It is hard to pinpoint exactly what it means to be a teacher because the job encompasses a wide range of roles, qualities and expertise. The definition of teacher according to the Cambridge Dictionary is “someone whose job is to teach in a school or college”, but we already know there’s so much more to it than this!
To become a teacher requires a lot of hard work in the first place. We have to work hard at school to be accepted into university or other tertiary training, where we spend years learning about what and how to teach children. Once we’ve completed our degrees and enter the school system, there are even more challenges to overcome. We all know that we don’t just wake up each morning and turn up to school. All of us put in a lot of work behind the scenes to prepare for our lessons and often it goes unnoticed.
Despite all of this, we love our jobs as teachers, and we know there is a lot more to teaching than just hard work. It’s hard to determine exactly what that is but we reckon we have a pretty good idea of what it means to be a teacher.
You have a supportive personality type
Being a teacher requires a certain type of personality; you must be very supportive and patient! Even when your students test your boundaries, you still turn up each day prepared to help them become the best people they can be. Not only are teachers supportive, but they are also kind and compassionate, understanding all of their students’ needs. Being inspiring and having a love of learning is also what it means to be a teacher.
You’re an expert in multiple subject areas
Teachers need to have a thorough understanding of a wide range of topics in order to teach their students. This can sometimes be overwhelming however, it does make you a wealth of knowledge! Not only do you know your subject content back to front for your students, your friends and family also know you as the go-to for relevant information. It also makes you highly sought after when it comes time to select members for a trivia team!
You wear multiple hats
All teachers know that being able to take on multiple roles is also what it means to be a teacher. Sometimes, situations occur at school and your students need you to become more than just their teacher. In these times, you can become a stand in parent, a confidant, a cheerleader and a role model and you don’t hesitate to take up these roles when needed.
You’re always looking for ways to improve your students’ education
It may keep you busy but improving the education and school lives of your students is a passion you just can’t ignore. You spend hours marking, photocopying and upgrading old resources just to give your students a leg up in their learning. Even though this can be exhausting, you won’t stop until you can give the best to your students.
You impact the lives of young people
Teaching has an impact on every single student that passes through the classroom. When you teach, you’re giving your students the vital knowledge they need to become fully functioning adults. Every time they sit down in your classroom, you are stimulating their minds, encouraging them to learn and growing their brain cells. Your education is shaping their lives, and that’s a great but humbling responsibility.
You impact society as a whole
When you impact individual students, you’re also having a positive effect on society as a whole. You’re helping to develop the next generation of health care workers, lawyers, pilots, engineers, construction workers, creative artists, business experts, scientists, politicians, writers, farmers, emergency service workers, athletes and even the next generation of teachers. It’s a big responsibility and it’s one you don’t take lightly.
You’re living your dream
You’ve likely always dreamed about being a teacher. You probably played ‘school’ as a child and made your siblings and friends be your pretend students, much to their dismay. But now, you’re actually living out that dream. You’re a real teacher, with a real classroom and real students who are learning real life skills from you. If this isn’t what it means to be a teacher, we don’t know what is!