Teacher Considering Career Change

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MassInvestor
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Teacher Considering Career Change

Post by MassInvestor » Wed Jul 16, 2014 7:42 pm

Hi Everyone,

I am going to throw a few things out there and see what people think. Please be nice.

I graduated from undergrad with a degree in economics in 2011. I got a masters in education in an accelerated program in 2012 and worked as a substitute teacher for the 12-13 academic year. I taught full time during 13-14. The climate at that school was bad. Other teachers suggested I look elsewhere as it was only getting worse year by year. I asked for letters of recommendation which in retrospect may have been a poor choice since it tipped my principal off that I was looking elsewhere. He non-renewed my contract.

Now, I am unemployed and looking for work. I am certified in my state, Massachusetts, and I have good recommendations so I am sure I will find employment for the next school year. I am unsure if I will find a school any better than the one I left. Better schools prefer hiring teachers with more experience.

My first year teaching was somewhat disillusioning. I am considering looking for a job outside of education but I don't know where to begin. I am one of those liberal arts graduates who is trained to do everything and nothing.

Does anybody out there know the feeling or have any thoughts?

-MI
Last edited by MassInvestor on Wed Jul 16, 2014 7:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

wilked
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Re: Teacher Considering Career Change

Post by wilked » Wed Jul 16, 2014 7:43 pm

What state are we talking about?

MassInvestor
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Re: Teacher Considering Career Change

Post by MassInvestor » Wed Jul 16, 2014 7:46 pm

wilked wrote:What state are we talking about?
Massachusetts

DJM
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Re: Teacher Considering Career Change

Post by DJM » Wed Jul 16, 2014 7:59 pm

I am starting my 21st year of teaching this fall (high school in South Carolina). I can tell you for sure that it is so important to find a good school. If you are in a rough school, it can really wear you down.

What is the problem at your school? Bad community? No support for teachers? Student apathy? I've seen it all :|

Rockies1978
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Re: Teacher Considering Career Change

Post by Rockies1978 » Wed Jul 16, 2014 8:10 pm

Econ seems like a better liberal arts degree than most (this is coming from a philosophy major) ;). You can rebrand yourself as somebody with a business focus.

I know this is a pain in the butt question to ask yourself, one I pretty much struggle to answer myself, but what do you enjoy doing?

And also, what kind of world do you see yourself working in? And when I say "world," I mean something sort of specific. The way I see it, there are broadly two different types of white collar work environments:

1) corporate - working for a major business
2) non-corporate - working in the public sector, non-profit, academia, etc

Category 2 includes a lot of very disparate fields, but there's a common denominator to them in terms of workplace culture and atmosphere. Neither category is inherently superior, it's a matter of personal taste.

If you could see yourself in the business world, maybe parlay your econ degree into something in the financial arena. Or take your education experience and try to transition that way. Who are the major companies in the education service sector? Pearson? McGraw Hill? Kaplan? A company like that might have an interest in a liberal arts grad who has a little idea of what it's like to be in the classroom.

If you can't see yourself in a corporate environment, think about what else interests you. I work in higher ed administration. People wind up here coming from all different backgrounds, many of which are of the "impractical variety."

MassInvestor
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Re: Teacher Considering Career Change

Post by MassInvestor » Wed Jul 16, 2014 8:11 pm

The problem was the administration. I don't want to complain about it since that won't do me any good. Have you spent your entire career at one school? Did you teach right out of college or do something else first?

livesoft
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Re: Teacher Considering Career Change

Post by livesoft » Wed Jul 16, 2014 8:15 pm

I learned today that you need about 500 connections on LinkedIn. It is how lots of people market not only themselves, but their companies. How is that going for you?
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Re: Teacher Considering Career Change

Post by hoppy08520 » Wed Jul 16, 2014 8:23 pm

MassInvestor, sorry about your predicament but I hope this turns into the old "one door closes, another opens" opportunity for you.

