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Essay About Being a Teacher: Top 5 Examples and Prompts

If you are writing an essay about being a teacher, here are some examples to give you inspiration.

Without a doubt, teaching is one of the most important professions one can have. Teachers give children the lessons they must learn to face the future and contribute positively to society. They can be considered the gateway to success stories such as Oprah Winfrey , Adele , and John Legend , all of whom have cited their teachers as major inspirations to their careers. 

Many educators would say that “teaching is its own reward.” However, it may be difficult to see how this is the case, especially considering the fact that being an educator entails massive amounts of stress and pressure. Teaching has actually been reported to be one of the most underpaid jobs , yet many teachers still love what they do. Why is this?

If you want to write an essay about being a teacher, whether you are one or not, you can get started by reading the 5 examples featured here. 

1. Reflections on being a teacher … by Darren Koh

2. teaching in the pandemic: ‘this is not sustainable’ by natasha singer, 3. why i got rid of my teacher’s desk by matthew r. morris, 4. stress is pushing many teachers out of the profession by daphne gomez, 5. doubt and dreams by katheryn england, top writing prompts on essay about being a teacher, 1. what makes teaching so fulfilling, 2. what can you learn from being a teacher, 3. why do people become teachers, 4. should you become a teacher, 5. how have teachers helped you become who you are today.

“Although strictly speaking, based on the appointments I hold, I really do not have time to do much of it. I say teach, not lecturing. The lecturer steps up to the lectern and declaims her knowledge. She points out the difficulties in the area, she talks about solutions to problems, and she makes suggestions for reform. The focus is on the subject – the students follow. The teacher, however, needs to meet the students where they are in order to bring them to where they have to be. The focus is on the student’s ability.”

Koh writes about how he teaches, the difficulties of teaching, and what it means to be a teacher. He helps his students hone their skills and use them critically. He also discusses the difficulty of connecting with each student and focusing their attention on application rather than mere knowledge. Koh wants students to achieve their full potential; teaching to him is engaging, inspirational, and transparent. He wants readers to know that being a teacher is rewarding yet difficult, and is something he holds close to his heart.

“‘I work until midnight each night trying to lock and load all my links, lessons, etc. I never get ahead,” one anonymous educator wrote. ‘Emails, endless email. Parents blaming me because their kids chose to stay in bed, on phones, on video games instead of doing work.’”

Singer writes about the difficult life of teachers trying to balance in-person and distance learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. On top of the standard class routine, being a teacher during the pandemic has entailed the burden of handling students who opt for remote learning. They are faced with additional struggles, including connection issues, complaining parents, and being overworked in general- it’s as if they teach twice the number of classes as normal. This is exhausting and may prove detrimental to the American education system, according to the sources Singer cites. 

“What it means to me is that I am checking (or acknowledging) my privilege as a teacher in the space of the classroom and in order to facilitate a more equitable classroom community for my students, erasing one of the pillars of that inequity is a step in the right direction. I am comfortable in my role as the head member in my classroom, and I don’t need a teacher’s desk anymore to signify that.”

Morris, an educator, writes about what teaching means to him, highlighted by his decision to remove his teacher’s desk from his classroom. Being a teacher for him is about leading the discussion or being the “lead learner,” as he puts it, rather than being an instructor. His removal of the teacher’s desk was decided upon based on his desire to help his students feel more equal and at home in class. He believes that being a teacher means being able to foster authentic connections both for and with his students.

“Teachers want to help all students achieve, and the feeling of leaving any student behind is devastating. The pressure that they put on themselves to ensure that they serve all students can also contribute to the stress.”

Gomez writes about the stress that comes with being a teacher, largely due to time constraints, lack of resources, and the number of students they must instruct. As much as they want to help their students, their environment does not allow them to touch the lives of all students equally. They are extremely pressured to uphold certain standards of work, and while they try as hard as they can, they do not always succeed. As a result, many teachers have left the profession altogether. Gomez ends her piece with an invitation for teachers to read about other job opportunities. 

“Then I re-evaluate what I want for myself, and what it is that keeps me working towards my dreams. Through the goals I’ve set for myself, I can maintain focus, move past my self-doubt and succeed. By focusing on my goals, I can make a difference in the world directly around me.”

Taken from a collection of short essays, England’s essay is about why she so desperately wishes to become a teacher. She was previously able to work as a teaching assistant to her former elementary school teacher, and enjoyed imparting new knowledge unto children. Even in moments of self-doubt, she reminds herself to be confident in her dreams and hopes to be able to make a difference in the world with her future profession.

Essay about being a teacher: What makes teaching so fulfilling?

When it comes to teachers, we often hear about either “the joy of teaching” or the immense stress that comes with it. You can explore the gratitude and satisfaction that teachers feel toward their jobs, even with all the struggles they face. Read or watch the news and interviews with teachers themselves.

Research on the skills and qualifications people need to be teachers, as well as any qualities they may need to do their job well. What skills can you get from teaching? What traits can you develop? What lessons can you learn? 

Despite the seemingly endless barrage of stories about the difficulties that teachers face, many people still want to teach. You can explore the reasoning behind their decisions, and perhaps get some personal insight on being a teacher as well. 

Based on what you know, would you recommend teaching as a job? If you aren’t too knowledgeable on this topic, you can use the essay examples provided as guides- they present both the positive and negative aspects of being a teacher. Be sure to support your argument with ample evidence- interviews, anecdotes, statistics, and the like.  

Teachers, whether in a school setting or not, have almost certainly helped make you into the person you are now. You can discuss the impact that your teachers have had on your life, for better or for worse, and the importance of their roles as teachers in forming students for the future.

Check out our guide packed full of transition words for essays .

If you’re still stuck, check out our general resource of essay writing topics .

being an english teacher essay

Martin is an avid writer specializing in editing and proofreading. He also enjoys literary analysis and writing about food and travel.

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  •   Sunday, April 14, 2024

Future Educators

Future Educators

Helping America's Future Teachers

I Want to Become a Teacher Because | My Dream Job Essay

My dream is to become a teacher . If you have this dream, you’re not alone. Here’s a collection of short essays by aspiring teachers. Current and future education students were asked to describe their motivation; what inspires them to succeed at their teacher training studies.

In these 31 student essays, future educators answer the question “I want to become a teacher because …” or “I want to become a teacher to …”. The short student essays are grouped thematically, forming the top reasons to become a teacher.

1. Giving Brings Its Own Rewards

Early childhood teacher

Helping people is the unifying theme as to why students are inspired and motivated to become teachers. Education is a field where you can help young people directly in a personal way; potentially changing their lives for the better. Teaching is more than just a job.

For a significant percentage of education students, the opportunity to be of service provides plenty of motivation to pursue a teaching career. In each Why I Want to Become a Teacher essay here, a future educator explains why teaching is an opportunity to do something meaningful and beneficial.

by Hanna Halliar

If I can make an impact in just one child’s life, I will be able to consider myself successful. That is my motivation. As a future educator, what else would it be?

Every day that is spent in class, the late nights at the library, the endless hours of studying are all just steps getting me closer to the goal. When I am still up at 1 a.m. struggling to keep my eyes open, but only half way through my 6 page paper I remember how excited I am to work with my own students one day.

To me, being a teacher is so much more than the typical response most people have towards education majors. “Oh, you’re going to be a teacher. You know how much you will make?” Yes, I’m aware that I will be making an average of $50,000 a year in Indiana.

To me being a teacher means that I get the opportunity to not only teach my students math, English, and science but to teach life lessons that will stick with them as well.  It means walking into school every day being the reason my students look forward to coming to school. It means being surrounded by crafts, books, and music and not being stuck in an office. It means educating our future generation. And if somebody has to do it, it should be somebody who is passionate about it.

So what motivates me to study? It is so simple, it is the kids.

by Savannah Stamates

I lay awake at night and practice my first morning message to my first round of students whom I will not meet for more than a year.

I wonder if I will have hungry children, happy children, or broken children. I wonder if I will be good enough or strong enough to reach those most in need.  I wonder if my students will trust me enough to tell me that they are hungry, happy, or scared.

I worry that I will not be strong enough to share their burden or provide a place for peace and learning. I worry that I will misread their actions or their words or miss them reaching out.

So I study, even when I am tired from working two jobs or sick of not being where I want to be. When my time comes to walk into that classroom, my worries and doubts will be silenced by the knowledge I have mastered and the dream I have finally achieved.

by Charity Latchman

Dreams for the future are subjective. They can be based on what we desire. But visionary dreams are not only for us. Imagine asking some of the greatest revolutionaries and pioneers about their dreams. They generally had others in mind. In the famous “I have a Dream” speech, Civil Rights leader Martin Luther King Jr said “we” more than thirty times. Dreams are not for our benefit alone, but to encourage, inspire and benefit others.

Recently I graduated from California Baptist University with a degree in English literature. During my studies, I was cared for my disabled mother. She was a religious studies professor who inculcated me with a diligent and steadfast approach to schoolwork. Managing the role of caregiver with university studies was challenging. But the goal to become a teacher kept me going. Approaching graduation, my mother was diagnosed with throat cancer. She didn’t worry about herself as much as you might expect but kept pushing me to finish the final paper in the program.

With her encouragement, my faith, and a burning desire to teach English literature, I graduated. My motivation comes from wanting to help, to encourage, and to inspire others.  Teaching is an act of giving that has its own rewards.  Life’s trials bring ups and downs. But we must always strive to attain our dreams, especially when others are central to them.

by Katheryn England

As a high school senior, many people assume I’m prepared for college and know what I want to study after graduation. These assumptions cause me to experience moments of self-doubt. Then I re-evaluate what I want for myself, and what it is that keeps me working towards my dreams. Through the goals I’ve set for myself, I can maintain focus, move past my self-doubt and succeed. By focusing on my goals, I can make a difference in the world directly around me.

A goal I have in my life is to be an elementary teacher, also known as an early childhood teacher. As a teacher,  I can share the knowledge I’ve gained to leave behind a better future for our world .

Last year, I had the opportunity to work alongside a previous elementary teacher and mentor of mine. I’d visit her classroom daily, and taught lessons alongside her or independently. Uniquely, they were the opening act in my high school’s original winter play. They read first-hand from our scripts and learned what happens behind the scenes. Showing a new part of the world to the youth of my community has motivated me to pursue my dreams.

Remembering this experience and the positive influence I had on those students helps me overcome self-doubt and stay focused on my goals. Thanks to the goals I’ve set for my life, I not only can find purpose for my efforts, but find the will to be confident in whatever choices I make.

by Emma Lillard-Geiser

I have always known that I would become two things: a mother and a teacher. What I didn’t know is that I would become the mother before the teacher. Having a child that depends on me is what fuels my desire to succeed in life. When I get frustrated with my studies I take a deep breath, look at my daughter, and know that I have reason to persevere. I know that one hour of studying will give me hours with my daughter as soon as I am done.

My mother is a teacher and growing up I cherished learning from her. She had knowledge that I admired and I quickly realized that I had to spend my whole life learning. I love to learn, to have that light go off in my head when it all just clicks.

I cannot wait to see that light in the eyes of my daughter and my future students.  For every thing that I learn, is another thing I can teach someone else.  It isn’t easy to study when you have a small child to take care of but I know that my education will provide me with the ability to take care of her for the rest of our lives.

2. Help Disadvantaged Students

Teacher helping disadvantaged student

Students are disadvantaged for many reasons, whether it’s because of a handicap, where they live, economic disadvantage or a language barrier.

Future educators may want to become teachers so they can make a difference in the lives of students who face extra learning challenges. This special interest often comes from the future teacher’s own experience, either personally or involving people they’ve known.

by Ian T Thomason

While attending the University of Minnesota-Mankato, I have aspirations of becoming a Special Education Teacher. Becoming a Special Education Teacher and helping students who have a need for extra help and students who are having troubles with everyday life are things that I dream of doing.  I was in their shoes once and know how difficult it is to deal with everyday life and how nice it was have a teacher to talk to.

Becoming a Special Education Teacher is my ultimate goal and, when difficult times arise, I have to remind myself of the children out there who have it potentially worse than I. When I remember this, I also think back to all of the support that I had from my parents, family members, and teachers. I also know that there are lots of children who don’t have this type of support and, if I can be there for them, that would make my career choice all the more worth it.

My Special Education degree is something more than just a degree for me. It is a degree that allows me to help children improve their education. I realize that children are our future and that their minds are terrible things to waste. So, instead of wasting their minds, why not put our best foot forward to educate them? My dream is to help kids realize their full potential, promote education and a brighter future for every child.

by Katherine

Motivation allows you to persist through difficult circumstances. Mine comes from a desire to grow into an instructor who is able to make a difference to many children’s lives.

In elementary school, I actually was a special education student. I’ve had to work hard most days of my life to achieve anything. I could not have succeeded without the support of some absolutely amazing teachers. Now I desire to take on that supporting role for as many students as I can reach.

When a class or an assignment I don’t want to do come up, I think of what motivates me. And the motivation is children. Many students feel powerless about their education, just like I did.  I could be a teacher who turns their education around, providing vital support and motivation to succeed at their studies.  Ultimately, everyone motivates themselves by one way or another. My motivation comes from the pure desire to help future students.

by Robbie Watson

My road to graduate school has been a long one. I studied religion and culture in undergrad, interested in the material, yet not sure how I would apply it later. Yet I found places, got involved in community and international development, engaged with different cultures, and now feel I use my degree every day.

For over two years I worked alongside Congolese refugees in Rwanda, developing educational opportunities for youths who could not finish secondary school in the underfunded camps. It is these refugees, young and old, the students, the teachers, their passion and vision for a better future that has driven me to seek out more education for myself. I remember how they would pay from their families’ meager funds to attend classes led by volunteer teachers. When finances were against them, or time, or family obligations, or the dire depression of the camp life itself, or even government officials were against them, still those students attended, still those teachers taught.

It is their example of perseverance towards a goal against all odds that inspires me now. I think of them often, think of the friends they were, are still. And I think of how that passion is in me now, to better understand education so that I might better educate, and thus equip such downtrodden communities to work for transformation themselves. I work not only for myself, and am motivated by the potential in those students and educators, which is also in me, and in others like them.

by Natalie Pelayo

I’m a young Latino woman working towards the goal of earning a bachelor degree in bilingual education. On occasions, I feel a slowing in my motivation. But, every time it happens, I think about the goal and that pushes me to move forward.

Looking back to a middle school class I attended, there was a boy who never really participated. He sat in his hoodie, looking down to his desk. Only after trying to talk with him, I discovered he spoke with broken English and a thick Spanish accent. It seemed as if no-one in our class actually knew that he struggled to understand what was being taught because it was presented in English.

By his manner, it was apparent that he had already accepted a dismal fate. Past teachers may have been unable to communicate with him. Eventually, he’d become demoralized.  Thinking about the disadvantages he had to endure provides ongoing motivation to study hard.

I aim to become a bilingual elementary school teacher to support young Spanish-speaking children. As a teacher, I’ll be able to show them that they can succeed. Children need not grow up thinking they’re incapable of learning due to a language barrier. I’ll keep working towards my goal to help ensure teaching is inclusive of all children, no matter their first language.

by Abigail Young

I am an American citizen, but my whole life I have lived in Cameroon, Africa. I have been blessed with an enormous amount of opportunities and a great education at a private international school.

Every day I have seen children and teenagers around me who do not get the same education or have the same possibilities of a “bright” future. I see schools that are forced to have three children share a small table, paper, and pens. I have seen a badly lit room with poor roofs and walls made from bricks. Even in my school there are numerous Cameroonians, my friends, and classmates that do not have the same chances at a higher level education, although they work just as hard.

When I study, I study hard because I do not want to let this chance and opportunity go to waste. I study because I have been undeservedly blessed to be able to go the United States for a high education with better chances at getting scholarship money. I study my hardest because  it is my dream that I may come back and make a difference in countries like Africa with poor education systems . It should be a right for children to be able to learn like I have. Therefore, because of this mindset, I am driven to study not just out of thankfulness for my circumstances, but also in hope that I may be able to give other children a better chance, and a greater reason to study.

3. Helping Many People Is Achievable in Teaching

Crowded classroom with many hands up

A powerful source of motivation for some education students is the potential to touch and positively impact the lives of many people. Education is a field of consequence and that’s a good reason for wanting to join the teaching profession.

Over the course of a long career, a classroom teacher may help shape the learning experience of hundreds or even thousands of students. In policy roles, educators can affect millions of people.

by Rachel Bayly

Through high school I worked as a teacher at a daycare. When I left for college I said goodbye to a lot of people, including my students. All summer I had woken up at five in the morning to go to work and wait for them to arrive and put a smile on my face. Those kids motivated me to keep waking up and working hard, and leaving them was not easy.

The thing that made that goodbye worth it, the reason that I keep pushing through this tying chapter of my life is that  I am determined to improve early childhood education in the United States .

I want to be a positive force in the lives of as many children as I possibly can, and I plan on doing that by improving standards and policies for early childhood education and making it more affordable.

