How do you stay motivated to become/being a teacher despite all the bad rep?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by AnnieC, Feb 28, 2015.

  1. AnnieC

    AnnieC Rookie

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    Feb 28, 2015

    Hello everyone,

    for the longest I've admired the profession of being a teacher. I have always had a lot of respect to those teachers who truly strive to teach and make a difference. But, growing up I've realized how much bad reputation schools,education,teachers and the salary have in general..I understand this problem depends on many different factors, but the controversy within these topics are endless (as it is with many other careers).

    I am an aspiring teacher at least hope to become one someday. I was contemplating between Education or Healthcare and honestly, I feel I would like to be a part of the Education field much more. But, I have to admit sometimes these things get to me..since I am currently in my early 20's and in the "decision making/finding yourself" stage of my life. It just saddens me a bit how I constantly read/hear things like:

    "Teachers are just babysitters"
    "Teachers can't make a living with their salary, they don't get paid enough"
    "Don't plan on being rich"
    "You won't find a job!"
    "Teachers don't have a life"
    "Schools aren't safe anymore"
    "The education system is so poor, that's the reason we have so many problems"
    "Technology is wiping out teachers,we don't need them anymore"
    "They don't teach you the real things you need to know in life"


    Oh, and I can go on and on.

    But, there's a part of me that says..wait, aren't a teacher one of the most important professions out there? Don't we need to be educated first,regardless? I know, it all truly depends on the school districts and teachers to make a difference. There will always be negativity and it's my responsibility to balance those out and bring the positive in things. I don't care what type of subject it is, in the end we. need. teachers.

    Honestly, I don't look to become rich with any career. Sure, I do what a stable and decent salary. But, my overall life goals are to make a difference, play an important role in a person's life,inspire and help others with what I do, have a decent living and yet enough time to raise a family. Eventually, that's what made me want to become a teacher.

    But, how does one say so motivated to complete a degree in this field when society have so many bad things to say.
     
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  3. CTSpaEngTeach

    CTSpaEngTeach Rookie

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    Feb 28, 2015

    My advice: be yourself. Follow your heart. Do your best. And don't let anybody derail you from what will make YOU a happy, well-rounded human being.
     
  4. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    Feb 28, 2015

    For me what kept me motivated to not listen to the negative was to listen to successful and inspiring teachers instead. Here are 4 videos and 4 books that really inspired me that teaching is rewarding and worth it.

    Videos:
    1. Stand and Deliver
    2. The Marva Collins Story
    3. The Ron Clark Story
    4. Freedom Writers

    Books:
    1. The Marva Collins Story by Marva Collins
    2. The Essential 55 by Ron Clark
    3. Teach Like Your Hair is on Fire by Rafe Esquith
    4. My Posse Don't do Homework by Louanne Johnson

    These are all true stories of teachers who changed the world for so many of their students. Several still are today.
     
  5. AnnieC

    AnnieC Rookie

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    Feb 28, 2015

    Thank you, you're both right.
    I will check those videos/books out btw!

    I just finished seeing a very inspiring video on youtube titled "Truly Amazing Teacher", the man is a prime example of a caring teacher that inspires his students. He also has a disabled child yet still manages towards being the great teacher he is.
     
  6. ms.irene

    ms.irene Connoisseur

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    Feb 28, 2015

    You have to focus on the positive. You live for days like yesterday where I was just having fun with my kids all day long.

    Here are my personal thoughts on each of these "received truths" that I also often hear about teaching:

    I hope this doesn't sound snarky, just honest! I went back to visit one of my great HS teachers to tell him I was considering becoming a teacher. He said, and I'll never forget, "It's a great job if you can hack it." In my personal experience, this has been 100% true.
     
  7. AnnieC

    AnnieC Rookie

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    Feb 28, 2015

    Ms.Irene, that was beautiful!

    Thank you for taking your time to reflect on each. Those are truly different things I've heard or read throughout time and it just makes my stomach sick. It's okay for people to state their opinion but every time I hear people degrading teachers it just frustrates me.

