Teachers often do not get the respect they deserve. Countless hours are spent planning lessons, grading papers and worrying about the students filling the seats in their classrooms. Fortunately, there are some important advantages of working as an English teacher.
Now more than ever, teachers are sought after for their ability to keep both academics and the economy going. Programs like Teach for America actively seek out talented individuals to fill the spots in schools across the nation. Although they may not always be appreciated by everyone, they are vital to our culture. This provides some job security and is especially true for English teachers. Not all subjects are considered core subjects and unfortunately, those teaching elective-type classes are the first to the chopping block when budget cuts are made. English teachers usually do not have the same level of worry about their jobs being eliminated because of the emphasis on reading and writing skills.
Teaching students to appreciate the subject matter that you just happen to love equates to a best-case scenario for job satisfaction. If literature is a big part of your life and passing on that appreciation to others excites you, teaching English is the job for you. Of course, not every student is going to love this subject but for great educators, this is a challenge they are willing to accept. Seeing the "aha" moments after working long and hard to draw them out can be especially satisfying. Grade level differences are important to note here. When working with younger students, just getting through basic reading and writing skills can be an accomplishment. This also applies to students who have struggled with core skills and fallen through the cracks. Being able to identify deficits and address them to help the student find success, can be a huge boost to both personal and professional confidence. For older students, giving access to various genres of literature and helping them connect and appreciate text beyond their comfort zone can be a satisfying experience. Many students don't have access to books in general, so providing new types of literature could change their whole outlook on academics in general.
Many educators consider themselves lifelong learners. English teachers are no different. An advantage of teaching students about reading and writing is that teachers are able to stay current and develop their own skills in the process. There are so many types of text for students to discover and informational text, in particular, provides the opportunity to use real-world examples in the classroom. English teachers usually choose to teach their subjects because they themselves enjoy reading and writing. Listening to and discussing topics with students can act as inspiration for teachers, whether they use that insight for their next class lecture or even their own writing pursuits.
Teachers in classrooms today do face obstacles, but the positive advantages of being an English teacher outweigh the potential disadvantages. Job security, satisfaction and ability to grow personally make teaching English a great opportunity for educators looking for a life-long career.