Why did I decide to teach when I have a Maths degree?

So, you hear it all the time when you have a maths degree; “oh you’ll be able to do anything with that”. I’m not going to argue with that statement, but I feel as though in choosing maths you are expected to go into finance where the big bucks are. I do look at friends and wonder what life would be like if I had the power to pay off my student debt soon, but I am realistic with myself; that debt isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. So instead of paying off debt I look to other places for fulfillment. I look to places where I will enjoy my life. 

For me personally, that statement neglects happiness. I have always strived for being happy and when the opportunity came to being in a 9-5 job, it just seemed dull. I wanted some panache to my life, where every day was an experience in itself and you just didn’t know what was going to happen next. Where else are you going to find a challenge like dealing with the age group that gets the most hate from the media? To be honest, the personalities that I will come across in my time as a teacher will probably make my life difficult but isn’t that the great joy of teaching? That struggle that results in you knowing you’ve changed their life. You will do that countless times. Some may hate you, some may love you but you’ll deal with that in any job anyways. You may as well take on the task of nurturing them for the future. 

Don’t stress if you think teaching may not be for you. Do it anyways, say you’ve done it. No matter who you teach the pupils will benefit from your wisdom gifted to you from experiences. 

You can decide what is more worthwhile to you, and no one will judge you for your choice. I just want you to consider the trade-off between a job that will give you a decent living but could leave you hollow against a job that will drive you up the wall but ultimately you will make genuine human connections all the time. Money or happiness? A steady balance of emotions or a roller-coaster of emotions? Routine or controlled chaos? The choice is yours; everything other than a teacher or a teacher?

Oliver Douch