Resources › For Educators How to Know If Teaching Is the Right Profession for You Why Do You Want to Be a Teacher? Share Flipboard Email Print John Lund / Marc Romanelli / Blend Images / Getty Images For Educators Teaching An Introduction to Teaching Tips & Strategies Policies & Discipline Community Involvement School Administration Technology in the Classroom Teaching Adult Learners Issues In Education Teaching Resources Becoming A Teacher Assessments & Tests Elementary Education Secondary Education Special Education Homeschooling By Derrick Meador Education Expert M.Ed., Educational Administration, Northeastern State University B.Ed., Elementary Education, Oklahoma State University Derrick Meador, M.Ed., is the superintendent for Jennings Public Schools in Oklahoma. He previously served as a school principal and middle school science teacher. our editorial process Derrick Meador Updated January 28, 2019 Teaching is one of the most rewarding careers that one can embark on. It is also one of the most stressful as demands and expectations are always changing. It takes a special person to handle everything that is thrown at teachers. Before making a life-changing decision, you need to be sure that teaching is the right profession for you. If the following five reasons ring true, then you are likely headed in the right direction. You Are Passionate About Young People If you are thinking about going into teaching for any other reason than this, you need to find another career. Teaching is difficult. Students can be difficult. Parents can be difficult. If you do not have an absolute passion for the young people that you teach, you will burn out quickly. Having a passion for the young people that you teach is what keeps a terrific teacher going. It is what drives them to spend long hours trying to figure out how to help those students who are struggling “get it.” That passion is the driving force behind doing your job year after year. If you do not have a total passion for your students, you might last a year or two, but you will not make it to year twenty-five. It is a must have quality for every good teacher. You Want to Make a Difference Teaching can be immensely rewarding, but you shouldn’t expect that reward to come easily. To make a real difference in a student’s life you have to be adept at reading people and figuring out their own unique preferences. Children of all ages can spot a phony quicker than any adult. If you are not there for the right reasons, they will certainly figure it out quickly. Teachers who are real with their students are the ones who make the most difference in their students’ lives because the students buy into what they are doing. Making the students believe that you are there to make a difference is something you have to show them over time. You Are Skilled at Instructing People in a Variety of Ways Students come from such diverse backgrounds that it is difficult to approach any two students in the same way. You have to be willing and able to teach the same concept through many different approaches, or you may not reach all your students. You will unquestionably not be an effective teacher if you only teach one way. A fantastic teacher is an evolving teacher. Teachers who search out better and new methods are the ones who will make it. Being flexible and adaptable are two key characteristics of a good teacher. It allows you to provide instruction in a variety of method that will meet all your students’ needs. You Are a Team Player If you are someone who does not work well with others, teaching is not the career for you. Teaching is all about relationships and not just the relationships with your students. You can be the greatest instructor in the world, and you limit yourself if you cannot effectively communicate with the parents of your students as well as your peers. Your peers can offer you so much information and advice that it is an absolute necessity be a team player who is willing to not only listen to advice but then to try to apply it to your teaching. If you cannot communicate well with parents, then you will not last long. Parents expect to know what is going on in their child’s life. You provide a large chunk of that information for parents of school-age children. A good teacher needs to be able to work with everyone involved in the school community. You Can Handle Stress Factors All teachers cope with stress. It is essential that you be able to handle everything thrown at you. There will be days when you are dealing with personal issues, and you have to overcome those once you walk through your classroom doors. You cannot let a difficult student get to you. You cannot allow a parent to dictate how you handle your class or a particular student. There are so many opportunities for stress within a classroom that an excellent teacher has to be able to handle it, or they will be burned out tremendously quick. If you cannot manage stress extremely well, then education may not be the right profession for you.