Every week I write in my planner, “I will make a difference” and one way that I will change the lives of children and families. On days that I find myself asking, “why am I here?” “why am I going into debt, paying to be stressed out all the time?” I think of my students. I read my “I will make a difference” statements.

I remember that some children out there are stuck in low quality child care centers, they will never reach their full potential, and they need help. I keep working hard everyday so that I can help those children.

by Megan Burns

My ultimate goal is to change the lives of people. Studying to be a teacher is hard. All of the classes that are required, all of the practicums, and all of the time spent just to become a teacher is stressful, but the thought of being able to help just one person changes everything.

It takes one person to be a light in someone’s life. It take one person to be a helping hand. It takes one person to change an unmotivated, broken life, and make it brand new. Qualified teachers are those people.  We motivate students to do their best, we guide students to success when no one else will, and we are always available to listen.  One teacher can change the lives of thousands of students. That is my motivation.

I know that after college, I will be a teacher, a guider, a counselor, and a friend to so many students. No matter how many bad days I have or how many times I want to quit, I just think of what is to come in the future. I can be that change this world needs, even if its in a small high school classroom. It just takes one person.

by Victoria Shoemkaer

My dream is to make a difference in the life of children.

  • To make them excited about learning.
  • To make it fun the way it used to be when they were younger.
  • To show them that someone cares about them and wants to see them succeed.
  • To show that they are much more that a test score or a number.
  • To believe in them so much, that I do not let them get discouraged from chasing their dreams.
  • To showing them that everyone fails and it’s your recovery that determines what happens next.
  • To sacrifice myself to gives them more opportunities for success.
  • To encourage students to succeed in and out of the classroom for the betterment of themselves and the community.
  • To inspire them to change the world, because they can.
  • To help them transform into caring and compassionate adults who are ready to conquer the word, but remember where they came from.
  • To teach them to do good in the world because anyone can accomplish doing well.

Most importantly, my dream is to make children feel like their voice is important and valued and that they are loved more than they know.

4. Lives Can Be Improved by Dedicated Instructors

African boy showing a computer tablet

Teaching a subject such as Math or English is the everyday task of a teacher. But our prospective teachers see a greater purpose in their training and career path.

The daily motivation to teach doesn’t come from the superficial advantages of a teaching career, such as great job security or extra vacation time. Here are stories by future educators who want to go beyond the curriculum and improve people’s lives all round.

by Savannah Luree Weverka

Teachers are the ones who ignited my love for learning and there is not a day that goes by when I do not challenge myself to a personal goal of lifelong learning.

My mother is a teacher, so I was a student educated in an institution filled with support and a home that also supported education. I recall many teacher “get-togethers” and Husker parties where an informal invitation led to my presence.

Due to all of this support and interaction received throughout my elementary and high school career, Elementary Education continues to be at the top of my career choices. And now, as a senior looking forward to graduating from high school,  teachers remain my role models .

In considering a focus in Elementary Education, I now realize that many teachers not only teach children eight hours of the day, but become doctors for scraped knees, dictionaries for challenging words, mediators between students, and parents away from home.

Now, as I am taking the steps to make my dream come true I hope to make school an escape to free their minds and expand their knowledge. I want to share my love of learning with my students.

by Aaron Banta

Since I was younger, I have had the dream of becoming a history teacher at the high school level. The reason I am striving for this career is thanks to a teacher I had.  They held such a passion for history and taught it so well that it made me want to keep learning everything I could about it.

In college, I have had to work multiple jobs and attend school full-time. I would wake up early in the morning and not get home until late at night. The one thing that kept me on top of my studying and work was the dream I have; to be able to teach history and express my love for it by teaching the next generation. I strive to impact their lives for the better just like mine was.

Being able to pass my courses and get a degree and teaching credentials is the first main goal I am striving for. But being able to have a positive impact on students I have will be an even greater goal that I want to accomplish. I am hoping to guide them through their study of my favorite subject so I can teach them about the world and help them just like my teacher had helped me.

by Chelsea Rogers

At USC Upstate, I am studying to be a Secondary Education Mathematics teacher. The math courses are not easy and the education courses pushes you to challenge yourself. The thought of being a future teacher is what motivates me to keep pushing.

Although I do not know any of my students, they are precious to me and I believe it is my job to change their lives for the better.  Teaching math is my job, but looking beyond my content and into the wellbeing of my students is my passion.

The question I always ask myself is how can I teach students who may not trust me? I have to establish a connection with each student so that they will see I care about them academically, physically, and emotionally. Once students see that you care about them in these areas, it becomes easier to teach them and they are willing to perform to the best of their ability because they know their teacher supports them 100 percent. Being a great teacher is what motivates me to continue striving for my degree.

by Micayla Watroba

One plus one is two. Phone is pronounced with an F sound. 60 divided by 15 is 4. An essay typically has five paragraphs. I know all these things because I went to school. I also had teachers that helped me understand it even when I didn’t get the same opportunities as everyone else.

See, when I was in first grade I was diagnosed with ALL Leukemia. This made school very hard. I was either out of school so often that I missed entire chapters or I was bullied so badly that I couldn’t focus because I was so scared. Having cancer also made it hard for my mom and dad to pay for food and rent much less after school activities and tutoring. I grew up knowing that there were some things that were just not in reach for us. 

For as bad as I had it, I can’t imagine having to live on the streets, going hungry, or even being taught in a language I don’t know.

My dream is to be the teacher that makes sure that every student gets an education that helps them succeed.  I want to make sure that my students not only enjoy being at school but feel safe while there.  My students will know that it doesn’t matter where they came from or what background they came from. I am going to be there and I will not leave them behind. This is my dream.

5. Promote Lifelong Learning in Young People

Curriculum delivery in the classroom

What inspires some people to become teachers is the power to set young people on the right education path. Helping children to have good early experiences and embrace the learning process can profoundly enhance someone’s life. The potential for transformative early development applies to handicapped and disadvantaged kids as much as anyone.

by Lesley Martinez-Silva

I aspire to make a difference in others’ lives through education. I’m studying to be an elementary school teacher because I believe that children can achieve so much more if they learn early of their potential.

Education has always been my priority. My parents always stressed the importance of obtaining an education, having missed that opportunity themselves. My parents taught me as a child that schooling was vital to success in life. Truly, that lesson has been the most important in my path to college. I don’t think I would’ve made it this far had I not taken my education seriously.

I want to teach others about the importance of education so they too can prosper.  Everything I’m learning at university is important for my future career and, if I don’t study it, I’m failing my future students. Every child deserves the best education available and I should strive to be the best educator possible to provide that for them. When balancing academics, work, and my social life, it can get challenging to keep going. But, with the future of children’s education in my hands, I always get back on track.

by Brianna Rivers

One of my goals is to become a teacher and work in an public elementary school within the greater Boston area (possibly my own elementary school). I want to be a teacher because I enjoy working with children and I know how important teachers are in children’s lives. I plan on receiving my Bachelor’s degree for Early Childhood Education and my Master’s degree in Special Education.

I want to major in Early Childhood Education because  early education is significant for children and is a building block for their future in learning . I also want to major in Special Education because I believe all children should receive equal learning opportunities as well as equal treatment (meaning an inclusive environment, etc).

I think all of my experiences have a positive impact on myself because I am learning more about what it takes to be a teacher and what it takes to be a good teacher. My experiences also have a positive impact on the children and adults I work with. I offer a helping hand to the teachers and a friendly face to the children.

I plan to continue to work hard and take advantage of learning opportunities to achieve both of my goals. Being a teacher is my desire and I will stop at nothing to be a great teacher one day.

by Jennamarie Moody

When I close my eyes, I picture myself in a school located in an urban setting, teaching a classroom of diverse yet alike students. These students are in the second grade, meaning that they are impressionable yet vulnerable to their environment whether this means at home, at school, or in their greater community.

Some of these students don’t speak English as their first language, and some come from low-income households that can limit their educational experiences outside of the classroom. And yet, no matter what differences these students bring to the table, their uniqueness flows throughout the classroom in such a positive energy that embraces, respects, and promotes learning. This is the goal I am working towards; the goal  to inspire our youth to become self-advocates for their learning .

Opportunities for equal educational experiences may not exist, however the beauty lies in the growth of love young students can develop as they are challenged in the classroom to question their surroundings. I plan to make a difference in the lives of the children I meet along the way, and to create a safe learning environment.

Although the tests for certification and studies can be difficult, my passion for education and dedication to shaping the lives of my students is what keeps me going. The end goal is to nurture the development of my students to become active and engaged participants in society, and that is what I intend to do completely.

by Julie Anderson

My long-time goal has been to become a teacher, and this year I’m in a class called Teachers for Tomorrow, where I get to shadow a kindergarten teacher. Working with her and the students has increased my interest in children with special needs.

From here on out, I want to support my students in academics and other parts of their lives so I can help them learn, grow, and succeed. I know that children need a strong start to their school career because the first few years of school are crucial; this is when students begin to love or hate learning itself. Whether or not children enjoy school, they deserve to appreciate learning. Students who love learning will always want to improve themselves.

I will make an effort to provide a loving environment where each child can prosper. However, for students with special needs, this task becomes even harder to accomplish because traditional classrooms are usually set up for non-disabled students.  While I know I can’t “save” every student I teach, and some of them will still hate learning, at least I can start them off right.

When I’m swamped with schoolwork, I will imagine my future students and how I could influence their lives. Even though not all of my college classes will relate to my major, forming a habit of working hard in college will help me to succeed as a future teacher.

6. Teachers Are Excellent Role Models

Enthralled student in classroom

The experience of being helped and transformed by a good teacher leaves a lasting impression. Teaching is considered a noble profession for good reasons.

Some education students are motivated to become a teacher to emulate their own role models. They want to provide the same kind of service they once received. An added reason for pursuing a teaching career is to be a role model to younger people outside the classroom, including one’s own children.

by Teresa Pillifant

My first day – well, more like first semester- of my freshman year in high school was the hardest semester of my whole school career. Usually the kind of student who loves school, I found myself getting stomach aches in the morning and dreading school with my whole being. I was new to the school, and the number of students was overwhelming.

It seemed like there was no relief, except for my first hour Spanish class. Having no friends, I would always arrive at my first hour class early. As this pattern continued, my Spanish teacher and I developed a relationship. My teacher started giving me books to read, asking my opinion on what we should do in class and just talked to me in general about life. Through my teacher’s support, I grew to find my place in the school and became more confident.

Her kind words and actions inspired me to become a teacher myself.  Now, whenever school or life gets difficult, I think of my freshmen year Spanish teacher and how she inspired me. I want to do what she did for me for my future students. Whether it be a difficult test or a challenging class, my goal of making a difference in a student’s life keeps me going.

by Mo Cabiles

The world we live in is hard, unsteady and ruthless. We see this everyday in the harshness of homelessness, to social media screaming for justice. What motivates me to continue on is that I have felt the bitter cold bite of homelessness. I know what it’s like to not have enough to eat and to be scared of what will happen next.

I am fortunate to no longer be in those situations but that, by no means, is an indicator that it will all now come easy. As an adult learner and your “non-traditional” student, there are other obstacles I must overcome. From transportation to childcare or education application mastery to APA formatting, the many roadblocks I tackle both large and small are what I consider to be my victories.

I’ve seen what having a higher education can do for someone and I want that for myself and that of my daughters.  I strive to be a good example for them , to show them that, regardless of social standing and unforeseeable circumstances, if they work hard and put their best effort forward, they can achieve their dreams.

My dream is to obtain my Masters in Education with an emphasis in counseling. I want to be an academic advisor or guidance counselor. I’ve seen so many youths attempt community college and fail because they fell through the cracks. These students need to realize their potential and I want to help them achieve that and to be their cheerleader.

by Gia Sophia Sarris

In every school I’ve ever attended, experienced teachers were there to support and inspire me. I have looked up to these people ever since I was in elementary school, and they have had an immense and positive impact on my life and my view of the world.  My fondness for these people [educators] has led me to aspire to become a teacher.

I want to “pay it forward” and improve the lives of children and teenagers who grow up struggling as I did, or in any way for that matter. I want to make a difference in their lives and let them know that they are not alone with their problems.

This is what motivates me to study hard. Becoming a teacher, I believe, will help me fulfill my purpose in life, which I think is to create happiness and ease the burdens of others. I feel that children and teenagers need this especially, because they are struggling to understand the world and their place in it. I study hard for their sake.

by Jennifer Wolfert

From elementary school to my first year at college, I struggled to establish a dream for myself. Trying to figure out what career I wanted to pursue as successful adult always filled me with anxiety. I had spent multiple years in special education and left with a low academic self-esteem. So, after high school I attended Bucks County Community College in search for more time. Still I made no progress. Then I decided to change my outlook. I stopped asking “what do I want to do?” and started asking “who do I want to be?”. That’s when my dream took shape.

The educators that I met during my time at community college were my inspiration.  They are brilliant, hardworking people with a passion for their specialty that I had never seen before. Their belief in hard work was infectious. School began to fill me with excited anticipation and my grades improved. I started to believe that if I worked hard enough then I could be like them and inspire others like they had inspired me.

At the end of my second year attending community college, I accomplished a task that had previously racked me with fear. I applied to Temple University as a Secondary English Education major. I have now completed my second semester at Temple and earned my first 4.0 GPA. In time, I am confident that I will be able to accomplish my dream. I will become the passionate and inspiring educator that my younger self never had.

by Jenyfer Pegg

My entire life has been filled with discouragement. I grew up in a household where I was constantly told “No”. I was told my ideas were stupid and would not work. In my junior year of high school, my teachers and counselors started talking about college and sending in applications to different places. At that point, I knew I was not going. I came from a poor family and I knew we could never have money for something like college.

But I went on college visits, I listened to people speak about their college, and I was set. I had a lot of things pushing me, except the one thing I really wanted, my family. No one in my family has gone to college, and when I told my mother, she was shocked. She told me she just wanted me out of the house.

When I came to school, I realized I wanted to teach high school. I want to make an actual difference in someone else’s life. My family has taken the same road for years, and I’m not going down that road. I won’t live paycheck to paycheck like my mom, I will be a person that others will look up to.

I’m going to do something worthwhile, and I will work harder than anyone else if it gets me there.  I’ve seen what my life will be like without school and motivation and there is absolutely no way I’m going down that road. I’ve got bigger plans.

7. Unlock the Success Potential of Students

College student holding books

Educators want to help students in every way they can but, for some future teachers, the focus is on helping students soar. That child in front of you in the classroom might grow up to do great things for society, raise a strong family, or just be happy and fulfilled.

Whatever the potential of a pupil, a teacher’s job is to help unlock talents and remove any barriers to future success.

by Tamara Vega

The thing that motivates me the most is the thought of having my own classroom someday. I want to be the teacher that changes a child’s life, inspires them to set high goals for themselves and encourages them to reach it.

College can be so hard at times and I get really anxious and scared. I worry about not passing my classes and exams, I worry about not getting my degree. Despite that I do not give up because I have to do this and I want to do this.

I cannot see myself doing anything else besides teaching, I have never been this passionate about something. I want to graduate and get my degree. I’d love to look at it and say, “I worked hard for this and I earned it”.

The idea that the students in my classroom could grow up to cure cancer, or become president, pretty much anything they want, brings me so much excitement.   I want to be the teacher that they remember, the one who helped them realize their dream and who gave them the knowledge needed to reach it.

Be the teacher that I needed as a child but unfortunately never had. That is what gets me through all the stress and anxiety, I know in my heart that all the studying I’m doing right now will be worth it in the end.

by Nicole Gongora

The dream of success motivates me to study – not my success, my future students’ success. I push myself through the rough spots for them.

I was a lost child in high school; I didn’t know how to apply to college, let alone afford it. No child should have to experience that. As a future educator, I am committed to helping my students succeed, achieve more, and continue onto higher education.  Every child should be given the opportunity to showcase their strengths and follow their dreams.

College was never a dream for me; it was a far off, unattainable fantasy. I met some inspiring teachers in high school who encouraged me to change my life and who helped me to thrive. Without them, I wouldn’t be where I am today.

I plan to work at a low-income school similar to the one I attended. These types of schools are the ones who lack resources. I will serve as a resource to my students and I hope to be an inspiration to them. In turn, I hope they become kind, respectful adults. I want them to see the virtue in helping others and I hope they will serve others in their future careers. I want to be the teacher they remember. I want to be the teacher that helped them succeed.

I’ll feel successful as a teacher if my students are successful in attaining their goals. If one student decides to achieve more then I will have lived out my dream.

by Madison Sherrill

I’ve decided to become a teacher because I want to show the value of compassion and diversity.

As I begin college this upcoming fall, my main motivation is the students. While I haven’t even met them yet, they inspire me to persist in my classes and stay optimistic.  My classroom will support innovative thinking and celebrate each student’s individuality.

As a classroom teacher, I want to encourage and positively influence the next generation. They should know that they can be successful and achieve what they aspire to become while making the world better. By teaching the value of inclusiveness and the power of kindness, my students may turn out to be visionary thinkers and leading members of society.

by Alicia Costin

I am returning to school after taking a few years off. After graduating from California Lutheran University with my BS in Mathematics, I wanted to land a job with benefits and begin my “adult life”.

