Pros and Cons of Teaching

Middle school science lab
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Are you thinking about becoming a teacher? The truth is that it is not for everyone. It is a difficult profession which the majority of people on the planet are not capable of doing effectively. There are many pros and cons of teaching. Like any profession, there are aspects that you will love and aspects which you will despise.

If you are considering teaching as a career, carefully evaluate both sides of teaching. Make a decision based on how you will handle and respond to the negative aspects of teaching more so than the positive ones. The cons of teaching will be what lead to burnout, stress, and resentment, and you need to be able to deal with them effectively.


Affords you the opportunity to make a difference.

A nation’s youth is our greatest resource. As a teacher, you are afforded the opportunity to be on the front lines, making a difference. Today’s young people will be tomorrow’s leaders. Teachers have the opportunity to have a profound influence on their students thus helping shape our future.

Offers a friendly schedule.

When compared to other careers, teaching does offer a particularly friendly schedule. You often have extended time off 2–3 times during the school year and three months during summer break. School is only in session from approximately 7:30 a.m.–3:30 p.m. each weekday allowing you evenings and weekends to do other things.

Gives you the chance to collaborate with all kinds of people.

Collaboration with students is, of course, your greatest focus. However, you will find that collaborating with parents, community members, and other teachers to help our students can also be rewarding. It truly takes an army, and when everyone is clicking on the same page, the students will reach their maximum learning potential.

Is never boring.

No two days are alike. No two classes are alike. No two students are alike. This creates challenges, but it ensures that teachers are always on their toes and never bored. There are so many individual variables in a classroom that you can be assured that even if you teach the same subject all day long, it will be somewhat different every time.

Allows you to creatively share interests, knowledge, and passions with others.

Teachers should be passionate about the content they teach. Great teachers teach their content with enthusiasm and passion that motivates their students. They engage students in creative lessons that spark self-interest and the desire to learn more about a particular topic. Teaching provides you with a great platform for sharing your passions with others.

Provides continuous opportunity for professional growth and learning.

No teacher has ever maximized their potential. There is always more to learn. As a teacher, you will always be learning. You should never be satisfied with where you are. There is always something better available. It is your job to find it, learn it, and apply it to your classroom.

Allows you to create a bond with students that can last a lifetime.

Your students must always be your number one priority. Over the course of 180 days each year, you build bonds with your students that can last a lifetime. You have the opportunity to become a trusted role model that they can depend on. Good teachers encourage their students and build them up while providing them with the content they need to succeed.

Provides solid benefits such as health insurance and a retirement plan.

Having health insurance and a respectable retirement plan is a perk of being a teacher. Not every career offers either or both of those things. Having them provides you with peace of mind should a health issue arise and as you get closer to retirement.

Has a flexible job market.

Teachers are a necessary part of our society. The job will always be there. There can be a lot of competition for a single position, but if you are not limited to a particular area it is relatively easy to find a teaching job virtually anywhere in the country.

Can allow you to be closer to your children.

Teachers work the same hours that their children are in school. Many teach in the same building their children attend. Some even receive the opportunity to teach their own kids. These provide tremendous opportunities to bond with your children.


Is not the most glamorous job.

Teachers are undervalued and underappreciated by many people in our society. There is a perception that teachers complain too much and only become teachers because they cannot do anything else. There is a negative stigma associated with the profession that is unlikely to go away anytime soon.

Will never make you wealthy.

Teaching will not make you wealthy. Teachers are underpaid. You should not get into this profession if money matters to you. Most teachers now work summers and/or take a part-time job in the evenings to supplement their teaching income. It is a startling reality when many states offer first-year teacher salaries that are below their state’s poverty level.

Is terribly trendy.

Best practices in education change like the wind. Some trends are good, and some are bad. They are often ushered in then out in a constant revolving door. It can be particularly frustrating to invest a lot of time in learning and implementing new things, only to have new research come out to say it does not work.

Is being overtaken by standardized testing.

The emphasis on standardized testing has changed over the last ten years. Teachers are increasingly judged and evaluated on the test scores of their students. If your students score well, you are a great teacher. If they fail, you are doing a terrible job and need to be terminated. That one test day is more valuable than the other 179.

Is even more difficult when you do not have parental support.

Parents can make or break a teacher. The best parents are supportive and engaged in their child’s education making your job easier. Unfortunately, those parents seem like the minority these days. Many parents only show up to complain about the job you are doing, are not supportive, and do not have a clue about what is actually going on with their child.

Is often displaced by classroom management.

The demand for classroom management and student discipline can be overwhelming at times. You cannot want nor need every student to like you, or they will take advantage of you. Instead, you must demand and give respect. Give your students an inch and they will take a mile. If you cannot handle disciplining a student, then teaching is not the right field for you.

Is too political.

Politics plays a key role in every level of education including the local, state, and federal levels. Money is the primary cog in the majority of political decisions concerning education. Politicians continuously push mandates on schools and teachers without truly seeking input from educators themselves. They often fail to look at the potential impact of a mandate 5–10 years down the road.

Can be extremely frustrating and stressful.

Every job comes with some level of stress and teaching is no different. Students, parents, administrators, and other teachers all contribute to this stress. Those 180 days go by extremely quick, and teachers have a lot to get done during that time. Distractions deter progress almost daily. In the end, a teacher has to figure out how to get results or they will not keep their job for long.

Involves a lot of paperwork.

Grading is time-consuming, monotonous, and boring. It is a necessary part of teaching that virtually no one enjoys. Lesson planning also takes up a lot of time. Teachers also have to complete paperwork for absences, classroom level reporting, and discipline referrals. Each of these is necessary, but no teacher got into the field because of the paperwork.

Requires more time than you think.

The schedule may be friendly, but it does not mean that teachers only work when school is in session. Many teachers arrive early, stay late, and also spend time on the weekends working in their classroom. Even when they are home, they spend quite a bit of time grading papers, preparing for the next day, etc. They may have summers off, but most use at least a portion of that time at voluntary professional development workshops.