On Being a Teacher
                                  Nathalie J. Gehrke
                       Kappa Delta Pi Publications

         Choosing to be a teacher links us to all
               other teachers,past and present.
When do you know you want to be a teacher?
  • Elementary teachers say they decided when they were young children.
  • Middle/high school teachers decide later in life, even in young adulthood.
  • Those who choose early talk about their profession as a calling, while those who choose later in life describe their decision as pragmatic.
Five kinds of teachers -- Which do you think you are?

         Content Specialists
         Occupational Fit

Why teachers decide to teach?
  • Desire to work with and help other people.
  • Working with friendly people and doing important work.
  • Have a stake in the future.
  • Because of their own joy of learning and their wish to share.
  • Responding to a call.
  • Those who fell "called" are less likely to complain or have trouble teaching.
  • Those who teach because they don't know what to do with their lives tend to have more problems
What part do others play in our decisions to enter teaching?
  • Teachers influence teachers. People who choose to teach usually relate their respect for one of their own teachers.
  • Teachers beget teachers. Parents influence their students.
    • Teachers who report a warm, loving relationship with their mother tend to become elementary teachers.
    • Teachers who report a loving relationship with their mother, but a cool relationship with their fathers, are more likely to become secondary teachers.
What do we know about people who are teachers?
  • Women.
  • White
  • Women who choose teaching come from all social-economic groups.
  • Men who choose teaching more often come from lower or middle socio-economic levels
  • Women who enter teaching make higher scores on SAT, etc.
  • Family-oriented, religious, politically conservative.

   In order to achieve goodness, schools must
   collect good teachers and treat them like
   chosen people.Sarah Lawrence Lightfoot
University of West Georgia