While it took me a few months to find my current job, is it just that; a job. I have benefits, a full-time schedule, weekends and holidays off, but am I happy? Is this what I want to do as a career for the rest of my life? I have asked myself this question a few times and the answer is always the same; no.

My dream is to become a teacher and help motivate and encourage students to do their best in their studies and in life.  It is my dream to do what I was meant to do; shape young minds and help future generations.

When things become difficult during my graduate program, I know to keep pushing, thriving, and studying hard so that, when I do become a teacher, I can use this as a positive story to shape their way of life. I landed a job outside of college, however now it is time for me to land my career.

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19 Top Ideas for a “Why I want to be a Teacher” Essay

Here are the 19 best reasons you would want to be a teacher that you can include in your essay:

  • To help children learn more effectively.
  • To ensure children have positive mentors.
  • To improve children’s lives.
  • To help future generations solve the problems of today.
  • To help the future generations become good citizens.
  • To inspire future generations to create a more equal world.
  • To give back to the community I grew up in.
  • To be a part of helping my community thrive.
  • To be a part of my community’s decision-making processes.
  • Because you have the patience for working with children.
  • Because you have compassion for children.
  • Because you want to learn from children.
  • Because you’re enthusiastic about learning.
  • Because you are a generous person.
  • Because you’re interested in learning how to teach difficult students.
  • Because you’re interested in learning how to work with difficult parents.
  • Because you’re interested in learning diverse strategies for teaching,
  • Because you’re interested in learning to master classroom management.
  • Because you’re interested in learning what works and what doesn’t in teaching.

The ‘Why I want to be a teacher’ essay is all about showing you have thought in-depth about what a teacher does and what their role is in society. It’s also about showing you think you’d be a good person to conduct that role.

The 9 Tips are split into five categories. You can scan this whole post or browse through the categories here:

This essay is hard to get right.

Most students write the exact same thing as one another with the same old cliché statements like “because I love kids” (ugh, wrong answer!). If you do this, your teacher will just give you an average grade (or worse).

You need your essay on “why you want to be a teacher” to be different – indeed excellent – so it stands out for your teacher.

I’ll show you how.

Why should you listen to me? Well, I’ve been teaching university students in education departments for 8 years. In that time I’ve marked several thousand essays by people aiming to become teachers. I know what essays get top marks and which ones are average. I also know exactly what mistakes students make that make their essays seem … dull.

So, let me get you started out by introducing 19 points that you should make in your essay on why you want to be a teacher. I’ll break these 19 points down into 5 separate categories. Check them out below.

Read Also: Is Being a Teacher Worth It? (Why I Quit a Good Job)

1. Definitely do not say “because kids are fun”. Do this instead.

The word ‘fun’ is a big red flag for markers. Too many people want to become teachers because they think it would be a fun profession. Or, they might think that they want to help children have fun . No, no, no.

This is an incorrect answer in your essay about why you want to become a teacher.

Yes, teaching is fun a lot of the time. And it is really nice to see students having fun based on activities you’ve set for them.

But society isn’t paying you to have fun, or even to make children have fun. You’re not going to be a child minder, aunt, uncle or clown. You’re going to be a professional who has a bigger social purpose than having fun.

Now, a lot of students say to me “But, students learn more when they’re having fun.” Sure, that might be true – but it’s not a central reason for teaching.

If making learning more fun is genuinely a reason why you decided to become a teacher, then you need to frame it in a way that shows the importance of teaching for the good of students. Here’s three better ways to say ‘because kids are fun’; for each on, we can start with “I want to become a teacher because…”:

  • I want to help children learn more effectively. You could say something like: …When I was in school, learning was hard and I therefore hated teaching. There were a lot of teachers who seemed uninspired and uninterested in whether their children are learning. I was inspired to become a teacher so I could help children like myself to learn in ways that are engaging, motivating and inspiring.
  • I want to ensure children have positive mentors. You could say something like: …Many children in the world don’t have positive mentors at home. A teacher is often the one person in a child’s life who is a stable mentor that the child can lean upon. I chose to become a teacher because I believe all children need a positive mentor that instils in them an interest in the world and a belief that they can make something of themselves.
  • I want to improve children’s lives. You could say something like: …Being a teacher will give me the power to make children’s lives better. Learning opens doors to new opportunities, ways of thinking and paths in life that children wouldn’t have had before me. I am inspired by the idea of helping a child who is sad, uncertain and lacks confidence to see their own potential for creating a fulfilling life for themselves.

All three of those ideas still skirt around the idea that helping children have fun is something you want to see happen, but they also point out that there’s something deeper here than the idea that children should have fun: they should have fun for a reason. That reason could be so they learn more, develop an interest in the world, or see that their lives are full of potential.

Note that in my three examples above, I never used the word ‘fun’: it’s too much of a red flag for your markers.

2. Explain how teaching helps the world! Here’s how.

Have you ever heard someone say that ‘Teaching is a noble profession’? Well, it is. And this is something you really should be talking about in your essay on why you want to become a teacher.

Your teacher will be impressed by your understanding that teaching is a profession that keeps the world turning. Without teachers, where would we be? Probably back in the dark ages where people couldn’t read or write, technology wasn’t advancing very quickly at all, and people mostly lived in ignorance of their world.

So, being a teacher is has a bigger social purpose. As a teacher, you’ll be an important piece of society. You’ll be one of the army of tens – no, hundreds – of thousands of people helping future generations to propel our world towards better days. Below are some ways teaching helps the world. You can start these off with “I want to become a teacher because…”

  • I want to help future generations solve the problems of today. Being a teacher gives you the opportunity to propel students to greater heights. The children in your classrooms will be the people who solve climate change (oh, goodness, I hope so!), create the technologies to make our lives more comfortable, and get us out of the ecological, economic and political messes we seem to have gotten ourselves into!
  • I want to help the future generations become good citizens. There’s a concept called the ‘ hidden curriculum ’. This concept points to the fact that children learn more at school than what’s in the tests. They also learn how to get along, manners, democratic values and the importance of sharing. These soft skills are more than just a by-product of education. They’re incredibly important for showing our students how to get along in our society.
  • I want to inspire future generations to create a more equal world. A lot of what we talk about at school are moral issues: what’s the right and wrong thing to do? How do our actions ensure or hinder equality of races, genders and social classes? As a teacher, you will be instilling in children the idea that the decisions they make will lead to a more or less equal world. And of course, we all want a more equal world for our children.

These points are some higher-order points that will help you teacher see that you’re becoming a teacher for more than ‘fun’. You’re becoming a teacher because you see the noble purpose in teaching. If you do this right, you’ll surely impress your teacher.

3. Discuss your commitment to community. Here’s how.

Teachers are at the center of communities. Parents take their children to school, drop them off, then go to work. They busily get on with their jobs: architect, shop assistant, nurse, builder, and so on… Then, they all come back at the end of the day to collect their children from school.

School is one of the few things that brings all of these different members of a community together. Parents gather around the pick up location to gather their kids, and there they stand around and chat about sports and politics and community issues.

School is at the heart of community.

And you, as a teacher, will be one of the respected members of that community: there to serve all the members of the community by helping to raise their children with the values of the community in which you live.

You can talk about this as a central reason why you want to be a teacher. How about you start off with: “I want to become a teacher because…”

  • I want to give back to the community I grew up in. You could say …I grew up in a close-knit community where we all looked out for one another. Being a teacher will give me the opportunity to give back to my friends and mentors in the town who need someone to raise their children who they trust will do a great job.
  • I want to be a part of helping my community thrive. You could talk about how you are from a growing community that needs good quality, respectable people who will educate future members of your community. As a teacher, you will be at the heart of ensuring your local town remains a great place to live.
  • I want to be a part of my community’s decision-making processes. Teachers hold a certain authority: they know how students learn, and they usually have a very deep understanding of what is best for children in order to ensure they thrive. You can talk about how you want to become a person with deep knowledge about the children in your community so you can help guide you community’s decisions around how to raise their young people.

Note that in this group of ideas, ‘community’ represents the close-knit town in which you live, whereas in point 2, I talked about ‘society’, which was the bigger picture of the future of our nation or world rather than just your town.

4. Discuss the personality traits you think you can bring to the role. Here’s how.

You should show how you have reflected on the requirements of the role of teaching and thought about whether you have the personality traits that are required.

Why? Well, you need to be able to show that you know what being a teacher is all about… and that you think you’d be good at it.

So, let’s dive in to 5 personality traits that teachers have, and how you can show you have those traits:

  • Patience. Patience is an enormously popular skill for teachers to have. You’ll have kids who just don’t understand concepts one iota, and you’ve got to sit there and work with them until they get it. It’s tedious, let me tell you!
  • Compassion. Patience and compassion go hand-in-hand. If you don’t feel empathy for the kid who’s struggling super hard at learning, you’ll get pretty mad and just give up. You might also say some mean things to the kid! So, compassion is really necessary if you want to become a good teacher.
  • Open minded. Teachers always need to be learning new things. We often talk about the importance of learning with students more than directly teaching If you set a student a task, you’ll be sending them out to gather as much information on the topic as possible. They’ll often come back with new knowledge and you will want to praise them for teaching you something new.
  • Enthusiasm. Let me tell you, when it’s Wednesday afternoon in the middle of a hot school week and everyone’s depressed and flat there’s one person to rally the troops: you! Teachers need to wake up every morning, put their happy face on, and march into the classroom with boundless enthusiasm. It’ll motivate your students and make them feel welcome in the learning environment.
  • Generosity. You need to be generous with your time and praise. You need to be constantly thinking about the students in your care and doing anything you can to help them learn, instil in them a love of learning, and give them the confidence to try anything. Teachers need to be very generous people.

There’s a ton more traits that make a good teacher that you can talk about. These are just a few. Go forth and learn more, and add them to your essay!

5. Conclude with the things you still need to learn. Here’s how.

One more thing: good teachers are constantly learning. As someone studying to be a teacher, you need to remember that there’s a long way to go before you have all the answers. Heck, I’ve been a teacher for nearly a decade and I’m not even half way towards knowing everything about being a good teacher.

So, conclude your essay by highlighting that you understand what the role of a teacher is in society and the key competencies required of a teacher; but then go further and mention your enthusiasm to learn more about the profession over the coming years.

Here’s 5 things you can mention that you still need to learn:

  • How to teach difficult students. Some students hate school – mostly because of their terrible experiences in the past. You need to learn to get through to difficult students, and this takes time and patience to learn the art of inspiring the uninspired.
  • How to work with difficult parents. Oh boy, you’ll have a lot of these. You can highlight this as one of the key things you want to work on in the coming years: again, you’ll need to draw on that skill of patience (as well as the skill of diplomacy ) when it comes time to deal with an angry parent.
  • Diverse strategies for teaching. There are a lot of different ways to go about teaching. Over the years you’ll pick up on the various strategies and tricks different teachers have to help children learn.
  • Classroom management. This is one of the hardest things young teachers need to learn. And really, it just takes time. Discuss how this is something you want to focus on, and how you’ll use mentors to really work on this skill.
  • What works and what doesn’t. Great teachers have this intuitive knowledge about what works and what doesn’t, all based upon their deep experience and trial-and-error. The only way to learn to teach is to do it. Over the coming years, you’ll be learning about this. A lot.

You’ll only need one or two paragraphs on this final point, but it’s a great way to end your essay on why you want to become a teacher. It’ll show your humility and eagerness to take on one of the noblest professions in the world.

If you want to learn to write a top notch conclusion, you might also like my post on the 5 C’s Conclusion method .

Before you finish up your essay, you might want to check out my awesome posts on how to improve your essays, like these ones:

  • How to write a killer Introduction
  • My perfect paragraph formula , and
  • How to edit your essay like a pro .

I promised 19 thoughtful points to make in your essay about why you want to be a teacher. Here they are, all summed up in one final list:

  • Say you want to help children learn more effectively.
  • Say you want to ensure children have positive mentors.
  • Say you want to improve children’s lives.
  • Say you want to help future generations solve the problems of today.
  • Say you want to help the future generations become good citizens.
  • Say you want to inspire future generations to create a more equal world.
  • Say you want to give back to the community you grew up in.
  • Say you want to be a part of helping your community thrive.
  • Say you want to be a part of your community’s decision-making processes.
  • Say you want to share your patience with your students.
  • Say you want to share your compassion with your students.
  • Say you want to learn from your students (be ‘open minded’)
  • Say you want to share your enthusiasm for learning with your students.
  • Say you want to share your generosity with your students.
  • Say you’re interested in learning how to teach difficult students.
  • Say you’re interested in learning how to work with difficult parents.
  • Say you’re interested in learning diverse strategies for teaching,
  • Say you’re interested in learning to master classroom management.
  • Say you’re interested in learning what works and what doesn’t in teaching.

Why I want to be a teacher essay

Chris Drew (PhD)

Dr. Chris Drew is the founder of the Helpful Professor. He holds a PhD in education and has published over 20 articles in scholarly journals. He is the former editor of the Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education. [Image Descriptor: Photo of Chris]

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Home Essay Examples Education Teacher

I Want to Become English Teacher

  • Category Education
  • Subcategory Learning
  • Topic Teacher

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When I grow up I want to become an English teacher. Whenever I go to my mom’s classroom after school on Wednesday I learn more and more about the life of an English teacher. Some days like when I was out of school for my play in winter I got to see in depth what happens. As I learned about the job I got more curious and wanted to know everything about is. After learning more about the job I thought it was a great idea to be an English teacher. As an English teacher you get to help students achieve their goals and help them grow. I was always appealed with helping people learn.

The first step of becoming an English teacher is graduating high school and getting your high school diploma. Then you’re off to college. In college you are required to take classes to get a bachelor degree in English. In certain states teachers must earn a master’s degree after getting their teaching license. It is recommended but not required to take a class in public speaking. Ms.Mcmahon an English teacher at Decatur high school lists the classes English teachers need to get the job, “You need at least a bachelor’s degree and coursework in subject area.”

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Outside of schooling there are some helpful skills to have. If the schools you’re interested in use technology, you should learn about the technology they use so you can answer most of the students questions about the technology. It is also very helpful to be organized and be able to plan ahead of time. Ms.Mcmahon comments of these skills, “It is helpful to have experience in public speaking, there is a lot of walking around and standing to teach and help students. You have to work well with students and if you don’t like kids I advise you not to be a teacher.”

It’s also necessary to think about how much you will earn and if it will be enough to support your family. An average salary for a high school English teacher is $ 65,990.

This is enough to support a family. If you live in expensive cities like Chicago, New York, and Hollywood it might be more challenging to support your family.

To become an English teacher you need to be at school 5 days of the week, Monday-Friday. Most English teachers get to school around seven. As an English teacher you need to be in your classroom around this time so you can get ready and work on lesson plans. An average high school starts around 8:30. Students will start pouring into the classroom and will sometimes not want to follow directions. It is helpful to have assigned seating to keep order. Students will want to sit with friends but make them stay with the seating chart. After a while following directions will become routine and they will follow directions more often. Most schools have 6 periods,or classes per day.

Teachers don’t usually have lunch hours so at the times you don’t have classes you eat your lunch and grade papers. At the end of the day when students are dismissed many things can happen depending on your schedule. Some days you might have meetings to go over important decision. Other days you might be stuck in your classroom grading and making lesson plans. Some days (like Friday’s) you will not have anything to grade or you already finished lesson plans, so you can just go home. One other thing that can happen is clubs. Clubs are classes, sports, or teams that meet after school. You might be an instructor of a club that focuses on your degree such as the debate team or helping tutor students in the subject of English. Another possibility is things that you like to do but you don’t specialize in like woodwork or chess. Sometimes additional work at home is needed. Ms.Mcmahon adds, “I am a debate coach in the Decatur high school debate team and I help students work on their debating skills after school hours. I also go to debate tournaments with the team.”

Being an English teacher has some positives and negatives. A positive is that you get to work with students. Many people enjoy working with students and like watching them grow, but on the other hand, many people do not like working with students. Some reasons they might not like working with students is because students might be thought of as loud rude, disrespectful and messy. Sometimes they don’t turn in work and disobey you.

Another Positive is pursuing your dream. Many English teachers become English teachers because they love what they do. They love reading and working with students. They don’t think about how much they get paid but they think about how much they like their job. On the other hand, many people are English teacher because they are forced to by a parent or guardian that wants their child to follow in their footsteps. A downside for many is how much you get paid. Many tenagers think that what ever job you chose you get millions of dollars and can ride private yachts every week. No one except famous actors and presidents can afford that. Being a teacher will still let you go on a big vacation every year and some smaller ones, but not every week.

After all the aspects, becoming an English teacher is a great decision. If working with students and talking out loud is something you want to do than this is a great job for you. Teaching can be a hard job but is rewarding when you see how much the students have grown.

