So many people have asked me what it takes to be a teacher. They wonder if I got into teaching solely to have my summers off. This always made me laugh, because for several summers I taught summer school. The other summers I took graduate courses, paying with my own money. So, having my summer off wasn’t why I went into teaching. It was nice to have extra days off, but it surely wasn’t the reason. I have to say if people go into teaching only because they want summers off, then they certainly don’t have what it takes to be a teacher.
What does it take to teach? I will share with you my thoughts on this. To be a teacher one must be an educator. Sounds redundant, huh? It is true. To teach, you must be able to educate. There is the old saying, “Those who can do those who can’t, teach.” I couldn’t disagree with this more. Teachers must DO a lot throughout the day. First and foremost they must educate children. If you don’t have a knack that allows you to make what you are teaching fun and engaging, plus educational, then perhaps you don’t have what it takes to be a teacher.
What else does it take to be a teacher? Besides being an educator, you must also be a counselor. Do you have that in you? Can you counsel two students who are fighting over a boy or a girl? Can you assist the student who comes to you confidentially that she would like to do more than just kiss her boyfriend? Are you able to handle it when you notice a child with bruises up and down his arms that were put there by his angry father? Would you know what to do in all of these situations? If not, perhaps you don’t have what it takes to be a teacher.
Teachers are educators, counselors and what else? A teacher must also be a disciplinarian. Are you prepared to enforce rules and follow through with discipline should you need to? Are you prepared to step between two students throwing punches at one another? Can you handle a student who gets in your face and calls you every name in the book? Can you do this without taking these things personally? If you can’t, perhaps you don’t have what it takes to be a teacher.
Teachers often must fill the role of parents when a child is at school. Are you prepared to donate clothes, shoes, school supplies, and even lunch money to your students? Are you willing to protect your students any way possible if something were threatening them? Are you ready to tie shoes, zip up coats, organize lockers, make sure everyone has their homework and get on students when they don’t complete work? If you aren’t ready to do these things, then perhaps you don’t have what it takes to be a teacher.
What does it take to be a teacher? It takes a person who is willing to fill many roles for very little pay; who knows all of the negatives of the profession and loves the job and the kids regardless! That is a teacher.