Working with children takes patience, understanding, creativity, and above all else, a love of children
You try on clothes to make sure they’re the right fit before you buy them. You take a car for a test drive before you make a big purchase. We even check out software on a trial basis before committing. Shouldn’t you do the same thing before deciding on a career?
This is something to consider if you’re thinking going into education and becoming a teacher. Here are a few things you should know about teaching before you take the plunge.
Teaching is a rewarding, but though career!
It’s not meant to be a scary statement. This is true for every kind of job. Being a plumber or an airline pilot isn’t for everyone. Generally, the desire to work with children is the top reason why people become and are successful at being teachers.
Success means you find it rewarding, and the reward is enjoyable. Educational testing company Magoosh suggests that if you have difficulty connecting with kids, or you struggle to handle their behavioral issues, you might want to think about whether teaching is right for you.
Let’s put this into perspective. As an adult, you probably don’t have any problem sitting through a TV Show that ranges from 50 to 80 minutes in length. Meanwhile, a child between the age of five and six, has an attention span of just 10 to 15 minutes before they’re distracted.
People who become successful at teaching have a knack for getting children to interact as groups, which helps the young learners keep their attention on a task for up to 30 minutes. Sound like you?
Top draws for teachers
The Guardian, a UK-based newspaper, asked more than 850 people why they started teaching. The top answer was that they enjoyed working with children (80 percent), followed by the desire to make a difference (75 percent).
Making a difference is near and dear to us here at Ocaquatics. It’s part of our mission, which is to teach families to love swimming and to become safer, more comfortable and more responsible around the water. Our swimming instructors do indeed make a difference. They are helping to save lives.
Another top reason teachers selected was the variety of the job. Respondents told the Guardian that no two days are the same, and many talked about the satisfaction of seeing the “light bulb moment” when what they’re teaching makes sense to children.
We have “light bulb moments” every single day at Ocaquatics, and our teachers get to witness when a child picks up a new swim skill or shows that they successfully advanced to a new level.
From thinking to doing
There’s really no better way to discover if you’re cut out to be a teacher than to take it for a test drive. Career guidance organization 80,000 Hours advises people to go investigate. It’s an outward process, where your chances of excelling at a job depend on the degree of personal fit.
The organization has data which shows that we really aren’t that good at predicting what we’ll be good at ahead of time. The best approach is to try things out.
There’s a specific educational path and certifications involved with becoming a teacher, which makes it difficult to “try it on for size.” We can help you overcome that obstacle. One of the things we tell prospective team members is that no teaching experience is necessary.
Don’t get the wrong idea. The parents of Ocaquatics students expect highly skilled instructors to train children how to swim and be safer around water. We will make sure you ace that ability before you even get near your own class the pool – but we’ve learned over time that our best future instructors come to us already possessing key characteristics.
You really do have to enjoy working with children.
You have to be comfortable with communicating positively and enthusiastically.
You’ve got to be able to put yourself in the shoes of others. Work doesn’t seem like work at Ocaquatics because of our team dynamics. It’s a skill that has to come naturally.
You’re looking for more than a paycheck. Many of our longtime team members say the most valuable benefit they get is seeing the impact they make on the lives of families.
You’re open to exploring leadership opportunities. Teachers move up to become principals and more. We offer opportunities like this, as well.
So if you feel that pursuing a career as a teacher is in your future, we can help you with an early exploration. All of our team members here at Ocaquatics interact with children and their families daily. If you want to investigate and try things out before committing to a career as a teacher, join the Ocaquatics team. Move past imagining. Get first-hand experience and help make a difference in a child’s life while teaching them to be SAFER around the water. Contact us to learn more about joining our team.