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Becoming a Teacher: What I Learned about Myself During the Pandemic

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Introduction to the Article by Andrew Stremmel

Now, more than ever, we need to hear the voices of preservice teachers as well as in-service teachers during this pandemic. How has the pandemic affected them? In what ways has the pandemic enabled them to think about the need to really focus on what matters, what’s important? What were the gains and losses? These are very important questions for our time.  In this essay, Alyssa Smith, a senior studying early childhood education, attempts to address the lessons learned from her junior year, focusing on the positive aspects of her coursework and demonstrating an imaginative, growth mindset. This essay highlights the power of students’ reflection on their own learning. But I think it does so much more meaningful contemplation than we might expect of our students in “normal” times. Alyssa gains a new appreciation for this kind of active reflection—the opportunity to think more critically; to be more thoughtful; to stop, step back, catch her breath, and rethink things. As a teacher educator and her mentor, I believe this essay represents how the gift of time to stop and reflect can open space to digest what has been experienced, and how the gift of reflective writing can create a deeper level of thinking about how experiences integrate with one’s larger narrative as a person.

About the Author

Andrew Stremmel, PhD, is professor in early childhood education at South Dakota State University. His research is in teacher action research and Reggio Emilia-inspired, inquiry-based approaches to early childhood teacher education. He is an executive editor of  Voices of Practitioners .  

I’ve always known I was meant to be a teacher. I could feel my passion guide my work and lead my heart through my classes. So why did I still feel as if something was missing? During the fall of my junior year, the semester right before student teaching, I began to doubt my ability to be a great teacher, as I did not feel completely satisfied in my work. What I did not expect was a global pandemic that would shut down school and move all coursework online. I broke down. I wanted to do more than simply be a good student. I wanted to learn to be a great teacher. How was I supposed to discover my purpose and find what I was missing when I couldn’t even attend my classes? I began to fret that I would never become the capable and inspirational educator that I strived to be, when I was missing the firsthand experience of being in classrooms, interacting with children, and collaborating with peers.

It wasn’t until my first full semester being an online student that I realized the pandemic wasn’t entirely detrimental to my learning. Two of my early childhood education courses, Play and Inquiry and Pedagogy and Curriculum, allowed limited yet meaningful participation in a university lab school as well as engagement with problems of substance that require more intense thinking, discussion, analysis, and thoughtful action. These problems, which I briefly discuss below, presented challenges, provocations, possibilities, and dilemmas to be pondered, and not necessarily resolved. Specifically, they pushed me to realize that the educational question for our time is not, “What do I need to know about how to teach?” Rather, it is, “What do I need to know about myself in the context of this current pandemic?” I was therefore challenged to think more deeply about who I wanted to be as a teacher and who I was becoming, what I care about and value, and how I will conduct myself in the classroom with my students.

These three foundations of teaching practice (who I want to be, what I value, and how I will conduct myself) were illuminated by a question that was presented to us students in one of the very first classes of the fall 2020 semester: “What’s happening right now in your experience that will help you to learn more about yourself and who you are becoming?” This provocation led me to discover that, while the COVID-19 pandemic brought to light (and at times magnified) many fears and insecurities I had as a prospective teacher, it also provided me with unique opportunities, time to reflect, and surprising courage that I feel would not otherwise have been afforded and appreciated.

Although I knew I wanted to be a teacher, I had never deliberately pondered the idea of what kind of teacher I wanted to be. I held the core values of being an advocate for children and helping them grow as confident individuals, but I still had no idea what teaching style I was to present. Fortunately, the pandemic enabled me to view my courses on play and curriculum as a big “look into the mirror” to discern what matters and what was important about becoming a teacher.

As I worked through the rest of the course, I realized that this project pushed me to think about my identity as an educator in relation to my students rather than simply helping me understand my students, as I initially thought. Instead, a teacher’s identity is formed in relation to or in relationship with our students: We take what we know about our students and use it to shape ourselves and how we teach. I found that I had to take a step back and evaluate my own perceptions and beliefs about children and who I am in relation to them. Consequently, this motivated me to think about myself as a classroom teacher during the COVID-19 pandemic. What did I know about children that would influence the way I would teach them?

I thought about how children were resilient, strong, and adaptable, possessing an innate ability to learn in nearly any setting. While there were so many uncertainties and fear surrounding them, they adapted to mask-wearing, limited children in the classroom, and differentiated tasks to limit cross-contamination. Throughout, the children embodied being an engaged learner. They did not seem to focus on what they were missing; their limitless curiosity could not keep them from learning. Yet, because young children learn primarily through relationships, they need some place of learning that helps them to have a connection with someone who truly knows, understands, and cares about them. Thus, perhaps more than any lesson, I recognized my relationship with children as more crucial. By having more time to think about children from this critical perspective, I felt in my heart the deeper meaning children held to me.

My compassion for children grew, and a greater respect for them took shape, which overall is what pushed me to see my greater purpose for who I want to be as an educator. The pandemic provided time to develop this stronger vision of children, a clearer understanding of how they learn, and how my identity as a teacher is formed in relationship with children. I don’t think I would have been able to develop such a rich picture of how I view children without an in-depth exploration of my identity, beliefs, and values.

In my curriculum course, I was presented a different problem that helped me reflect on who I am becoming as an educator. This was presented as a case study where we as students were asked the question, “Should schools reopen amidst the COVID-19 pandemic?” This was a question that stumped school districts around the nation, making me doubt that I would be able to come up with anything that would be remotely practical. I now was experiencing another significant consequence of the pandemic: a need for new, innovative thinking on how to address state-wide academic issues. My lack of confidence, paired with the unknowns presented by the pandemic, made me feel inadequate to take on this problem of meaning.

To address this problem, I considered more intentionally and reflectively what I knew about how children learn; issues of equity and inequality that have led to a perceived achievement gap; the voices of both teachers and families; a broader notion of what school might look like in the “new normal”; and the role of the community in the education of young children. Suddenly, I was thinking in a more critical way about how to address this problem from the mindset of an actual and more experienced teacher, one who had never faced such a conundrum before. I knew that I had to design a way to allow children to come back into a classroom setting, and ultimately find inspiration for learning in this new normal. I created this graphic (above) to inform families and teachers why it is vital to have students return to school. As a result, I became an educator. I was now thinking, feeling, and acting as a teacher. This case study made me think about myself and who I am becoming as a teacher in a way that was incredibly real and relevant to what teachers were facing. I now found inspiration in the COVID-19 pandemic, as it unlocked elements of myself that I did not know existed.

John Dewey (1916) has been attributed to stating, “Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself.” Learning may begin in the classroom, but it does not end there. Likewise, teaching is not a role, but a way of being. The ability to connect with children and to engage them meaningfully depends less on the methods we use than on the degree to which we know and trust ourselves and are willing to share that knowledge with them. That comes through continually reflecting on who we are in relation to children and their families, and what we do in the classroom to create more meaningful understanding of our experiences. By embodying the role of being an educator, I grew in ways that classroom curriculum couldn't prepare me for. Had it not been for the pandemic, this might not have been possible.

Dewey, J. 1916. Democracy and Education: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Education . New York: MacMillan.

Alyssa Marie Smith  is currently an early childhood education student studying at South Dakota State University. She has been a student teacher in the preschool lab on campus, and now works as a kindergarten out of school time teacher in this same lab school. In the fall, she plans to student teach in an elementary setting, and then go on to teach in her own elementary classroom.

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Essay on English Teacher

Students are often asked to write an essay on English Teacher in their schools and colleges. And if you’re also looking for the same, we have created 100-word, 250-word, and 500-word essays on the topic.

Let’s take a look…

100 Words Essay on English Teacher

The role of an english teacher.

The English teacher is a guide who helps students explore the world of literature and language. They teach grammar, vocabulary, reading, and writing skills. They also encourage students to express their thoughts clearly.

Creating a Learning Environment

English teachers create a positive learning environment. They make lessons interesting and interactive. They use different teaching methods to cater to the diverse learning styles of students.

Developing Critical Thinking

English teachers also play a crucial role in developing students’ critical thinking skills. By analyzing literature, students learn to think deeply and critically about different topics.

Inspiring Creativity

Through creative writing exercises, English teachers inspire students to use their imagination. This helps in developing their creative skills and confidence.

250 Words Essay on English Teacher

English teachers play a critical role in shaping our linguistic abilities and fostering critical thinking. They are instrumental in creating a foundation for communication skills, which is a vital aspect of any professional or personal interaction. English teachers not only teach grammar, vocabulary, and sentence structure, but also instill an appreciation for literature, thereby cultivating a lifelong love for reading and learning.

The Art of Teaching English

The art of teaching English goes beyond the traditional methods of imparting knowledge. It requires the ability to engage students, stimulate their curiosity, and create an environment conducive to learning. English teachers often leverage various pedagogical methods, such as interactive activities and multimedia resources, to make the learning process more enjoyable and effective.

Impact on Students

The impact of an English teacher on students is profound. They not only improve students’ language proficiency but also enhance their creative thinking and analytical skills. By introducing students to different genres of literature, English teachers broaden their horizons, helping them understand diverse cultures and perspectives.

The Challenges and Rewards

Despite the challenges, such as dealing with students of different proficiency levels and the constant need for adapting to new teaching methods, being an English teacher can be highly rewarding. Witnessing students’ progress, seeing them develop a passion for the language, and helping them become effective communicators are some of the gratifying aspects of this profession.

In conclusion, English teachers play a pivotal role in shaping the future of their students. They not only help students master a language but also contribute to their overall intellectual and personal development.

500 Words Essay on English Teacher

The role and importance of english teachers.

The English teacher is a crucial figure in any educational institution. They play a pivotal role in shaping the linguistic and literary skills of students, which are essential in today’s globalized world. English teachers are not just educators; they are mentors, guides, and influencers who help students to think critically, express creatively, and communicate effectively.

Responsibilities of an English Teacher

An English teacher’s responsibilities extend beyond just teaching grammar, vocabulary, and literature. They are tasked with creating a conducive learning environment that encourages students to participate actively and facilitates the development of their language skills. This includes designing engaging lesson plans, utilizing innovative teaching methodologies, and providing constructive feedback. They also have the responsibility of evaluating students’ progress, identifying their strengths and weaknesses, and tailoring their teaching methods to meet individual learning needs.

The Influence of English Teachers on Students

English teachers have a profound impact on students. They can ignite a love for the language, inspire a passion for literature, and instill a respect for effective communication. They foster a culture of reading and writing, which allows students to explore different perspectives, cultures, and ideas. This exposure not only enhances their language proficiency but also broadens their worldview, promoting empathy, tolerance, and cultural understanding.

English Teachers as Facilitators of Critical Thinking

One of the significant roles of an English teacher is to facilitate critical thinking. Through discussions, debates, and analyses of various texts, they challenge students to question, interpret, and infer. They encourage students to delve deeper into the text, to understand the context, the author’s intent, and the underlying themes. This nurtures analytical thinking, problem-solving skills, and the ability to articulate thoughts coherently and convincingly.

The Challenges Faced by English Teachers

Despite the critical role they play, English teachers often face numerous challenges. These range from managing diverse learning needs to keeping up with the ever-evolving language and pedagogical trends. They also face the daunting task of making the subject interesting and relatable to students who might view it as difficult or irrelevant. Furthermore, in non-native English-speaking regions, they grapple with the challenge of overcoming language barriers and cultural differences.

Conclusion: The Future of English Teaching

The role of the English teacher is evolving with the changing educational landscape. With the advent of digital technologies, they are now expected to integrate technology into their teaching methods to enhance learning experiences. Despite these challenges, the importance of English teachers remains undiminished. They continue to play an indispensable role in equipping students with the language skills necessary to navigate the increasingly interconnected world. In essence, English teachers are the architects of a globally competent future generation.

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How to Be a Good English Teacher

Last Updated: April 13, 2024 Approved

This article was co-authored by Alexander Peterman, MA . Alexander Peterman is a Private Tutor in Florida. He received his MA in Education from the University of Florida in 2017. There are 9 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. This article received 16 testimonials and 88% of readers who voted found it helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 264,867 times.

English teachers have an important job. They teach students how to read and write well, how to understand what they read, how to learn from their peers, and how to have productive and challenging conversations. Being a successful English teacher can be difficult, but there are steps you can take to improve, so that both you and your students get more out of your time in the classroom.

Developing Lesson Plans

Step 1 Choose material that will interest your students.

  • Look for literary or academic merit in unlikely places: even a zombie apocalypse novel like Colson Whitehead's Zone One deals with challenging and important topics that perfectly complement a classic like Hemingway's In Our Time while still remaining relevant to modern audiences.

Step 2 Assign reasonable amounts of homework.

  • Your focus should be on creating an in-class environment where you can monitor your student's work and progress. If you choose to give homework, it should be brief and relate directly to your in-class assignments and discussions.
  • Short stories are excellent ways pieces to assign as critical reading. Just because there's less to read doesn't mean your students can't learn key concepts. Find short stories that illustrate what you're discussing in class and use them to keep your students engaged.

Step 3 Give homework assignments that help students understand the material.

  • Don't assign busywork. Some assignments like vocabulary sentences and definition work are helpful. However, sending home a reading that isn't related to class work just to make sure your students have English homework is stressful and unnecessary. Focus on the quality of the homework you assign rather than the quantity.

Joseph Meyer

Joseph Meyer

Assess students early to identify important knowledge gaps. Struggling students often have unidentified gaps in foundational concepts, leading to poor performance when learning advanced topics. Circumvent this problem by assessing their skills early on, and then filling in knowledge gaps as needed.

Step 4 Focus on the big-picture understanding.

  • Ordering your lessons chronologically can make the progression from one topic to the next feel natural — it makes sense to study 18th century writers before 19th century ones. Also consider ordering topics thematically, so that you study the progression of a theme or idea across several texts.

Leading Discussions

Step 1 Know the material well.

  • It's alright if you don't have answers to every question that comes up. Instead of trying to compensate, open the topic up to a discussion from the class so that they can become learning moments for everyone.

Step 2 Bring in outside material.

  • Keep in mind that your students will have questions and interests that you may not be able to anticipate. Your lesson plans should not be set in stone. Responding to what your students want to talk about will create a lively, engaging, productive discussion.

Step 4 Ask interpretive questions.

  • Break your students up into small groups and have them discuss topics amongst themselves. Then, have each group talk about what they discussed with the whole class. Try having each group act as an authority on a certain area and lead the class in a discussion about that topic.
  • If your students will listen to and respect each other, encourage them to jump into the discussion without raising their hands and waiting to be called on. This will create a more responsive, quickly-moving, and engaging conversation that can sustain itself without you. If your students talk over each other or if a few students monopolize the discussion, have the person who just spoke choose the next person to talk, or find another way to allocate speaking time without having to do it yourself.

Step 7 Challenge your students' ideas, and encourage them to do the same.

  • Debates and arguments help a discussion become lively, engaging, and interesting. If these debates start to get personal, or if students might offend each other, think about turning the conversation back to the text. You should challenge students' interpretations of the text, not the students themselves.

Take satisfaction in seeing your students thrive. Celebrate your students' "aha!" moments and enjoy witnessing their progress. Appreciate when they buy into the collaborative learning environment you've been fostering. These rewarding moments are the fuel that will uphold your passion for teaching.

Knowing Your Material

Step 1 Read regularly.

  • As well as reading important literature, read for fun. Remember why you love reading, and encourage your students to do the same.
  • Be aware of current trends in reading material, and try out the things you think your students might be reading. This will help you better understand their interests and relate to them outside the classroom, which will make you a more effective teacher overall.

Step 2 Expand your vocabulary.

  • At the same time, teach your students that the mark of a good writer isn't just whipping out two-dollar words and using them to sound sophisticated. Teach your students the difference between using a word to draw a historical comparison, or using an alliterative word, and using a word to impress someone with your learning. There are more and less useful ways of wielding words.
  • Never talk down to your students for not knowing or understanding a word. Let them know, "It's alright, that's a difficult word." Then, use a synonym, provide them with context clues, or help them look it up so that they become familiar with a more advanced vocabulary.

Step 3 Practice your handwriting.

Developing Your Skills in the Classroom

Step 1 Become comfortable speaking in front of your class.

Community Q&A

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About This Article

Alexander Peterman, MA

To be a good English teacher, practice reading aloud so you feel comfortable standing up and speaking to your class without stumbling. Additionally, work on building a relationship with your students by listening to their ideas and finding out their interests, as this will make it easier for you to encourage them. During class, offer praise for good work and ask struggling students to stay behind for extra help. You should also tell your students to come by at lunchtime or after school if they need help so they know you're available for them. For tips on how to develop lesson plans and how to lead class discussions, keep reading! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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Teaching English as a Foreign Language: Experiences Essay

Teachers hold a critical but significantly undervalued purpose in modern society. With the wider availability of information and developing communication technology, the perception and role of teachers are rapidly changing. There are various challenges as well as rewards that are inherent to the job. In order to grow and improve as a teacher and a person, it is essential to reflect on my personal feelings and education practices that define them as a unique instructor.

