If you’re a writer, artist, or you’ve had a career in another creative field, you might be thinking about the next chapter of your life. Or, maybe you’re just starting out but you’ve always had a passion for creativity and sharing those gifts with others.
Have you ever considered teaching? If not, maybe it’s time to give it some thought.
Before you start thinking of traditional teaching methods, stuffy classrooms, and strenuous schedules, it’s important to understand that the face of teaching is changing, especially for more creative subjects like art, writing, and philosophy. If you do want to share your passion with others — especially young people — becoming an educator could be the way to go. It’s okay to change your mind and change your career at any point in life, especially when you feel you have something to contribute to the world.
So, why should you consider a career change to become a teacher?
There is a Growing Need
One of the biggest reasons why you should consider teaching is because high schools (and colleges) all over the country are in dire need of educators. The Boston Globe recently reported that Colby-Sawyer College in New Hampshire had to cut English and Philosophy from its offered course selections. Colby-Sawyer College is known as a liberal arts school. So, if liberal arts schools are cutting programs that fuel the liberal arts, what can you expect for the future of art education, English, or writing?
Without some alternative teaching methods in place, these programs might start to fall away even more. You don’t have to be a collegiate professor in order to make a difference with your creativity, either. There are other opportunities for creatives at charter schools or private academies. You can even work independently as a teacher or tutor, or as a contract instructor with a certain school or academy.
Additionally, you might try looking into becoming an online instructor. Thanks to advancements in technology, online learning has become more popular than ever in a variety of industries. In 2016 alone, more than 6 million college students were taking at least one course online. It’s less expensive for institutions, it’s efficient, and it’s a great way to work on a more flexible schedule than having to stay in a classroom.
If you do consider teaching, you may not have to look far. Because of the growing need, it isn’t always difficult to find a job helping to educate others right away, whether it’s in-person or online. If you’re looking for a career change now, this is something you might be able to get started with quickly.
It’s a Great Way to Make Some Extra Money
Another reason you might want to consider teaching? It can help to give you some extra income. Creative careers don’t always have the biggest payouts, especially when you’re just starting out.
Your financial worries can be even greater if you have student loan payments to worry about. Not only can teaching (even in contract positions) provide you with extra income, but some programs offer loan forgiveness options for teachers. There are stipulations to these programs, including the type of education you need and how long you need to be employed as a teacher, but, if you’re considering making it a major part of your career, you could get some of your money back.
Granted, there’s no “get rich quick” scheme when you become a teacher. In fact, the national average salary for a high school teacher isn’t even $40,000. But, if you teach as a way to supplement your creative career, or you’re just looking for some extra income, it could be the perfect option.
You Can Make a Difference
Most creative people — writers, artists, actors, poets, etc. — get inspired by the world around them. While teaching may not have initially been on your radar, think of the inspiration you’ll receive from shaping the minds of young people all over the country. Additionally, you’ll be able to inspire them, in return.
Kids, young adults, and college-aged students are hungry for creative studies. Over 28 million Americans read poetry. Over 54% of households in the country have a member who plays an instrument. Even research has shown that studying things like philosophy can help younger audiences to understand other perspectives, learn to evaluate information, and practice greater critical thinking. As a teacher of creative studies, you can help to feed these positive statistics for the next generation and beyond.
Some of the most creative and well-known artists of all time crossed barriers and made changes to their careers. Nat King Cole may have been known as a crooner, but at one point in his career, he learned to tap dance. Actors like James Franco and Natalie Portman attended prestigious universities and got secondary degrees. Julia Child didn’t even release her first cookbook until she was 50 years old.
It’s never too early or too late to consider a career change as a creative, and teaching is a great option that can have a deep and meaningful impact.