any teachers out there? Would you recommend your field of work?

posted 3 years ago in Career
Post # 3
1883 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: March 2012

If I knew now what I knew before I invested time and lots of money into the teaching profession, I would not have become a teacher. There are so many incredible things about being a teacher, but I do not think the pros necessarily outweigh the cons. 

Large class sizes, low pay, always taking work home with you, the unpaid planning, the kids who don’t want to be there (and let you know it), the paperwork (omg the paperwork!!!), accomodations and ARDS, the latest and greatest techniques (that you have to learn and apply this year, but will be gone next year), the extracurriculars, morning duty, lunch duty, bus duty, ISS duty, detention duty, the inability to hold students accountable for their actions/grades (for a multitude of reasons), broken copiers and printers all the time, not being able to go to the bathroom when you need to…there’s so many more but this was just a quick brain dump. 

That’s not to say it’s all bad. I love so many of my kids and coworkers. I love the feeling of making a difference (don’t ever expected to get recognized for it though). I love having breaks that are built in to the year and will one day allow me to have similar days off to my own children. I love the consistancy that comes with teaching. 

The things I love do not necessarily outweight all the things that teachers are forced to deal with on a daily basis that people not in the profession really can’t even begin to comprehend. 

I’m sorry if this is more negative than you wanted to hear. 🙁 

Post # 4
1720 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

@sunelake27:  Hi! I’m a first year teacher 🙂 I worked for 14 years at a desk job where I didn’t feel that I made a difference. 

My fellow first year teacher friends and I all agree that teaching is A LOT harder than we ever could have anticipated. Everything that @mg1363:  said is pretty much right on. 


I wouldn’t change my mind about going into teaching. The students, my fellow teachers, the families, make the difficult days worth it. 

From what you said in your original post, I think you should consider pursuing it. Would you be starting from scratch, school-wise? I have a friend who had a B.S. degree in another field, decided she actually wanted to be a teacher, and returned to school to get her Master’s in Education and now she’s teaching and loving it. You may also look into Teach for America (I don’t know a ton about the program but I think there is a lot of info out there…)

Good luck! 

P.S. I’m writing this from my sofa at 7:45am on a Thursday morning – Winter Break rocks!!!

Post # 5
956 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2014

I’m coming at this from the other side of the pond but I would second a lot of what mg1363 has said. I think teaching is a great career IF it’s something you have always wanted to do, were born to do, totally passionate about, etc. Only then will the pros outweigh the cons.

I went into teaching because I didn’t really have another plan after I graduated. I taught for three years, which was probably two years too long. It’s not fair on either you or your students if you’re not 110% committed.

Sorry, another not-so-positive comment!

Post # 6
1992 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: March 2014

I wouldn’t be a teacher if I could afford to go back to school right now. I have things pretty good as far as teaching goes– I work for a great district, in a beautiful multi-million dollar school that is brand new. I teach art, so I don’t have grading or the same time of RTI/Accommodations headaches to deal with. However, I see 125 different students a day, and 500 students a week.

I love the time off, I love the kids. But I hate the pay. I have a masters degree and I make $44K a year before taxes (roughly $38K after taxes, SSI). My FI is also a teacher and we never have enough for any extras, nice vacations etc. I have friends with less schooling than I have that make twice what I do. It is very frustrating to worry about money all the time. As soon as I can afford it I will go back to school for something else.

Post # 7
1158 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

@sunelake27: pretty much what @mg1363:  and @MissPine:  


The short answer is, I love my job.


The long answer is that there are days where it is beyond challenging, there are days where no amount of teacher’s college ever prepared you, there are days (especially in my school where there are a lot of behavoural issues) where the last thing you do is teach. It is’t just about holidays and summers off–there’s lots of politics and paperwork that comes with this profession. Your day goes much longer than the school bells and it comes home with you (currently trying to work on report cards). Finding jobs have been extremely difficult. I am VERY lucky that I was able to get hired with a board right out of teacher’s college, and then a permanent position within a few years, but there are people who have been trying to get in with a board for many years.


All of that being said, I count my blessings every day to have a job, to be in a position where I can (hopefully) impact the lives of my students in a positive way. I love my co-workers, I love this year’s group of students, and I wouldn’t trade in my profession for anything else!


Best of luck to you!!!


Post # 8
2687 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2015 - Ketchum, ID

@sunelake27:  I could never, ever, ever be a teacher, but I respect those that do it. While I’m obviously not a teacher, let me share something with you…

I had extreme anxiety that didn’t allow me to go to class, the store, anywhere, by myself. Sometimes I couldn’t even go even if people went with me. Some people say that teachers don’t make that big of an impact, but I’m going to copy/paste an email that I wrote to my economics professor from the past two semesters at my college. 

Dr. *******, 

When I was in high school, I graduated with a 4.6 GPA and was at the top of my class. I could have gone to any college I wanted, and everyone was expecting me to do great things, including myself.

By the time I hit my senior year in college, my anxiety was so bad that I couldn’t make a quick run to the grocery store without panicking and giving up, let alone go to class for hours at a time. Everyone around me was graduating, while I had given up on myself. I was convinced that I would never graduate or make anything of myself. I prepared to begin moving up the few ranks at my hourly retail job. 

The teachers that I’ve spoken to have all said the same thing — the best part of their job is being a positive influence to a student, and to help them as much as possible, even if it’s only one or two students in their lifetime. 

I want you to know that, if nothing else, you’ve changed my life. 

Your pure joy and love for the material sparked my own love of economics, and somehow you motivated me everyday to fight through my anxiety and to make it to class. Obviously not everyday was a victory, and there were a few days I missed. However, I hope you can see as much change as I’ve seen in myself. 