Being a teacher is a lot of responsibility and accountability. Those with any experience of education realize that the job requires not only the mastery of the subject being taught but also an understanding of human psychology, necessity to maintain self-control, and upkeeping utmost organization. To be honest, it is overwhelming and exhausting at times. However, the job brings incredible satisfaction and tremendous pride in the profession. There is the excitement of planning and executing projects with your class or taking advantage of a new teaching method that a more experienced educator has shared. The most rewarding moment is seeing a student’s eyes light up after comprehending a complicated topic that they have struggled with and finally understanding how a concept works.

I have had a variety of teaching experiences, ranging from working as a tutor to coaching tennis. In each position, there were nuances and learning curves in the teaching process and approach to students. However, once I became accustomed to the job, it became a passion. The famous maxim attributed to Confucius, “choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life” applies to my experience with teaching. The profession fits with my identity of helping people and giving back to the community. Good teaching is more than a simple transfer of information and skill. It is based on empowerment and support for students, as a teacher can provide the opportunity and confidence to apply their knowledge. I believe that teaching fits perfectly with my caring and supportive character that seeks to empower others to achieve their objectives.

Through this course, I have been able to learn about a wide variety of practices for teaching English as a foreign language. Linguistics can be quite difficult, and it requires an approach that would maintain student interest and encourage participation. Some of the sessions in the course that focused on needs analysis and exploiting dialogue are techniques that can be tactically applied in a learning environment. They increase participation and student awareness of the practicality for their knowledge of English. The use of “do-it-yourself” grammar lessons that encourage independent thinking and utilization of learned knowledge is an effective method to support the difficult acquisition of English grammar. Furthermore, I would like to practice certain techniques such as gamification or the “teach-back” approach that would provide some diversification to traditional instruction methods and would be used to reinforce specific concepts.

I believe that there are no wrong teaching methods. In a real-life classroom situation, one can never know what particular approach can be helpful for individual students to understand a concept. However, there are some aspects that I believe would be inappropriate in teaching English as a foreign language. For example, relying on self-learning as the foundation for language learning (as it is commonly done in many college courses) is ineffective since it would discourage the systematic approach necessary in linguistics. Furthermore, I believe that placing students in situations where they would feel forced or uncomfortable to perform dialogues should be done with caution to prevent discouragement. Language acquisition is a long-term process which should occur naturally and supported by the classroom teaching methodology.

Overall, teaching is my passion, and I look forward to being able to practice it on a daily basis. Participation in the Peace Corps teaching program will also provide me with an opportunity to make a difference in the world and empower individuals with knowledge of critical language skills. Despite the possible challenges that come with the position, I remain optimistic as it will help to contribute to my personal growth as well.

  • Chicago (A-D)
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IvyPanda. (2021, June 26). Teaching English as a Foreign Language: Experiences.

"Teaching English as a Foreign Language: Experiences." IvyPanda , 26 June 2021,

IvyPanda . (2021) 'Teaching English as a Foreign Language: Experiences'. 26 June.

IvyPanda . 2021. "Teaching English as a Foreign Language: Experiences." June 26, 2021.

1. IvyPanda . "Teaching English as a Foreign Language: Experiences." June 26, 2021.


IvyPanda . "Teaching English as a Foreign Language: Experiences." June 26, 2021.

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English Teacher: Salary, Job Description, and Educational Requirements

Teaching English is a good career choice for people with strong language and communications skills. People with a broad knowledge of literature, a passion for reading, a knack for essay writing, and a devotion to education are well-suited for careers as English teachers.

English teachers are vital to the advancement of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) because they help expand interest in these subjects across the nation’s schools. Furthermore, the development of proper verbal and written communication skills are crucial to STEM learning.

Because English grammar, sentence structure and expository writing are rule-oriented, people who are methodical and patient are often well-suited to teach English.

Our guide offers insights into the required education, salary and job outlook of English teachers. Browse through the content or use these links to jump to your desired destination:

At-a-glance > Who makes good English teachers?

Teaching at the various levels > Middle school English teachers > High school English teachers > Postsecondary/college English teachers

Professional development > Continuing education > Professional associations

Related careers > Jobs beyond teaching

Best of the Web > Sites and Twitter handles to follow

At-a-glance: English teachers

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics (Note:  Middle and high school data listed is for teachers overall, and not English specific)

English teachers work in subject-specific classrooms in middle and high schools, junior colleges and universities. Depending on grade level, they may specialize in a specific area like English composition. Or, they may teach a variety of subjects, including English, American and world literature; reading; creative writing; poetry and prose.

Some English teachers also teach journalism and yearbook courses, drama, public speaking, debate, and a variety of specialized writing classes that focus on magazine, fiction, early romantic, neoclassical or biographical writing. Regardless of their area of expertise, all English teachers are expected to have a firm grasp of vocabulary, grammar, sentence structure and written communication rules.

“I absolutely love my profession! The very definition of what it means to be a literate person in our society is rapidly changing because of technology. I enjoy working to support students’ communication skills in the classroom, on paper, and online. I want to make reading and writing relevant to my students’ lives; this requires that I think bigger than simple pen and paper assignments. “My students write passion blogs, go on Instagram sensory walks, engage in both synchronous and asynchronous discussions about literature, annotate digitally online, and create multimedia digital portfolios to share with the world! I feel fortunate to teach at a time when there is so much information right at our fingertips and so many new approaches to teaching.” – Catlin Tucker, High School English Teacher, Windsor, California

English teacher job description

English teachers should be well-grounded in classroom management and school procedures. In addition to teaching creative subjects like poetry and fiction writing, they should be prepared to teach grammar rules, spelling and diction, word pronunciation, sentence structure, punctuation, reading and essay writing.

Full-time teachers typically work eight- to nine-hour shifts from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Most public and some private school teachers have summers off, along with various holidays and winter breaks that generally run two to three weeks.

English teachers also:

  • Prepare coursework and assignments for classes
  • Grade tests, essays and reports, and other writing assignments
  • Meet with colleagues to coordinate lesson plans and work with specific subjects of expertise
  • Hold one-on-one conferences with students to keep them on track as necessary
  • Meet with parents or guardians to discuss students’ academic progress, remedial issues and behavior problems when necessary

Who makes good English teachers?

English teachers should have outstanding vocabularies, with a firm grasp of word pronunciation and spelling and the ability to effortlessly break words down phonetically. They are expected to have a strong command of grammar and sentence structure rules, with a systematic and consistent approach to enforcing them. Grammar guidelines often require a repetitious approach, with a teaching style that balances classroom participation against the needs of individual students if they fall behind.

People who teach English should be:

  • Comfortable speaking in front of large groups
  • Able to explain complex subjects in simple terms
  • Grounded in a firm understanding of the elements of style
  • Prepared to teach a variety of genres, including expository, persuasive and argumentative writing
  • Knowledgeable about punctuation — from the proper use of semicolons to word hyphenation
  • Able to teach critical thinking skills while advancing students’ verbal and written communication abilities
“When I resigned as Director of the Heritage Project, I faced a choice: whether to go back into school administration or back into the classroom. The only job I ended up applying for is the teaching job I have now. I love spending my time thinking about the things that really matter by re-reading great literature daily, and it’s impossible not to love young people. Trying to show them the best ways into life — what else is there?” – Michael Umphrey, English Teacher, Flathead Indian Reservation, Montana

Interested in becoming an English teacher?

A career as an English teacher offers an excellent opportunity to work in a creative field while transferring knowledge to young people and expanding their expertise in subjects that are dear to them.

Take a peek into the classroom of Teacher of the Year Karen Stanton:

Teaching English at the various levels

The road to becoming an English teacher depends on which environment an aspiring teacher decides to pursue: middle school, high school or postsecondary school (college). The higher the grade level, the more concentrated the specialization in English studies and curriculum.

Numerous factors determine what grade level to teach. These include:

  • Teacher’s educational level (postsecondary institutions typically require an advanced degree, and many high school English teachers have master’s degrees)
  • Range and breadth of English language arts subjects; the higher the grade level, the more advanced the curriculum
  • Desire to teach advanced courses that are narrowly focused on literature and writing genres, beginning in grades 10 to 12 and continuing through college
  • Age and maturity levels of students — from K-12 to college
  • Local salary considerations and availability of employment opportunities

Middle school English teachers

Middle school English teachers instruct students on how to use the English language correctly through reading, writing and analyzing of literature and informative text. These professionals also help students develop composition and critical analysis skills.

  • What do middle school English teachers do?
  • Educational and certification requirements
  • Salary and employment projections

Pros and cons of being a middle school English teacher

A middle school teacher’s job is to prepare students for high school English courses.

Middle school English teacher job description

Middle school English teachers generally teach grades six to eight. In some junior high schools, however, they may teach seventh and eighth grades. Some private and parochial, or faith-based, middle schools include ninth grade as part of middle school.

Private and public middle school teachers are expected to work full-time schedules Monday through Friday. In addition to teaching, English teachers spend much of their time on lesson planning, grading papers and tests, and working with individual students as necessary to keep all students learning at grade level.

Typical duties:

  • Organize and manage classrooms and work with administrators to implement school policies and procedures
  • Assign classroom lessons and homework; grade assignments, essays and term papers with clarity and attention to detail
  • Administer and grade tests while staying current with state and local middle school standards for English reading, writing and speaking standards
  • Develop scaffolding (curriculum expectation) tables, working within the parameters of state and local requirements, and provide diagnostic feedback
  • Conduct open classroom sessions for parents and guardians, and schedule parent-teacher conferences as needed

Middle school English curriculum

Middle school English teachers are focused primarily on reading, writing and speech development. They simultaneously work with classes and individual students to promote correct grammar, punctuation and spelling. Although grammar and simple sentence structure should be covered in elementary school, middle school English teachers should be prepared to provide remedial lessons as necessary to ensure grade-level performance.

Reading is an extremely important subject for middle school students and English teachers. Middle school students transition from casually reading children’s books in elementary school to comprehending meaning, style and point of view for a variety of genres, including fiction and nonfiction texts.

Writing exercises, reports, essays and tests for middle school students advance from simple sentence structure and independent clauses to the use of parallel sentences and dependent clauses. Middle school teachers are responsible for introducing students to more complex words, the use of connotations and synonyms, logical paragraph transitions, writing organization and story structure, literary style, and the introduction of satire and irony through classic and contemporary literature.

Here is a closer look at current English curriculum goals — what middle school students are expected to know and be able to do upon graduation and advancement to high school:

  • Reading: ideas and details – Focus on analysis of texts, themes and central ideas, plot structure and character development
  • Reading: craft and structure – Know word meanings and the context of phrases, figurative and connotative meanings, word choice selection and tone
  • Reading: craft and structure – Understand how authors use writing elements and literary techniques to convey point of view; analyze sentences and chapters, scenes or stanzas
  • Reading: compare and contrast – Use a variety of resources, including books, short stories, speeches, video and other media, to analyze various literary genres or themes and determine what type is appropriate for a given topic
  • Writing: production – Develop clear and coherent writing through lessons and assignments focused on organization and style choices that are appropriate for a given audience
  • Writing: technology – Use the Internet and other electronic resources to publish or post writing through blogs and social media; and develop techniques for efficient use of keyboards
  • Writing: information – Use resources, including print and digital, to plan and gather information; understand the credibility of sources; learn when to quote people directly and when to paraphrase
  • Speaking: collaboration – Begin public speaking by preparing, writing and delivering speeches; lead discussions with peers through groups, one-on-one sessions and through teacher-led exercises
  • Speaking: comprehension – Select grade-appropriate topics, introduce abstract concepts and concrete topics and build on the ideas of others; respond to ideas from groups, asking questions and answering participants, and acknowledging positive contributions
  • Speaking: analysis – Analyze information and feedback received from peers and the teacher; interpret their comments, criticisms and contributions objectively; acknowledge relevance and develop tactful arguments to refute contrary claims when appropriate

How to become a middle school English teacher: educational requirements

English teachers at all levels are expected to have at least a bachelor’s degree in English, journalism, mass communications or a specialized discipline such as creative writing or literature. English teachers often specialize in subjects such as grammar and various literary genres, like British or American literature, public speaking and debate, or writing.

  • Less than high school diploma: 0.2%
  • High school diploma or equivalent: 0.3%
  • Some college, no degree: 2.9%
  • Associate degree: 1.9%
  • Bachelor’s degree: 44.3%
  • Master’s degree: 46.5%
  • Doctoral or professional degree: 3.9%

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics (Note: Data listed is for middle school teachers overall, and not English specific)

Certification requirements for middle school English teachers

A state-issued teaching certificate or license is generally required to become a middle school teacher. However, some private schools do not require a teaching credential as a job condition. Certification and licensing requirements for middle school teachers vary from state to state. Teachers usually must take professional development courses as a condition of certification.

Teaching License Reciprocity by State : Visit our state-by-state teacher licensing and reciprocity page for regulations in your state.

Alternative certification is becoming increasingly popular, with an estimated 20 percent of teachers entering the profession through nontraditional means. Because of fluctuating teacher shortages, states are offering alternative ways for people who already have bachelor’s degrees to get certified.

People with mass communications, journalism, marketing and public relations degrees who are well-grounded in English grammar and expository writing might consider teaching as an alternate career choice. These professionals, perhaps enticed by a standard workweek and two-month summer vacations, need to become certified before entering the education field. After graduating from teaching certification programs, these new English teachers are mentored by an experienced teacher until they earn full certification.

Middle school English teacher salary and employment projections

The salary for all middle school teachers across the United States ranges from about $36,000 to $56,000.

  • Bureau of Labor Statistics: $53,940
  • $47,979
  • $42,381
  • Simply Hired: $36,000

The employment outlook for middle school teachers appears stable in certain regions, and the overall demand for teachers is stronger than many other professions. In some expanding U.S. regions, such as the Southeast, Southwest and West, job growth for middle school teachers is relatively strong. Overall, the BLS estimates a 12 percent growth rate for middle school teachers through 2022.

  • Teaching young students with intermediate-level grammar and writing skills and improving their English language abilities
  • Advancing reading, writing and oral communications skills for students at a crucial age as they prepare for a high school curriculum
  • Working in a profession that reflects the teacher’s passions for literature, writing and other subjects like drama, debate and journalism
  • Working in classrooms with students who possess a wide range of learning abilities that can result in behavior issues
  • Dealing with administrative processes and classroom procedures that are sometimes bureaucratic and frustrating
  • Teaching adolescents at a difficult age level in a subject that requires concentration while dealing with some disruptive students

High school English teachers

High school English instructors may teach many different classes. These may include basic English grammar and reading classes as well as specific concentration areas like American literature, creative writing and advanced placement courses.

  • What do high school English teachers do?

Pros and cons of being a high school English teacher

High school english teacher job description.

High school English teachers generally teach grades nine to 12, though some high schools start at 10th grade. In certain parochial, or faith-based, preparatory schools students are expected to be more advanced; therefore, teachers should be prepared to teach college prep courses.

Private and public high school teachers are expected to work full-time schedules Monday through Friday. In addition to teaching, English teachers spend much of their time on lesson planning, grading papers and tests, and working with individual students as necessary to keep all students at grade level.

High school English teachers are often called upon to teach yearbook and journalism classes, where they assist students as editors, reporters and staff writers in producing the school’s daily or weekly newspaper online as well as in print.

A high school English teacher’s job is to prepare students for college and career.

  • Implement school policies and procedures, as determined by school administrators
  • Plan lessons, lectures, reading and writing assignments appropriate to high school English state and local academic standards
  • Prepare students for grade advancement through subject-specific assessments that test their knowledge and ability
  • Develop English language arts curriculum, working within the parameters of state and local requirements, and provide diagnostic feedback
  • Meet with students individually when necessary to assess progress, improve learning performance levels and achieve overall education success

High school English curriculum

High school English teachers are responsible for covering more specific and in-depth subjects than their middle school colleagues. In ninth grade, English teachers continue to focus on grammar rules, sentence structure and expository writing techniques. They also introduce students to sophisticated reading materials and more expansive writing assignments, like research papers.

As students progress through 10th, 11th and 12th grades, they are usually given choices in elective English courses. These can range from studying literature and plays, to analyzing satire and poetry, to public speaking and creative writing. This gives high school English instructors a wide latitude of courses to teach, but it also requires a higher level of curriculum expertise that often requires a master’s degree.

