Should I Be a Teacher?


Every teacher faces that moment when a student announces, sometimes with fear, sometimes with excitement– “I want to be a teacher!”

This has become a touchy topic. All across the country, teachers are abandoning the profession. Our retention rate for new teachers is terrible, and every day seems to yield one more article entitled “Why I Had To Give Up” or “How I Was Driven from My Job” or “Holy Schiekies on a Schingle, I’m About To Rip All My Hair Out If I Don’t Get Out Now.” At times, it feels like we are at some creepy cabin in the wood where some monster keeps dragging teachers off into the dark, one by one.

So when some new blood announces his intent to join us in the isolated cabin, even the most dedicated teacher feels at least a small urge to say, “Run away! Save yourself!!”

I get it. I do. Even an only-partly-conscious teacher is aware of how much fire we are under in so many ways. And you don’t have to be some kind of grizzled veteran (you know– the kind we need to fire right away so that we can replace them with enthusiastic young temps) to know that in some ways, this is the worst it’s ever been.

But I still feel sad every time I hear about one of my colleagues telling a student, “No, no. Whatever you do, don’t become a teacher.”

I still believe in teaching. I still believe in public education in this country. But at the same time, I don’t think it’s for everybody. Here are some warning signs that the profession might not be for you. Read more>>