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Top 10 Reasons to Become a Teacher

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Question:
I think I would like to quit my office job and become a teacher, but am not 100% convinced yet. I'm not sure what is holding me back, but I would guess it is because a career change is such a big decision. Would you recommend going into teaching? What little perks can you tell me about the career that might help solidify my decision? Thanks, Will

Answer:
Dear Will,

You are absolutely right, a career change is a big decision. But if it is the right decision, your quality of life can improve tenfold. I had the chance to talk to many teachers who have changed careers to become a teacher. They all said, hands-down, they did not regret their decisions. Read on to find out some reasons why.

1. Perfect schedule. It's the first thing that comes to mind for most teachers, especially those with families. You never need to take vacation time during any holidays, time off is a given. Not to mention the standard 2-3 month summer break,which is definitely one of the biggest perks.

2. Be a big kid. If you have a lot of playfulness in you, this is the job for you. Goofiness is not always encouraged in a professional office, but boy do children respond to it. You will be encouraged to let it out.

3. Creativity. With teaching jobs you are able to draw on a wider spectrum of personal interests and talents, instead of being an expert in one area. You can center a lesson around music or get out the paints for a science activity. Thinking outside of the box is good for both you and the kids.

4. Making a difference. So many people say this, but you won't understand what it really means until you've felt like you have changed a child's life. Once you see your student's eyes light up because you helped her to read on her own or make her first friend, you will fully understand one of the greatest rewards of teaching.

5. No cubicles. Who dreams of spending 40+hours a week cramped behind a small desk? I'm thinking no one. When you become a teacher you sign up for more space and lots of movement-from the cafeteria, to the playground, to the floor to teach a new game, to the music room. You'll be all over the place.

6. Receiving teacher gifts. Little kids, and their parents, love to get teachers gifts. It is great to feel appreciated so many times throughout the year with homemade brownies, gift cards, bouquets, or hand-drawn pictures. Most schools even have whole weeks dedicated to teacher appreciation.

7. Growth is personal and less competitive. Each school year you have new experiences that add to your personal growth as a teacher. Yes, this is true for most jobs, but with office jobs you may just be trying to climb up a pay scale or hoping for a more impressive title. With teaching jobs you'll try and improve your practice for yourself and your students.

8. Every day is different. Routines are flexible, your schedules change, and each day is different. You are not answering the same questions over the phone everyday or filing the same types of papers all day long. You teach a new lesson each period and the content and objectives of what you teach are always changing.

9. Belonging to a community. School spirit is powerful and being part of a school and all that it offers is an amazing feeling. You often share in the kids' accomplishments by enthusiastically cheering on the soccer team or feeling proud as the students sing their hearts out at the winter musical.

10. Teacher discounts. If you took some time to look, you'd be amazed at at the how many discounts for teachers there are. A few examples on the long list of companies that offer teacher discounts are: J. Crew, FedEx, AT&T, Apple, Borders, Lowes-the list goes on and on. I even watched an IMAX movie for free this summer because I happened to mention I was a teacher.

Convinced yet? Good luck with your decision!

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