Teaching is a challenging but incredibly rewarding career. The impact you can have on our future generation is second to none.
But guiding the adults of tomorrow isn’t the only reason to be a teacher.
We asked several of our Education graduates and academics to reflect on the question: why become a teacher?
Here’s what they had to say.
1. Teachers are in high demand
With the increasing influx of students and the decrease in teachers due to retirement, there has never been a greater need for new teachers in our community. Excellent job security and a plenitude of vacancies in this profession makes now a great time to consider teaching as a career.
Queensland graduate teachers have one of the highest starting salaries in Australia. There are scholarships available while you study, as well as financial, personal and professional benefits if you teach in high-priority rural and remote locations – a great reason to be a teacher if you enjoy country living.
Professor Patricia Morrell, Head of UQ’s School of Education, couldn’t speak highly enough of teaching as a vocation.
“I’ve been teaching for three decades – why? Teaching is challenging, it’s never boring, and every day is different,” she says.
“Teaching is fun. And that proverbial lightbulb that goes off on top of kids’ heads? That’s real!”
2. You can inspire the next generation
Be at the forefront of shaping the leaders of tomorrow as you encourage students’ curiosity and shape their inquisitive minds.
Teachers become influential in their students’ lives, inspiring their love of learning and motivating them to achieve their personal best every day.
UQ Education graduate Aaron Bates believes teaching is one of the rare jobs that allows you to give back to the community and witness real change resulting from your work.
“It might not be that day, in that lesson; it might be a couple of years’ time, even 20 years’ time, when you’re walking down the street and they say ‘Hey Sir, I really enjoyed the support you provided me as a teacher’,” says Aaron.
“In the future I hope that I’m still helping people and I know that teaching is going to be able to allow me to do that.”
“If they leave my classroom with the skills that they need to support them in their career and with their life journey, that’s what I want.”
Fellow graduate William Webster agrees wholeheartedly that influencing the next generation is a fantastic reason to be a teacher.
“I think teaching is the most influential job in the world,” he says.
“Because the children we teach today will be the leaders of communities, businesses and even countries tomorrow.”
3. You get to travel with job security and skills recognised across the globe
Teachers are in high demand globally, and UQ’s teaching programs are recognised internationally.
Venture beyond the classroom by equipping yourself with excellent communication and leadership skills relevant to several industries worldwide. The critical thinking and problem-solving skills that a teaching degree gives you are sought after by employers in every job sector – not just teaching.
UQ Education graduate Michael Smith is now a deputy principal at Marsden State High School.
“Rural service is incredibly rewarding,” he says.
“Teaching is a fabulous opportunity to get out of the rat race of the city and offers the opportunity for travel and a different lifestyle with different experiences.”
4. You can help children reach their full potential
Many of us remember our favourite teacher and the impact they had on our life. Those teachers must have, at some point, asked themselves: why become a teacher?
The lessons you share with your students in the classroom will guide them to achieve their goals, and you can help send them out into society with the skills to give back to our communities.
By pursuing a career in education, you can benefit society as a whole, and you yourself will never stop learning. Whether you’re brushing up on your mathematical skills, revising historical events or improving your French, you’re always learning something. After all, why be a teacher if you don’t love discovering new things?
UQ Education graduate Kara Ilich has taken her passion for lifelong learning into her role as the Dean of Pedagogy (Primary) at John Paul College.
“There is something just so special about fostering lifelong learning in our young people of today, and to be part of that is such an exciting experience,” says Kara.
“Having the opportunity to support children to achieve their personal best and inspire their love for learning is what drives me towards being my best every day.”
5. You get to enjoy a balanced lifestyle and endless career opportunities
So, logistically, why is teaching a good career choice?
Teaching can provide some balance to your working life, with guaranteed holidays and the flexibility to move locations depending on where your future takes you.
Your career doesn’t stop in the classroom, either. With further study, you also have the option to progress into a variety of leadership roles such as:
head of department (curriculum)
and many others.
UQ Education graduate Susan Garson is now director of the Centre for School Wide Pedagogy at Brisbane Girls Grammar School. Before taking on this role, she taught German – including inspiring students to travel to Germany on exchange and embracing the opportunity to tour with students overseas. She also worked as the Director of International Studies prior to stepping into her current role.
There are not many jobs where you get to share what you’re passionate about with bright, young minds every day. Whether it be music, science, drama or maths, teaching what you love is a rare find in a career, so make the change and choose to teach today. Learn more about the Master of Teaching (Primary) or the Master of Teaching (Secondary).