Here is a closer look at current English curriculum goals — what high school students are expected to know and be able to do upon graduation and advancement to college or career:

  • Reading: ideas and details – Focus on evidence of what texts state explicitly; provide objective summary of texts; analyze how complex characters interact with other characters in texts and how authors advance plots and develop themes
  • Reading: craft and structure – Determine word meaning and how phrases are used to derive figurative and connotative meanings
  • Reading: craft and structure – Analyze tone and how authors develop a sense of time and place, as well as point of view and cultural experience for literature within settings outside the United States
  • Reading: text complexity – Read and comprehend literature, including stories, dramas and poems for high school complexity and proficiency
  • Reading: text complexity – Demonstrate knowledge of early American and 20th-century American literature through reading and interpretative writing
  • Writing: types and purposes – Write analytical arguments with alternative and opposing views through counterarguments and claims (pros and cons) while offering supporting evidence
  • Writing: ideas and complexity – Use words, phrases and clauses to establish text cohesion and establish relationships between claims
  • Writing: ideas and complexity – Establish formal style, objective tone and distinct voice; organize complex ideas, concepts and information accurately and clearly
  • Writing: supporting claims – Use relevant and sufficient facts to support claims, with extended definitions and quotations
  • Writing: supporting claims – Use organizational structure with outlines, transitions and appropriate relationships among complex ideas and concepts
  • Research: build and present knowledge – Conduct short and sustained research to answer questions and solve problems through narrow and broad inquiries, using multiple sources and media, including Internet search tools
  • Speaking and listening: collaboration – Prepare for discussions through well-read and researched support materials, refer to research as evidence to support talking points and stimulate discussion and the exchange of ideas
  • Speaking and listening: knowledge and ideas – Work with peers and teacher to establish rules for collegial discussions, decision-making, informal consensus, surveys and voting to present alternate rules and set goals for outcomes
  • Speaking and listening: engage audience – Initiate discussions and propel conversations about topics to stimulate audience and reach conclusions through reasoning, use of evidence and rhetoric, and identification of distorted views

How to become a high school English teacher: educational requirements

English teachers at all levels are expected to have at least a bachelor’s degree in English, journalism, mass communications or a specialized discipline such as creative writing or literature. Many high school English teachers also hold master’s degrees. English teachers often specialize in grammar and various literary genres, like British or American literature, public speaking and debate, drama, short stories or essay writing.

  • High school diploma or equivalent: 0.2%
  • Some college, no degree: 2.3%
  • Associate degree: 1.5%
  • Bachelor’s degree: 43.4%
  • Master’s degree: 48.3%
  • Doctoral or professional degree: 4%

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics (Note: Data listed is for high school teachers overall, and not English specific)

Certification requirements for high school English teachers

A state-issued teaching certificate or license is generally required to become a high school teacher. However, some private schools do not indicate a teaching credential as a job prerequisite. Specific certification and licensing requirements for high school teachers vary among the states. Teachers are usually required to take professional development courses as a condition of certification.

People with communications, journalism, marketing and public relations degrees who are well-grounded in English grammar and expository writing might consider teaching as an alternate career choice. These professionals, perhaps enticed by a standard workweek and two-month summer vacations, need to become certified before entering the education field. After graduating from teaching certification programs, new teachers are mentored by an experienced teacher until they earn full certification.

High school English teacher salary and employment projections

The salary for all high school teachers across the United States ranges from about $38,000 to $56,000 based on estimates.

  • $56,142
  • Bureau of Labor Statistics: $55,050
  • $45,049
  • Simply Hired: $38,000

The employment outlook for high school teachers appears stable in certain regions, and the overall demand for teachers is stronger than many other professions. In some expanding U.S. regions, such as the Southeast, Southwest and West, job growth for high school teachers is relatively strong. Overall, the BLS estimates a 6 percent growth rate for high school teachers through 2022.

  • Working with teenage students who are focused on college and career preparation can be less challenging than working in middle schools.
  • Teaching young people critical thinking and language development skills is rewarding for people who want to help students prepare for college and career.
  • Working among colleagues with similar interests and career goals, and focused on shared curriculum and classroom management techniques, is stimulating.
  • High school English teachers often work with students who have a wide range of learning levels that make it challenging to accomplish class-oriented goals.
  • Salaries for high school teachers, particularly those with advanced degrees, is relatively low compared to counterparts in other professions.
  • Subject specialization can be less interesting for high school English teachers compared to general education teachers in elementary schools.

Get a glimpse of Sean McComb, 2014 National Teacher of the Year:

Postsecondary/college English teachers

Postsecondary English teachers have opportunities to teach specific, narrowly focused curriculum. Sixteenth-century English literature, writing about specific cultures like African-American or Asian studies, Latin poetry or U.S. speechwriting are just a few of the many subjects available to college students.

  • What do postsecondary-level English teachers do?
  • Educational requirements
  • Pros and cons of being a postsecondary English teacher

This gives postsecondary English teachers opportunities to advance their own knowledge of subjects they care deeply about while researching and writing books, publishing reports, magazine and online articles, and peer review papers.

Postsecondary English teachers teach in lecture halls, medium-size classrooms and even online. They specialize in literature and writing and often focus on teaching tomorrow’s English teachers, who earn credentials to teach K-6, intermediate-level or high school students. College English teachers frequently serve as role models for English majors who also aspire to become teachers.

Postsecondary English teacher job description

Postsecondary English teachers cover the range of professional schools, junior colleges, state and private colleges, and universities. However, their audience comprises adults of all ages who are interested in English grammar, literature and writing.

Postsecondary teachers have more flexibility over the format of their instructional methods than their K-12 counterparts. They also have greater control over their schedules, with many postsecondary instructors teaching part time, as well as full time. They have fewer classroom management and procedural responsibilities than grade-school teachers but are expected to devote significant time to preparing lectures and instructions for assignments, in addition to evaluating and providing individual guidance to students when necessary.

  • Creating a syllabus and preparing coursework focused on grammar, punctuation and spelling, reading and writing
  • Preparing and giving lectures, leading discussions and giving multimedia presentations that enhance student understanding of vocabulary, reading and writing concepts
  • Grading term papers, tests and other assignments, particularly writing, which can range from poetry to short stories to fiction and nonfiction manuscripts
  • Working with associates and department leaders to coordinate English language arts exercises, instructional best practices and English department teaching goals
  • Serving on academic and administrative committees and working with school provosts, department associates and staff on policy decisions that affect English language arts learners
  • Working within budgets and helping to support English department objectives and school policies, with the overriding goal of promoting student learning
  • Attending professional advancement seminars, symposiums and other events to expand knowledge of English language arts and contemporary teaching methods

And, specific to university professors:

  • Conduct research to advance knowledge in their English subject specialization
  • Publish books and articles, original research and analysis in academic journals
  • Supervise graduate students who are working toward doctoral degrees

What about teaching English online?

English teachers who work online can be employed by community colleges, universities, vocational schools, or private education companies that cater to non-native English speakers.

Today’s computer technology advancements and a dramatic demand for online college courses provide postsecondary teachers with more career options.

English teachers have a multitude of media at their disposal, including real-time audio, face-to-face videoconferencing and presentation tools that facilitate the instruction of grammar and writing subjects in ways that were impossible or cost-prohibitive until the 21st century.

Many online instructors work in adjunct teaching roles. This means they work on a contract basis and are compensated per course. Some online adjuncts teach several courses for multiple schools and work enough hours to be considered full time.

How to become a postsecondary English teacher: educational requirements

Educational requirements vary with the type of postsecondary institution. Teachers who work at four-year colleges and universities are most often required to have a doctoral degree in their discipline. However, some schools may hire instructors with master’s degrees or those who are doctoral candidates for part-time positions.

Instructors with master’s degrees comprise the majority of full-time teaching positions at two-year colleges. Candidates holding dual master’s degrees have an advantage because they can teach more than one subject. Many two-year institutions prefer applicants who have experience with distance learning or teaching.

Doctoral programs generally take six to eight years to complete, including time spent earning a master’s degree and writing a doctoral dissertation. It is fairly common for students to conduct postdoctoral research for two additional years before they seek a faculty position.

  • Less than high school diploma : 0.2%
  • High school diploma or equivalent : 0.1%
  • Some college, no degree : 2.6%
  • Associate degree : 2.3%
  • Bachelor’s degree : 16.0%
  • Master’s degree : 35.6%
  • Doctoral or professional degree : 43.3%

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics (Note: Data listed is for postsecondary teachers overall, and not English specific)

Postsecondary/college English teacher salary and employment projections

Postsecondary English language and literature teachers earned a median salary of $60,920, according to BLS data for 2013, a slight increase from 2012. The statistics cover English teachers working at colleges, universities and professional schools at the local and state levels, and for private institutions. On average, university and four-year college teachers earn higher salaries than their counterparts at junior colleges.

  • $53,223 to $190,165, with a median of $83,252
  • $56,837 to $121,825
  • $53,968 to $82,840 for tenure-track or tenured

Employment of all postsecondary English teachers is projected to grow about 12 percent through 2022, slower than in the past. Most openings are expected to be for part-time faculty.

  • Junior colleges (private and public) : 3.9%. Annual mean wage of $67,670
  • Colleges and universities (private and public) : 1.5%. Annual mean wage of $69,330
  • Technical and trade schools (private) : 0.24%. Annual mean wage of $49,650
  • Educational support services (public state): 0.32%. Annual mean wage of $57,090

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 

A note on tenure : For postsecondary teachers, a significant goal in the traditional academic career is attaining tenure — a guarantee that a professor cannot be fired without just cause. The tenure process can take up to seven years of moving up the ranks in tenure-track positions. The ranks are assistant professor, associate professor, and professor. Tenure is granted through a review of the candidate’s research, contribution to the institution, and teaching abilities. However, institutions are relying more heavily on limited-term and part-time faculty contracts.

Pros and cons of being a college English teacher

  • Becoming an expert in a specialized area of literature like Shakespearean playwriting or the study of Greek tragedies
  • Working with young adults who share a passion for English language arts, either as a future career choice or as a gateway to other professions
  • Finding opportunities to publish, including literary fiction, autobiographical and nonfiction writing, and work toward tenure
  • Cultivating collaborative relationships with other professionals by attending conferences, symposiums, and visiting instructor exchange programs devoted to English language arts best practices
  • Teaching college students is demanding and requires long hours devoted to course preparation, reading and grading essays and short stories
  • The sometimes bureaucratic policies on campuses of higher learning can be frustrating for English teachers, who may feel inhibited by structured environments that limit the creative process
  • Competition to achieve tenure and get published is intense at most postsecondary schools, and the competitive nature of literary publishing requires persistence and fortitude
  • Salaries for college professors are relatively low compared to some college graduates with English degrees who can earn higher wages in the private and government sectors

Professional development for English teachers

English teachers seeking professional development can greatly benefit from learning to leverage computers. For example, word processing and graphics software programs enhance multimedia demonstrations and classroom presentations, which in turn facilitate learning by captivating audiences.

Professional associations for English instructors offer webinars, correspondence courses, one-day seminars, symposiums and other continuing education platforms to help teachers advance their knowledge of English literature and writing subjects, improve teaching skills and broaden their scope of educational best practices. These are terrific opportunities to enhance one’s understanding of English language arts concepts while meeting like-minded professionals and improving a resume, LinkedIn page or other professional social media profile.

For teachers interested in pursuing advanced degrees, English is ideally suited as a supplement to journalism, archaeology, marketing, public relations, web publishing and various research-oriented professions, like librarians and website archivists.

English teachers contemplating graduate studies should consider a program specific to their area of teaching. Primary incentives include expanding knowledge of particular subjects — like composition, play writing, speech therapy, English as a second language (ESL) — while remaining competitive in the job market.

Benefits of continuing education for English teachers

BLS statistics reflect that professionals with a master’s degree have a greater chance for promotions and an increase in salaries. This is particularly true for teachers. The difference in salary between a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree for a novice teacher is $3,000 annually. After 10 years of experience, salaries increase to an average of $4,500, according to BLS data.

Continuing education is a great way to keep a career on track, expand knowledge, remain competitive, and increase one’s real value in the jobs market.

Salary Increase for Teachers from Advanced Education

What kinds of graduate programs can help English teachers?

Studies reveal strong, positive correlations between a teacher’s subject-specific expertise and student achievement. These findings suggest that not all degrees are created equal, and that English teachers seeking graduate studies should look for programs that help elevate their English subject expertise.

For English teachers who are considering a master’s degree, three primary considerations are grade level, curriculum and educational leadership.

For example:

  • English teachers may want to expand their early childhood development knowledge with a master’s degree that focuses on this area.
  • Literacy development is a popular and important subject for students at all levels, from preschool to K-12, to adult education for ESL learners.
  • Special education is a growing area of concern at all levels of education, with new programs developed to address the needs of students with physical, cognitive and learning disabilities.
  • Educational leadership roles exist for school principals, district supervisors and various administrative positions in private companies, public agencies and educational institutions.

When researching programs, look for ones designed to:

  • Study essential linguistics: learn and understand how to teach basic language structures and processes.
  • Teach essential linguistics: make decisions on important language areas such as phonics, spelling, and grammar.
  • Study language acquisition: focus on transformational teaching techniques and learning strategies for all learners.
  • Teach language acquisition: take a procedural approach to teaching with a developmental and constructivist framework.

Professional associations for English teachers

United States

  • National Council of Teachers of English
  • International Literacy Association
  • National Writing Project
  • Modern Language Association


  • TESOL International Association
  • National Association for the Teaching of English
  • Australian Association for the Teaching of English

Jobs available to English teachers beyond teaching

Numerous jobs are available for English teachers among employers seeking strong writers who have good verbal communication and research skills. These positions require tactfulness and diplomacy, with the ability to work on cross-functional teams and offer productive feedback to colleagues and executives at various levels. Strong writing, proofreading and editing skills are also highly valued by employers.

  • Editor for a magazine or trade journal
  • Website editor, content producer or developer
  • Account executive for a public relations firm, marketing department or advertising agency
  • Technical writer for science, pharmaceutical, technology or engineering company
  • Teaching abroad to English language learners
  • Academic researcher or writer for a private or public college or university

Best of the Web: our favorite English teacher websites and Twitter handles

The web is ideal for English teachers as a tool for research, lesson planning and presentations. Here are some useful websites and Twitter resources:

Favorite English teacher websites

  • Catlin Tucker
  • EL Teacher Trainer
  • Two Writing Teachers
  • Jeremy Harmer
  • Hunting English
  • Views from the Whiteboard
  • Oxford University Press

Favorite English teacher Twitter handles

  • Jamie Reaburn Weir: @msjweir
  • English Teacher: @hecate41
  • Carla Beard: @webenglishteach
  • Angela Stockman: @AngelaStockman
  • Darci Benesh McGrath: @DBMcGrath
  • Kevin Hodgson: @dogtrax
  • Michael L. Umphrey: @umphrey

Ready to Research Degree Programs?

  • Research Master Degree Programs
  • Research EdD Degree Programs
  • Research Bachelor Degree Programs
  • Research Associate Degree Programs
  • Research PhD Degree Programs
  • Research Education Specialist Degree Programs
  • Research ALL Degree and Certificate Programs

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IELTS essay Becoming an English teacher has been my dream since I was ten

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Home — Essay Samples — Life — Dream Job — What Inspired You to Become a Teacher


What Inspired You to Become a Teacher

  • Categories: Dream Job Teacher

About this sample


Words: 726 |

Updated: 12 December, 2023

Words: 726 | Pages: 2 | 4 min read

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Works Cited

  • Darling-Hammond, L. (2017). Empowered Educators: How High-Performing Systems Shape Teaching Quality Around the World. Jossey-Bass.
  • DuFour, R., DuFour, R., Eaker, R., & Many, T. (2016). Learning by Doing: A Handbook for Professional Learning Communities at Work. Solution Tree.
  • Erickson, L. (2019). Teaching the Tough Stuff: A Guide to Helping Students Through Experiences That Hurt. ASCD.
  • Hattie, J. (2012). Visible Learning for Teachers: Maximizing Impact on Learning. Routledge.
  • Marzano, R. J., Pickering, D. J., & Heflebower, T. (2013). The Highly Engaged Classroom. Marzano Research.
  • Pianta, R. C., Hamre, B. K., & Allen, J. P. (2012). Teacher-Student Relationships and Engagement: Conceptualizing, Measuring, and Improving the Capacity of Classroom Interactions. Routledge.
  • Ryan, R. M., & Deci, E. L. (2017). Self-Determination Theory: Basic Psychological Needs in Motivation, Development, and Wellness. Guilford Press.
  • Stronge, J. H. (2018). Qualities of Effective Teachers. ASCD.
  • Tomlinson, C. A. (2017). How to Differentiate Instruction in Academically Diverse Classrooms. ASCD.
  • Wong, H. K., & Wong, R. T. (2018). The First Days of School: How to Be an Effective Teacher. Harry K. Wong Publications.

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  • Teacher Essay for Students in English


Importance of Teachers in Our Lives

Teachers are those who make children knowledgeable and cultured. A teacher is a beautiful gift given by god because god is a creator of the whole world and a teacher is a creator of a whole nation. A teacher is such an important creature in the life of a student, who through his knowledge, patience and love give a strong shape to a student’s whole life. 

A teacher shares academic knowledge, ethical values and assimilates moral values that help us shape our personality as better human beings. They represent an open book and try to share their life experience for a better tomorrow. A teacher has many qualities, they are efficient in their student’s life and success in every aspect. A teacher is very intelligent. They know how the mind of students gets concentrated in studies.

 During teaching, a teacher uses creativity so that students can concentrate on their studies. They are a repository of knowledge and have the patience and confidence to take responsibility for the future of the student. They only want to see their students successful and happy. Teachers are very prestigious people in the society, who through their magic of education, take the responsibilities of raising the lifestyle and mind level of the common people. 

