to make students feel more encouraged to go to school and to make students feel more comfortable. Teachers need to be creative to keep students focused and to make learning fun. They should also be good leaders to obtain trust from their class (Teacher Bureau 2008). Teachers need to know how to make learning fun but also keep control of the class at the same time.

What does the future look like for teachers?[edit]

The U.S. Department of Labor predicts that in the next ten years job opportunities for teachers will vary from good to excellent (Teacher Bureau 2008). Teaching is a very dependable job because where ever life takes you, teachers will be needed. They are needed everywhere in multiple different subjects and grade levels. The U.S. Department of Labor also stated in there online article about teachers, “There were 4 million jobs for teachers in 2006” (Teacher Bureau 2008). Teaching is a very rewarding job but is also often considered a very underpaid job. The U.S. Department of Labor also showed that teacher’s salaries vary from $28,590 to $76,100 annually (Teacher Bureau 2008). There is a great difference between the salary range just all depending on what kind of teacher, teacher degree and educational experience, and location of the school district.

The Challenges of Teaching[edit]

Teaching involves many different challenges. Students come to school on many different learning levels. Some students are gifted and accelerate more quickly than others, and teachers need to work very hard to keep these students from being bored and to keep them interestesd in the learning. Other students are a bit slower at keeping up and teachers need to work hard to keep them up to pace and motivated to eliminate giving up. Teachers need to provide lessons on a level for the whole class to be able to participate. Most material needs to be taught several times because of all of the different ways children learn. When teaching you have to present the material in many different styles and need to be sure that each students understands and can apply the information that they have been taught. Teachers need to teach material so students can not only see it, but hear it. Beth Lewis states in her article on Elementary Education on that, “The word ‘teacher’ just does not cover it. We’re also nurses, psychologists, recess monitors, social workers, parental counselors, secretaries, copy machine mechanics, and almost literally parents, in some instances, to our students” (Lewis 1999). Teachers also do not have the flexibility of being able to call in sick or to take unexpected days off. Lesson plans take hours to put together and without advanced notice it is hard for teachers to prepare productive lesson plans for a substitute. Some school districts also provide their teachers with very limited resources. Technology is becoming a very important aid in the classroom. It is proven to promote interaction and focus in the classroom, but unfortunately not all schools have to budget to provide a lot of this equipment.

The Rewards of Teaching[edit]

Educators are driven to provide the best education for their students (Kaufman). Kaufman also states in her article, “In an interview of elementary school teachers, ‘meaningful work’ ranked as the primary draw of a teaching career” (Kaufman). Many teachers teach because of the reward of seeing students succeed. There job actually has meaning. They are actually making a difference by preparing our youth. Teaching is also very different than the average office job, every day is a new day and you never know what to expect. Teaching is by far not a boring job and is guaranteed to keep you on your toes. Another reward of being a teacher is being able to have your summers off. Most jobs do not allow much vacation time in the summer. As a teacher you can take vacations and trips, catch up on housework, or just enjoy the time to relax and recuperate.

In Conclusion[edit]

In conclusion teaching can be very rewarding but also very challenging at the same time. Teachers never know what to expect on a day to day basis in the classroom. Teaching takes a lot of patience but after all the struggles nothing is greater than to see your students succeed in the end. Many teachers also choose to be teachers because of the fact that they feel needed. There is meaning behind their job. Teachers make a difference by preparing the youth for the future.

Review Questions:[edit]

1. The article discusses teachers salary. There is a big difference in the pay amounts. A teacher that has just started teaching is more likely to earn ___________ than a teacher that has been teaching for fifteen years.

a. less

b. more

c. the same

d. none of the above

2. The educational requirements needed for becoming a teacher are:

a. to pass certain test

b. to earn at least a bachelors degree

c. to obtain a teaching certificate

d. all of the above

3. The definition of a teacher given by the Mariam-Webster Online dictionary is very______.

a. broad

b. precise

c. encouraging

d. not true

4. Students obtain information best by ____________.

a. seeing it

b. hearing it

c. applying it

d. all of the above

5. The most rewarding part of being a teacher is _________.

a. Seeing your students succeed

b. Having summers off

c. Being able to get off in the afternoon

d. Being around students all day


Christensen, Linda. 2005. “Teacher Quality: Teachers Teaching Teachers.” Retrieved on February 7, 2009.

Kaufman, Clare. “The Rewards of Being and Educator.” Retrieved onFebruary 7, 2009.

Lewis, Beth. (1999) “Top 8 Reasons Why Non Teachers Could Never Understand Our Job.” Retrieved on February 7, 2009.

Mariam-Webster. Teacher. (2009). In Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary. Retrieved February 8, 2009, from

Teacher. (2008). Bureau of Labor Statistics. U.S. Department of Labor. Retrieved February 7, 2009. htt://

Answer Key:

1)a 2)d 3)a 4)d 5)a

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