Is a Teacher a Professional? Why Teaching is a Profession

Yes, a teacher is a professional. By definition, a professional is someone whose livelihood depends on their occupation. Teachers earn their living from teaching. Therefore, if you earn money to teach, you are a professional.

Teachers are some of the hardest-working professionals out there. They work long hours and put in late nights just to provide a better education for tomorrow’s children. Their salaries and job security aren’t the best, but they do it for the kids.

People are so used to thinking of teachers as amateurs and professionals as people with a career in an office setting. That means you may forget that teaching at a school is a job, a profession if you will. It’s no less important or worthwhile than any other profession.

A teacher is a professional for many reasons and I hope this article will give a few examples of their professionalism.

Who Is a Teacher?

A teacher is an individual who educates or trains others in any sort of knowledge. They are instrumental in guiding towards the set goals of life of the students under their training.

Usually, a teacher is a professional whose job is to teach students, usually in a school, college, or university. Often, the teacher is an expert in one or more subjects and knows how to present information to help students understand it.

Different teachers may have different ideas about what works for learning. Some are experts at explaining things; others use demonstrations and experiments.

Furthermore, teachers teach students about the world around them, and some of those lessons include reading and writing. Sometimes teachers have to deal with restless kids who don’t want to listen or behave. 

The teacher also decides what to teach their students and how to present the content in the classroom. Some teach in preschool or kindergarten classes, while others lead high school or college students.

SEE: Reasons Why Teaching is a Good Career

Why Are Teachers Considered Professionals?

Teachers qualify as professionals because they are teaching experts, and the job requires a lot of training.

Teachers have to get professional degrees just for a chance to be hired by school districts. And once hired, they must continue their training as university faculty or attend professional workshops throughout their careers. 

Also, they spend more time teaching than most other professionals and are responsible for shaping the minds of tomorrow. Being a teacher is a huge responsibility. You’re essentially responsible for helping children make the best out of their lives. 

Additionally, you face constant pressure from parents, school administrators, and even sometimes students whose perception of a perfect teacher may be unrealistic.

However, being an educator offers many rewards. You’ll spend your days helping students develop, grow intellectually and socially. Additionally, you will have the chance to try out new teaching techniques for the benefit of your students.

SEE: Top Qualities of a Good Teacher

Why Should You Become a Teacher?

As a teacher, you will teach children what they need to know in order to grow into successful adults. When you look at job satisfaction reports teachers always come out on top. 

It is fun to work with people and be in an educational setting. Working with children is a big responsibility but it can also be gratifying. As a teacher, you help shape the future of your students. 

Listed below are some advantages of being a teacher. 

1. Teachers Have More Job Security 

One of the best things about the teaching profession is its relative job security. Even during the current economic downturn, with many professions suffering considerable layoffs and job loss, teachers have been cushioned by factors such as tenure and union contracts.

Teachers have a lower rate of unemployment than many others in the workforce. Not only that, but it takes much longer for a teacher to lose their job. Also, tenure laws protect teachers from being fired without cause or reason.

2. Teachers Are More Independent 

Teachers now have more enthusiasm in the teaching profession and enjoy the freedom of being independent. Also, they are more independent, creative, and inspirational when they have the freedom to choose their own schedule and classroom environment.

A teacher’s job is challenging because it always evolves to a new level and beyond. A good teacher should offer positive experience and passion to his/her students by providing extensive knowledge, experience, and skills.

Teachers are more independent than ever before, with a lot of freedom to choose when they work and how they teach. 

Furthermore, they can set their timetables, choose their own teaching method and style, decide which books to read with the class, give holiday homework and play catch-up during term time.

3. Teachers Encourage Personal Growth 

Professional teachers encourage the personal growth of their students through encouragement, guidance, and knowledge. Most teaching professionals provide instruction verbally, through lectures and discussions, or by writing tests and assignments.

Additionally, teachers mentor students and develop their knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to meet the challenges of a rapidly changing society. The efforts of these individuals directly impact future world leaders, workers, educators, and citizens.

4. Professional Teachers Have the Opportunity to Communicate with People of Different Ages, Cultures, and Backgrounds 

Communication is the foundation of language, and students in the classroom experience it every day. As a teacher, you have the chance to help students from many countries and cultures learn more effectively.

Being a teacher offers versatile career opportunities. Teaching allows professionals to interact with individuals of different ages and dispositions.

The globalization of today’s world requires students to learn how to communicate with people from different cultures and backgrounds. You must be professional, have the expertise, and have a passion for the field you teach to accomplish this.

5. Teachers Have Flexible Hours

Teachers work an erratic schedule, meaning they have the flexibility to work a job during hours that are convenient for them. This can mean working a few hours on a Sunday afternoon or taking off early in the morning on Wednesdays. 

The greatest perk of choosing this career is your freedom to choose suitable work periods. School systems may determine how many hours a teacher works per day and week. 

These flexible working hours mean they can take on extra jobs such as tutoring and consulting. In fact, before becoming a teacher, it is recommended that you pursue multiple teaching jobs in different schools or tutoring jobs in preparation for the long hours.

