Top 10 Reasons to Become an Elementary Teacher

One of the "happy spiders" that one of my students loved to make.
One of the "happy spiders" that one of my students loved to make. | Source

We have all met people who did or did not become elementary school teachers for the right reasons. While there is no single correct or incorrect reason, there are a number of good reasons to contemplate this career option. Are you considering going into teaching but aren't sure if you will be a good fit for the job? Check out these 10 reasons for becoming an elementary teacher.

One of my students went through a big obsession with the Back to the Future movies and frequently drew variations of this movie scene.  How can you not love that?
One of my students went through a big obsession with the Back to the Future movies and frequently drew variations of this movie scene. How can you not love that? | Source

1. You love kids.

I have discussed this concept in other articles, and I know it seems obvious, but it still has to be said. We have all met teachers who really didn't seem to enjoy children, which is so sad. Whether or not you have any passion for teaching or any other aspect of education, you will not enjoy coming to work every day if you don't love kids. One of the most interesting and enjoyable aspects of teaching for many people is the humorous aspect as well as the perspective on life that kids bring to the classroom.

One of my favorite parts about teaching special education and working at the same camps multiple years is the connections that I made with the kids.
One of my favorite parts about teaching special education and working at the same camps multiple years is the connections that I made with the kids. | Source

2. You are good with kids.

Loving kids is the first step to being a good teacher. Determining whether you are good with kids or not is the next step. Do students looking forward to working with you most days? Do you have a good rapport with them? It is tough to measure this concept but still very important to consider. If you don't feel that you have an accurate read on your abilities, review the feedback or think about the comments that you've gotten through experience with kids. This can include anything from babysitting to student teaching. Most likely there will be remarks that pertain to your abilities with the kids.

Even though I don't have my own classroom right now, I haven't stopped teaching!
Even though I don't have my own classroom right now, I haven't stopped teaching! | Source

3. You love teaching.

Some people are natural born teachers. There are certainly lots of techniques that can help people grow these skills, but many great teachers have excellent teaching intuition. I believe that many people who write for HubPages can relate to this notion, as one primary reason to write articles on a site like this is to pass your wisdom on to others.

Building School Culture | A Tale of Two Cities | Michigan Radio | NPR

4. You enjoy the school environment.

In addition to enjoying kid interactions, many teachers also enjoy their adult co-workers and the general environment of their schools. The environment of a work place can make all the difference for daily work morale. Having positive co-workers who support you and share your point of view about many areas of teaching and education can positively affect your classroom.

If there's a new skill you want to learn, get a recommendation for a great "how to" book or just start browsing tutorials online.
If there's a new skill you want to learn, get a recommendation for a great "how to" book or just start browsing tutorials online. | Source

5. You love learning.

One great aspect about teaching is that while you get to impart a lot of knowledge, you also frequently learn from your students and you get to learn along with them. If you take initiative to learn new skills on your own on a regular basis, such as craft techniques, recipes, and home projects, you will most likely enjoy the learning aspects that come with the teaching profession.

One of my students could barely put together four words in writing when he was in first grade.  By the end of third grade, he was completely creative writing prompts independently.
One of my students could barely put together four words in writing when he was in first grade. By the end of third grade, he was completely creative writing prompts independently. | Source

6. You want to make a difference in the lives of others and enjoy watching the progess that your students make.

Teaching appeals to many people because of the idealistic aspect of wanting to make a difference. When you work with students over an entire school year, you are able to observe a great deal of progress, which is very rewarding. In addition to academic progress, you also watch your students develop socially and emotionally. Even when you can't see measurable process from day to day or even week to week, you will be able to see trends over larger spans of time.

Guided Reading Lesson 1st Grade

7. You enjoy the curriculum.

Over the years I have encountered a number of elementary teachers who were passionate about one or two academic subjects but didn't enjoy the entire spectrum. As a result, their students often suffered because these teachers didn't put the effort into those other less liked subjects that they should have. Embrace the variety of the curriculum and find something to love about every subject.

Differentiated Instruction in the Classroom at Mesquite Elementary School

I created so many of the teaching materials that I used everyday in my special education classroom from scratch.
I created so many of the teaching materials that I used everyday in my special education classroom from scratch. | Source

8. You're a creative person.

Teaching elementary school requires more creative thinking than you can ever really imagine when you're completing your degree program. Every teacher has had a number of those "none of my classes ever prepared me for this" situations. Being able to think creatively on your feet will play a huge role in getting you through these situations successfully. Teaching elementary school lends itself to many other creative outlets as well, such as creating costumes for a class play or writing your own song for a school talent show.

