What Does it Take to be a Teacher?

We know cops went into their job because they appreciated justice. Graphic designers enjoy seeing a project through. But what about teachers? What is the impetus (in general) that drives people to pursue a career teaching?

My School DeskBeing a teacher, we often get mixed reviews in our cultures. Sometimes, we are seen as “world changers” and other times not as highly. I think a lot of people think they know because everyone has had an experience with teachers. This brings up the question: What does it take to be a teacher? Let me give you a few of my observations:

Teachers are people who use their education.

Some of my friends I run across did not put their excellent education to work. Others did and went into various trades but in most cases, teachers used it to keep getting educated. All teachers have at least a Bachelor’s degree. At this point in time, most districts require an advanced degree or they won’t consider hiring you.

Teachers have shown discipline as interns and student teachers.

My Master Teacher told me “The best behavior control is a dynamite lesson plan.” I named this blog after that wisdom. Teachers must instruct the grade level knowledge but also captivate and engage every child. This is quite challenging some days and most of the time there is no reward for it.

Teachers have “people” as their work product.

Look at any mall and you can imagine all sorts of products: diamonds, electronic, cheese and sauce (Pizza), entertainment. The product that teachers mold is “people.” I love that about my job. The bottom line is how many or how much you helped people.

Teachers are communicators and lifelong learners.

At work, I often have aides or parents that approach me about math problems or the like that are stumping them. I always feel flattered and try my best to help them out. It’s one thing to know how to get the answer but another completely to teach it to someone. We do this every day while at work.

I used to think teachers were lame … like they had two left feet in the real world so they had to take a mindless job of teaching. How ironic that I have become a teacher and I was so wrong! I’m not saying I am special now, just a guy trying his best to make a difference. Teacher certification is rigorous for a reason. The purpose of this post was to show the amazing things teachers do and the wonderful people that they are. Those who can, teach!

What do you think of my presentation of what it takes to be a teacher? Can you add anything in the comments? Thanks in advance.


Having been a public school teacher since 1997, I've gained valuable classroom experience. Sometimes a great tool is a dynamite lesson plan. These posts are from a real teaching journey. I hope they inspire you. Thanks for reading!

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