Pros and Cons of Being a Teacher

Updated on October 26, 2013
M.M. asks from Fresno, CA
17 answers

I really want honest opinions. I am in school and I volunteer much of my time at my daughters school. I am in school to one day be a teacher. It's a passion that I have and LONG for. It really excites me. The idea of one day having my own class and those adorable little faces walking through the door. However, I see some of the teachers I help out, really stressed. I wonder if it's the kids, or the parents. I don't know. So if your a teacher, please give me your thoughts. I think my biggest challenge will be actually getting the parents on board. Sometimes people do not cooperate as you think they will. So again, please, honest opinions.

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So What Happened?

So since I didn't specify sooner, I am currently in a Degree Completion Program for my B.A and then just after will be going into a Certificate program at the same school. I truly understand what everyone is saying. It seems most of you have or see the same cons. I think my biggest challenge will be the parents. I've seen the teachers that I work with, when they have brought to a parents attention, some of the concerns with their child, the parent will ask the teacher, what can she do to fix that problem. It's beyond me because I have two daughters, 7 and 8 and a son who is 3. My daughters are not perfect however they are well aware that we need to respect ourselves and each other. Especially folks that are older than us. It's in our blood to respect others so when I see some of the things that go on....yes it does scare me and makes me think twice. The time that the teacher spoke to the parent was again in regards to her son. Her son told the teacher to shutup and then the parent asks the teacher what can she do to fix the problem. I don't understand people but I figure...hey you can't win them all right. I think...No I know, that I will be great at it. I would like to teach 1st or 2nd grade. Preferably 1st grade. I would like to get them little so I can shape them into good little 2nd graders. I know the pay is not the best but I know I will really be good at it. It's something I've always wanted to do and have decided finally to go back to school. I 4 classes into school already. I am 33 years old. Just for FYI...I am 33 years old. Thanks to everyone who has commented. I truly appreciate it!

Featured Answers


answers from Dallas on

I won't repeat what others have already said, but I have been teaching high school for 18 years and love it. It is incredibly difficult, but it also makes me very happy. I tell my students all the time to find a career that they are passionate about. You seem to have a passion for teaching. As long as you also have good time management and are organized, you'll be fine. :)

6 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

From what I am seeing in schools, I think teaching is one of the hardest jobs there is. ApproxQueenJane, TF, and Mamazita kind of nailed it.

I too suggest you try subbing before you plunge in.

However, with Common Core coming in, there will be less testing, so that's a plus. But the huge class sizes and lack of discipline among the kids are the two things that make the job the hardest, imo.

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answers from San Francisco on

Can you apply as an aide, or assistant, first?
I also thought I wanted to teach. I spent one year subbing and then three years working 20 hours a week as an aide.
I was exhausted after four hours a day.
Teachers really do have an insanely hard job, simply because there really are NO breaks.
Sure, school holidays, and summer, which was awesome of course. But you spend the rest of the year being "on" from like 7:30 to 4:30, at least, plus taking work home. Lunches and other breaks are usually spent responding to emails and calls. Even going to the bathroom is a challenge.
The parents were the worst. I mean, most of them were great, but there were always a few who just questioned you, hounded you, told you the work was too hard, or not hard enough, insisted somehow their child wasn't getting x, y, z, and there was really no way to make them happy.
And of course there were some who didn't seem to care at all.
And the kids? the "adorable" little faces? Yes, most of them are, and I thought I loved ALL children, until I worked with them. Some of them are just plain annoying and awful but there's nothing you can do but smile and fake it!
Sorry, not trying to talk you out of it (LOL) just giving you my honest feelings/experience.
It takes a very special person: lots of energy, diplomacy, discipline, sense of calm, and of course, a supportive spouse. During the school year you will have longer days which means your children will have longer days (in day care or after school care.) There are meetings and trainings to attend. Many teachers found it hard to continue once their own kids were in school. It's hard to be both a parent and a teacher, which I guess is why you see mostly younger and older women doing it.
Try subbing first, get your feet wet before leaping in.
ETA: I didn't even mention the administration, district, and parents club, three separate agencies that you are also expected to please and perform for, even though what they want often conflicts with the needs and wants of each other AND the students and parents (that's what I meant by diplomacy!)

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answers from Dallas on

I've been a substitute for 13 years. I LOVE the children and being a teacher.

