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Few vocations enable a professional to transform the life of a child. But if you’ve been considering a career in education, a field that brims with both delights and challenges, you certainly wouldn’t be faulted for asking, “Is being a teacher worth it?”

The short answer is yes—if, that is, a teaching profession aligns with your passions and ambitions. Indeed, a wiser career advice question to pose is, “Is being a teacher worth it to me?”

The response to this rests exclusively with you, yet the current teaching career climate might urge you closer to clarity. Read on as we delve into the three reasons we need elementary, middle school, and high school teachers—and how becoming one may reward you.

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#1. Addresses the Teacher Shortage: A Call to Action

Even if you’ve only recently begun exploring the idea of becoming a teacher, you may already be aware of the need for teachers, especially if you’re looking at how to become a teacher in Arizona or other states.

A quick glimpse at the statistics involving the teaching profession underscores this:

  • 86% of U.S. public schools wrestle with hiring qualified candidates1
  • As of the summer of 2023, 55% of teachers claimed they planned to leave the profession within two years (which will only exacerbate the present shortage)2
  • 160,000-plus teaching roles are filled by under-qualified teachers3
  • High-minority, high-poverty regions continue to feel the effects of the teacher shortage the hardest4
  • Teacher shortages are experienced in nearly every niche, but particularly in the realm of special education—a fact that places vulnerable students at an even bigger disadvantage5

These facts may be staggering, but it’s the impact the teacher shortage has on children and communities as a whole that is the most stunning.

The Implications of the Nation-Wide Teacher Shortage

One-on-one attention from our teachers, a close-knit tribe of fellow students, and engaging lessons are just a handful of the perks students from older generations might remember from their school days.

Today, public school students and the average teacher serving them may have a different experience. The ramifications of the teacher shortage include:

  • Packed classrooms – Schools across the country, particularly in the South and Southwest—which has some of the most dire teacher deficits—are approaching the crisis by increasing class sizes.6 This may seem innocuous, but research demonstrates that students perform better in smaller classes—in terms of higher attendance, academic testing, and overall engagement.7
  • Fewer resources – In addition to larger classroom sizes and the lack of individual attention that comes with it, students have fewer resources to round out their elementary and high school educations, including extracurricular activities, student services, and access to advanced classes and scholarship opportunities.8
  • Decreased stability – From an imbalance between in-person and remote learning to a constant stream of substitute teachers, many contemporary students aren’t receiving the stability they need to succeed.9 This may result in absences, poorer academic performance, and decreased graduation rates.10

The Silver Lining of the Teacher Shortage

The bottom line is this: Becoming a teacher during this time would be ideal for many schools—and, more importantly, for the students who depend on them for learning, socialization, attention, and direction. 

What’s more, institutions across the country are offering more and more incentives to recruit and retain teaching talent, such as:

  • Varying certification requirements
  • Offering professional development
  • Providing mental health and wellness support11

And if you think it’s too late to go after a teaching credential or educational leadership degree, think again: Teachers of all ages can supply something unique and valuable to their students. In fact, retirees exploring a second job may find much to love about a teaching career while bringing experience and wisdom to the table.12

#2. Provides an Enduring Impact to Students and Society

When veteran educators are asked about whether being a teacher is worth it, one of the most often-repeated responses you might hear is yes, because they were given the opportunity to make a lasting impact on both their students and their community. 

In fact, 92% of teachers report loving their jobs—partly due to igniting change and inspiration in children.13 Specifically, teachers may:

  • Prepare students for a successful future – Teachers can be indispensable in helping children pinpoint their passions, cultivate the diligence to pursue them, and assist with the logistics that will help students realize their goals—whether that’s with aiding with college applications, preparing them for standardized tests, or giving out career advice.
  • Help students develop non-cognitive skills – Empathy, compassion, fortitude, collaboration, communication, emotional self-regulation—all are as vital to a child’s development and ultimate success in the “real world” as high SAT scores and AP classes (if not more so). A solid teacher may have the credibility and leadership skills to help students discover and hone these characteristics and carry them throughout their lifetime. 

#3. Offers Emotional and Moral Rewards

The emotional and moral rewards teachers reap from their profession are plentiful, such as:15

  • Receiving respect and appreciation from students and parents
  • Motivating others to work hard and excel
  • Witnessing students succeed
  • Furthering their own personal and professional development through continuing education

These emotional and moral perks aren’t just reserved for teachers: Educators can provide students with warmth, stability, patience, courage, and understanding—things some students might not receive outside of school. This may give them the strength they need to succeed in the present and as adults. 

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Should I Be a Teacher? Overcoming the Challenges with Positivity

It’s safe to say that there isn’t one job that doesn’t have its own set of challenges, and exploring the potential obstacles you might face as a teacher is all part of doing your due diligence.

That said, not only can the benefits of teaching outweigh the profession’s challenges, but the difficulties you may encounter can be conquered with the right planning and mindset. 

Here’s some tips for new teachers and experienced ones who may feel slightly burnt out. 

Navigating Administrative Support

Overall, teachers list an absence of administrative support as one of the top five reasons for leaving their careers in education.16 While the strength of a school’s administration varies as radically as its student body, there are a few key things to keep in mind should you become a teacher:

  • Be clear and concise when voicing your concerns, wishes, or demands
  • Aim for in-person meetings rather than calls or emails to put a “face” to your requests
  • Maintain friendliness and professionalism (even if it requires a few deep breaths or ten)

Above all, embody the fact that you and the rest of your school’s staff are all in this together. Unity and collaboration are fundamental to all successful enterprises.