I feel like after all you did to become a teacher, you owe it to yourself to try one more year at one more school. One more year in a different school won't throw off your entire career, but it might help you figure out if teaching is or is not right for you. If you have another bad experience, then maybe teaching just isn't for you, and at least you'll know and you'll have only "thrown away" one more year as a cost of finding out. But if it works, then you'll be glad you didn't give up too fast.

I'd also try to think about how you felt when you were actually in the classroom, with kids, teaching. You mention the "climate" was bad. Was the classroom bad too? If you felt energized when you were actually in the classroom, teaching, interacting with young people, then that's a good sign. But if you didn't like that part, then that's a little worrisome. I'm trying to distinguish between the actual practice of teaching and the environment in which you were teaching (the "climate"), although I recognize that you can't entirely separate the two.

MassInvestor
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Re: Teacher Considering Career Change

Post by MassInvestor » Wed Jul 16, 2014 8:28 pm

Hi Rockies,

I enjoy making music. I am not on a level where I could play professionally though. I speak well and I have an analytic mind. As far as working environments I am in a bit of a bind. I think I could be successful in the corporate world but I don't like the idea of going out into our unstable economy. I am one of those gun-shy Millennials. Nothing wagered nothing gained, I know. I'm not sure about non-corporate options. I have been teaching in a public school and the mission drift and inefficiencies were maddening. I imagine the same problems occur in the private sector, though.

Looking at the big education companies is a fine idea. I will investigate that. I have looked a finance in the past. I interviewed for consulting firms back in 2011 but they where looking for folks with a 4.0 which I didn't have. It was still an employer's market so they could pick and choose.

On the higher ed front, I did investigate teaching at the college level. For a variety of reasons, it looked less appealing than staying at the secondary level.

-MI

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Re: Teacher Considering Career Change

Post by DJM » Wed Jul 16, 2014 8:30 pm

MassInvestor wrote:The problem was the administration. I don't want to complain about it since that won't do me any good. Have you spent your entire career at one school? Did you teach right out of college or do something else first?
I taught right out of college. I teach accounting and personal finance. Yes, at the same school. I can understand you saying that the problem is the administration. It seems that it's always the teacher's fault.

Teaching seems to be more challenging because the school seems to get "rougher" every year. That's why I can't stress to you enough that finding a nice school in a good community is paramount.

MassInvestor
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Re: Teacher Considering Career Change

Post by MassInvestor » Wed Jul 16, 2014 8:33 pm

livesoft wrote:I learned today that you need about 500 connections on LinkedIn. It is how lots of people market not only themselves, but their companies. How is that going for you?
I don't have a LinkedIn profile. I use a job search engine/ application system which is popular in New England. I have had four interviews. The last interviewer emailed me today to say that my interview went great but they are going with a more experienced candidate.

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Re: Teacher Considering Career Change

Post by tibbitts » Wed Jul 16, 2014 8:34 pm

MassInvestor wrote:The problem was the administration. I don't want to complain about it since that won't do me any good. Have you spent your entire career at one school? Did you teach right out of college or do something else first?
Probably your experience would vary depending on the school, but it seems premature to change your career if the only aspect you didn't like was the administration at one school. What subject(s) were you teaching? What grade(s)? What other work was included in your teaching job (coaching? mowing the school lawn? school bus driving?), and did you enjoy or not enjoy those tasks?

MassInvestor
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Re: Teacher Considering Career Change

Post by MassInvestor » Wed Jul 16, 2014 8:48 pm

Hi DJM,

I came to the same conclusion as you about finding a good school. I wonder what condition even the good schools will be in after a decade. Part of the reason I am rethinking teaching is that after ten years you become a liability to the administration rather than an asset. You start to cost the district more than a new teacher would. My nightmare is that I teach for a decade and get laid off in my mid-thirties with no transferable skills. I wonder if building up human capital in another expertise would be better job security. Working at a bad district is even worse because at some point the Superintendent will be under political pressure, due to tight budgets or falling test scores, to fire people.