However, at the end of my day, I am drained. I do not sub more than 2 days in a row because I know I'm not at my best more than 2 days in a row. I'm fine with a day or 2 between jobs.

The teachers are under a lot if pressure from the district, the school, the parents, etc. They work very hard to meet goals and manage all of the children in a positive way.

A lot of my sub jobs are toward the end if the semester and end of year when the teachers are drained emotionally and need a break.

I love teaching but it is not something I could do full time.

If possible, can you sub or be an assistant for some time? You will get a good feel for the profession and if you truly like it. It's a great way to get a feel for the profession.

Best wishes!

10 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

My Mom taught 6th grade in public school for 30 years.
She would never recommend that ANYONE go into teaching.
For the most part the kids don't want to learn, the parents want them to have fun and don't care about them learning and the administration has you jumping through impossible hoops.
My Mom once received a letter from an angry parent who said that their daughter was too stressed out from trying to learn about fractions and insisted that my Mom stop teaching them to her immediately.
Um - it's part of the curriculum - there's no not teaching it just because a parent wants it stopped.
Her room often had no heat and the ceiling leaked - which was a good trick because her room was on the 2nd floor below the 3rd floor.
She was on her feet most of the day and rarely had a chance to use the bathroom.
This is a problem especially if you want to start a family of your own one day, and get pregnant.
A friend of hers who taught 8th grade had a student commit suicide by blowing his brains out in her classroom - he died right in front of her as she held his hand - there was no helping him - the back half of his head was splattered across the wall.
Another time a special ed student (he was about 17 but was at a 6th grade level mentally - he was part of an inclusion program) got upset because another kid quickly switched the room light switch off and on a few times - the 17 yr old grabs the kid by the throat and is choking him while yelling 'You shouldn't do that!' (the kid is turning blue) and it took 3 male teachers to hold him and pry him off the other kid.
Are there some great students? - Sure! but they are few and far between.
Some parents will work with you instead of against you but not nearly enough will.
The pay is low - you are always looking for a 2nd job on the weekends or during the summer to make ends meet unless you are married to someone who earns double what you do.
Budgets are always being cut - they are forever telling you to do more with less (and less and less, etc).
Over the years my Mom found various creatures in her desk placed there by student - mice, lizards, a snake one time - they were kind of disappointed because my Mom loves critters and never gave them the satisfaction of a yell of surprise.
It's a tough job and it burns up your enthusiasm really fast.
If you still love your job after doing it for 5 years then you are doing better than most.

10 moms found this helpful


answers from Honolulu on

I'm not a Teacher but work at an elementary school, public, and have 2 types of jobs there. One is as a Staff and also as a Sub.

Working at a school and being a Teacher, is like a customer service job, except that you are handling/teaching OTHER people's kids.
And as a Teacher, you also must teach according to the school's curriculum/standards/rules/policies and also go through safety trainings and employee requirements and also CPR trainings etc. and so there are MANY aspects to being a Teacher.
And also of course, dealing with the parents.
And no matter what job you have, NO one fully cooperates, with you, be it children or adults or parents. Or co-workers.
Yes, Teaching is stressful.
But if you love it, then that is good.
Getting parents on board, is not your only job.
It is getting the children/students, on board. Also.
And depending on the age grade and age of the kids, there are different approaches to all of it.
And also, dealing with any developmental issues or problems and knowing each of your students. And even if you are the perfect Teacher, no classroom or student or parent, will be perfect and totally understanding or cooperative.
And then, meeting all employee requirements and requirements as a Teacher, is another ball of wax.
And I know some Teachers, that have gotten bladder issues & infections repeatedly, because, its not like they can just leave class and go to the bathroom any ol time and leave their class/kids unattended.

And it is not a job you can just leave and go home.
Even at home, you are constantly, prepping, and doing paperwork. And buying things with your own money. And salary is not great. Even with a Master's degree.
And everywhere you go on your own personal time... a kid or family from school will see you, even if you don't see them, and they know what you are doing/when/how/what you are buying, etc.
Everyday, kids will tell me "I SAW YOU!" and I did not see them.

You see some of the Teachers you help, be really stressed. It is NOT only from the parents OR the kids. It is both.
I know a Teacher, who had a classroom that was a classroom from hell. Why? Though she is a seasoned Teacher with experience... the kids... and the parents of the students, were literally.... hell. Nit picky, coddled their kids, didn't like anything their kids were required to do as a student. didn't like the other classmates, complained to the Teacher and expected the Teacher to correct their horrible kid and give them back a kid that was perfect. But the parents, didn't feel they had to do, anything.
And the school, can only go so far, in reprimanding a child. They are not miracle workers. But the outside world, expects that.

