I taught. I touched the future.
Pros: equal pay, opportunities to learn new skill sets, community respect
Cons: ineffective principals, demanding ones, long long hours, unfairly angry parents
It's rewards are immeasurable in terms of the gratification of seeing learning occur. I learned every single year how to get more and more creative, organized, efficient. One has to to survive in education because when your principal finds a new idea, concept, or program to bring your school-wide state scores up a single point, an educator has a new learning curve and must embrace it.
Hardest part: Killer hours. Be healthy or go home. You learn quickly it is much easier to go to school than prepare for a sub that may undo your classroom management. Myself, and most teachers work 10+ hrs. per day, go home and review student work another hour, then return 1/2 day either Sat. or Sun. to the school to plan the lessons & prepare for them. Teaching is one of the hardest jobs on the face of the earth, but you'll love it....or leave it. I loved it!
Enjoyable parts: Being paid equal to men for 34 years was very cool. I loved the way I might say something that implied I was a teacher in stores and suddenly all the clerks serve you with an even bigger smile. They describe their favorite teachers to me totally unsolicited. Teaching provides opportunities to learn an abundance of skill sets. Most teachers are learners themselves and strive to keep honing their craft with new ideas and skills. You learn how to think on your feet, that there's always a different way to accomplish a challenge.. You acquire tenacity. You find a way. You make 'it' happen.
And the admiration from your students; especially those who truly do a 180 that year in improvement. Wow. No high like it.