When I was at Notre Dame (60-61) studying for a Master of Arts Degree in Teaching (MAT) I read a passage extolling teaching as a career. I don't have the exact text even though I have made a moderate effort to rediscover it. The gist was that teaching, when compared to other professional careers, had a higher purpose and hence would provide a higher degree of satisfaction. The only exception being that of priest or minister.
My years of experience in public education have given and continue to give me a great deal of satisfaction. I especially enjoy seeing the "light" in a student's eyes when they grasp a new concept. I am quite gratified by knowing and working with several former students who are now adults working in the field of education. One of the proudest moments of my professional life occurred when I was at a consequential meeting and was seated with two of my past students who were important contributors. I had the opportunity to introduce myself--as did everyone. However, I was delighted to also announce that I was seated between two of my previous students.
I feel that public education, today, is being asked to do more than can reasonably be expected; or is even possible--yet no other institution could do as much. Efforts at improving public education is a struggle that must be continued. Link to an on-line HTML PowerPoint presentation of Jamie Vollmer's "Schools Can't Do It Alone"