become-a-teacherDuring the last ten years the teaching field has been shifting and adjusting to new changes and pressures.

The following statement often comes up from prospective teachers:

“I really want to be a teacher, but there is a lot of pressure and scrutiny placed on teachers nowadays.”

In another instance a prospective teacher will share their wanting to be a teacher because they get the summers off and two weeks off for Christmas Break.  So what questions can you ask yourself prior to either taking the plunge into teaching or running for the hills away from education?

Do you love students and working with children?

If you ask yourself this question and you respond “absolutely” then you are set.  Teaching is the career and lifestyle for you.  The love and passion for working with, mentoring, and serving students will reward you and help you sustain through the toughest of times.

Do I expect to have 3 months off in the summer to work on my tan and go on extravagant vacations?

If your answer is yes on this one, you may want to look elsewhere for your career.  Teaching is a passion and it is a passion that if done correctly takes time and an immense amount of energy.  It also takes an extravagant salary to afford extravagant vacations…Teachers are paid more through intrinsic motivation versus monetary rewards.  Though earnings a teacher does make today are not nearly as low as they once were.

I am not interested in working in isolation, will I be left in a classroom with no help and support as I learn how to be a great teacher?

Absolutely not!  The vast majority of school districts throughout Texas and the United States have developed successful mentor teacher programs for new teachers.  You most definitely will not be left on an island to fend for yourselves.  In fact, education graduates from the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor continue to receive support from their professors anytime the need arises.  One of the great offerings of the UMHB College of Education is a “phone a friend” life line.  Our department will actually send out a professor to your classroom to help and support you with classroom concerns at any time when you request support.

I’m not sure what grade-level I want to teach, do I have to pick a grade-level and stick with it?

Absolutely not!  When looking for teacher education programs, one of the biggest things to look for is what kind of observation and student-teaching opportunities will I have?  Currently our students lead the state of Texas in observation and student-teaching hours.  These experiences will help you figure out what grade-level or subject area you may want to teach in.

There are so many great things going on in the world of education right now.  Jump in, if you love students, life-long learning and making an impact on lives that will go well-beyond your own.  See you in the schoolhouse!

The Department of Education at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor is a recognized leader in the field of education and preparation of high-quality educators. If your passion is leading you down the path of educating our future leaders, we invite you to visit our website for more information.