Please Don’t Become a Teacher

I usually am one to encourage kids to become teachers.  I grimace when I hear teachers tell their own children not to become teachers.  If our best and brightest are discouraged from teaching, what will we be left with.  This is a departure for me.  A caveat to all the would-be teachers out there.  It ain’t as easy as it looks.

Please don’t become a teacher if you think that graduating from an accredited university makes you one.  You’ll never learn what it takes to be a teacher in a college classroom. A public school classroom – maybe.  A soup kitchen, bread line homeless shelter – more likely.

Please don’t become a teacher if you think the textbook has all the answers.  For the most part the textbook doesn’t even have all the questions.  In fact it doesn’t have near enough questions that matter.  The questions that spur creativity.  The questions that bring about more questions.  The questions that invoke passion.  You probably have to bring those with you.

Please don’t become a teacher if you think that the students in your class will be from the same kind of family you grew up in.  They don’t and they won’t.  To think that they do will be disheartening to you and to them.

Please don’t become a teacher if you aren’t passionate, compassionate, empathetic. If your only perspective is the one that got you through high school and into a good college and got you a pretty wife, a house with a two car garage, and 1.5 brilliant children, became a lawyer or a dentist.

Please don’t became a teacher and expect your students to play the game.  Most of your students don’t know the game.  Many of your students will question the game.  Some of your students will rebel against the game.  A few will be better at the game than you are.

Please don’t become a teacher if you think that your are powerful.  You will be weakened quickly.

You may become a teacher anyway and find that you did learn enough in college, that your textbooks are awesome, that all the students are just like you, that student do think you’re powerful, and that you are the best game player in the room.  If so, you will have the longest, most boring career in education.  You will teach the same year 35 times.