My Son Wants to Teach

I have not encouraged my children to become educators. I've not done this for a number of reasons. First, I think our children need to determine their own interests and paths. Next, there are elements of teaching that I don't like, so I don't want to promote the profession unless someone really wants to teach.

What I don't like about teaching are the current structures of leadership, system organization, and lack of choice and voice. In many respects teaching is still seen and treated as a lowly profession. Although I earn a fair salary, many educators don't earn a fair salary. And even though my salary is fair, it is not a salary that ever affords me a big bonus or raise so it's not a career that provides tremendous financial security or gain. Further, we now live in a country where our President and his staff don't regard educators with respect or support. It seems we're always fighting battles just to do our job well which is to serve children.

There are many aspects of teaching that I do like. First, it is an ethical profession--we are always working towards betterment. I like that. Next, it's a creative profession--we are continually problem solving. Third, it's a profession that supports children and helps to make their lives better--that's awesome. And, yes, it's nice to have an extended break each year--I wish that for every worker. And while we don't get rich, we typically have some longterm security if we do what we are expected to do.

My son, like me, came to his conclusion to study education and teach because he's had so many positive experiences coaching and teaching children, and he's also been inspired by many wonderful educators and coaches throughout his life. He's been impressed by these experiences, and believes that he has what it takes to teach well. I'm proud of being a teacher and I'm proud of his choice too.

So in the days ahead my husband and I will support his choice by helping him to choose colleges to apply to that will prepare him well for teaching. It's not important to me that these colleges just teach education, but instead that he chooses a college that will develop his intellectual capacity so he can share that sense of knowledge or learning with students in the future.

Do your children want to teach? Do you support that choice? If so, how? If not, why? This is one more unexpected turn in the road of parenting, and one that I'm sure will take my son and family in a positive direction.


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