Why you must not become a teacher

Teaching is a noble profession, I must admit, and everyone cannot be a teacher. Just like there are doctors, engineers, lawyers, and all, there are teachers that are designed, trained, and perhaps called to teach others. Doctors can also be teachers, but not all doctors would become teachers. Lawyers, engineers, architects, and the like, can also be teachers, but not all of these professionals would become teachers.

Teachers always appear motivated by a greater desire and uncanny purpose to impart knowledge to their students, and to them, it feels like a sense of moral obligation or duty that their learners grasp a subject matter or can function rather independently with the knowledge they’ve acquired. And as it is some great joy for doctors to see their patients get well, so it is some greater joy for teachers to see their students excel and make giant strides, especially with the body of knowledge that has been passed onto them by their teachers.

When a doctor gets up every morning to go back to work, does he feel unmotivated? Or uninspired? Or even discouraged to continue treating and caring for his patients? Why would a teacher appear unmotivated or discouraged to teach a pupil or student what they must or should know? Doctors are healers, by some standard. Teachers, too, are healers. They heal or cure a cancer of growing ignorance that can throw their students into an abyss or a pit of intellectual death; they inspire weary hearts that are on the brink of collapse, and they lead as role models to generations of change-makers.

When we were growing up, we were told that teachers are not well-paid. They are still not well-paid. I mean how do you compensate individuals who culture the lives of innumerable people? Individuals who are incredibly committed to moulding lives and building professionals in several fields of human endeavour.

In our schools then, (and even now) though some of the teachers were not well paid or paid as and when due, we could still see how they did their work neatly, how they carried themselves with graceful mien before their students in class, how mirthful they were when teaching and how it appeared that they had no worries in life at all. And yet, there are other teachers who were not well paid as they, or were better paid than they, but they did their work shoddily and with no enthusiasm. Even now that lecturers in public universities in Nigeria are not well paid, when I see how some of my lecturers teach in class, I often wonder what really motivates them and am believing that their motivation is beyond the salaries they receive every month. In these prevailing circumstances, one can see the difference between those who are morally obligated to teach and those who are not.

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Though people often think that the biggest reason most people run away from teaching is the paltry sum of money teachers get, I do not think this is true. Some people cannot simply be teachers, even when they are being paid well or not well paid. They can not teach. And they are not even supposed to teach. The truth is, teachers cannot be well paid, at least not when they are being paid by a government that does not regard education as a catalyst for the growth and development of a country, or by a capitalist proprietor who is mainly interested in making money and profiteering from his business.

That is why you must not become a teacher if you are keenly interested in making money, especially a lot of it. You should find a better job or get (better) skills perhaps since you must believe that teaching is not a skill. Resorting to teaching because there is no (better) alternative can make you a disconcerted, visionless person who is on an avoidable mission to destroy several latent talents.

Across the world, I think you must know this, there are several doctors, lawyers, engineers, bankers and you name those big-big professionals who are not as rich or wealthy as some teachers. These other professionals are being paid well, by every standard. But there are teachers and there are teachers. Some teachers have created multiple streams of income for themselves through teaching, writing, consulting, and selling their expertise online. Because they are invaluable. Because they know that they are limitless. Because they are conscientious. Because they know nobody can define their dreams or how much money they can have. Because they are more exposed, more knowledgeable, and better prepared or positioned to function and excel in their chosen profession.

Before you think of becoming a teacher, think of how much passion, commitment, motivation, moral obligation, and purpose you have for teaching, for this noble profession. Do not or even attempt to be a disconcerted teacher who is on an avoidable adventure to thwart latent talents from flourishing.

Ikuerowo wrote in from the University of Ibadan

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