Parents expect a lot from teachers. Teachers are the second parents who help the students balance their lives and spend the maximum childhood time. Just as our parents influence our childhood years, our teachers help shape us into the people we want to become when we grow up, having a huge impact on our lives. Students have complete faith in their teachers. In younger years, Students used to listen to their teachers more than anyone else as they used to spend more time with them than anyone else. 

The role of the teacher varies from class to game. A teacher is an important creature in everyone’s life who appears to do different things in our life. They are the creator of a wonderful future for our nation. 

Importance of a Teacher

A teacher has an important place not only in student life but also in every phase of life. They have all qualities which they distribute in their students. They know that not everyone has the same ability to receive, so a teacher observes all the abilities of each of their students and in the same way, they teach children. A teacher is a great listener of knowledge, prosperity, and light, from which we can benefit greatly throughout our life. Every teacher helps their students in choosing their path. Teachers teach their students how to respect elders. They tell their students the difference between respect and insult and many more. A teacher equips his/her student with the knowledge, skills, and positive behavior honored which the student never feels lost. The teacher makes them aware of how to use time and the restriction of time. A good teacher makes a good impression on his students. When any student makes a mistake, the teacher teaches them a lesson and also makes them realize their mistake. They teach us to wear clean clothes, eat healthy food, stay away from the wrong food, take care of parents, treat others well, and help us in understanding the importance of completing work. 

A teacher has many qualities which hold a special place in every student’s life. Teachers embrace various roles they are our friends when we get sad, our parents when we are hurt, and always good advisers. Teachers reward their students for their good work while sometimes punishing them for realizing the mistake to understand that this is not right for their lives.

Children’s future and present both are made by the teacher. He also enhances a good society by creating a good student throughout his life. Only a teacher knows what kind of association his student lives in and what kind of association he holds.

Teachers are great role models. The teachers influence students’ decidedness. For example, India’s most respectable President, Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, achieved his position as a great aerospace engineer because of his teacher. Mr. Siva Subramania Iyer’s teachings on how birds fly influenced Dr. Kalam’s contribution to society.

Not only in the education field, but there are also numerous examples in sports too, where teachers played a vital role in shaping the career of the athletes. A notable example is batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar, who credits his coach and teacher, Mr. Ramakant Achrekar, for success. Like this, there are numerous examples in various fields of dance, music, acting, arts, science where teachers act as a pivotal role in shaping the life of their disciples.

Relation of Student and the Teacher

The relationship between the teacher and the student was very sacred in ancient times as education was so perfect. There are so many stories written in our scriptures that revolve around student and teacher relationships. Out of all those, the supreme sacrifice made by Eklavya is of prime importance and showcases a student’s dedication towards his teacher. 

Alas, This relation is lacking in recent times. Nowadays, it is considered a mere profession. It has become a business or source of income compared to earlier days where it was considered a noble profession. We should be conscious enough not to stain this noble profession and should not create an example that lifts people’s trust in teachers.

In India, we gave great importance to the teacher. According to the Indian concept, the teacher is the spiritual and intellectual father of the teacher. No education is possible without the help of the teacher. He is regarded as the “Guru” – a speculator, a companion, and a guide.

In ancient India, the transmission of knowledge was oral, and the teacher was the sole custodian of knowledge. The relationship between the teacher and the students was amiable and deep in ancient times. 

Hard Work is the Key to be a Teacher

It takes a lot of hard work to be a good teacher. First of all, always respect the elders and also obey them. Concentration should be increased toward society and education. To be a good teacher, one has a sense of unity in the heart, does not discriminate against anyone, everyone should be seen with a glance. They always encourage students, they never criticize their students. Develops a good interpersonal relationship with a student. One should always tell good things to their younger ones and always treat the classmate well, always take inspiration from the teacher.

The teacher has a huge contribution to our life. No one can developmentally, socially, and intellectually in their life without a teacher. Many teachers slap students, many give punishment but in the end, the teacher is never bad. It only depends on the way they teach, which is different for everyone and this creates a different image in the student’s mind. They do whatever just to make our future bright.

Every year, some teachers get honored. Teachers’ day is celebrated every year on 5 September, in memory of Dr. S. Radhakrishnan, India’s second President. India is a home ground of some great teachers like Dr. S. Radhakrishnan, Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, Premchand, Swami Vivekanand, who have given some great lessons of life which are still in trend. On this day a special ceremony takes place in the school, in which students participate enthusiastically. A nation always honors all those teachers who help in eradicating ignorance of darkness. A teacher is an ocean of knowledge, we should keep acquiring knowledge on a subject for as long as possible.


FAQs on Teacher Essay for Students in English

1. Why are Teachers are Important?

Teacher are building block of the nation. Children’s future and present both are made by the teacher. He also enhances a good society by creating a good student throughout his life.

2. What Makes a Good Teacher?

It takes a lot of hard work to be a good teacher. They always have to study and gain knowledge. To be a teacher good one have a sense of unity in the heart, do not discriminate against anyone, everyone should be seen with a glance.

3. What Should Be the Qualities to Be a Good Teacher?

Given are some qualities to be a good teacher

They always encourage students, they never criticize their students.

Develops a good interpersonal relationship with a student.

Imparts moral values and values of life.

Develop self-confidence in students.

4. When is Teacher’s Day celebrated and after whom?

Every year, teachers’ day is celebrated on 5th September, in memory of Dr. S. Radhakrishnan, India’s second President.

5. Give an example reflecting how a teacher shaped the life of their disciple.

One of the prominent examples is of our Ex-President, Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam. Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam achieved his position as a great aerospace engineer because of his teacher, Mr. Siva Subramania Iyer who introduced him to the science behind birds being able to fly.

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Essay on My Teacher

List of essays on my teacher in english, essay on my teacher – essay 1 (300 words), essay on my teacher – essay 2 (400 words), essay on my teacher – essay 3 (500 words), essay on my teacher – essay 4 (750 words), essay on my teacher – essay 5 (1000 words).


Teachers are the ones who play a very vital role in shaping our future. From the Pre-Kinder Garden to your Post-Doctoral fellowships, they teach, impart knowledge, share ethical values, and imbibe morality, thereby shaping our personality as a strong one.

My Teacher:

Throughout our lives, we will be having many kith and kins who will hold a special place in our hearts. For me, one such person is my teacher. All of us, for sure, will definitely agree to the fact that the kinship between us and our kinder garden teachers could not be well-defined. I like my nursery teacher, so much. There is something very magical about her. Maybe, she was the first teacher in my life or maybe, she was very sweet in talking to all of us, I am unable to portray why she is always my favourite. I relied on her blindly.

Unforgettable Memories:

I have some cherished memories with my teacher. Whenever I think of those memories, it makes me blissful. On the last day of my nursery school, I started crying at the very thought of leaving her and having a new teacher. I had fallen sick due to crying for hours together. I skipped my food. My parents were not able to do anything. They called for her to make me feel better. My teacher travelled a few miles across the city and reached the hospital. She, then, said that she would never forget any of her students and asked me to write to her. I started writing to her every week from then on and she replied to every letter of mine. Till date, I look at my teacher as my second mother and she guides me in all my difficult situations.


Having a good teacher who can share an amalgamated relationship with the students is a boon. A good teacher should be a good mentor, a philosopher, a guide, a friend and above all a surrogate parent to the children. I am lucky that I had gotten one in my lifetime.

My favorite subject is English and my most favorite teacher is Chitra Ma’am. She teaches us English. She likes me a lot and appreciates my hard work. She joined our school one year ago. Before that, I was not so good at English. But after attending her classes, we have all become much better at this subject.

I like her for many reasons. First of all, she teaches the lessons in a very interesting way. Even when we have doubts or questions, she never gets upset with us. Her best quality is her loving nature. She would come to school daily without missing a day.

Her dressing sense is nice. She wears simple salwar suits. She always speaks to her students softly and respectfully. I eagerly wait for her class and do my English homework on time. Chitra Ma’am puts a lot of effort in explaining every chapter.

There are many activities given at the end of every lesson and she makes us participate in all of them. Not only that, but she also encourages us to take part in drama and poem competitions. Since her first day, she made a rule for us.

All of us has to speak in English during the English period. Every student tries to talk in English even if the sentence sounds improper. She has taught us to never laugh at each other’s mistakes. This has improved our spoken English in a great way. Now, we are able to talk in English with more confidence.

Another great quality of hers is that she treats every child equally. After explaining the lesson to us, she asks each one of us different questions about the chapter. Sometimes, we also love to talk about our personal lives, like what do we like about our lives, how our parents work hard for us, and things like that.

When we get confused or need an emotional support, she is the best person to talk to. Her advice and suggestions are always positive. Last month, on teacher’s day, all the students wished her and brought presents for her. We also sang a song to her.

I made a beautiful greeting card for her and a red rose with it. She accepted it with a smile and thanked us for everything. I feel grateful to have such a gentle and great teacher in my life who supports me in every way.

In school, you tend to interact with a lot of people who can either impact your life positively or negatively. A teacher is one neutral person who will manage to strike a balance between the positive and the negative. Teachers have a huge responsibility that we students may not understand. All in all our teachers try their best to provide an education, guidance and discipline despite the challenges we might impose on them. The life of a student is entirely dependent on a teacher because most of their time is spent in school rather than with parents that is why teachers play a major role in shaping the lives of young children through school.

Who Is my favourite Teacher?

I have several teachers now that I am in high school but there is only one whom I can relate to as “the teacher” because of the impact he has made in my life. The teacher is male, of Indian origin and has a funny accent when he speaks. He is married and has three children. Actually, one of his children is my age and I know him through tennis practice because he comes to train with us sometimes. I like him because his sense of humor gives a good learning experience for the students. He is a math teacher and he is very good at what he does. Students tend to make fun of him because of his accent but he make fun of it himself, which gets even funnier. This teacher has been a great mentor to me and other student ever since we joined high school. I met him on a personal level one day after class when I needed clarification on a topic I had not quite understood. The teacher was kind to me and guided me through it. Since then, he took his own initiative to do follow-ups on me and I became really good in math due to his efforts.

Coincidentally, he also coaches my tennis team and we meet out on the field. We have won several awards as a tennis team under him. I feel connected to the teacher through his mentorship and he has become like a school parent to me because whenever I have an issue, he is free to help me out.

How the teacher has impacted my life in school .

Mentorship goes along way depending on the approach used. When I first joined high school, I did not have much confidence in myself. This teacher mentored me and made me believe in myself. The good thing is the attention he gives t is students because most of the times, he follows up on the performances and ensures that he does everything he can to help students improve academically. He has also been a role model to me through his way of doing things. He is dedicated to his work and he is an achiever. Through following his footsteps, I have been able to dedicate myself into studies and sports, which has helped me to achieve my goals.

In conclusion, good teachers are hard to find but when you find one, make the most out of them.

The word “teacher” depicts a person that teaches. English dictionary defines teacher as “a person who teaches, especially one employed in a school”. A more recent definition of teacher in the linguistics field is “a tutor that interacts with the learners in order to facilitate good learning”.

Types of Teachers

Old method teachers: the teachers found under this method adopt the rigid mode of impartation of knowledge. They control the class the way a king would rule over his subjects. Old method teachers are less concerned about the welfare of their learners, they are syllabus-oriented.

New method teachers: the tutors under this model are student-oriented. They are more concerned about their learners and their various levels of understanding. They accept and promote contributions in class unlike the old method teachers. New method teachers encourage the inquisitiveness of their students.

Attributes of a Teacher:

A standard teacher has all or most of the various characters imbedded in them:

  • Compassionate
  • Open-minded
  • A good counselor
  • Friendly and most importantly
  • Approachable.

Attributes of My Favorite Teacher:

Personally, I see my teacher as a mini-god because he leaves his mark on me. He influences my life in ways that enables me affect changes wherever I find myself.

He is a perfect example of the new model teachers. Basically, he is student-oriented. In the classroom, he employs the Eclectic mode of teaching (this is the combination of all the modes of teaching “discussion mode, play way mode, role play mode, question mode” so as to facilitate standard learning).

He comes into the classroom; starts the lecture with a recap of what was discussed in the previous class, gives room for the students to ask questions that arose from the last class, answers them and then starts a new topic.

To start a new topic, he starts with a mind-capturing introduction that attracts the attention of all students. Once he is through with introducing the topic, he gauges our reaction in order for him to know if his students are on the same page with him or left behind.

Then, he moves on to the discussion mode of teaching, whereby he throws questions to his students and accommodates both relevant and irrelevant answers, at the end of this model, he sieves through the answers provided, pick the relevant ones and add his own iota to it, he also always applaud the courage of all who answers his questions.

He moves either into the role play method or the play way method, here he selects students to either act out the lessons from the day’s topic or summarizes what he has taught for the day. The use of this particular mode enlightens the students more on the topic being discussed.

Finally, he moves over to the questions and revision mode, where he personally go through all he has taught over the course of the period. During this mode, he entertains questions from students on their personal areas of difficulties. Occasionally, he gives assignments to back up his teachings.

During his teachings, he pays close attention to the expression, mood, sitting posture and carriage of his students. This tells him when his students are lost, sad, worried, hungry, sick, away in dream land or simply tired.

Once he is done processing the information gotten from our faces, he either finds a way of brightening the mood of his students, bringing them back from the dream world, or ending his class without breaking his stride or alerting the whole population of students to what is currently going on.

It is only normal for a human being to reflect his mood whenever he is talking or interacting, but my teacher hardly ever allow his bad, horrible moods interfere with his teachings.

Outside the classroom, my teacher is approachable, fatherly, and jovial. He entertains all and no one is excluded from his open arms, smiles and affections.

He is a good counselor who is always ready to help me out of my tight corners. He gives twenty first century advises in a fatherly way.

Although, due to my teachers lenient ways with students, some students tend to be lazy, disrespectful, stubborn or rude. He has a way of being firm, maintaining class control while teaching.

In conclusion, my teacher has all the attributes and more of a new method teachers. He is capable of combining all modes of teaching, he is compassionate, passionate, and friendly. From my interactions with him, I can confidently say that he is one of the best teachers around.

A teacher plays a very important life in shaping your life as well as career. A good teacher is a blessing for the students in their early years and helps them understand the world; learn moral values along with education. Most importantly, a teacher helps you the art of survival and brings out the best of you.

Why a teacher is so important in a student’s life?

Teachers assume the essential job in our life to end up fruitful invocation and business. A decent teacher encourages us to end up great individual in the general public and great nation of the nation.

Teachers realize that students are the eventual fate of any country. So the future advancement of any country is in the hands of teachers. What we move toward becoming in life is relies upon teachers. Teachers confer the information and data in the mind of understudies to dissect. Investigating in the circumstance what is conceivable is the most essential thing that we gain from teachers. Energy about teachers is imperative since they are the most essential individuals in the nation. What we’re seeing today in business, legislative issues, and society all influenced by teachers. In this way, in India, we commend teacher’s day consistently on 5 September on the event of the birth Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan.

My Teachers, My Role Models

During my formative years, I have come across many teachers who have influenced my life for the better. Having being studies in a convent school, I got to face a much-disciplined environment during my school years. The teachers, although were very polite in their behaviour, at the same time ensuring that we all followed a disciplined life. We were taught how to inculcate these values in our daily life so as to be better human beings when we grow up and face the world. Although all the teachers were good, there is one teacher whose teachings I just cannot forget. She is Ms Kirti Bhushan. Her teachings have been so powerful and impactful that I can still feel them during my day to day decisions even today.

My Best Teacher

Ms Kirti was my class educator as well and took participation in the daily activities with us as well. She was a strict instructor anyway extremely amusing and mind in nature. At the same time, she was extremely restrained and dependable. She did her work perfectly with the class at a perfect time without getting late. I liked her, particularly as she attempted simple approaches to show us beneficial things. We made the most of her class. She taught us English subject as well. She even made us giggle by telling heaps of jokes in the middle of when she taught. She likewise managed us exceptionally well amid any school or between school rivalry of the move, sports, scholastic, and so on. She instructed us to share things in class among our associates, for example, lunch or other required things.

Her Background

She was from Varanasi and completed her initial studies there itself. She took her higher education degrees from the Banaras Hindu University. She was extremely friendly and kind in nature. She realized well about how to deal with little youngsters in the class. Her one of a kind style of educating is perhaps what I mostly recall her for. I even meet her at times at whatever point I have to explain some intense inquiries of my day to day issues, she advises me so easily and comfortably. She looks extremely savvy with shimmer eyes and fair hair.

Her Smiling Attitude

She generally smiled when she entered the classroom and first got some information about our prosperity. She additionally helped us in the games at whatever point our games instructor was missing. She had a smiling face even during the strict environment during the examination times. She constantly rebuffed to the students who were with fragmented home works. She was acclaimed for making loads of fun amid the class time and ensure there was a positive ambience all around.

She was an instructor with great aptitudes of educating, well-disposed nature, great comical inclination, understanding and nice. I am proud to be one of her favourite students, as she always said good things about me to other teachers. At times she gave us chocolates on doing great in the class tests and exams. She never gave us heaps of assignments at home. She was exceptionally eager and constantly spurred us for doing our best in the examination.

