Teachers play an important role in shaping the hearts and minds of young people. A good teacher can be the difference that turns a child from delinquency to a productive citizen. Well-educational people enjoy better career prospects and earning potential. Being a teacher has several notable advantages and disadvantages.
One potential disadvantage of becoming a teacher is that compensation tends to be lower than many other fields that require a similar amount of education. Becoming a grade school teacher usually requires four years of post-secondary education and according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), median income of grade school teachers "ranged from $47,100 to $51,180 in May 2008." Graduates who go into fields such as finance, management or technology can often get jobs that pay this much or more straight out of college.
An advantage of being a teacher is that teachers are often granted more vacation time than the average worker. Children do not attend school during the summer, which allows many teachers to take summers off. Schools also have days off for special events and long breaks such as winter break and spring break. Extra vacation time can allow teachers to pursue hobbies or take on extra work such as teaching summer school.
Working with Students
The opportunity to work with young people is one of the main reasons many people decide to become teachers. Helping students learn and achieve goals can make teaching a fulfilling vocation. On the other hand, if children misbehave, enforcing discipline can be stressful. Teachers may also have to interact with parents, which can contribute to the stress of dealing with problem students.
School days are typically about six hours long. On some days, teachers may work less than a full eight-hour day, but teachers must grade papers, tests and prepare curriculum which often requires hours of extra work before and after class sessions. The BLS states that teachers often work more than 40 hours a week. Professors at colleges and universities have more flexibility in terms of when they teach.