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The start of a new year is ripe with excitement and novelty, particularly when evaluating your current employment and envisioning your future. If you’ve ever pondered “should I be a teacher,” there’s no better time to weigh it than the present.

There are many reasons that make being a good teacher rewarding.1 It starts with the gratification that comes with influencing children and serving your community, but quickly evolves to sharing your love of learning with kids.

However, to answer whether or not you should become a teacher, there’s more nuance to explore. Here’s why—and what you can expect from this career path. 

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Why Should I Become a Teacher?

Malcolm X once said, “Education is our passport to the future.” This is a resonant remark for a prospective teacher who hopes to enlighten younger generations for a brighter tomorrow. 

Teachers are in a prime position to make a positive and even profound impact. Not only can great teachers and educators help students determine their strengths and inspire diligence and creativity, but they may also encourage youngsters to become valuable members of society through leadership and example. This career path benefits many.

Yet, while teachers enjoy personal fulfillment and other perks—a topic we’ll turn to shortly—the fact is that only you can decide if educating others aligns with your personality, passions, and long-term career aspirations. 

The Realities of a Teaching Career

Whether you dream of becoming a high school teacher in California, hope to educate elementary school kids in Arizona, or simply want to be part of the solution to the nation’s teacher shortage, it’s important to internalize the realities of the profession as aspiring teachers.2

Day-to-Day Responsibilities of a Teacher

For great teachers, no two days are identical—and this is one of the thrills educators savor. Nonetheless, you can expect to manage several of the chief obligations of teaching, such as:3

  • Creating and executing lesson plans
  • Generating educational materials
  • Crafting individual and solo instructional activities
  • Grading assignments
  • Designing, administering, and assessing tests
  • Monitoring classroom behavior
  • Inputting student data

Naturally, this is a mere peek at the standard responsibilities instructors are tasked with. Depending on whether you teach at an elementary or high school, as well as your particular institution and role within it, you may also perform before and after-school functions, parent-teacher discussions, and one-on-one mentoring.

Challenges and Rewards

Ask any good teacher about their profession, and they may say that it’s a balance between ample rewards and equally abundant challenges:

  • Challenges – Several of the most prevalent challenges for teachers across the board include burnout, staff deficits, school safety, and meeting students' mental health needs in the wake of the pandemic.4 However, collaborating with other faculty members, prioritizing self-care, and establishing boundaries may help teachers concentrate on what matters most: their calling.
  • Rewards – The challenges of teaching may seem steep, but many educators might argue that they’re offset by the job’s inherent bonuses, namely:
    • Creative liberties
    • Dynamic workdays
    • In-depth knowledge of a certain topic 
    • Outstanding work-life balance

Perhaps above all, teachers are given the opportunity to make a significant impression on a child’s life and guide them toward a meaningful future.

Skills and Qualities of Successful Teachers

Successful teachers aren’t just whizzes at getting kids excited about Steinbeck or turning a lesson on the Pythagorean theorem into something exhilarating. In addition to possessing the knowledge needed to effectively instruct students (and that includes staying apprised of the latest educational technologies), great teachers tend to have several innate traits, such as:5

  • Patience, consistency, and stamina
  • Imaginative powers, enthusiasm, and resourcefulness
  • Empathy and compassion
  • Strong organization, time management, communication, and leadership skills

Rest assured, these qualities can be cultivated during your training—and throughout your career.

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Preparing for a Career in Teaching

Paving the way toward a career in teaching is equal parts education and experience:

Educational Pathways

Educational, licensing, and teacher certification requirements vary by state; however, you must hold a minimum of a bachelor’s degree to teach at a public school in all 50 states, regardless of the grade you’ve chosen to instruct.6 Typically, schools require teaching candidates to have a:

Additionally, you may take your own education a step further by pursuing a master’s in education—a graduate degree that will further your knowledge and, depending on your focus, enable you to work in a more specialized area (such as school counseling).

Gaining Practical Experience

In-classroom, hands-on experience as a teacher is vital to attaining the confidence you need to lead students successfully. In a student program, you’ll work under a mentor (or “cooperating teacher”) and garner insights on:7

  • Creating and presenting lesson plans
  • Leading activities
  • Time and classroom management

Further, you’ll be given invaluable feedback on your teaching methods and learn the art of communicating with both parents and students—skills that will undoubtedly prove indispensable when you take the helm of your own classroom.

Our Role in Shaping Future Teachers

Learning how to become a teacher in Arizona and other states is admirable, especially in an era that urgently needs qualified and committed instructors.

Alliant International University makes the process of becoming an educator all the more riveting and enjoyable. Whether you choose to go after an MAE in school counseling or want to earn your California teaching credential, Alliant International University supplies its students with the coursework and support they need to shine in the classroom. 

Take the first step toward fulfilling your professional dreams by requesting more info about Alliant today. 


  1. 20 important rewards of being a teacher to consider - indeed, March 30, 2023.…. Accessed January 11, 2024.
  2. Baling, Moriah. Teacher shortages have gotten worse. here’s how schools are coping., August 24, 2023.…. Accessed January 10, 2024.
  3. What is the responsibility of teachers? A definitive guide, March 30, 2023.…. Accessed January 10, 2024.
  4. Jones, Arthur. The nation’s top teachers share their biggest challenges: burnout, student mental health and more, ABC News, May 27, 2023.…. Accessed January 10, 2024.
  5. Kharbach, Med. “The 9 Qualities of a Good Teacher.” Educators Technology, May 31, 2023.…. Accessed January 10, 2024.
  6. Q&A: Can I become a teacher without a bachelor’s degree?, March 29, 2023.…. Accessed January 8, 2024.
  7. What is a student teacher internship and how to become one - ziprecruiter, 2024.…. Accessed January 8, 2024.

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