Why Do Professors Enjoy Teaching?
If you’re attending or have attended school, you might have wondered what inspires your instructors and professors to teach. They spend hours talking in front of dozens to hundreds of students, who are not always engaged or attentive. They must stay on top of the piles and piles of tests, papers, and emails that build up week after week. And on top of it all, they engage in regular research and field-related work and attend conferences to stay on top of trends, understand the market, and give students the best possible education. Much of their effort often goes unseen. Yet, despite everything it takes to work in education, many will tell you that they truly enjoy teaching.
Remarkably, most instructors and professors are not trained to become teachers. Rather, they are experts in their field who bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to help people achieve their goals. Most learn the most effective teaching methods through trial and error, with assistance from their peers. Thus, if you’re interested in teaching in the future but don’t want to study education, don’t be discouraged.
Reasons College Instructors Enjoy Teaching
Truly, teaching can be a labor of love. Professors don’t just teach content; they try to encourage students to open themselves up to new ways of thinking and behaving. Notably, they push young scholars to start thinking of themselves as professionals. This shift requires confidence, critical thinking, and goal-setting behaviors. You must begin believing that you know what you’re talking about and that you can succeed in a field or position.
Undeniably, college is a time for growth and preparation for the workforce. Skills like collaborating, communicating, and listening are vital for future success. Most classes don’t teach these abilities directly but encourage students to build them through assignments and course content. In the end, it’s a lot of work.
So, what makes instructors enjoy teaching?
Making an Impact
“I love making an impact in today’s society and to know that my students learn and develop into professional individuals that soon would embrace the workforce and succeed in whatever they set their mind to.” – Dr. Lisette Negron
“My enjoyment comes from knowing that I can have a positive impact on the lives of others by developing their level of knowledge and their ability to use that knowledge to advance their lives.” – Dr. Juliana DeSouza
Indeed, one of the biggest reasons teachers and professors enjoy teaching is the impact they make. Instructors impact not just their students’ personal lives but the world as a whole. Their students will go on to influence businesses, culture, and the future in general, partially due to the education they receive. Without a certification or degree, these individuals’ paths would have otherwise been closed off. Similarly, they would not have been able to excel without the expertise and knowledge they earned through their coursework.
Furthermore, students learn new perspectives and meet people from various backgrounds in college. These interactions prepare them to be a part of the world and enable them to learn and embrace new ideas.
As college is a huge time for growth and self-discovery, it’s no surprise that instructors greatly impact their students’ development.
Watching Students Succeed
“I enjoy the opportunity to share my knowledge with students. My gratification is their success.” – Gina Hobert
Consider who enrolls in college. Young adults fresh out of high school who haven’t yet held their first “big job.” Experts looking to rise further in their careers via a degree or certification. And non-traditional students starting fresh in higher education, whether they want to start over in a new field or are now ready and able to attend college. Most students come to school with big goals and dreams, regardless of their background.
Instructors push their students to reach those goals. Indeed, some will even spend extra time assisting them with getting internships, jobs, and entry into grad school. It’s beyond rewarding to watch someone go from confused freshman to graduate to professional, partly from your knowledge and guidance.
Truthfully, it’s no surprise that instructors enjoy teaching when they get to help students succeed and achieve their dreams.
Helping People Understand New Information
“I enjoy teaching folks and giving them what “academia” says about topics as well as real-world examples.” – Tom Tardy
“I enjoy helping people understand new information and look at things from a different perspective. The main thing that I enjoy is just seeing that light come on in someone when they now understand something that just a few hours ago they didn’t.” – Jared Elswick
For some, the act of teaching is rewarding in itself. Indeed, figuring out the best ways to deliver information and help others understand is a science. You must consider different learning styles and struggles students have. Additionally, you need to plan carefully, so you don’t overload students with too much information, leaving them lost in the content. These plans can also change as you realize more individuals struggle with certain concepts.
Regardless, professors enjoy teaching as it allows them to help people learn new information. Information that enables students to follow their passions and succeed.
Helping Students Understand Themselves
“I teach Psychology, so I enjoy helping the students get to know themselves a bit better.” – Kelly Trent
Many degree programs include courses that encourage introspection. Consider psychology and writing classes. Truly, the assignments students complete often have them thinking of events that impacted them and why they reacted a certain way.
Beyond specific courses, university itself opens many doors for students to explore. Indeed, around 80% of individuals change their college major at least once. This statistic is likely a result of the many new experiences we go through at school. We take interesting courses and discover a passion we didn’t know we had. We uncover what we’re good at, what we thrive at. And we get a chance to express ourselves in ways we didn’t have access to in high school or the workforce.
