The teaching profession

The teaching profession

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Being a Teacher


     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

human being.

     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."

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