“Why do we teach? It is an important question. One that many credential students find staring back at them after a brutal day out in the trenches, but for me the answer is simple…I teach because of the students. I teach because I am passionate about education. I teach because there is nothing more rewarding in the world than to see a light bulb go off in a young person’s mind. I teach because the smile I give to a student might be the only smile he receives all day.” –Megan Sheridan(‘05 BS, ‘08 Credential)
Teaching is Rewarding
Teachers lay the foundation for all other professions. No other profession can claim to have this profound influence on society.
Teaching is Challenging
Teachers are usually goal-oriented, driven to provide a service to their communities. They are life-long learners who embrace change and diversity. Teachers tend to be leaders among their families and friends, and welcome the chance to spend their professional lives leading our youth on the path to adulthood.
Great Teachers Make a Difference
As a teacher, you may have up to 30 students per year. If you choose to teach for 30 years, you could influence the intellectual and emotional development of nearly 1,000 people. Some of those people will go on to be leaders in their communities; they will become parents; some will become teachers themselves. Some of your students will come from communities with few opportunities; from families that abuse or neglect them. Some will see you as a role model, a coach, a friend, a lifeline to another world.
Teaching Offers a Number of Tangible Benefits
Many people assume that the teaching profession is low-paying, but the California Department of Education reports these average annual salaries for 2007-08:
Beginning teachers: $38,000- $42,000
High range: $70,000 – $89,000
In addition to average professional compensation levels, teaching offers many other benefits. These include generous retirement benefits, life-long learning opportunities, college loan forgiveness opportunities, a variety of pathways to earning the teaching credential, and the autonomy that comes with being a classroom teacher.