Contributed to NJSchoolJobs by freelance writer Emma Matthews
Why Teach? The Rewards of this Special Calling
With schools seeking qualified and talented individuals for the classroom throughout the U.S, there has never been a better time to step into the teaching profession and many are considering uprooting themselves from other careers to enter this field. It’s challenging and it extends far beyond a job title, but it’s ultimately one of the most rewarding careers you can have. So with a wide variety of ‘educational job opportunities throughout the state of New Jersey’ according to NJSchoolJobs.com, now is the time to heed this special calling.
More a Vocation, than a Job
Teaching is about making a difference. It’s about reaching out and having some sort of an impact on young minds, so that students gain a better interest in a subject and are enthusiastic about their learning. For people in other careers, work tends to be just that. It’s a job rather than a vocation. With teaching, however, ‘you are not an employee but a friend, a mentor and a guide to the world’, according to the University of North Carolina. The ability to shape a student’s life choices and to give them the tools they need to go out into the world and achieve a successful career is why teaching is such a special vocation. You can make a difference to your students and therefore to the world. You are rewarded by seeing students’ work and skills develop, along with their confidence.
From Negative to Positive Learning Environments
Teaching can be particularly rewarding when you are nurturing students from difficult home backgrounds and those with alcohol and drug addictions; it becomes a highly challenging vocation in these circumstances but many teachers choose inner city posts in order to really make a difference to students who need to be guided towards a positive learning environment and be shown how this can shape their future lives. Throughout the U.S, teachers are tackling a growing number of learners with serious problems (with 1 in 10 Americans suffering from addiction). Many young people today are prevented from receiving a quality education through this reason, but ‘Addiction does not have to be a lonely battle’, according to Treatment4Addiction. Teachers have the ability to steer students away from ingrained mental attitudes and towards something much more positive, through a classroom environment. Indeed, learners who are encouraged by supportive teachers become addicted to learning and discovering.
You are Needed
The need for teachers is expected to rise, with another 500,000 teachers being hired by 2018, complemented by the high level of grants for teachers that are available. It is a fact that society needs educators and will always do so. Knowing that you are needed and that entering this profession means that you can make a genuine difference, are compelling factors when we ask the question ‘why teach?’
The High Needs Schools, defined by the ‘No Child Left Behind Act of 2001’, according to Teach.Com, are shaping the trends for teachers across the country. There are also demands for certain subjects such as math, chemistry and other sciences that are still unfulfilled. With many students being bilingual today, due to trends in immigration, Teaching English as a Second Language is now increasingly popular and in demand.
In New Jersey, teachers at elementary school level are earning an average salary of $62,990, with secondary school teachers earning $67,010. In fact New Jersey is one of the highest paying states for teachers and implemented a plan in 2010-11 to create connections between what teachers learn within workshops and classroom success. New graduates of education are issued with a Certificate of Eligibility with Advanced Standing (CEAS) in New Jersey and these holders are supported through the teacher program, with mentoring being offered as well as assessment to achieve the Standard Certificate.
Teaching is a special calling. It is a vocation, rather than a job, and if you are drawn to this career because you want to make a difference and help to shape young peoples’ lives, then teaching is the vocation for you. With significant government acts such as the No Child Left Behind Act, the teaching profession is highly recognized and valued, and it is forever moving forward, supported by great initiatives to entice potential new teachers into this highly rewarding field.