Teacher’s In Today’s Scenario

Today the general population are changing and their reasoning and advancement thoughts are more against nature. Presently for the world, a teacher is only a teacher. Various offices and departments only tend to remember them on teachers day during various events and usually do not remember them otherwise. Individuals also share few posts via web-based networking media with respect to teachers and after that just forget them. Individuals overlook a bigger number of things that they are gaining from teachers. Schools and students also praise the teacher’s day event and value the endeavours teachers are doing. This is incredible if individuals ought to pursue the exercises of teachers also.

The genuine present for teachers is when students turn into a decent individual, effective in their vocation and business. Not all teacher are great in instructing and comparatively, not all students resemble “Shishya and Guru” particularly in the advanced period. A few teachers are incredible and they are dependable in heart of students all life along.

Students admire teachers for counsel and direction. Students are inspired by scholastic exercises as well as they are intrigued to pursue their life exercises. That is the reason it’s exceedingly essential for teachers to motivate students to pursue great propensities not terrible by their own precedent. An instruction is critical in everybody’s life and assumes different jobs in various phases of life. It’s imperative that individuals understand the significance of teachers and pursue their teachers in the right spirit.

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Missy Testerman Makes Immigrant Students Feel Welcome. She’s the National Teacher of the Year

being an english teacher essay

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Missy Testerman, a K-8 English-as-a-second-language teacher in Rogersville, Tenn., has been named the 2024 National Teacher of the Year.

Testerman, who taught 1st and 2nd grade at Rogersville City School for three decades before earning her ESL endorsement three years ago, was awarded the national honor Wednesday during an appearance on CBS Mornings. She was chosen for her focus on inclusivity and connection in rural Appalachia, and her commitment to serving her students and their families.

“There are 3.5 million dedicated teachers in this country, so to be chosen as the one who gets to advocate for our teachers and our students over the next year is just a phenomenal honor,” Testerman said in an interview with Education Week after the announcement.

“Teaching is an immensely hard job,” she continued. “There’s so many demands placed on teachers, and the emotional workload is every bit as hard as the physical workload. ... But I want [teachers] to remember there will always be joy in education, and they are the joy-makers. They are the people who make it possible.”

First lady Jill Biden surprised Testerman on CBS Mornings with flowers and an announcement: When Testerman and the state teachers of the year visit the White House this spring for an annual ceremony, they’ll be honored in a state dinner.

It will be the first time educators are the guests of honor at a state dinner—a formal event typically used to recognize visiting foreign heads of state.

“I always say teachers are heroes,” said Biden, a long-time educator who teaches English at a community college in northern Virginia.

Testerman said she was “incredibly touched” by the invitation: “I know that we share the joy that there is to be found in education,” she told Biden.

Becoming a teacher of English-learners

Testerman told Education Week that her career trajectory changed when she found out that her school’s ESL teacher was leaving.

“Instantly, I became worried about who would advocate for these families,” she said. “I was very vested in them. I had been the classroom teacher who had them in my classroom—I considered their families to be my friends.”

She then pursued her ESL endorsement through the Tennessee Department of Education’s Grow Your Own program, which creates a pathway for licensed teachers to add that endorsement for free. The state pays for the coursework, materials, and exam fees. (The Grow Your Own model also provides a pathway for people to become teachers .)

Missy Testerman

Being an ESL specialist is different from being a classroom teacher, Testerman said: “In addition to just teaching content, it is figuring out which community resources families need or what I can do to help them.”

Just last week, Testerman said, she helped the mother of one of her students find tax documents in her native language. She will also schedule doctor’s appointments for her students, or help their parents contend with utility companies and government bureaucracies.

She also hopes to advocate for her students and their families on a larger scale, by calling for policymakers to maintain civility as they discuss immigration. Too often, she said, politicians will speak negatively about immigrants or rely on stereotypes in interviews or on social media.

“It emboldens other people to feel as though it’s appropriate to also say those things, and children are a reflection of what they hear,” she said. “Sometimes, that language makes it back into the school day, and it’s hurtful. It’s hurtful to my students, it’s hurtful to their families, it’s hurtful to me. ... If politicians would tone down the rhetoric and just stick to the issues that are at hand regarding immigration, instead of just putting out blanket statements, it would be very helpful.”

Illustration of hands holding speech bubbles.

CBS Mornings interviewed several of Testerman’s former students, who spoke of her warmth and commitment to their success and well-being.

“She really believed in us,” said Mariam El Kammash.

Testerman has often taught multiple siblings, creating strong bonds with their families. Jasmen Aglan, another former student, said: “Mrs. Testerman helped us feel more welcome when my brother started school. She’s really nice to my family.”

Said Caroline Hicks: “Every time I see her in the hallway, she always makes me smile every time, and I really like that.”

On the CBS Mornings program, Biden said those types of relationships are paramount to the work of a teacher.

“Students are struggling with mental health issues since the pandemic and so are teachers,” she said. “Our students trust us, and they come to us every day with what they’re struggling with, and they expect us to help them and find answers. I think we have such a strong bond with our students. It’s such a great part of the job—that connection.”

An ambassador for teachers and students

Testerman will spend the next year on a sabbatical from the classroom, serving as an ambassador for the teaching profession.

She was selected by a national committee from a pool of 55 teachers of the year representing states, territories, the District of Columbia, and the Department of Defense Education Activity.

The committee includes representatives from 16 education groups and is run by the Council of Chief State School Officers, which facilitates the award.

“With a rallying call to action for her fellow teachers, Missy’s message of advocating for inclusivity and success for all students meets the moment we’re in as a country,” the committee said in a statement. “We believe her knowledge of both the issues and the people involved in education policy and practice will lead to better outcomes for students, and we know Missy’s voice will resonate with every teacher she meets as she serves as the 2024 National Teacher of the Year.”

The three other finalists were : Joe Nappi, a higher school history teacher in Tinton Falls, N.J.; Christy Todd, a middle school music technology teacher in Fayetteville, Ga.; and Catherine Walker, a science and career and technical education teacher in Anchorage, Alaska.

Rebecka Peterson, a high school math teacher in Tulsa, Okla., was last year’s winner .

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What’s it like to be a teacher in america today, public k-12 teachers are stressed about their jobs and few are optimistic about the future of education; many say poverty, absenteeism and mental health are major problems at their school.

A teacher leads an English class at a high school in Richmond, Virginia. (Parker Michels-Boyce/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Pew Research Center conducted this study to better understand the views and experiences of public K-12 school teachers. The analysis in this report is based on an online survey of 2,531 U.S. public K-12 teachers conducted from Oct. 17 to Nov. 14, 2023. The teachers surveyed are members of RAND’s American Teacher Panel, a nationally representative panel of public K-12 school teachers recruited through MDR Education. Survey data is weighted to state and national teacher characteristics to account for differences in sampling and response to ensure they are representative of the target population.

Here are the questions used for this report , along with responses, and the survey methodology .

Low-poverty , medium-poverty and high-poverty schools are based on the percentage of students eligible for free and reduced-price lunch, as reported by the National Center for Education Statistics (less than 40%, 40%-59% and 60% or more, respectively).

Secondary schools include both middle schools and high schools.

All references to party affiliation include those who lean toward that party. Republicans include those who identify as Republicans and those who say they lean toward the Republican Party. Democrats include those who identify as Democrats and those who say they lean toward the Democratic Party.

Public K-12 schools in the United States face a host of challenges these days – from teacher shortages to the lingering effects of COVID-19 learning loss to political battles over curriculum .

A horizontal stacked bar chart showing that teachers are less satisfied with their jobs than U.S. workers overall.

In the midst of all this, teachers express low levels of satisfaction with their jobs. In fact, they’re much less satisfied than U.S. workers overall.

Here’s how public K-12 teachers are feeling about their jobs:

  • 77% say their job is frequently stressful.
  • 68% say it’s overwhelming.
  • 70% say their school is understaffed.
  • 52% say they would not advise a young person starting out today to become a teacher.

When it comes to how their students are doing in school, teachers are relatively downbeat about both academic performance and behavior.

Here’s how public K-12 teachers rate academic performance and behavior at their school:

A horizontal stacked bar chart showing that about half of teachers give students at their school low marks for academic performance and behavior.

  • 48% say the academic performance of most students at their school is fair or poor. A third say it’s good, and only 17% describe it as excellent or very good.
  • 49% say the behavior of most students at their school is fair or poor; 35% say it’s good and 13% say it’s excellent or very good.

The COVID-19 pandemic likely compounded these issues. About eight-in-ten teachers (among those who have been teaching for at least a year) say the lasting impact of the pandemic on students’ behavior, academic performance and emotional well-being has been very or somewhat negative.

Assessments of student performance and behavior differ widely by school poverty level. 1 Teachers in high-poverty schools have a much more negative outlook. But feelings of stress and dissatisfaction among teachers are fairly universal, regardless of where they teach.

Related: What Public K-12 Teachers Want Americans To Know About Teaching

A bar chart showing that most teachers see parents’ involvement as insufficient.

As they navigate these challenges, teachers don’t feel they’re getting the support or reinforcement they need from parents.

Majorities of teachers say parents are doing too little when it comes to holding their children accountable if they misbehave in school, helping them with their schoolwork and ensuring their attendance.

Teachers in high- and medium-poverty schools are more likely than those in low-poverty schools to say parents are doing too little in each of these areas.

These findings are based on a survey of 2,531 U.S. public K-12 teachers conducted Oct. 17-Nov. 14, 2023, using the RAND American Teacher Panel. 2 The survey looks at the following aspects of teachers’ experiences:

  • Teachers’ job satisfaction (Chapter 1)
  • How teachers manage their workload (Chapter 2)
  • Problems students are facing at public K-12 schools (Chapter 3)
  • Challenges in the classroom (Chapter 4)
  • Teachers’ views of parent involvement (Chapter 5)
  • Teachers’ views on the state of public K-12 education (Chapter 6)

Problems students are facing

A horizontal stacked bar chart showing that poverty, chronic absenteeism and mental health stand out as major problems at public K-12 schools.

We asked teachers about some of the challenges students at their school are facing. Three problems topped the list:

  • Poverty (53% say this is a major problem among students who attend their school)
  • Chronic absenteeism (49%)
  • Anxiety and depression (48%)

Chronic absenteeism (that is, students missing a substantial number of school days) is a particular challenge at high schools, with 61% of high school teachers saying this is a major problem where they teach. By comparison, 46% of middle school teachers and 43% of elementary school teachers say the same.

Anxiety and depression are viewed as a more serious problem at the secondary school level: 69% of high school teachers and 57% of middle school teachers say this is a major problem among their students, compared with 29% of elementary school teachers.

Fewer teachers (20%) view bullying as a major problem at their school, though the share is significantly higher among middle school teachers (34%).

A look inside the classroom

We also asked teachers how things are going in their classroom and specifically about some of the issues that may get in the way of teaching.

  • 47% of teachers say students showing little or no interest in learning is a major problem in their classroom. The share rises to 58% among high school teachers.
  • 33% say students being distracted by their cellphones is a major problem. This is particularly an issue for high school teachers, with 72% saying this is a major problem.
  • About one-in-five teachers say students getting up and walking around when they’re not supposed to and being disrespectful toward them (21% each) are major problems. Teachers in elementary and middle schools are more likely than those in high schools to see these as challenges.

A majority of teachers (68%) say they’ve experienced verbal abuse from a student – such as being yelled at or threatened. Some 21% say this happens at least a few times a month.

Physical violence is less common. Even so, 40% of teachers say a student has been violent toward them , with 9% saying this happens at least a few times a month.

About two-thirds of teachers (66%) say that the current discipline practices at their school are very or somewhat mild. Only 2% say the discipline practices at their school are very or somewhat harsh, while 31% say they are neither harsh nor mild. Most teachers (67%) say teachers themselves don’t have enough influence in determining discipline practices at their school.

Behavioral issues and mental health challenges

A bar chart showing that two-thirds of teachers in high-poverty schools say they have to address students’ behavioral issues daily.

In addition to their teaching duties, a majority of teachers (58%) say they have to address behavioral issues in their classroom every day. About three-in-ten teachers (28%) say they have to help students with mental health challenges daily.

In each of these areas, elementary and middle school teachers are more likely than those at the high school level to say they do these things on a daily basis.

And teachers in high-poverty schools are more likely than those in medium- and low-poverty schools to say they deal with these issues each day.

Cellphone policies and enforcement

A diverging bar chart showing that most high school teachers say cellphone policies are hard to enforce.

Most teachers (82%) say their school or district has policies regarding cellphone use in the classroom.

Of those, 56% say these policies are at least somewhat easy to enforce, 30% say they’re difficult to enforce, and 14% say they’re neither easy nor difficult to enforce.

Experiences with cellphone policies vary widely across school levels. High school teachers (60%) are much more likely than middle school (30%) and elementary school teachers (12%) to say the policies are difficult to enforce (among those who say their school or district has a cellphone policy).

How teachers are experiencing their jobs

Thinking about the various aspects of their jobs, teachers are most satisfied with their relationship with other teachers at their school (71% are extremely or very satisfied).

They’re least satisfied with how much they’re paid – only 15% are extremely or very satisfied with their pay, while 51% are not too or not at all satisfied.

Among teachers who don’t plan to retire or stop working this year, 29% say it’s at least somewhat likely they will look for a new job in the 2023-24 school year. Within that group, 40% say they would look for a job outside of education, 29% say they’d seek a non-teaching job in education, and only 18% say they’d look for a teaching job at another public K-12 school.

Do teachers find their work fulfilling and enjoyable?

Overall, 56% of teachers say they find their job to be fulfilling extremely often or often; 53% say their job is enjoyable. These are significantly lower than the shares who say their job is frequently stressful (77%) or overwhelming (68%).

Positive experiences are more common among newer teachers. Two-thirds of those who’ve been teaching less than six years say their work is fulfilling extremely often or often, and 62% of this group says their work is frequently enjoyable.

Teachers with longer tenures are somewhat less likely to feel this way. For example, 48% of those who’ve been teaching for six to 10 years say their work is frequently enjoyable.

Balancing the workload

Most teachers (84%) say there’s not enough time during their regular work hours to do tasks like grading, lesson planning, paperwork and answering work emails.

Among those who feel this way, 81% say simply having too much work is a major reason.

Many also point to having to spend time helping students outside the classroom, performing non-teaching duties like lunch duty, and covering other teachers’ classrooms as at least minor reasons they don’t have enough time to get all their work done.

A diverging bar chart showing that a majority of teachers say it’s difficult for them to achieve work-life balance.

A majority of teachers (54%) say it’s very or somewhat difficult for them to balance work and their personal life. About one-in-four (26%) say it’s very or somewhat easy for them to balance these things, and 20% say it’s neither easy nor difficult.

Among teachers, women are more likely than men to say work-life balance is difficult for them (57% vs. 43%). Women teachers are also more likely to say they often find their job stressful or overwhelming.

How teachers view the education system

A large majority of teachers (82%) say the overall state of public K-12 education has gotten worse in the past five years.

Pie charts showing that most teachers say public K-12 education has gotten worse over the past 5 years.

And very few are optimistic about the next five years: Only 20% of teachers say public K-12 education will be a lot or somewhat better five years from now. A narrow majority (53%) say it will be worse.

Among teachers who think things have gotten worse in recent years, majorities say the current political climate (60%) and the lasting effects of the COVID-19 pandemic (57%) are major reasons. A sizable share (46%) also point to changes in the availability of funding and resources.

Related:  About half of Americans say public K-12 education is going in the wrong direction

Which political party do teachers trust more to deal with educational challenges?

On balance, more teachers say they trust the Democratic Party than say they trust the Republican Party to do a better job handling key issues facing the K-12 education system. But three-in-ten or more across the following issues say they don’t trust either party:

  • Shaping school curriculum (42% say they trust neither party)
  • Ensuring teachers have adequate pay and benefits (35%)
  • Making schools safer (35%)
  • Ensuring adequate funding for schools (33%)
  • Ensuring all students have equal access to high-quality K-12 education (31%)

A majority of public K-12 teachers (58%) identify or lean toward the Democratic Party. This is higher than the share among the general public (47%).

  • Poverty levels are based on the percentage of students in the school who are eligible for free and reduced-price lunch. ↩
  • For details, refer to the Methodology section of the report. ↩
  • Urban, suburban and rural schools are based on the location of the school as reported by the National Center for Education Statistics (rural includes town). Definitions match those used by the U.S. Census Bureau. ↩

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Report Materials

Table of contents, ‘back to school’ means anytime from late july to after labor day, depending on where in the u.s. you live, among many u.s. children, reading for fun has become less common, federal data shows, most european students learn english in school, for u.s. teens today, summer means more schooling and less leisure time than in the past, about one-in-six u.s. teachers work second jobs – and not just in the summer, most popular.

About Pew Research Center Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan fact tank that informs the public about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping the world. It conducts public opinion polling, demographic research, media content analysis and other empirical social science research. Pew Research Center does not take policy positions. It is a subsidiary of The Pew Charitable Trusts .


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