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Although teaching, from the outside looking in, appears
simpler than it actually is, there are many challenges a teacher
faces throughout his or her career. Despite these difficulties, there
are also many rewards. As I consider this field for my future
career, I will discover some of the most important aspects, such
as the beginnings of teaching, how the profession has evolved
and where teaching is headed in the future. Also it is
important to note the availability of jobs and education you must
acquire before becoming a certified teacher.
Since the beginning of time, teachers have covered the earth.
In the earlier years, informal teachers, parents, who taught their
children about the world. The early mothers and fathers also taught
their children how to survive, a means of getting food, and which
pathways to avoid. Of course, informal teachers to this day, aren't
paid anything but are only awarded the satisfaction of raising a
Next in the order of educational institutions came the one
room school house. Teachers of 1872 were required to complete
certain tasks before the day's session. The teacher, after arriving
in the morning, was required to fill lamps and clean the chimney, in
addition to building a fire. Their duties weren't terribly taxing.
However the limitation that were put on their social life seem a bit
unusual, compared to today's standards. For instance, a male
teacher could devote one night a week to courting a lady, two if he
attended church regularly. Wemen who got married or "engaged in
unseemly conduct" were dismissed.
After the teacher spent ten hours on studies, they were required to
read the Bible or other good books. Teachers were required to set
aside large amounts of their pay so that after they retired, the
wouldn't become a "burden on society."
Teachers were never allowed to drink, smoke, go to pools, public
halls, or revceive a shave in barber shop. If the teachers abided by
all these outrageous rules, they were eligible for a .25 cents, a
week raise, with the approval of the Board of Education.
One such case was that of Marilyn Callen, born in
Nebraska, who always knew she wanted to be an educator.
After two years of college, she began teaching at the local two
room school house in the country. Her first year was 1937.
Marilyn was only 25 when she began. She taught grades
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kindergarten, first, second, and third in her room filled with thirty
students. Her only co-worker who shared the school house
taught grades fourth and fifth. When she arrived each morning, she
had to build a fire in the furnace, sweep, and maintain the
classroom. She put in many long days in that two room school
house, for 50 dollars a year. Her second year she moved to a
school in a town of one thousand, where she wasn't required to
preform janitorial duties, and was also paid 20 dollars more.
Due to inflation these sums seem a bit smaller than any
human would work for. But also, this was a time when difficult
parents almost didn't exist. She lived in a tight-knit community
where everyone respected the other's role in society. Kids, in most
cases, didn't act out, or experiment with drugs, and always showed
up to school with proper learning utensils.
So many changes have occurred in teaching, especially in the
last hundred years. Teachers were not allowed to cut their hair.
The Dress code for students and teachers has steadily changed
over the years as well: long, plain, and modest dresses have
changed to showing as much skin as possible without getting sent
Aside from the physical changes, there have also been
changes in methods of learning. Text books are far more
advanced. Learning tools, such as encyclopedias,computers, and
educational cdroms were introduced. These three recent
developments aide children's learning incredibly.
Monumental buildings have been erected for the sole
purpose of educating America's youth. More teachers have been
hired. So, just like the rest of the world, the teaching profession is
moving with the times.
Another way that things are changing are the problems that
teachers face. One problem is the pay, or lack thereof. A
beginning salary for a teacher is around 26,000. ( Dist. 60. teacher
salary schedule 2000-2001) Once a teacher acquires a
masters they revceive 1000 dollar raise. A teacher with tenure
would receive between 30 to 35 thousand dollars a year.
Another problem that teachers face is pupils that are unwilling
to learn, do not bring their supplies to class, or do not participate in
educational activities. Some children are defiant and refuse to
listen to the voice of authority.
In addition to the problems I mentioned earlier in the paper,
teachers must deal with lack of supplies. Some schools don't have
the funding to purchase proper supplies, recent maps, and text
As for the future of this profession, it is very unclear. The
recent explosion of technology would be useful for the younger
generations. Will school become obsolete and will teachers
become a thing of the past? One thing is clear, however, because
of the growing population, class sizes will inevitably grow.
Teaching is a beautiful and important profession. There are
many qualities a teacher needs, like patience, love, and willingness
to give freely to the community. I've decided to end my paper with
a quote. "In order to be a good teacher,
you have to be willing to do it without getting paid, for the simple
satisfaction of teaching."