All the Teachers I know, who have young kids themselves... their own children, even if they go to the same school they Teach at, have to go to after school care. Because, a Teacher has work hours. Just like any other office job.
As a Sub Teacher, you have hours too, but not like a regular Teacher nor do you have to do lesson plans, unless you are a long term sub who qualifies, for the job.

I have friends that are full time Teachers. And they have young kids themselves. I do not know, how they do it. Everyday all day they are with kids, managing them. Then they come home, and have their own kids at home to manage. They have no, off time nor different activities, from work and home. And they cannot attend their own child's school related functions, because they are Teaching too, at school or another school. And they can't always just take off of work. And if a Teacher is not there, say on May Day or some "special" school function/occasion... some parents get miffed/irked/mad at the teacher. ie: How come she wasn't here?!!! But, the Teacher has kids too. Maybe her kid was sick. It can't be helped. But the parents of their students, do not always understand.

9 moms found this helpful


answers from Tucson on

I teach high school and I love the students and the subject I teach. I am on my 10th year and used to love going to work every day. This will be my last year. I think the pros are having relationships with students that help them become more knowledgeable and better people, being part of your community, those moments where you see the light bulb come on andspending all day teaching a subject you are passionate about, The cons for me that are forcing me to reevaluate my career are: I spend most of my time on classroom management and it has gotten more difficult over the years with electronic devices, classrooms of 40 students and the grading that comes with that, having to teach to tests, having to be perfectly paced with other teachers, meetings on top of meetings, the difficulty of teaching to so many levels at one time, no raise in 10 years, the stress of trying to keep up with it all. It is hard for me to admit it...but it is just too hard. I want a job that I can leave at work and not have panic attacks on Sunday nights. Granted I am in Arizona and we have been woefully underfunded for a while now, but it is time to move on!

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

In my past life, I was a sixth grade math teacher. I LOVED my job. I was lucky to be following my passion. I plan on going back to the classroom.

Pros - Doing what you love. If teaching is your true calling, despite the stressors and bad days, you'll love your job.

Seeing growth is so fulfilling. Whether it's Johnny mastering a math skill or Suzy learning not to interrupt. You know you had a small part in forever changing someone's life.

The days go by fast. You are always moving. Always doing something. Always some place to be. It makes for a fast paced day, which I enjoyed.

Having control and autonomy in the classroom is a plus. With testing and team teaching, this isn't quite as prevalent as it once was, but generally speaking, teachers can do it "their way" in the classroom. I like that.

And there are more days off than most professional careers!

Testing, testing and more testing. Standardized tests are the norm. In my opinion, they take away from true learning. spend a lot of your own money in your class.

A lot of assumptions are made about you and your job when you are a teacher. Sorry, but I never got off at 3:30. Leaving at 5 was considered a win. I didn't sit at my desk drinking coffee and showing movies. I didn't have tons of "down time".

It's a job that stays with you. You don't leave it at the office. You'll think about students and kids constantly. You'll bring home papers for grading. You'll remind random kids at Walmart to "Walk! Please!". You won't be able to give you children certain names, because they are tied to some former student. It's not merely a job, it's your life

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Springfield on

Teaching isn't for everyone, but for some people it is their calling. My SIL and I talk about this often. I used to teach high school. I was ... not good. I can teach the material, but I did not know how to manage a classroom. Now I teach college. Oh my goodness is this easier for me. It really fits my personality so much better. My SIL, on the other hand, works in a grade school (she's a Speech Pathologist). She LOVES it. She is so good with kids that age. And she's good with the parents. She has some life experiences, so she's really learned how to diplomatically tell parents when they are wrong and need to listen to what she is telling them.

I do agree with the cons that the posters below mentioned. But if this is something you really want to do and would really love, then all those negatives mentioned become part of the job and something you learn to deal with. We all have things about our job we don't love or people we have to work with that we don't really want to work with. But if we love what we do, those are things we can deal with. They will certainly cause us stress from time to time, but whose life doesn't have stress from time to time?

You would have your good days and bad days, just like any other job. But you'll never know until you try!

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Las Vegas on

I'm not a teacher, but here is my perspective.

