Teachers should love teaching

If educators enjoy their chosen profession, then students will enjoy spending time in school.

Alia Jeraj

We’ve all had a teacher we didn’t like. For me, the one who never managed to pronounce my name correctly comes to mind. But even worse were the teachers who didn’t seem to enjoy their jobs.
It’s hard for me to believe that anyone would choose teaching as their first career if they didn’t feel extremely passionate about the idea of working with students. The job offers little in terms of glamour or money, and getting a degree in education takes a lot of work. 
But many people are now choosing education as a second or third career and participating in abridged licensure programs. 
According to a 2011 New York Times article, “[M]any come to teaching later in life because they want a challenge.” Others do so for need of a supplemental income, to serve their community or simply as a way to keep active. These attitudes toward teaching can have devastating consequences. 
In my experience as a student, I’ve been acutely aware of how teachers’ lack of passion affects my learning. When a teacher is not fully engaging with students or the material, it’s difficult for me to motivate myself to learn. As a result, my comprehension suffers. 
Patrick Welsh, an English teacher in Virginia, writes that it takes very little time to figure out whether or not you love teaching. He advises teachers who do not love the profession to “do [their] students a favor” and find a different career. 
I urge those considering teaching as a second career to heed Welsh’s advice and to truly consider whether they should pursue the profession. Teachers have an extremely important and difficult job. If they don’t love it, they do their students a disservice.
Alia Jeraj welcomes comments at [email protected].