Why Become a Teacher?


Teacher kneeling down on then floor working with a young student. Photo courtesy of the US Department of Education, licensed under CC BY 2.0

Every child deserves a champion—an adult who will never give up on them, who understands the power of connection, and insists that they become the best that they can possibly be,” said Reta Pierson, who is most known for her inspirational TED Talk, Every Kid Needs a Champion, which is highly praised by educators across the globe.

When choosing a college to attend, many people base it on the career they want to pursue. To become an educator in college, people can follow the following steps to become a certified educator in Texas: Obtain a bachelor’s degree, complete an education preparation program, pass certification exams, then submit a state application, finally complete fingerprinting. For students who are in High school and are interested in becoming a teacher, there are programs for teachers, assistants and student teachers that can help them ensure that that is a career they can pursue. Amy Husk, AP world history teacher, was nervous on her first day of student teaching.

“When I became a student teacher, I didn’t know that I would enjoy it so much until I started. The night before my first day, I was so nervous and scared because I thought that I would hate it and it would be a waste of time but once I stepped into the classroom I automatically knew that this was what I wanted to do,” said Husk.

At first glance a teacher’s salary is low compared to the hours worked during the school year. The average public school teacher in Texas typically makes around $45,821 and $66,908. Salary ranges can vary  depending on the city and many other factors such as certifications, additional skills and the number of years people have spent in the profession. 

By the time a 17 to 18-year-old student reaches college, their idea of a major or career has likely changed. Some students enter college with an idea of what degree path they want to pursue, while others are undecided. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, about 80% of students in college end up changing their major at least once. Husk changed her major in college from nursing to education after she got married.

“When I went to college, I initially wanted to become a nurse and at the time that’s what my major was. When I got married I had to put my education and nursing degree on hold, when I went back to school becoming a nurse just didn’t feel right so I decided to go into education and pursue teaching,” said Husk.

Shameeka Smith, an English teacher, knew she wanted to become a teacher but was first discouraged because of difficult students.

“When I was younger, like in middle school to high school I’ve always been interested in teaching. But when I went to college I changed my mind after observing in a middle school classroom. So in my first year of college I studied education, then after that I decided to change my major to English because of the students, I didn’t think I could handle bad students. Then after I graduated, I finally decided to become a high school teacher,” said Smith.

When becoming a teacher, many have the option if they want to teach young or older education. Young education includes Pre-kinder to Elementary school, older education is for Middle school, Intermediate and High school. Teachers then choose what type of age they want to educate depending on the subject and their teaching style. Those who choose to become high school teachers enjoy working with pre-teens and young adults. Christine Taylor, Education and training teacher, wanted to teach students because of how she felt in Highschool. 

“I preferred to teach high school students because when I remember when I was in school, most of us really struggled in high school. Not just with classes but with learning how to adjust to becoming an adult. So I got into education because I heard a lot of students say they felt that teachers weren’t passionate about teaching. So I tried to get a teaching education job, because I wanted to create kids who are passionate about teaching kids,” said Taylor.