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As a kid, I remember thinking teachers had great jobs because they got to take summers off. I didn't quite grasp the challenges of the position nor did I understand that, unlike their students, teachers do not spend the summer at sleep-away camp or catching up on video games.

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Trying to land that first (or second) teaching job can be a nerve-wracking experience. While some areas are in desperate need of qualified teachers, other markets are flooded with candidates. Having a professional, attention-grabbing cover letter and portfolio can make all the difference when trying to impress a hiring committee.

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Are you thinking about becoming a teacher? As a young elementary school educator, I've learned some important lessons after being in the field for the past few years.

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Learning throughout life is a good aim. However, teachers are often content with doing a reasonable job and earning a reasonable pay. Others are constantly striving to challenge themselves and push outside their boundaries. They are constantly adding to their knowledge and skills, learning from experience so they can be better teachers. Related: 5 Best Resources For Those Considering A Teaching Career While maintaining a good work-life balance is important, it is crucial for teachers to set aside some time to learn and improve their skills in the classroom:

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