With local governments struggling in the aftermath of the Great Recession, being a public school teacher may no longer be the secure job it once was. Layoffs, once virtually unheard of for government jobs, especially teaching, are now a threat. Faced with rising taxes and public sector bankruptcies, citizens are now scrutinizing the salary and benefits packages offered school district employees.
Additionally, new stresses confront teachers today in the form of standardized testing. Teachers whose classes do not perform highly enough on these tests may find themselves more vulnerable to layoffs or even lose their jobs outright. Freedom in the classroom has definitely declined in recent years. Many educators dislike the No Child Left Behind legislation that began under president George W. Bush.
But being a teacher is still a good career option, and here is why:
Teaching still affords decent salary and benefits packages. While school districts may not be hiring as often or offering packages and perks as generous as those found in years past, teachers still enjoy middle-class pay. And it’s not like public school teachers were ever striking it rich in the first place. Basically, teacher pay remains a decent deal, particularly in an increasingly unstable economy.
While teachers may be doing a bit worse than in the boom years of the 1990s, most others have fallen even further behind.
Teaching is a good career choice because it offers great time off. While critics gripe at the amount of time teachers get off per year, especially their winter holiday breaks and lengthy summer vacations, many others feel that this time off is well deserved. Having such time off allows teachers to keep from growing dissatisfied and “burnt out” from their jobs. With few other careers offering such generous pressure release valves in terms of time off, teaching remains a perennial shining star in terms of employee scheduling.
Teaching offers lots of opportunity for personal growth and development. Professional educators are encouraged to continually advance their knowledge of subject material and current events. Continuing training and education are often mandated. Advanced degrees and certifications are overtly encouraged and typically grant automatic increases in salary. Individuals who are interested in continual self-improvement, therefore, are likely to find teaching lucrative and rewarding.
And, despite the increase in government oversight from No Child Left Behind legislation, being a teacher is still a boon for one’s creative skills. Teachers have ample opportunities to exercise creativity and explore novel methods and solutions. This helps the mind remain sharp and interested, making teaching a rare career that involves continual growth for decades.
The interpersonal nature of teaching, where each day brings news challenges and rewards, also makes teaching a good career choice. Enough variety exists from day to day to prevent excessive boredom and apathy. In fact, working with younger people may help many teachers feel younger and continually connected with modernity and cutting-edge trends.