News flash! Welcome to education. THIS IS HARD! Being a teacher is one of the most difficult professions you will find. That being said, so many people have chosen or been chosen to answer the call. Unlike other professions where people have an idea of how hard it is (to be a doctor, to be a lawyer, to be a successful business person) most people do not have any idea how difficult this job can be. I understand that there are people for whom this is easy. Those people, I would argue, are not doing us any favors because they have stopped giving their best effort as educators.
I can be an o.k. teacher without too much work. But, I also believe I could be o.k. at anything without too much work. I have always been fortunate to be able to learn things with relative ease, use common sense, and develop an understanding of new things. But despite being comfortable taking on challenges and having success in many areas without significant effort, I cannot be really successful as a teacher without putting in maximum effort. Quite honestly, to put in any less would be a great disservice to those I teach.
So, if you are going into education, or you are just starting in education, or just returning to education, keep in mind something very important. THIS IS HARD! Not just a small challenge, but a massive one. During that time you will be pushed to the limits. You will question your ability, your motivation, and your choices. But, if you really want to make a difference, you stay and work through the difficulty. If you are an educator, you will overcome the difficulties and build your practice through hard work. You may not get a pat on the back when you are out in public, but so what!
As a man in primary education, I have literally been laughed at when I tell some people I teach little kids, I am guessing they think it is not a “manly” thing to do. Sure its frustrating, but I don’t do it for them, I do it for the kids, their families and the community I serve. I will continue to try my hardest for them. If you are planning on being a teacher, plan on working hard.
Also, plan on being loved, not necessarily by the general public, but by your students, their families, and your school community. When you work your hardest and give your best to the profession, that is something you can expect to get back. Don’t expect to be rich, heralded, or publicized…you won’t be. You will however be doing something amazing, something that will leave this world better than you found it. If that is worth your hard work and dedication, then please, seek out all the help you need to stay with us. If not, I wish you luck in whatever you do, but education is not for you.