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Teaching: it’s a calling, not a plan to fall back on…

2014 July 24
by Mike Vial

I was reading an interview the Southeast Review did with poet/writer Jamaal May. He commented on the cliche idea that writers should become teachers to help pay the bills:

“It’s more important than ever for people to figure out if teaching is something they want to do, or something they’ve assumed they have to do to be a writer. Being a teacher is not for everyone and if we had less writers out there doing it because it seems to be the correct path, there would be more jobs for the people who live for being in front of a class.”

I think every writer and prospective teacher should read those sentences again.

* * *

May focuses further on adjunct teaching, but I think his statement is true for all forms of teaching. Many writers are great teachers. The skill sets compliment each other, but they are not one and the same.

Teaching is it’s own craft. It is it’s own art form.

Teaching requires a passion and dedication.

Not all writers need to become teachers. Save those jobs for people who have a calling, to be a teachers.


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