Aligning with Parents for Student Success

Studies indicate that children perform better academically and socially when their parents play an active role in their children’s education.17 To this end, when it comes time to teach, strive for the following: 

  • Open communication – Make it clear from the get-go that you have an open-door policy when discussing your students’ performance and progress with their parents. Regular updates—on the challenges you’ve observed in a student’s behavior, as well as their accomplishments—can also be immensely helpful for all parties involved. 
  • Clear guidance – Independent learning (or the studying and homework children do outside of your classroom) is essential for both post-secondary education and life as a whole. You can set students up for success by giving parents strategies for distraction-free learning and sharing important dates and deadlines—a task that’s a cinch with group emails and apps like ClassDojo and Remind.

Thriving in a Rigorous Curriculum 

Teachers frequently confront two challenges: academic pressures and a substantial amount of complex information they must impart to their pupils under tight time constraints.19 To ensure your students receive the instruction they need, consider:

  • Outlining your objectives with your students from the start
  • Preparing materials well in advance
  • Breaking up information into bite-sized chunks
  • Offering additional take-home resources
  • Planning group activities that keep students engaged

Lastly, if there’s one characteristic new teachers should adopt, it’s flexibility—with your students, of course, but also with their curriculum.20 If one aspect or approach does not seem to work, teachers have flexibility to make adjustments.

Embark on Your Educational Journey with Alliant International University 

Teachers overwhelmingly report loving their jobs and feeling rewarded for supporting children and their communities. The nation indisputably needs dedicated, enthusiastic educators just like them, and Alliant International University is the optimal spot to jumpstart your own academic endeavors.

Alliant International University offers aspiring teachers many opportunities, from a single-subject to multiple-subject, MAE in school counseling, and educational specialist credentials. Plus, with online instruction and a full roster of supportive faculty, you will gain the knowledge and confidence you need to make that lasting impact. 

Explore our education programs today and experience the lifelong benefits of shaping a child’s life.


  1. Schermele, Zachary. “Teacher Shortages Continue to Plague US: 86% of Public Schools Struggle to Hire Educators.” USA Today, October 17, 2023.…. Accessed January 10, 2024.
  2.   Staff, We Are Teachers. “2023 Teacher Shortage Statistics Prove We Need to Fix This Profession.” We Are Teachers, June 27, 2023. Accessed January 10, 2024.
  3. Pandey, Erica. Teacher shortages plague back-to-school across the U.S. - axios, August 19, 2023.…. Accessed January 10, 2024.
  4. Negussie, Tesfaye. “Teacher Vacancies More Pronounced in High-Poverty, High-Minority Schools since COVID.” ABC News, December 7, 2022.…. Accessed January 10, 2024.
  5. Editor, Blog. “Inside IES Research.” IES, May 22, 2023.…. Accessed January 10, 2024.
  6. St. George, Donna. School staffing shortages lead to bigger class sizes, December 14, 2023.…. Accessed January 10, 2024.
  7. Barnum, Matt. “Does Class Size Really Matter?” Chalkbeat, November 9, 2023. Accessed January 10, 2024.

  8. Grabenstein, Hannah. “‘when Districts Can’t Find Teachers, Students Suffer.’ Here’s Why Teacher Shortages Are Disproportionately Hurting Low-Income Schools.” PBS, November 21, 2022.…. Accessed January 10, 2024.

  9. Reilly, Katie. “The Teacher Shortage Is Hitting the Poorest Students Harder.” Time, October 7, 2022. Accessed January 10, 2024.

  10. “Effect of Teacher Shortage on Students: Elevate K-12.” Elevate K12, February 2, 2023.…. Accessed January 10, 2024.

  11. Emma García, Matthew A. Kraft, Stephen Holt Seth Gershenson, Andrew Camp Gema Zamarro, Sarah Novicoff, Emily Gustafsson-Wright Elyse Painter, and Susan Opok. “How 100 Large and Urban Districts Are Attracting and Retaining Staff.” Brookings, October 26, 2022.…. Accessed January 10, 2024.

  12. Services, Metro Editorial. “What Seniors Should Know about Teaching as a Second Career.” The Oakland Press, May 2, 2023.…. Accessed January 10, 2024.

  13. Page, Susan, and Marina Pitofsky. “More Strikes Ahead? Teachers Say They Love Their Jobs but Can’t Pay Their Bills, Poll Shows.” USA Today, January 22, 2019.…. Accessed January 10, 2024.

  14. Terada, Youki. “Understanding a Teacher’s Long-Term Impact.” Edutopia, February 4, 2019.…. Accessed January 10, 2024.

  15. 20 important rewards of being a teacher to consider - indeed, March 30, 2023.…. Accessed January 10, 2024.

  16. “Making Teachers Stick: January 2020.” NASSP, January 1, 2020.…. Accessed January 10, 2024.

  17. Stanford, Libby. “Does Parent Involvement Really Help Students? Here’s What the Research Says.” Education Week, August 15, 2023.…. Accessed January 10, 2024.

  18. ParentSquare. “15 Essential Messages Teachers Should Share with Families to Enhance Student Success.” ParentSquare, August 30, 2023.…. Accessed January 10, 2024.

  19. Wong, Alia. “Overworked, Underpaid? The Toll of Burnout Is Contributing to Teacher Shortages Nationwide.” USA Today, December 27, 2022.…. Accessed January 10, 2024.


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