In truth, a part of why professors enjoy teaching is that they get to watch students grow into themselves. They see young minds forming, new ideas being created, and the process of self-discovery.
Changing Lives Through Education
“I enjoy having the ability to assist with students’ journeys towards changing their lives, through higher learning.” – Nicholas Theodule
A big reason people enroll in college is to change their lives. Indeed, a bachelor’s degree allows graduates entry into more positions and companies while improving their income. On average, college graduates earn between $630,000 and $900,000 more than high school graduates over their lifetime.
Furthermore, students may not recognize their potential or passion until they try new things in college. They could wind up spending years or decades in a position they don’t enjoy without those experiences. Based on a correlative study, individuals with a college degree report higher life satisfaction and overall happiness. An additional part of the study showed that they felt more certain of their life purpose.
Thus, regardless of a student’s individual goals, a college degree can drastically change their life. Instructors enjoy teaching as they know how big of a deal higher education is and how much of a difference it makes.
Getting to Know Students
“I enjoy interacting and sharing real-world experiences with students.” – Ronnie Brown
Many instructors simply enjoy getting to know their students. Strikingly, college campuses have the most diverse populations, with students from various backgrounds and even countries. Universities that offer many program options also see a more diversified student body as they attract individuals with varying goals.
As a result, it’s no surprise that instructors enjoy teaching because of the people they get to meet. They get to know hundreds of new students over their careers which enables them to discover new ideas, learn surprising points of view, and just generally interact with interesting people.
The Subject Matter
“I enjoy the students! The subject matter. The flexibility to present the material in a number of ways.” – Shervonne Jamerson
Predictably, most professors are passionate about the subjects they teach. They spent years of their lives learning and working to become experts. Several instructors write papers and novels, do extensive research, and continue studying the content for a chance to improve others’ and their own understanding. Hence, many enjoy spreading their knowledge and encouraging others to discover the ins and outs of the field.
Further, some enjoy the challenge of getting students to comprehend and even enjoy complicated and frustrating concepts. They’re delighted to find individuals who share their passion and want to pursue the same field.
These instructors enjoy teaching and learning about the things they love. They get to spend day-after-day involved with their passion, figuring out new and creative ways to get students interested and engaged. As a result of their efforts, they may even learn a few things from those they’re teaching.
Learning from the Students
“That I learn so much from them. Their unique perspectives and ideas for their coaching business. I love hearing about their journeys and life experience as well. It is also rewarding to see their improvement throughout.” – Tommy Sutton-Lovett
Professors enjoy teaching about their passions as it enables them to learn new ideas and viewpoints about the content. Imagine looking at the same novels or arguments for years or even decades. Notably, fresh eyes can make all the difference in getting past a confusing line or missing formula. These insights allow instructors to improve their own understanding of their content. They may discover how their field is changing with the new generation or what changes the clients and customers desire.
Beyond the subject matter, professors also learn new perspectives on life from their students. It gives them a deeper understanding of those who come from different backgrounds. Sometimes, these insights can deeply affect or inspire the teachers to create change at the school or in the field.
Helping People Reach Their Fullest Potential
“As a military professional and a lifelong learner, I am always seeking ways to spread knowledge and enable others to reach their goals.” – Lawrence Bufalino
“I feel privileged to teach because I know how much my education has impacted my life for the better, and I want to pass that on to others. Helping people pursue their fullest potential is a big part of my personal mission, which is to help people get to a better place in life through education, celebration, and charity.” – Jim Gepperth
Somewhere beyond achieving your goals and changing your life lies reaching your fullest potential. You can earn six figures each year and reach all the objectives you set without ever getting to your full potential. Indeed, many will set goals along the same midline semester-to-semester and year-to-year. They don’t know and may be nervous about pushing themselves harder on their goals, unsure if they can go the extra mile.
Professors encourage you and push you to go further. Take your essay a step further, go more in-depth with your study, and think beyond the surface level. As we’ve said, college is a time for self-discovery. But when you’re out on your own for the first time, it can be nerve-racking to go beyond the basics.
Instructors enjoy teaching as it allows them to get students out of their shells and take on everything they’re capable of. They can see what people are proficient in and where their passion starts to reveal itself. Thus, professors get the chance to influence them to take that path and unearth their true potential. At the end of the day, it can be a frustrating but ultimately rewarding experience for both teacher and student.
Lakewood University is an accredited online school that offers a variety of degree and certificate programs. We have rolling enrollments and asynchronous courses. In other words, you don’t have to worry about missing a lecture or running late to class. If you plan on enrolling in college while working, Lakewood University offers the flexibility you need to earn your degree.
Don’t hesitate – reach out to our admissions department today to learn more!