According to Psychology Today, motivation is a crucial element in setting and attaining goals. As a teacher, staying motivated is the key to a long, successful career in the field of education.
According to an article by the Center for American Progress, 70 percent of new teachers stay in the teaching profession for at least five years on average, as compared to earlier reports. This article also reports “new teachers today are more satisfied with the teaching profession as a whole, as well as with their own working experiences in schools. Ultimately, we serve our students best when we work to keep the best teachers, no matter their experience levels.” (Click here to read more about the article from the Center for American Progress).
Yes, this article does explain that some teachers leave within the first five years of teaching because teaching is not for them, or some aspects of the job are unappealing. However, this is common in several fields.
What makes teachers want to join the profession and have a long-lasting career?
The first factor is new incentives.
According to a report entitled, “Teaching: The Next Generation”, some new proposals that the Department of Education is proposing can attract more college students to choose education as their profession. The motivation of these incentives is extremely appealing. For example, this article discusses a new proposal to help teachers with a consolidated loan repayment program. This would essentially help newer teachers more quickly pay off their student loans while staying the profession of teaching.
Another proposal explains how the federal government should help create differentiated pay structures to help teachers take on added responsibility to earn extra compensation. In addition, another proposal suggests how teachers should advance through built-in career stages such as “beginning teacher”, “professional teacher”, and “master teacher”, in which these three levels of advancement would be motivating for teachers to reach this “master” status.
With all these new incentives, it is clear that the Department of Education wants effective educators to join the profession and endure a successful career within the field of education.
The second factor is personal rewards.
According to an article by the Global Digital Citizen Foundation, they described four rewarding aspects of teaching. One aspect is that a teacher changes the world. A teacher can change the world by influencing how students impact it. Helping students learn how to read Shakespeare or complete Geometry proofs help impact a student’s life directly.
Another rewarding aspect of teaching is making learning fun. As a teacher, it is important to successfully engage students in learning with creativity, enthusiasm, and a love of learning new ways in how to engage these students.
Helping students improve their self-esteem is another rewarding aspect of teaching. Giving students encouragement, feedback, and praise when they learn something new have some struggles also give them confidence in what they are learning.
Lastly, the most rewarding aspect of teaching is forming relationships with students. Students will give you more respect and enjoy your class when these relationships are formed in the classroom.
This quote by Erica Francis within this article explains it all: “Teaching is one of the most important professions out there. Without teachers, our young people aren’t the only ones who lose. Our society as a whole loses when passionate, determined people don’t take up the profession. If you’re considering going into education, know what a huge difference you’ll be making.” (Click here to read more about the Four Most Rewarding Aspects of Education)
Without a doubt, these personal rewards are one of the most influential reasons people choose teaching as a profession. Teaching is one of the most rewarding careers in the world.
Besides these new incentives and personal rewards, two more factors should be considered in having a long-lasting successful career in education.
The third factor is being able to adapt to change.
Even though teachers teach, they are also life-long learners. Teachers have the greatest ability to be able to adapt to changeand help prepare students for 21st century learning, especially with new technology resources.
According to a study by Collie and Martin, they define adaptability as “the capacity to respond to new, changing, and uncertain situations or events that arise.” Collie and Martin also state in the study, “teachers’ adaptability is positively associated with teachers’ well-being, work commitment, and students’ test achievement.”
A teacher never stops learning new ways in how to teach and reach their students. Learning new types of technology tools to support schools that have one-to-one programs, or learning new methods by taking a class to explore new topics or new methods of teaching are extremely beneficial to teachers who choose to have long-lasting, successful careers in education.
The last and most important factor is working with children.
When retired teachers are asked what they are going to miss most about teaching, they say, “the students”. Being around younger or older children is the drive that keeps teachers, administrators, guidance counselors, and other school personnel going. Getting a new group of students each year is rewarding itself, knowing that as a teacher, you can shape and affect their lives in a very meaningful way, even if it is only for one school year. This is one of the most motivating factors of working in education today, and this factor will consistently affect the interest and dedication of teachers in the field of education for years to come.
Without any of these factors, a rewarding and accomplished career in education may not be possible. It truly does take a special person to work within the education field.