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To be a teacher or not
2231 cr points
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Posted 8/18/12
Only if you like it.
35169 cr points
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26 / M
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Posted 8/18/12
Yea, if u love what u should do then do it. And if teaching is your thing, go for it whole-heartedly
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43 / M / Reno, NV, USA
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Posted 8/18/12
While it's probably generally agreed that teaching is a noble profession and good in that sense, I do think that what you really should be asking yourself is whether teaching is YOUR calling or not. Do you feel fulfilled when doing it? You seem to be at least aware of some of the downsides ("bratty kids," overentitled parents, maybe middling salary etc...)-- are you willing to accept those things? Do you enjoy it enough that the good things outweigh the bad moments? Can you imagine yourself doing something else? Ask yourself frankly-- would you rather be doing something else?

I'm a doctor, and most people seem to consider the medical profession a very noble, prestigious and good one, and perhaps unlike most teachers, one actually does stand to earn a pretty nice income (at least in the U.S.). And yet, I wouldn't recommend the medical profession to everyone or anyone just for those reasons. Training is long and expensive, work hours can be long, room for error is little or even non-existent, the risk of being sued can be significant, there's tons of regulation and paperwork (something they don't teach about in medical school or career fairs), one can be on-call at nights and weekends (while you're asleep, at the restaurant with your spouse, at the movies with your kids, etc...), and you have to deal with people at a low point in their lives (i.e. when they're sick) when they may not be feeling all that sociable, hospitable, or amiable. And yet, I do enjoy what I do, and I wake up most mornings thinking 'I'm kind of excited to see what this day will bring," rather than 'Oh just kill me now! Not another day of this sh_t. job.." If everyday was like the latter, however, you couldn't pay me enough money to do that sort of job for any significant length of time.

The sad thing is that I know of a few folks who wasted many years of time and effort in a profession they hated. As a second generation Asian-American child, pretty much every other Asian-American kid I knew became an MD, PhD, JD, MBA etc... With parental pressure, it was just unthinkable to be otherwise. (Some of you know exactly what I'm talking about!) While most are reasonably happy, I know a few who quit medicine after 4 years of medical school (and some 6-figure tuition bill), or even after their second year in residency. The tragedy is that they wasted all that time, money, and effort preparing for a career they hated, and then were miserable afterwards. It may sound trite or even idealistic, but money and prestige are not the be-all and end-all in life.

I'll add that while family and tradition can be great things, the fact that everyone you know or everyone in your family is in teaching isn't really a very good reason for you yourself to be in teaching as well. (Being a doctor has a tendency to run in families too, and yet the same caveat applies, I'd say.) Again, regardless of what everyone else is doing, you'll need to ask whether this is YOUR calling in life.
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Posted 9/10/12
"To be a teacher or not"

If you have to ask that question then you might want to rethink your decision.
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