I was asked that question from a student and this was my response:
Lifetime connections and experiences worthy of a book!
On-site training...for as long as you teach
Consistent exposure to current best practices for 21st century instruction.
A chance to NEVER fall behind on what is going on.
No day is ever alike.
-Politics among administrators
-Preferential treatment to some co-workers
-Drama with parents (notice how I say PARENTS, and not STUDENTS- we are trained to deal with the students quite well)
-Budget cuts and pink slips
-Lack of resources
** I did NOT put down "low pay" because some teachers are, actually, well-compensated depending on where they work. Some can supplement their pay with EDAs.
What would be your pro's and con's for the educators of the future?
The pros are related to the nature of the profession--you are doing something very important that a lot of people will benefit from. You also have a great work schedule! Most of the time you can run things your way, although administrators will stick their nose in your room from time to time.
The cons are related to the nature of human beings--you will ge expected to work miracles sometimes. You will also have plenty of students (and parents) who expect to pass your class without doing anything. And, of course, there's the discipline issue. You can't expect kids to behave just because they should.
Having the same time off that the children do is always a pro. Sometimes parents are even fortunate enough to have their progeny at the same school with them (did I say fortunate?).
When that recalictrant student that you would hope to be absent some days greets you ten years later at the grocery store, is polite and has become successful, and gives you some of the credit--that is a pro. When a young parent introduces his/her children to you as the favorite teacher of those years ago, that is a pro. When you have made a mark in people's memory, there is no salary to match that.
Without doubt, the most massive, colossal, irritating con is the bureaucracy that education is subjected to. Another con is the weakness that prevails in America's society today which is the cause of so many problems in the microcosm of school. Still another con is the promotion of the mediocre.
Strictly from a public (middle and high) school perspective, there are certainly more cons than pros these days. Pros: short working hours, working with young adults, seeing positive results regularly. Cons: incredibly poor pay, long hours grading homework for no extra pay, angry parents, inefficient administrators, constant disciplinary problems, and unmotivated students.
Pros - summers off! Holidays off with family! I can be a mom and earn money at the same time. I don't have to be at home all of the time, but I get to be home more than the average working class citizen. I get to start over each year and each quarter. And yes, I get to use my brain on a daily basis rather than becoming a robot like I was when I was a receptionist. Benefits are great, although tanking as we speak. Pension once was a benefit, but I wonder what will be available when I retire.
Cons- Politics, administrators, parents, stuck-up students, endless grading, lies about homework, disrespect from all avenues, . . . It must be summer because it seems as if this list is smaller than expected.
More Pros - friendships made, facebook friends :), hilarious classroom conversations, seeing the youth in all their innocence, helping those who aren't so innocent, a steady pay check however small, treats at faculty meetings, free caffeine at meetings, :) I guess I won't quit this year. I should do this list more often. :)
Cons -- not only politics in the administration, but political machinations from the school board and parents/parent groups. Also a lack of respect for the position in the general public, and especially from parents. Finally, an evaluation process that in most cases is ineffectual and in many cases detrimental.
Pros -- Autonomy, flexibility, and the chance to do problem-solving on a daily basis. The chance to work with kids -- they don't know that you cannot do something a certain way, so you get to work in a positive atmosphere without the "nattering nabobs of negativism", at least in your classroom.
A pro is running into former students, as I did two days ago on vacation, and seeing how well they are doing, and in particular how many become educators themselves. A con is the lack of upward mobility. As another person pointed out, many of the best teachers are not in the classroom, because there is no way to be financially rewarded for your expertise (at least in the state I'm from) while remaining in the classroom.
Two of the biggest pros to me is that I have fun with my job. You get to hang out with kids all day! Another is that I have the ability to use my creativity to create lessons and activities, and having an avenue to express your creativity is one of the keys to happiness in my opinion.
To me the biggest con is the time involved in the job after school hours. I work many late nights and weekends without compensation.
My pros would be that working with young people keeps you young, and there are as many learning opportunities as teaching ones. The cons for me would be governments constantly 'shaking up' education with little understanding of the impacts of their dabbling. Administration takes away from classroom time, and the best paid in education often spend the least time with students (if any).
The biggest pro - you get to influence the future and help to shape its inception through your teaching. Good teachers live on through the achievements of their students - you can leave a great legacy as a teacher.
You've hit most of the important stuff, I think. To me, the biggest pro that you've left off is the chance to use your brain in your career. If you're a good teacher, you have to use your intellect to constantly come up with newer and better ways to teach your subject. I love that intellectual challenge. As far as cons, there's the frustration of never feeling like you did things perfectly. You always feel like you should have done a better job of teaching your class whether it be in how you put the lesson together or in how you responded to certain situations in class.
It is very rewarding to know that you've impacted someone's life. When that someone comes back to you years later and says "I've never forgot what you've told me," it means a lot. Especially if that student was a trouble maker back then. :-)
Are there really cons? Would I be an educator if I could automatically say there are cons to this profession? Of course the pay is not always great and there are politics everywhere - but I didn't become a teacher for either of those things. I became a teacher to make a difference, to watch students grow - to become something more. So for me, everything is a pro. It may take a little more time for the positive to come through - but it's all worth it in the end and if its not education is not where one should be.
FOR ME,,, the biggggest pro:
When the student becomes a good person in the future, ,,will not forget you never...NEVER ^_^