What are the pros and cons of being a teacher?

  • Everyone thinks they know how to do your job. Pro baseball general manager Billy Beane, of Moneyball fame, once noted that "Everyone who ever picked up a bat thinks he knows baseball," and the same could be said for teaching. Almost everyone has been through at least 12 years of school, so everyone thinks they know exactly what teachers do. And many of them think it's really not that hard.
  • You must work with people (i.e., teen-agers) who are often very unpleasant to be around. To be fair, not all teens are rude, surly, lazy, and self-absorbed, but it is common.
  • There are so many things you can't control. For example, what type of students you have, what kind of parents your students have, how supportive or competent your administration is.
  • The amount of non-teaching related work is very high. It's true that all jobs have tasks that aren't directly related to the "real work" but that still have to be done (paperwork, etc.), but based on my experience in a couple of other careers, the amount that has to be done by teachers is much higher than average.
  • There's a general lack of societal respect. This is a broad generalization of course, but in the United States at least, many people think of teachers as little more than babysitters. Politicians often encourage this attitude for political reasons.

  • There are many thing you can control. You have a great deal of control over how you manage your classes, how you spend your time, and over your own attitude.
  • There are a huge number of intellectual and managerial challenges every day. Teaching is a lot of things but it's rarely boring.
  • What you do matters. Teaching is a lot like parenting. You're helping young people to become healthy, productive adults. That's a difficult job, and it's often frustrating, but it's something that's meaningful. If you'd rather make a ton of money, you can go work on Wall Street.

greatest advantage
Getting paid for doing no work   (holidays, shorter working hours etc.)

greatest disadvantage
A life long commitment and people remember you as a good teacher or a bad teacher long after you are dead
So you are not actually set free
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