To Teach or Not to Teach

Since I made the conversion from do-er to teacher a few years ago, I get a lot of people telling me that they would love to teach. Whether it’s a desire to give back, to help the next generation or a desire to get out of the newspaper industry, they all seem to believe the teaching life is a relaxed way to pursue their passion.

It is not. 

Granted, I’m not working 80 hour weeks or getting 3 a.m. phone calls anymore, but there’s still a significant level of stress involved. It is more self-inflicted than managing editor inflicted, but it’s still there. Over on the Black Star Rising blog, Dave Weintraub has put together a short list of why teaching may (or may not) be for you.

To his list, I’d add one more thing. A lot of people harbor a mild excitement about grading. I confess I harbor a mild loathing of it. While I’m more than happy to judge the success or failure of any assignment, my goal is to help my students learn the material, not to assign them a semi-arbitrary grade based on factors neither they nor I can control. (This leads to my insane nearly-unlimited redo policy.)

If you just want to judge others as you believe you’ve been judged by editors over the years, this probably isn’t for you. If you are committed to helping students as much as you should be committed to helping your community, then it’s something to consider.

One Comment

Comments are closed.