Why Teach?

Teachers inspire the future.

Most likely, you’ve had a teacher who has made a big difference in your life. Teachers inspire students every day. They impact the next generation with the skills and information needed to understand the world around them, start careers, and become productive, informed citizens.

“I teach and remain in education because I want to be a part of something bigger than myself. I want to impact students on a greater level. I am a lifelong learner, and I want to instill a love of learning to others, whether it be a student or a teacher. Education is extremely powerful!”
“Teaching for me equates to changing the world. You see, education is the great equalizer. It is the ticket for the students I teach – the ticket out of poverty, the ticket to college, the ticket to do whatever it is they want to do. If I can equip my students with the tools they need to be successful in college or the workforce, I can change the trajectory of their lives. Not only that, I am making an investment in the communities in which they will eventually be a part by molding capable, resolute and respectable young people.”
“The best part of teaching is seeing the faces of your students and their families and knowing that you have made a difference in their lives.”

Tennessee needs teachers.

Simply put, Tennessee needs you. As a growing state, Tennessee needs teachers to ensure students are prepared for college and career. Education in Tennessee is predicted to grow by 20,000 jobs by 2024. With more students entering schools, Tennessee needs more teachers to teach them.

Tennessee also needs more diversity in its teacher ranks. In Tennessee, students of color make up 35 percent of the public school population, yet just 15 percent of teachers in the state identify as persons of color.

“Being a person of color in the classroom is very important to me. You are giving students an opportunity just by seeing a person of color in a professional position. You give someone that opportunity by changing their outlook and perception.”
“I teach because, when I was a student, I did not have a Hispanic teacher that I could relate to.”
“I believe that education is one of the greatest tools that one can possess to have a brighter future. As a son of two immigrants from Haiti, I know firsthand how education can truly impact a student’s life.”

Teachers are passionate about their subjects.

Do you love science? Is your nose always buried in a book? As a teacher, you can share your passion for your favorite subject in a meaningful way – by sharing it with students. Teachers who love their subjects make learning fun and relevant, and they help students make connections between what they learn and why it matters.

“I am constantly inspired by my students. On top of that, I get to teach them something that I really love, which makes it really fun.”
“I love the idea of looking forward to my students’ success. Maybe one day, I’ll have a successful math student, and they can say, ‘I had Ms. Walters for my Algebra 1 class.’”

Teachers have good benefits.

There are various scholarships and college loan forgiveness programs available to teachers, especially when they teach certain subjects or at schools that need a lot of teachers. As a student, you probably enjoy having a spring break and summer vacation. As a teacher, you can have those breaks in addition to other benefits. 

The Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program encourages teachers to teach in high-needs schools by making them eligible for forgiveness of up to $17,500 of their Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans and Subsidized and Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loans.

The government offers the Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant, which gives up to $4,000 to students studying to become teachers.

Tennessee also offers the Minority Teaching Fellows Program, awarding up to $5,000 per year to talented minority Tennesseans who pursue a teacher certification at an eligible Tennessee college or university.

Eligible students can apply for scholarships through the Tennessee Student Assistance Award Program.

The average starting salary for educators in Tennessee is $34,098, and Tennessee educators have the salary potential to make $80,000 or more.

“I like being part of a team, so having a supportive group of co-workers and administrators is beneficial. Not having to work over the weekends, bank holidays and summers is also important to me especially. I enjoy traveling abroad.”

“We do have several breaks throughout the school year, which are a benefit for us and the students.”

Teachers are leaders.

As a teacher, you are a leader in the classroom. You lead students every day in a creative and collaborative environment as you provide them with information they need for their futures. There is always room to grow and develop professionally as a teacher, and you choose which direction to take your career.

“I’m motivated to provide my students with a strong education, stable role model and a positive influence who teaches them the character traits (perseverance, honesty, courage) necessary to succeed in life.”
“All students deserve a teacher who inspires them to reach their dreams. As teachers, we should be ready to foster those dreams, no matter where they may lead. We’re nurturing the next generation, and need today’s leaders to step up and serve.”