7 Myths About Being a Teacher
Have your heart set on teaching, but you’re unsure because of all those myths surrounding the teaching profession? Find out the truth about teaching here.
Updated 05 Aug 2022
Teaching is a noble profession; you’re responsible for moulding the minds of future leaders who will play a huge part in changing the world. With such an exciting prospect, it’s no wonder your heart’s set on becoming a teacher.
But, just like other careers, there are many myths that surround this profession. From requiring high levels of education to needing a love for children, this article will bring these misconceptions to light and set them straight once and for all. Check out the myths below to learn the truth!
#1. You must love kids
If you dream of becoming a respected teacher but realise you don't really like kids, you can still pursue a teaching career! What's most important is your love for teaching and your passion for shaping the bright minds of the future, so don't fret.
As long as you're armed with dollops of patience, the determination to do your very best for your students and the constant reminder of your teaching passion, you're all set to call yourself a teacher.
If you feel like you can’t handle younger kids, you can always pursue your passion for teaching by educating teenagers in secondary school.
#2. You only work half day
Unfortunately, your day doesn't end when your students stream out of school happily at 1pm.
After class is dismissed, you'll have to head back to your desk in the teacher's room to mark homework, prepare for the next day’s classes, attend to administrative paperwork, lead clubs and societies... the list is endless.
By the time you’re done, you’re likely to head home late in the evening. So, just because school ends early doesn’t mean it’s merely half a day of work — there’s a lot that goes behind the scenes in being a teacher!
#3. Your career options are limited
Let's say you change your mind and decide you don’t want to be a teacher anymore. But, you’re worried that you won’t be able to get a job in a different field. Worry not!
While teaching is a specialised field, it equips you with many skills that are required in other jobs, so you'll still have a pool of career options to choose from. This includes jobs such as guidance counsellor, career advisor, writer, HR specialist and training and development manager.
If you'd still like to remain in the education industry, dig around for administrative positions in education. Or, you can always opt for a different form of teaching by becoming a tuition teacher, private tutor or freelance teacher.
#4. “Those who can, do; those who can’t, teach”
Some might scorn your decision to teach, saying it's due to the fact that you have no real workable skill. Ignore them, as it's a blatant lie.
Being a teacher requires highly specialised skills as well as immense in-depth knowledge about certain subjects — which means you’re good at more than just one thing.
It may seem easy to impart knowledge, but teaching requires stellar communication skills, classroom management abilities, educational psychology and so much more. Besides, if there were no teachers, who would be responsible for shaping the many students who contribute to the workforce in the future?
#5. All teachers are garang
From popular stereotypes of guru disiplin whipping out the deadly rotan to guru besar mercilessly punishing students, teachers get a bad rep for being garang with a capital G. However, not all of them are fierce with a streak of sadism, and neither should they be.
Both teachers and students rightfully are on equal ground in deserving and receiving respect. This means both kindness and firmness will help students blossom, and teachers do not need to resort to being too stern. They key is to balance discipline and good judgement without having to resort to being garang.
#6. Your salary will be miserable
While it's true that most regular teachers aren't wading in cold hard cash, it's also false that becoming a teacher automatically designates you with a pitiful paycheque.
Some teachers in government schools begin their career in education with a modest salary, but as you steadily go up the ranks to move from teacher to head of department and finally principal, your career progression will translate to better earnings.
Additionally, you can also look towards the direction of private and international schools, where you can command higher salaries depending on your teaching experience.
#7. Teaching is only for women
While a University of Malaya study reported that women teachers are slightly better at teaching primary school students, research suggests that it is important to have male teachers, as they are crucial role models for boys.
The study discovered that boys found male teachers more approachable (49% were likely to approach them about problems with school work) and a third felt that male teachers challenged them to work harder at school.
This is why male teachers play a large role in their parent-like position in school, displaying positive traits which male students can learn from to grow to become better men.
Teachers are absolutely essential to society, so if teaching is your passion, disregard the rumours about the profession and follow your heart. Now that these misconceptions about teaching have been debunked, you’re all set to pursue your Degree in Education!