I work with some extremely intelligent people, that may still annoy me from time to time and some [gosh how do I say this] idiots [there I said it], who annoy me all the time. I am stuck with them until I leave or they leave first.

For the longest time, I didn't deal with other employees, I dealt with customers who I may have to speak to twice a year. More and more I am having to deal with other employees and I am stuck with them. I work with one girl who turns in papers that don't add up [simple math]. I turn it back to her, she returns it, it now adds up, and there is something else wrong with it. In 9 months, she will still be there.

Okay, so maybe not every child is going to have an adorable face. Sometimes I can look at a child and see the monster in them. But, if it is your passion, I think you should go for it. Start out by substituting and see what your tolerance level really is. Mine is sometimes pretty low, so I pray every day before work for a new tolerance level.

Yesterday, was a pretty bad day for me. I called a professional and asked if his company was affiliated with a property. He responded, "Ma'am, we manage 450 properties". Me: "Okay, do you have a log or a computer system that you could look the address up in?"

I imagine you will have some of those type days, but hopefully you will teach that young man how to use his own head so some day he can carry on grown up conversations while he is working.

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answers from Washington DC on

It can really depend on the school. If you have supportive administrators and a positive school culture, the stress is more manageable. If admin sees teachers as "the problem" or the school is constantly in crisis mode, it is very hard to avoid burnout.

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answers from Detroit on

It really depends upon where you work. Ideally, you are rich from another source and are able to work part time, because full time is time and one half or double time during the school year.

-getting to have relationships with students
-knowing that teachers make great contributions to society
-getting to be creative with curriculum
-being able to have a room represent you with tone and mood
-summers off, but I bet this ends at some point

-people being unappreciative of the 10-12 hour days put in and instead getting snide comments about all the time we get off
-low pay for the amount of education required
-the occasional nasty emails from parents
-endless paper checking if teaching high school English

If you volunteer and have a good relationship, ask if you can create a lesson to teach. That will be more authentic than subbing, but there is no pay. It'll be more rewarding, though.

People should follow their strong desires for careers. You will teach while it makes you content, and then you will stop when /if it does not.

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answers from Miami on

ETA because of the comment a poster made who says that subbing is not real life experience as a teacher: If I seemed to anyone other than her that I was saying that subbing is the same as teaching, let me say that this is NOT what I was saying. I was explaining how good it is to work with other teachers AND run a classroom AS a substitute in order to help you decide if you want to go back to school and get your teaching certificate. I thought it was obvious that I made that point, but evidently not.

I'll add here that it is expensive to get your certificate and takes a lot of work. I'd much rather know that I can handle the stress of the classroom by "practicing" teaching before having to do it, than just consider it from being a teacher's helper as a volunteer. It would be a shame to spend all that money getting your certificate, just to HATE the job later.

I decided not to read the other posts before writing so that no one else's thoughts would influence what I write. I'm a substitute teacher. I love subbing - I really do. It hasn't always been easy. When I first started, I subbed for 3rd through 8th grade music classes. I had the chance to observe the teachers before subbing so that I could learn how they ran their classes, how they managed the kids, and how they applied their lesson plans to the different age groups. I loved, loved, loved learning this and I spent a lot of time doing it. It was a little like being a student teacher on an informal basis. Not everyone can do this, and I know how lucky I was.

Due to a last minute need, I ended up subbing for the high schooler choir (60 of them) who needed actual work time preparing for a music contest. I had never subbed for them. They weren't used to having to sing for a sub, much less a sub who could actually conduct and work through music. They didn't want to - they wanted to do their other homework and watch movies. For a WEEK I had to cajole them, beg them, remind them, etc that this contest was coming up and they wanted to make themselves look good and their teachers look good. I went home and cried the first two nights because they were so hard on me. But they came around and finally started really working with me. When the teachers came back, they told me that the kids were facebooking each other and there was a lot of fussing at the trouble makers for being hard on me. That brought tears to my eyes...

I learned A LOT from that experience. At the next school I subbed in with this older age set who had never met me before (there were 50 in the choir) they tried the same stuff, even louder. Instead of being intimidated, I "brought it on"! Lots of operatic singing, surprising the heck out of them, getting them involved from the beginning, forceful and upbeat, showing them that we were going to get this done. It worked. No more going home and crying about it. I passed my personal test that I could control a group of 50 plus students. It's actually a wonderful feeling.

