What Are the Pros and Cons of Being a Teacher?

Among the pros of being a teacher are job availability and benefits, vacations and the chance to make a difference in the lives of young people. Cons include the emphasis placed on standardized testing, government bureaucracy and overcrowded classrooms.

Teaching jobs are often easier to find and keep than many other jobs. There is less fear about layoffs in education than in other careers. Pay is reliable and adequate for a middle-class lifestyle, and benefits usually include insurance and some sort of retirement plan.

Vacation days are spread throughout the year and allow teachers to spend a good amount of time with their families. Thanksgiving, Christmas and spring breaks in addition to several weeks in the summer are part of the typical school calendar.

Teachers spend a great deal of time with students and have the opportunity to make a positive impact in their lives. In addition to subject matter, teachers impart life skills and serve as role models for students.

The emphasis placed on student performance on standardized testing has caused a great deal of stress in the field of education. These tests sometimes fail to measure what students have learned and how far they have progressed.

Governing bodies often make changes in policy that cause teachers to have to scramble to accommodate. Often, these decisions are made by people who know little about education.

Overcrowded classrooms make it harder for teachers to maintain discipline and give individualized instruction. Extra students means extra paperwork as well, meaning teachers have to spend even more time completing it outside of lessons.