Career Options and Teaching Professions

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Executive Summary

When choosing a profession, one must take into taking into consideration a variety of factors, that are both external and internal to the person. It is important to discover where their true passion lies. It could be serving people, showing oneself through art, guiding others to reach their full potential and so on. Also, it is necessary to evaluate the abilities, talents and potential for the pursuit of a particular goal. Externally, one should examine the working conditions, the environment and pay that the employee will be required to endure while performing his duties in the workplace. Also, one must examine possible routes for the career path he chooses to pursue.

This report provides a comprehensive analysis of the Teaching Profession. It will provide information about the nature of the work, the working conditions, education requirements, the compensation and the possibility of career advancement in the field of education.

The information within this document is built of the literature available on teaching as well as interviews with teachers who have worked in the field on their experiences. The report will address the following areas worth considering:

  • Description of job/nature of the work
  • Conditions of work
  • Education background
  • Salary
  • Career advancement opportunities

Introduction

A profession that is considered to be the most noble teaching has been around since the beginning of time. Teaching requires numerous skills and abilities required to manage the various responsibilities that teachers face every day. Lucy Sprague Mitchell, a well-known educator, was quoted as saying: (as mentioned in Shalaway 1997).

“Teachers can enjoy the benefits of both artists and scientists in their work. They have the ability to apply the scientific approach to teaching. They are able to observe their pupils, collecting data; an experimental mindset when designing programmes for their children, which allows them to test their data and flexibility when changing plans based on their findings. Teachers can be creative artists when creating a curriculum. They are able to be imaginative without being a slave to a set of rules, in the planning and thinking process with their kids .”

Lucy Sprague Mitchell, educator and author of Her Children as well as Our Schools (Simon & Schuster 1950).

Description of the job/nature of the work

A teacher who has been in the profession for a long time was interviewed about her work with children who are very young for over a decade fully explained the characteristics of a teacher’s job. When the school year is in session teachers are already preparing for the school year. They arrange and decorate their classrooms to prepare for students. They develop lesson plans for different subjects.

In the course of school teachers use their school plans for the curriculum, using taught aids that are prepared, such as videos, images games, and so on. They use “props” also known as “manipulatives” to assist students learn abstract concepts, solve issues and build critical thinking skills. They engage in many different activities that encourage the development of learning. Teachers play an important role in shaping children’s ways of thinking. What children learn in their time in school can influence their opinions about their world and themselves, and could later influence their success or failure in their lives.

Teachers are responsible for a variety activities each day. “Teachers organize, assess and assign lessons, as well as prepare the, conduct, and grade tests, listen to oral presentations and ensure that the classroom is disciplined. They assess and observe the performance of a student and their potential and are often required to employ new methods of assessment. Teachers, for instance, may review a portfolio of student’s work or assess the overall performance of the student. Teachers can then provide support in areas where students require assistance. Teachers can also grade essays as well as prepare report cards as well as meet together with the parent and personnel to discuss the student’s academic performance or personal concerns.” (Nashville Career Development Center n.d.)

Alongside facilitating class activities Teachers also supervise homerooms and study halls, as well as extracurricular activities. They can identify students who have physical or mental disorders or with special needs and make all the required referrals appropriate authorities or specialists. Teachers sit with parents in order to talk about the development made by their children at school or collaborate to assist those students who have a specific problem.

Working Conditions

The majority of the time, teachers are within their classes, tucked away from their students. Certain schools require teachers to collaborate with their teachers or instructors to improve their professional growth.

A lot of full-time teachers are employed for longer than 40 hours per week. The majority of teachers have a 10-month school year , which includes two months of vacation in the summer. Districts with an all-year-round schedule, teachers generally, teachers work for 8 weeks, take one vacation week and take a 5 week midwinter break. Teachers are also off on holidays.

Background in education

Teachers should hold at least the equivalent of a Bachelor’s degree and completed an approved teacher education program that has a specified number of education and subject credits, in addition to the ability to supervise their training in teaching. “All fifty States along with The District of Columbia require public school teachers to be licensed. The requirement for licensure is not applicable to teachers at private schools in the majority of States. Typically the licensure process is handled to teachers by either the State Board of Education or a committee for licensure. Teachers can be licensed to teach in the early childhood grades (usually pre-school through grade 3) and classes in the primary grade (grades 1 – 6 and 8) and intermediate grades (grades 5 to 8) and a secondary education subject (usually grades 7 to 12) or a particular area, like music or reading (usually grades K-12).” (Nashville Career Advancement Center n.d.). Professional development and training are generally provided by the school on site or off.

Salary

In 2004, the median annual earnings for elementary, kindergarten, secondary and middle teachers in schools ranged between $41,400 and $45,920. The bottom 10 percent earned $26,730-$31,180, while most of the highest 10 percent made $66,240 to $71,370.

In February 2008 the median salary expected for an Academic instructor within the United States is $80,017. This report on market prices was created by using Certified Compensation Professionals’ analysis of data collected through surveys from HR departments of thousands in companies of all sizes, industries and locations. The bottom 25 percent made $65,117 while the highest 25 percent were paid $98,000.00 (Salarywizard in 2008).

Teachers can increase their earnings even more through coaching sport in private tutorials and assisting students with other extracurricular activities. Earning a master’s degree or national certificate usually increases the amount of money you earn. Teaching summer school or other tasks in the school system can be ways to earn additional income.

Career Advancement Opportunities

Teaching is a job that can lead to a variety of different professions. Teachers may conduct research as well as teaching. Some teachers create books, from activity books to storybooks to textbooks. However, some teachers create programs they might offer for after-school activities. Some teachers would rather remain in the academy to seek more prestigious positions, though not always in teaching, but mostly administrative positions.

A myriad of career progression possibilities are offered by teaching because many talents are utilized including organizational, creative research and writing, public speaking and many more! This is the reason teachers are never bored and remain productive even after they have been dismissed from teaching.

Recommendation

Both careers are rewarding for someone with a desire is to serve others. Yet, Open Options recommends to clients to select teaching, since its benefits are greater in terms developing character in the student and the students that he will be teaching in the near future.

Teaching has a profound impact on lives, and the joy one can get from it is enough reward for one’s soul. It is a profession that can be versatile enough to allow for various other career paths in the future because it equips teachers with a wide range of talents that he can utilize in his professional and personal life.

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