You won't have 50 plus students if you aren't a music teacher. You may have 30 students in your class. You'll find the "tricks" to manage a classroom that work. But you won't necessarily find them off the bat. You need to work with other teachers and watch what they do. Observing different age groups with successful teachers helps a great deal. If you could substitute for a school whose teachers you know, it would be wonderful. Then you see what they do and apply it to the classes when the teacher isn't there.

In addition to managing a classroom, being able to move from subject to subject in the appropriate time frame is a learned skill. You would have the teacher's lesson plan, telling you what you are supposed to do with the kids. That teaches you how to organize the day and gives you the experience of actually doing it. If you are subbing for older kids who change classes to come to you, then it is easier because you are usually teaching one subject and getting different groups to come in.

A lot of it is "practicing" teaching after you observe another teacher, seeing how you are able to handle the kids and the subject matter at the same time. The rest is organizational.

If you are able to do what I'm suggesting and decide that you like it enough to go back to school to get your teaching certificate, then you would be doing real student teaching as part of your curriculum and the biggest part of your work would be writing your own lesson plans with great detail and teaching in front of the teacher. That's a lot of work. I had considered going back to school too, mom, but I'm a lot older than you and decided that I would just have to be happy subbing. And I am. I really like having a lesson plan handed to me. I HAVE written my own lesson plans for music classes because the teachers knew that I wanted to, and they gave me leeway. But I also know how time consuming it is. I spent more time working on my lesson plans and practicing the music I would be working on with the kids, than I did in the classrooms actually teaching. I'm lucky I had the time to do that - not everyone is as lucky.

I would NOT worry about the parents, at all. By the time you are a teacher, you will feel confident in your ability to teach, and you will quickly figure out what parents are reacting to little nit-picky stuff and who are honestly trying to reach out to you.

Today I had parent/teacher conferences with all my high school senior's teachers. They are a wonderful group of teachers this year, and I'm grateful to have enjoyed every single one of the conferences. In regards to you worrying about the parents, I just want to say that I really think that you wouldn't be wanting to teach if you were one of the minority of teachers with a bad attitude, one who wishes no one would contact her or even show up at conference time, one who won't write a parent back or call, one who thinks parents are just a "bother" to the teacher. Everytime I see a teacher who acts like that, I think how great it would be for them to go get a different career. Jaded attitudes like this just spill over to closed-mindedness with kids, and that produces mediocre teaching.

Teaching is certainly not about the money or prestige. It's a labor of love, and THAT is why people should go into the profession. That sounds like you!

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

I will just say this as a person who taught preschool (I know, not the same as elem. or upper grades, but sort of--)... I will never do that work again. Not because of the kids, but because of parents constantly making excuses for why they won't guide their children appropriately.

When I started working with kids in 1991, the parents wondered how their child was doing within the classroom structure. Now, parents are wondering how the preschool can work FOR the child.

Instead of telling their kids "NO" and making clear, consistent rules while offering caring guidance, now parents are afraid of offering firm correction. "Oh, honey, we don't do that..." So the teachers aren't supported by some parents.

Instead of parents making their kids stop hurting others, you might hear a parent justifying their kid's 'rambunctiousness' with "well, he is learning about his world and physics" by throwing things at another kids head. (Yes, I have heard this.)

There were plenty of awesome kids and parents... but the ones who let their family dysfunction creep into the classroom, asking for special considerations regularly, not enforcing the classroom rules while visiting in the preschool, expecting everyone else to be understanding because of problems the parents cause/contribute to at home... it wore me out. "Could you keep an extra eye out for Suzy? She didn't get much sleep because she'll only sleep with me and I was up until midnight studying for an exam..." or "My child won't use soap and doesn't like to wash their hands..." or "My child is gifted and what sort of academic development can you offer because he's been reading whole sentences since three" (um, we are a play-based preschool with a focus on social development-- did you not read the pamphlet?).... Sorry, I'm going off a bit, but there are SO MANY parents who want special consideration for their kid, it's obnoxious.

One parent would tell me what their kid's therapist 'recommended' but never offered me any other information. Really? *What the hell am I supposed to be helping with?*

Plus, then there is the group of parents whose kids obviously need some interventions but they don't want the kid to be labelled, but they do want considerations made anyway. Either go get the evaluation and hand the counselor/education coordinator the recommendations from the professionals or expect that your kid needs to conform to a certain degree. If you don't have enough for a 504 or IEP, then you need to be working on these behaviors!

