Posted by: Magistra | May 11, 2006

Reasons for Teaching?

“I just want to make a difference in the life of a child”

I wonder about some of my fellow wannabe teachers. From the beginning, I’ve been skeptical of their self-proclaimed desire to help children. I don’t doubt their sincerity, but surely you don’t decide to become a teacher just because you want to help kids. Do you? After all, there are many ways to help children. So surely if you decide on teaching, you have other reasons for picking this profession. And to come up with those reasons, you must know something about the profession. Right?

Maybe the problem is assuming that people are rational actors (goodness knows I’ve critiqued those theories often enough myself), but I really am surprised at what they don’t know about teaching. The most recent example of this came up when we talked about school budgets in one of my classes. I wasn’t expecting anyone to know the exact numbers, but a majority of my fellow students seemed to think that most money came from the federal government!

Why actively try to enter a profession if you don’t know what happens in that profession?


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