9. You love education.

I'm not talking about jumping on board with heated political issues or joining the bandwagon for the latest curriculum trend. I'm talking about a deep appreciation for the classic roots of education and for the pursuit of truth and knowledge. Were you first inspired to teach because of a high school history teacher who made the subject really fun? Did your first grade teacher instill a joy for reading in you through her passionate read aloud periods at the end of each day? This love of education is what you want to pass on to your students.

Even though we don't have children, one of the things that I enjoyed about the teaching schedule was being home to make dinner for myself and my husband most weeknights.
Even though we don't have children, one of the things that I enjoyed about the teaching schedule was being home to make dinner for myself and my husband most weeknights. | Source

10. The school schedule fits with your current or desired lifestyle.

I am listing this reason last because I am NOT someone who promotes that the weekends, holidays, and summers off teaching schedule is a valid reason to go into teaching. It's not. However, the reality is that if you are planning to have children or already have children, the elementary teaching schedule can be a great fit for your lifestyle.

© 2012 Rose Clearfield

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Comments 30 comments

Paul Kuehn profile image

Paul Kuehn 4 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand

I totally agree with the ten reasons you have listed for wanting to become an elementary teacher. As an eleventh, I would add that by being a teacher you want to instill or develop moral values in a student's character. This is a great hub and I am voting up as useful and sharing with my followers.


Julie DeNeen profile image

Julie DeNeen 4 years ago from Clinton CT

Voted up and sharing. Love the hubs with lists...makes it really easy to read! Excellent!


leahlefler profile image

leahlefler 4 years ago from Western New York

This is excellent! I love all of your reasons to become a teacher. I think "love working with parents" is a good idea, too, as so many teachers have to work with the parents on a regular basis, too. I love the materials you made for your class - wish you were my son's teacher! :)


greatstuff profile image

greatstuff 4 years ago from Malaysia

Teachers need to be patience and a good listener as well. It is the best profession but unfortunately, pay isn't the best. Congrats on this hub, voted up and useful.


randomcreative profile image

randomcreative 4 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin Author

Paul, thanks! I definitely agree that that eleventh suggestion. I feel like that's such a controversial topic in public schools. One reason that I would want to explore private sector options if/when I do go back to the field at some point is because teachers there do have more freedom with that aspect of teaching. I appreciate the share!

Julie, thanks! I agree.

Leah, thanks! You are right that working with parents is a large component of the teaching job. Most people go into teaching because they like working with kids and not necessarily with adults, but obviously it's an important part of the job, too.

Thanks! I frequently sent my material files to my co-workers (i.e. speech-language pathologist) when I was teaching so they could make their own.

greatstuff, considering the amount of time that teachers get off during the year, their pay is competitive with many other professions. You are right that teachers do need to be good listeners. There are so many situations where sitting down with a kid to listen to him/her for a few extra minutes will make all the difference.

I purposely left patience off this list. When I taught special ed, I got tons of comments about how I must have all the patience in the world to do that job. I think that's a big crock. People choose different career paths because of what they have patience to deal with on a daily basis. There are many jobs that a lot of people love that I would never have that patience to do.


Simone Smith profile image

Simone Smith 4 years ago from San Francisco

What wonderful people teachers are! Seriously! I almost wish they WOULDN'T become teachers because we need more people like these in politics and high ranking business positions. That said, there are few jobs so powerful as those held by teachers- what a think it is to shape the minds that will be creating our future!


randomcreative profile image

randomcreative 4 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin Author

I completely agree!


Riverfish24 profile image

Riverfish24 4 years ago from United States

Agree with all 10 points. Fabolous read. As students at least, I can say, how much difference it makes to be taught by a good teacher vs someone who accidentally took up the job. Especially at the elementary level, the important of a good teacher takes altogether a new level.


randomcreative profile image

randomcreative 4 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin Author

Thanks Riverfish! I agree that as a student, having a good teacher makes all of the difference. You're right that this is especially true at the elementary level. When the vast majority of your instruction is coming from a single individual, it's vital that this person is doing a quality job.