6. Many Teachers Enjoy Pension Benefits 

Teachers benefit from staying longer in the same school system (translating into better benefits), and many of them have pensions as part of their contracts.

Teachers may enjoy some important benefits through their pension plan. As a teacher, you’re eligible for benefits at the start of your career and even more as you build up years of service.

However, pension benefits are available only to teachers who have earned a certificate or degree beyond the minimum requirements of the state’s teaching certificate.

7. Opportunities for Career Advancement into Educational Administration 

As a professional teacher, you already have many advantages that set you apart from the pack. You are educated and experienced. You know how to work with and be responsible for young people. Furthermore, you have experience in being a positive influence on the lives of children.

Teachers have a unique opportunity to achieve their career goals. You can enter the career of educational administration and still teach. Many people start out as teachers and move into administrative positions such as principals and supervisors.

SEE: What Educational Administration Is

8. Teachers Have a Steady Income

Teachers make a steady income throughout their careers. They can enjoy the holidays and summer vacations with their friends and family because they do not have the busy season that an entrepreneur experiences.

A teacher’s income is reliable, predictable, and steady. The number of teaching hours and days can vary, but average working hours tend to be around 30 per week.

What Are the Challenges of Being a Teacher?

Educators face some major challenges, such as unclear school leadership, incompetent fellow teachers, abusive parents, and unruly students.

Some major challenges affecting being an educator include:

1. Being a Professional Teacher Means Sacrificing Your Free Time

Unfortunately, with increasing requirements and curriculum, the number of work teachers are expected to do outside of their day jobs is increasing as well.  

Parent conferences, grading homework, planning lessons, and attending professional development meetings can make it hard for a teacher to enjoy a vacation. It can also make it difficult to have some free time for yourself.

Additionally, teaching is not an easy job at all. You never know what challenges or difficulties may lie ahead.

2. Teachers Don’t Earn Very Much Compared to the Responsibilities and Workload

It is a rigorous job that has never been paid enough compensation or appreciation. The low demand for this profession has caused a shortage of teachers. 

3. School Can Be a Grueling Environment

The job description of a teacher is one of the most grueling professions. However, teachers go out of their ways to teach the world something new every day. The profession of a teacher is not only challenging but rewarding as well.

4. You Have to Deal With Unhappy Parents Who May Be Rude or Demanding at Times

Your biggest challenge will be dealing with unhappy parents who may be rude or demanding at times. You also have to deal with stressful working conditions such as classes that are overcrowded, and tests given every day.

SEE: Why Parental Involvement Is Important In A Child’s Education

5. Some Teachers Lack the Support to Deal With Students with Mental Health Problems or Behavioral Issues

Not only do you have to find ways to make the class interesting but you also need to handle the personal and emotional problems that students face. Often teachers lack the support they need to deal with students with mental health problems or behavioral issues.

SEE: The Types of Learning Disabilities

6. A Professional Teacher Has Limited Career Progression

The main drawback with teaching is that the career does not provide much in the way of financial or career advancement. 

Specialized certifications in math and science, bilingual education, and special education can help structure careers and provide advancement in school districts for teachers. However, this typically requires more training after college.

SEE: Consummate Professional Meaning, Attributes & How To Become One

What Certifications Are Required to Be a Teacher?

A bachelor’s degree or higher is among the qualifications required by most teaching professions. However, jobs can range from the beginning as a professional teacher to becoming an experienced administrator and involve several different teaching styles.

In addition, some schools require teachers to possess a master’s degree to teach. However, you can also attain special training credentials that allow you to teach specific courses or students (e.g students with learning disabilities).

FAQs

Why are teachers important to society?

The role of educators is to improve the minds and attitudes of future citizens to improve the lives of others. As such, educating teachers is highly important to maintaining the stability and strength of society.

Teachers are of utmost importance to society. Without them, we could not learn or advance into better people. Dedicated, hard-working, and compassionate educators can make a huge difference in their students’ lives. 

How much do teachers earn? 

In 2019-2020, the average pay for a public school teacher was $63,645 according to data from the Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics.

Teacher salaries are based on the size of the school district, level of experience, and education. For this hard work, they earn a modest salary that varies depending on their position in the United States.

Why do teachers deserve better pay? 

Teachers deserve better pay because they spend their own money on school supplies, despite playing a direct role in child growth and development. Unfortunately, the salary and compensation of teaching are not as high as expected.

The reality is that teachers spend thousands of unpaid hours grading papers, preparing for and conducting lessons. They also spend those hours attending meetings with parents, colleagues, and administrators that extend into what little free time they have.

SEE: Benefits of Teachers Earning Better Salaries

Conclusion

Teachers are responsible for teaching the next generation how to think critically, solve problems, and contribute positively to society. They need tenacity and stamina to face the daily challenges of being an educator. 

Additionally, from grading papers and creating lesson plans to dealing with teenagers and even parents, these professionals greatly impact the lives of their students.

Finally, while these professionals provide significant value to students and society, their efforts mostly go unnoticed. Understanding why teachers are important will make you understand just how noble of a profession it is. Read more on why teachers are important to education and society.

I hope you found this article helpful. Thanks for reading.