And then there was the parent who took it a bit too far and told me that "well, I can see that you parent differently than I do"... um, no-- here's the point. I am not your kid's parent, I am their TEACHER. If you wanted another mommy for your kid, hire a nanny. I'm the person trying to get your kid ready for kindergarten.

I loved working with the kids in general, I liked our emergent curriculum-style of teaching (letting the children's emerging interests lead our activities/exploration), I loved helping the kids. The work itself was rich and engaging and in previous years, when I had suggestions for parents on how to smooth rough transitions or insight-- they welcomed it. In the past several years, I've seen a trend of parents taking those comments personally, as though it is a challenge to their parenting and who they are as a person instead of a simple observation.

(I think this is also why you see questions about parents who get upset with their own parents for giving them advice on how to raise the kids. We used to expect our kids to be respectful to the adults and elders around them... now we have this knee-jerk generation of 'don't tell me how to raise MY child!' parents. )

So, if you have a passion for teaching, great. But also remember, the hours are long, you are never really paid for ALL of your work time, and your pension plan may be cut due to public scrutiny to fund-- guess what?-- education. That's what's happening here in Oregon, anyway. I admire and appreciate the very professional, very gifted teacher I see at my son's school and still wish, some days, that I was teaching toddlers or preschoolers again... but when it comes to dealing with the parents, my heart just isn't in it.

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answers from Houston on

I began teaching in 1981. I'm still in it because I cannot afford to retire until I'm 62. I have taught English, ESL, Dance, and I am a Guidance Counselor. No disrespect, but substitute teaching cannot give anyone real life experience as a teacher. Substitutes legally do not have to do lesson plans, duty, answer to parents, etc.
Pros: friendly colleagues, summers off, weekends off, holidays off, the ability to relocate anywhere domestically or internationally and get a job, it keeps you young, you will become lifelong friends with some colleagues, easy to change schools to find a better fit, sick days, retirement package, work hours, autonomy, UNION!
Cons: petty, brown-nosing colleagues, teaching to the tests, pay, having administrators younger than you, whining parents at higher socio-economic schools, discipline problems in at-risk schools, expected to be a saint in society, administrators who bully you or dislike you for no reason, etc.

Teaching is my calling. I have taught every level elementary to college. My favorite was being a Guidance Counselor in an at-risk, black population, elementary school on the west coast. I used my Dance background to start a Dance Troupe. I was able to keep students involved, raise parent participation, and build self-esteem. My worst position was whenever I had principals who did not like me- they disregarded my work ethic and made it personal.

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answers from Rochester on

I was a classroom teacher for 5 years, a Title I Reading and Math teacher for 2 years (and also a Reading Recovery teacher one of those years), a gifted specialist for 3 years, and am in my 5th year as a reading specialist. I also subbed for 2 years before getting a teaching position. I have taught in a private school and public schools, small town, rural, suburban, and small city schools.

The kids
Seeing kids finally get it
Seeing kids excited about learning
Having a kid say I am the best teacher he/she has every had
The gratitude that comes from parents

The pay
The unpaid overtime (lesson planning, papers to grade, etc)
The constraints of curriculum
Some parents
Discipline problems
Lack of funding for schools
Feeling unappreciated by society

I will say that although I miss the years I had my own classroom, I love teaching small groups and working with struggling readers. I don't have papers to grade. I only have to focus on one subject area. The parents I work with seem to be more gracious. I feel like I get to know my students in a more personal way because I work with 1-4 at a time. I feel like I have more opportunity to really impact my students. I don't have as much stress as classroom teachers. I don't know that I would be happy going back to having my own classroom. But, I can't see myself really doing anything else. I was out of the classroom for a total of four years (although two of those I was in grad school full time and teaching undergrad classes). I couldn't wait to get back to teaching.

I agree with what others have said. Try to spend as much time in the classroom as possible either as a sub (for teachers or paras) Or as a para. Being in the classroom in a leadership role is a lot different than being a volunteer in a classroom.

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answers from Washington DC on

You got a lot of honest opinions. I would say try subbing and/or becoming a teacher's aid for a year before you make it your career. Make a plan with your husband and family; it will also change their lives too. Leaves you less available for your daughter(s). Make sure husband is supportive; definitely talk to him about it without kids around. It's GREAT you have a passion, but the "horror" stories are true. Know what age/grade interested in teaching or maybe specialize in an elective?

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