The Pros and Cons of Being An English Teacher

An ex-student asked me about the pros and cons of being an English teacher, as they are considering it as a career path. Basically, this:

Pro: books and DVDs are tax deductible.
Con: You will never have enough time to read/watch them all.
Pro: HOLIDAYS.
Con: Term time.
Pro: HOLIDAYS.
Con: MARKING. Death. Destruction. DIE, MARKING, DIE.
Pro: Feeling like you make a difference.
Con: Feeling like you’re bashing your head against a brick wall.
(The last two occur together surprisingly often.)
Pro: Spending all day with awesome people.
Con: Spending all day with teenaged people.
Pro: Lots of emotional highs.
Con: Lots of emotional lows.
Pro: People who will celebrate your successes.
Con: People you can never reveal your failures to until well after the fact. If you’re having a crappy day, suck it up, sunshine, because you have to put on a happy face anyway.
Pro: You are in almost complete control of your work, almost 100% of the time.
Con: When you have a crappy day, it’s probably your fault, but you’ll never be able to figure out how.
Pro: Period 1.
Con: Period 6.
Pro: Autonomy.
Con: The persistent and lingering sensation that you don’t actually know what you’re doing and the only reason no one’s caught you yet is because you’re twice the age of anyone else in your classroom.
Pro: Constant brain stimulation and learning new things.
Con: Little brain left over for anything else.
Pro: Lots of socialisation.
Con: Little need/desire to socialise outside of school.
Pro: Good preparation for parenthood.
Con: Makes parenthood feel eternal.
Pro: Constant captive audience to perform to.
Con: The days you don’t want to perform.
Pro: Planning good lessons is great stimulation in terms of not just learning content, but problem solving.
Con: The days you have no brain left for problem solving and have to do it anyway (i.e. half of them).
Pro: You can put as much or as little effort into the job as you like.
Con: The workload LITERALLY never stops until you learn to say NO.
And to end:
Partner’s Top Pro: Holidays, especially for holiday care reasons when there are kids on the scene.
Partner’s Top Con: Marking.
Really, if you took away the marking, English teaching could be an ideal job. Alas. Alack. Poor Yorrick. *sigh*.
Any other teachers out there? What would you add to the list of pros and cons?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *