Updated: Jul 14
The teaching profession has taken a hard hit from the media in recent times, and understandably so. Teachers are leaving the profession in droves, and it is time our society looks at why and how to fix this problem. Covid has placed enormous pressure on both the Health and Education system, along with the domino effect it has had into other industries. So why would anyone want to be a Teacher in today's world?
Teachers do not get paid enough, neither do nurses or the police force. The media seems to always raise this issue of teachers wanting a pay rise, however it is more than just the lack of pay in the education field that is forcing people out of the job. I believe it is the lack of respect for the teaching profession as a whole, that has led to its demise. Once upon a time, teachers were looked up to and respected for nurturing the minds of the future.
Education has changed. The world has changed. So our teachers and education system need to evolve along with those changes and positively reflect modern society. I have been a teacher for over twenty years and I have experienced the old and new learning trends and watched them come and go and do a full circle. Yet one thing that has never changed, is the purpose and reason for being a teacher, which is to create a positive impact on future generations.
To make a positive impact on children, we as educators need to have a positive and reflective mindset that is open to change. It is easier for us to stay in our comfort zone and education is no exception, yet change provides the opportunity for growth. If the new Covid world has taught us anything, it's that the virtues to be flexible, adaptable and resilient put us in a good stead for success in life. So as educators we need to ensure these values are instilled in our teaching pedagogy. However, has the education system itself reflected a growth mindset in modern times?
The Mental Health of educators and children needs to be a priority for education in the modern world. There needs to be government policy and change that puts the mental health of all Education staff and students as the number one priority. Just like Health, a wholistic approach to Education needs to be taken to optimise the positive impact on future generations. Optimal teaching and learning can only take place when the mental, emotional and physical health of both staff and students is prioritised. Health and Education need to harmonise and work together to enhance the learning of future generation. Education is an integral part of society and the future success and achievements of a nation depends on it.
So why would anyone want to be a teacher? Well, I am not going to deny that teaching is one of the most difficult jobs you could choose to do. However, I can guarantee you that it is also one of the most rewarding occupations you could choose. Like anything in life, you get back what you put in. Effort reflects reward. Why wouldn't you want one of the most rewarding professions in the world and to make a positive impact on future generations? A pay increase and some respect from society would make it more rewarding, but it is going to take lots of positive change for the teaching profession to draw people to the occupation.
I will never forget the words I received from a teacher when I graduated from high school and told them I wanted to be a teacher myself. "Don't be a teacher!" They said. "You could be anything you want with your top grades, a doctor, a lawyer, an engineer, don't waste it on being a teacher!" I used those words as motivation. I always wanted to be a teacher. I loved school and I loved learning, so I wanted to instill that passion in others. I remember thinking to myself, you are wrong, teaching is a wonderful profession to choose because you get to make a difference in this world. So I ignored that teacher's advice and chose to be a teacher. I am so glad that I did. Despite all of the challenges our profession faces in the current world, I still love my job. If a student comes to me and asks me if they should become a teacher, I won't tell them the negative words I once heard about the profession. I would tell them...
Be a teacher because you want to inspire.
Become a teacher because you want to share your love for learning.
Be a teacher because you want to learn and grow along with your students.
Become a teacher because you want to make a difference in this world and leave a positive impact.
Be a teacher because you want to lift spirits, shape values and build character.
Become a teacher because you want to build relationships with the whole community.
Be a teacher because you want to be a role model.
Become a teacher because you want to make lifelong friends and connections.
Be a teacher because you want students to teach you as much as you want to teach them.
Become a teacher.