Why I Want to Retire as a Lecturer
People always discouraged me from doing anything in the education industry. But, after some deep thought, I believe it is the most fulfilling thing to do.
I never expected to be writing an article like this one. Almost all of my life, I have been told to avoid anything to do with teaching. My parents would always tell me it was not good pay and my peers found it uninspiring.
When I was 17, I met someone who wanted to be a primary school teacher. We were in the same class together and spent a lot of our time talking in groups. However, she would often remain quiet when we spoke about our life plans. For some strange reason, she would always deflect the question.
Eventually, she opened up to me over lunch and told me she wanted to be a primary school teacher. She loved children and did not want to come across as dumb for doing so. After all, everyone else wanted to become lawyers, doctors and engineers.
I still did not understand why, but I believed each to their own and carried on with my day. It was never something I wanted to do because everyone in my life had discouraged it.
They always said things like:
- The marking would be boring
- You would have to deal with disrespectful students
- You would be teaching the same things over and over again
Now, at 21 years of age, my whole perspective has changed. In all honesty, nothing would please me more if I could be a lecturer for the rest of my life. After working an office job as an engineer doing a 9–5, I am pursuing something greater (in my opinion).
I believe there is nothing more fulfilling than being able to work in education and contribute to it. So, here are the five reasons I believe being a lecturer can bring about fulfilment in one’s life. (NOTE: Sorry to all the lecturers it did not work out for, but at least here me out first.)
1. To Sit at the Edge of Knowledge Is a Privilege
As a lecturer, you have the opportunity to network with individuals who are experts in their field. Not only are they part of your network, but they are also your colleagues.
You are with individuals who have read extensively on their topics of interest and have contributed to them. With hardly any effort, as long as you are not rude to people, you could indulge in friendships that allow for knowledge sharing.
In my 9–5, I have only ever been able to speak to one person who was somewhat knowledgeable in another field. Many young people do not realise people go to their day jobs to do the same thing. I used to see teaching the same lesson as a negative, but that is the nature of my job as an engineer also.
How much better would it be if I had a network of people around me that could broaden my thought to allow me to grow. In the same company, I am limited to the knowledge that is relevant to it. So, the more knowledge I gain in that area can help me move up the ladder. However, the knowledge I have access to as a lecturer is much deeper and helps me grow outwards and upwards.
Those who are curious and enjoy learning like me enjoy environments that broaden their view. I have always felt the freest when I could learn new things and turn them into insights for my personal growth.
For naturally curious thinkers, to sit at the edge of knowledge is a privilege and a fulfilling thing. To know I could go into work and connect with someone who could open up a new dimension of thought and knowledge would bring me fulfilment.
2. To Contribute Beyond Your Scope Is a Joy
Lecturers can participate and organise research that can further the knowledge of society as a whole. Not only does it bring more money and funding to the university, but it also should bring joy.
I remember listening to a lecturer from Oxford University talk about his portfolio of projects. He was filled with passion and had hopes that the research would go beyond its scope.
With my job, I have a set scope and requirements to fulfil to ensure everything works out. Yes, it is more effective, but my work never has the opportunity to be seen by the masses.
A simple research paper is used in tonnes of dissertations and research to assists in furthering knowledge. In my opinion, this reward is greater than most people get in their day job. It is the reward to live on in the work and minds of others long after one is gone.
3. To Inspire the Next Generation Is an Honour
Even though I will probably never see my primary teachers again, I still remember the names and personalities of my most inspiring ones. They helped mould my mindset and shaped my trajectory to success.
As a lecturer, you will see hundreds of students every single day. They may be in your class, walking around campus or attending a special event. The opportunity to interact with young individuals who have the next society to build and maintain is an honour.
It is also a lot of pressure, as they sit and look to you as a source of knowledge for their future endeavours. However, it is a great way to give back to society, if not the best way. Without those who seek to inspire the next generation, society would soon die.
4. To Constantly Get Better Is a Fulfilling Journey
Being behind my desk all day carrying out similar tasks makes me reflect on my personal growth. Yes, there are opportunities to progress and move up the ladder, but that comes with experience and age.
What I love about my future job is that it is my knowledge that defines my future growth. I do not mean this in an organisational sense because things like promotions will always be judged on experience.
I mean this in a personal sense. My knowledge of self can be heightened as I ask for feedback from my students and speak to my colleagues who work in psychology.
My pursuit of success can be refined as I speak to students and lecturers in philosophy and economics. My desire to have my views challenged can happen at debate clubs.
My pursuit for the best version of me can be fulfilled whilst on the job instead of away from it. That would give me the feeling that lecturing is allowing me to get better every single day. Unfortunately, in my office job, I do not feel like that.
5. To Remain Productive in Your Old Age Keeps Life Worth Living
I am still very young and do not know what could occur to me in my old age. However, if I can remain somewhat healthy, my job can be continued.
Even if not full time, I could still assist in research and specialised topics I have dedicated my life to. Unlike some jobs, my physical weakness or even slowness will not have to be a blocker to my furthering of knowledge.
I am not old yet, but I can see how life could become very dull and upsetting, especially if you are not actively contributing to society. Therefore, through lecturing, I will have the opportunity to give back and further society into old age. And that will at least give me something to keep living for.
If you are a teacher or lecturer, I hope this short article has re-sparked the flame that made you become what you are.
I am a Visionary and Writer who seeks to enrich society by challenging how we do business today to lead to a world of better leaders and opportunities tomorrow.