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'Round the Clock: The Schedule of an Educator

By Erdin Beshimov

If you hate the prospect of begging your boss for more time off in the summer, you might relish the schedule of an educator. On the other hand, be prepared to dedicate yourself 24/7 during the school year.

A Culture of Helping Others

If there's a common thread running though all education professions, it's the commitment to helping others.? People in the industry often talk with smiles on their faces about a teacher whose wisdom and goodwill inspired them to pursue a similar career.? It is this inspiration that brings a lot of people into education, and they in turn create a culture where helping others and caring for the community are held in high esteem. At the same time, many people feel as though teachers don't receive the pay or recognition they deserve -- especially considering the huge personal investment they often make.

Autonomy and Love for What You Do

Education at its best is based on a foundation of trust between the teacher and the student.? And since there are no formulas for building trust, there's a lot of room for educators to put their personal touch on this challenging but exciting process.? They invigorate the classroom with subjects that they love and find creative ways of reaching students. Curricula guidelines always exist, but lucky teachers are ultimately the masters of their own classrooms. However, especially with the recent emphasis on No Child Left Behind, some feel constrained by pressure to teach to the test.

Flexibility to Balance Life and Work

Teaching careers offer a rare advantage of a relatively high flexibility to balance work and life. When students go on holidays, teachers and professors, too, get a break from the classroom. But this "free time" is not always as liberating as it sounds; due to low salaries, sometimes teachers are forced to find additional work over the summer. Others attend educational workshops and conferences or teach summer school. During the school year, teachers often take home papers and tests to grade, and they sometimes spend many hours outside school on lesson-planning.

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