Om Paramapoonya profile image

Om Paramapoonya 4 years ago

This is such a great hub, randomcreative! I do admire elementary teachers. Most of them are very caring, friendly and selfless. But would I ever want to become one myself? Probably not. I can happily spend my whole day with nice kids but can't stand brats for more than 5 minutes. LOL Maybe that's why I really have a lot of respect for elementary school teachers. They're so patient with children, even the not-so-good ones.


randomcreative profile image

randomcreative 4 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin Author

Thanks so much, Om! I have met so many friendly, caring, and selfless teachers over the years. You're right that it's not for everyone. Personally I don't know that I'd want to work closely with adults every day. :) Obviously it can be challenging to work with the not so good kids. You have to find something to love about every student.


carozy profile image

carozy 4 years ago from San Francisco

What a helpful list for those considering this career. The best teachers will be remembered years later. The impact a good teacher makes is incredible.


randomcreative profile image

randomcreative 4 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin Author

Thank you much! I definitely agree with both of your points.


meloncauli profile image

meloncauli 4 years ago from UK

Great hub with lots of content. I don't think I could ever have been a teacher. Love kids but that's about it for me! My son is deciding right now what career choice to make. I will show him your article.


randomcreative profile image

randomcreative 4 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin Author

Thanks meloncauli! I hope that this article is useful for your son.


cclitgirl profile image

cclitgirl 4 years ago from Western NC

Very informative. Though I'm not a teacher any more, these are exactly the reasons I went into it. :) Voted up.


donnah75 profile image

donnah75 4 years ago from Upstate New York

Great list. When I was in grad school, they would tell us that more than half of teachers don't make it past 5 years in the classroom. I don't know if that is true or not, but teaching is not for everyone. Thanks for urging people to think it through. I would caution people on #10 though. As a high school teacher, I work many, many hours outside my workday. I assume elementary teachers do as well. There is definitely flexibility in the schedule, but that flexibility is lessening as the expectations change.

This will get people thinking. :-) Voted up.


randomcreative profile image

randomcreative 4 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin Author

That's great, Cyndi!

Donnah, thanks! I'm not sure if that figure is accurate or not, but I would believe it. You're right that it's not for everyone. It's also easy for people who are cut out for it to burn out because of a number of different factors.

You're right that most teachers do put in a lot of hours outside of their contracted time. However, you're also right about the flexibility with the schedule, which is something that doesn't come with a lot of jobs.


buddhaanalysis 4 years ago

Loving kind natured teachers easily get favoured by kids and they obey them as well.Such things fulfils purpose of education in right manner.

nice to read hub.


randomcreative profile image

randomcreative 4 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin Author

Thanks for your insight on this topic, buddhaanalysis! A teacher's disposition can have a huge impact on the learning and general atmosphere of a classroom.


justateacher profile image

justateacher 4 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz...

I love your list! So much better than "summers off" lists I have seen...if you are not into teaching for the right reasons, you will just make yourself and the students miserable...


randomcreative profile image

randomcreative 4 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin Author

Thanks, Donna! Yes, for sure. You're absolutely right about that.


cclitgirl profile image

cclitgirl 4 years ago from Western NC

All very good reasons to become a teacher. I actually became a teacher for 9 out of the 10 reasons you explained. Now...if the politics hadn't driven me out...but that's a whole other story for a hub. Hehehe. Awesome job here.


randomcreative profile image

randomcreative 4 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin Author

Thanks, Cyndi! You know that I'm with you on the politics issue. I could certainly write an entire hub about that topic, but I haven't gotten the courage yet. :)


iefox5 profile image

iefox5 4 years ago

Becoming an elementary school teacher is fantastic.


randomcreative profile image

randomcreative 4 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin Author

Thanks, iefox!


catalinafr profile image

catalinafr 4 years ago

Great hub! Voted up! But I met some people who fir into those criteria, but because of lack of funding and small salaries in their countries they decided to choose another job... It's a pity that government cannot encourage such people into teaching(((


randomcreative profile image

randomcreative 4 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin Author

Thanks, catalina. It's a shame when someone isn't able to pursue a career due to financial constraints.


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA

Great reasons! I love the photos that show what your students have shared with you. I still have photos, notes, and other mementos from students from back when I taught high school. Great hub!


randomcreative profile image

randomcreative 4 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin Author

Thanks, Vicki! It's awesome to look back on some of those mementos from teaching. I have a piece of writing from one of my students up on our fridge, and it always gets a smile from family and friends.

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