How do you know if teaching is for you?

It’s the time of year when college seniors all across the country are starting to think about becoming teachers. They’re asking themselves what the first year of teaching would be like, and how to tell if they’d be good teachers in the future.

Oscar Ortiz, with Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, at Founders Classical Academy of Schertz.

Oscar Ortiz of Founders Classical Academy of Shertz has put a lot of thought into helping new teachers, and in this episode of the Hillsdale College K-12 Classical Education podcast he gives prospective teachers a few things to think about before applying to a teaching job. Here are some of Mr. Ortiz’s points. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t meet all of his criteria, he says. Just use them as food for thought.

You might be a good teacher if…

You have a sense of mission.
You like being around kids, especially kids in groups.
You want to make a difference in the world.
You have a passion for the pursuit of truth.
You are interested in one or more academic subjects in a serious way, as more than just a hobby.

To prepare for a teaching career, you could…

Do some volunteer work with children, especially children who struggle academically.
Teach at a summer camp or in a Sunday school, or do some tutoring work with students who have difficulty with math or reading. Really figure out how to help them. See if you have the heart for it.

In your first year of teaching, remember these things…

Remember that it’s a marathon, not a race. It will take years to become a great teacher.
Keep a running list of the victories you have throughout the day. Read through it once a month.
Get to know your headmaster or principal. A lot of times that person will be your number one supporter. Create a relationship and learn from the school leader.

Mr. Ortiz says it best. Listen to the whole podcast here.