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Why Teach

Teacher Academy
Exploring Teaching I
Grade 10

"The job of a teacher is to excite in the young a boundless sense of curiosity about life, so that the growing child shall come to apprehend it with an excitement tempered by awe and wonder."
-John Garrett

Unit: Teaching as a Profession (1.1)

Key Question: Why do you want to become a teacher?

Activity 1

Label this assignment 1.1, activity 1

(Lets call this KLL...Know, Learn, Learned)

Since you have been in school for a number of years, use the chart below to jot down some of the things you know about the teaching profession in the first column, some questions you have about the teaching profession in the second column and at the end of this section you will identify what you have learned and if your questions were answered.
(You can copy and paste this into word, and print it out, or find it in the form section of this website.)



What you know What you want to learn What you have learned










Why do you want to teach?

  1. Desire to work with young people

People decide to teach for many reasons. Based on an national survey of more than 1,300 teachers, most teachers say that they began teaching because they wanted to work with young people.

In the United States there are more than 100 racial and ethnic groups. Students with special needs are increasing in number. Classrooms are enriched by the varied backgrounds of students.

2. Love of teaching

A survey, based on 1,011 public school teachers interviewed in 1995, teachers agreed with the statement "I love to teach"

  • Love of subject...most of us can remember the teacher that just loved what they taught. (Can you think of a teacher like that?)
  • Love of teaching life...some teachers love to be with students and share life experiences (Can you think of a teacher that falls in this category?)
  • Love of teaching-learning process...loving the act of teaching and the process of learning (Does one of your favorite teachers fall here?)

3. Influence of teachers

Surveys show that most teachers decide to become educators very early in life. Evidence suggests that those who became teachers were influenced by their teachers as people, and not as subject-matter experts.

4. Desire to serve

Many people choose to teach because they want to serve others.

5. Practical Benefits of Teaching

  • flexibility of schedules (great for families, as teachers can be home in the afternoon with their children)
  • vacation (summer and all holidays)
  • salaries have increased over the last few years
  • job security and status
  • job opportunities for teachers from diverse groups (perhaps teachers from diverse groups and teachers with disabilities may have an enhanced understanding of student diversity and student variability and they can share with other teachers.)


cost of living- the amount of money needed, on the average, for housing, food, transportation, utilities and other living expenses in a given locale.

moonlight-the practice of holding a second job in order to increase ones income.

fringe benefits-benefits (i.e., medical insurance, retirement, and tax-deferred investments opportunities) that are given to teachers in addition to base salary.

tenure-job security granted to teachers after satisfactory performance for a specified period, usually two to five years.

student variability-differences among students in regard to their developmental needs, interests, abilities, and disabilities.

student diversity-differences among students in regard to gender, race, ethnicity, culture and socioeconomic status.

Comparison of National Salaries

Salary Scale for Broward County School Teacher


Activity 2

Label this assignment 1.1, activity 2

  1. Fold paper in half and list on one side some positive characteristics and on the other side some negative characteristics of teachers.
  2. 2. Complete the "M13 Handout-Why Teach" that is below. You can cut and paste into word, or just print it.
  3. After completing #2, do you think that you have what it takes to become an educator? Why or why not?

MI.3 Handout-Why Teach?

People go into the teaching profession for many different reasons. Looking at the possible reasons listed below, could you tell us if , for you, they are (1) very important, (2) somewhat important, (3) not too important, or (4) not important at all.

  1 2 3 4 NA
Enjoy working with children          
Job stability          
Important and honorable work          
Daily/yearly schedule that gives me time for myself          
Preferable to options in the business world          
Gives me geographical flexibility          
Good fringe benefits          
Good Salary          
Chance to work with people who share my goals          
Doing something good for the community          





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