Teaching is a professional vocation, not an escape
This dreaded question again. The last time I heard him fall was two days ago on the tram.
“What do you want to study when you leave school?” Asked the old man I was chatting with.
My answer – the same today, at 17, as when I was four – is passionately and absolutely “teaching.”
Almost without exception, the reaction to my response is overwhelmingly negative. I am warned with great authority (after all, everyone who went to school is an expert) about crappy wages, insane workload, wild kids, demanding parents, and third-rate college classes which welcomed students with ATAR in the 1940s.
“Why do you want to do this,” my classmates exclaim, adding, “Well, at least you don’t have to stress yourself out to get a good grade next year. “
Other people I have spoken to refer to teaching as “woman’s work” or “handy if you want to have children.” And we wonder why we have a gender pay gap.
Our population is increasing and the children will probably have to go to school. Yet education is still viewed as the “if all else fails” option for some, rather than a rewarding and stable career choice.
That’s not to say that there aren’t failed lessons or failed teachers drawn to work for the wrong reasons. Show me a job where it isn’t but, again, show me a job that attracts as much attention as it does teaching.