    I like how you mentioned "like any other industry", because they all have their ups and downs. I think some people are so caught up that they forget the true beauty of learning or opportunities an educational field has.
     
  8. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

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    Feb 28, 2015

    Short answer? The kids.

    When I was in college, I stayed motivated by making sure I was around kids. I worked in after school programs and day camps all through college. It kept me motivated because I loved it, and it gave me great experience to add to my resume when I eventually did start looking for a teaching job.

    Now, it's the same. The kids. As hard as it is, teaching is always worth it because of the kids. I can't imagine doing any other job.

    Another thing that helps (eventually) is finding a school that is the right fit. I'm in a fantastic school that I love with amazing colleagues and admin, which has allowed a lot of the negativity in education to just become white noise to me.
     
  9. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Mar 1, 2015

    This.
     
  10. GeetGeet

    GeetGeet Companion

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    Mar 1, 2015

    This is so true!

    I love my students. Even the pain-in-the-butt kids (sometimes). Granted, I am in a great school with great kids so I don't have too many really bad experiences--I am very lucky. I pretty much spend all day with students in some capacity, whether actively teaching them or just chatting. I genuinely like them and care about their well--being.

    My school is great. I love the students, my colleagues, and even the admin. It's a really supportive and positive environment. We all have things we can and do complain about--but usually when we are complaining, we are upset about some issue that affects the kids poorly in some way or somehow isn't in the students' best interest. Ill say it again that I am very lucky to be where I am.
     
  11. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    Mar 1, 2015

    Honestly, I must have been in my own little world when I chose teaching as a career path, because I never truly realized all of the negative things people had to say about teachers and education in the United States. I always felt like teachers were respected, and that people would look up to me and respect me when I became a teacher. That all changed in Wisconsin when Scott Walker took office, but that's a whole different can of worms.

    Honestly, some days are really really tough. I feel discouraged, overworked and underpaid, and defeated. I question whether or not it's worth it. I feel unappreciated by my boss and the parents of the students in my classroom.

    But, in the end, I really do love teaching. When I'm sitting at home watching TV and relaxing, I open up Pinterest to find tools for reading conferences. If I have some spare time on the weekend, I'll work on planning a new social studies unit. I just truly enjoy the act of planning and teaching and helping kids. I can't think of anything else that I would like to do as a career. I would miss teaching too much.
     
  12. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    Mar 1, 2015

    If you are letting others chart your course in life, you will change directions many times. If you let your heart chart your course in life, your path will be much straighter and true. Who makes your decisions determines what you choose to believe or hear.

    Good luck - I hope you listen to your heart, and use that as your compass. I have actually done both, education and healthcare, and I find them amazingly similar in many respects. My heart, however, screamed for me to teach, and I was listening.
     
  13. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    Mar 1, 2015

    Every time I get frustrated over the nonsense dealing with teaching, I print out a black and white picture of some jerk "reformer" and let my three year old color it however she wants, and it always makes me feel better.
     
  14. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Mar 2, 2015

    I love what I do and how I do it. Online teaching specifically draws a lot of criticism from all sides. However, my students are the important ones, and for whatever reason, they need to learn in this non-traditional way. It's totally worth it.
     
  15. anna9868

    anna9868 Habitué

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    Mar 2, 2015

    sounds like a great emotional outlet!
     
  16. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    Mar 2, 2015

    My only problem is in my area teachers are often romanticized: "You're this noble person helping all these children, therefore, be happy with your pay and you better work those long hours so you can be all noble!"

    No, teaching isn't a big money career (not all careers are!) But I find in most cases it's comparable with other career incomes.

    I stay motivated by avoiding burn-out. I don't work longer hours than I have to, I avoid negative talk, and I put myself and my family first. I hang out at teacher websites to surround myself with good people. I browse teacher stuff to get me excited about teaching.
     

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