One day, I sat in your office and asked you about graduate school. I was convinced I’d never get into any schools, let alone graduate from UCF with my BA. On that day, you told me that I was smart enough to get a graduate degree, and I’ve never looked back since then. 

You may never know how much you’ve affected me this past year, but I have to say thank you anyway. Having someone who I look up to and admire believe in me, motivate me and encouage me has turned my whole world around. 

Because of you, I have my motivation back. I truly bleieve that I can do those great things expected of me, and I will forever more ask myself “would Dr. ****** be proud of this?” while accomplising my goals. 

Thank you, for everything. 



As a professor, you may not impact everyone all the time, and there may be some difficult times in your career, but I’d like to think that even changing a few lives like my professor changed mine would be worth it to someone who wants to make a difference. I may not be the next president of the US, or CEO of P&G (god I wish), but I’ll never forget that professor, and I’ll always be thankful for what he did for me. 

Post # 9
1158 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

@mrspinesol:  that is beautiful!!!!!!!!!! I’m certainn your professor was BEYOND honoured to receive such a beautiful letter. I’m also soo happy for you that you were able to find inner strength to deal with your anxiety, and you had someone there to support you.


@sunelake27:  having a student be so positively impacted the way that @mrspinesol:  was, makes all the challenges that we’ve all expressed, worth it!

Post # 10
2687 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2015 - Ketchum, ID

@mrs-to-be-2014:  Seeing a 6’7 big goofy guy get teary-eyed reading a card was the best part, haha. He was talking to me a little bit about my anxiety, and I started to cry in his office (embaressing!), and my friend was there too and started crying, haha. But when I gave him the card and we were talking about it, he said that I was truly a great kid, and I could do anything I put my mind to, including fighting through my anxiety. I get teary-eyed just thinking about it, but everything he’s done for me means so much. I owe him a lot, and he’s definitely one of my only college professors that I will stay in contact with for the rest of my life. 

Post # 11
5518 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: November 2012

My mom’s a teacher and I could not go into the field.  It has changed drastically since she began teaching when I was younger.  New teachers in her district really get shafted.  They dont get the same fringe benefits available to more senior teachers.  Of course there are a ton of variables such as the type of school and students.  Also, theres a huge influx of unemployed teachers striggling to find a job. 

Post # 12
2695 posts
Sugar bee

I taught for two years under a terrible administration so I would not recommend it. There’s so much more to it than teaching too. It was endless amounts of paperwork and proving yourself, and very little respect from the administration, other teachers, parents, and students for very little pay. No thanks. I went in as a starry eyed 22 year old hoping to make a difference too.

Post # 13
1971 posts
Buzzing bee

I teach at the college level but have many K-12 teachers in my family and many former students who work as K-12 teachers.  There is a part of me that wishes to hesitate to recommend teaching to the truly intellectually curious and talented, as I have watched the USA K-12 public education’s soul-destroying adherence to paperwork, procedures, pre-set curricula, etc. and the shameful treatment that teachers receive in USA culture burn out and embitter far too many beloved former students of mine.  On the other hand, I would feel socially irresponsible if I directed all the talented people out of one of the most important professions going. 

Post # 14
553 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2014

I will be graduating in may with k-6 license.I’m currently a student teaching in kindergarten and I could not be more happy. The principal and staff along with higher administration Are great to deal with. When deciding to become a teacher you become more than just that. You become a mother to numerous children, a hugger, a giver, a counselor , a leader and everything already stated above. 

also there a lot more requirements here in Minnesota I had to pass Eight licensure exam to get my license.

Post # 15
679 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

I’m currently in my 7th year as a public school teacher (special ed). I don’t have a short answer for you- all I can say is IT DEPENDS.

My first four years, I worked in a program with an early childhood special ed focus that was well organized, well funded, and had a tight-knit group of teachers despite being part of a HUGE school district. There were certainly some issues (class sizes, new paperwork requirements being added each year), but I worked with supportive fellow teachers administrators, and PARENTS, and it was overall a very positive experience. My next two years, I worked in a very well-funded, small district, the school I worked at felt like a second family pretty much, and had the best two years of my career. 

Fast forward to this year, we moved again, I found a teaching position and I am completely miserable in my job. This is the first time I have ever considered quitting and getting out of teaching for good. What a 180 from my previous district. I have been provided with very little resources or training, yet am being judged on a continuous basis. I am expected to make my own materials and pay out of pocket for things as basic as snacks for my students. Where I work now, it is also standard for teachers to stay past their contracted time (they can’t force you to stay obviously, but the principal makes it clear that he studies the sign-in book), but if you’re 5 minutes late to sign in in the morning, that’s too bad, they take the sign-in book away right at 8:05. Teachers are not happy with the administration and people just seem worn down. Several staff members have resigned since the start of the year. Not the joyful type of place you would expect an elementary school to be. Not to mention the small number of students that commit vandalism, start fights, steal from classrooms, etc., and create the kind of atmosphere that takes away from the students who actually want to be there.

This is basically the long way of saying, do your homework on the profession and the district you would be interested in working for. Get your feet wet with some volunteer work and get to know the people who would be your colleagues, and ask tons of questions. The environment you work in will define your experience. I didn’t really appreciate that until this year- I had to learn the hard way!

Post # 16
10840 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

@sunelake27: I left my desk job to teach because I was having the same thoughts you are now. After leaving, three years later I was back doing a desk job which I loved and that was one of my best decisions, unlike leaving to teach.

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