By the way, I am not trying to start a debate on education here. This is simply how I feel and it matters to me because it affects the career decisions I will make.

-MI

DJM
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Re: Teacher Considering Career Change

Post by DJM » Wed Jul 16, 2014 8:56 pm

I totally understand where you are coming from on everything you just said. Also, that is a great point about how the good schools will even get worse. I can see that happening.

MassInvestor
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Re: Teacher Considering Career Change

Post by MassInvestor » Wed Jul 16, 2014 8:57 pm

Hi tibbitts,

I taught high school math and didn't have any after-school duties. I have worked at a number of schools doing subbing and student teaching. One year doesn't seem like much but I am 25 and at some point I am afraid I will age out of entry level jobs in other industries.

-MI

DJM
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Re: Teacher Considering Career Change

Post by DJM » Wed Jul 16, 2014 9:02 pm

Do you not have seniority in Massachusetts? Actually, some states are talking about doing away with seniority.

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joe8d
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Re: Teacher Considering Career Change

Post by joe8d » Wed Jul 16, 2014 9:04 pm

Maybe a Parochial school instead of Public?
All the Best, | Joe

MassInvestor
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Re: Teacher Considering Career Change

Post by MassInvestor » Wed Jul 16, 2014 9:13 pm

DJM wrote:Do you not have seniority in Massachusetts? Actually, some states are talking about doing away with seniority.
I had low seniority. My contract had to be renewed at the end of the year if I were to continue working at my old school. Contracts can be non-renewed for any reason barring discrimination or no reason for the first three years. After the contract for the fourth year has been signed the teacher has due process rights. Those aren't iron-clad either.

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nirvines88
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Re: Teacher Considering Career Change

Post by nirvines88 » Wed Jul 16, 2014 9:13 pm

Have you thought about teaching private school? I've taught in both private and public schools. There is comparable pay for both where I am, although public school has better benefits. On the flip side, I had the luxury of working 40 hour weeks at private school whereas I currently put in 60+ hours a week teaching public school. Also, I had practically no discipline problems teaching private school, whereas in public school it is nearly unavoidable.

I'm sure you know the statistics, but most teachers quit in the first few years. If it were me, I'd give it another year and see if it gets any better (assuming you find a job - there are usually lots of last second hires as the school year approaches). Then again, for many, teaching is a calling, so if it's not for you then you know better than anyone else.

While it's true that states are increasingly firing experienced teachers who draw higher salaries (a whole other issue...), I wouldn't worry too much about losing your job after 10 years; as a math teacher, there are lots of other things you can do for a living. All of the good teachers I talk to that switched careers to the private sector said their new workload pales in comparison to their previous career. If you're a good teacher, you can be good at most other jobs too.
"Beware of little expenses, a small leak will sink a great ship" - Poor Richard

MassInvestor
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Re: Teacher Considering Career Change

Post by MassInvestor » Wed Jul 16, 2014 9:19 pm

joe8d wrote:Maybe a Parochial school instead of Public?
I have thought about it. I went to parochial schools and as far as job satisfaction it would be awesome. The pay is lower than public schools so I have focused on public schools instead. If I don't have anything in hand within the next two weeks I will send a few applications to parochial schools. I am afraid that teaching at a parochial school would be just another step toward leaving the profession since the pay is too low to live on unless I marry a doctor or something.

MassInvestor
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Re: Teacher Considering Career Change

Post by MassInvestor » Wed Jul 16, 2014 9:36 pm

Hi Nirvines,

I answered your first question above (specifically about parochial but it applies). I am surprised to hear the pay where you are is similar. Benefits are a big part of the overall compensation though. I will give private schools a closer look. Not having to deal with discipline would be nice, How were the parents at the private school? One complaint I have heard is that parents can be pushier because they are paying customers. Was that true in your experience?

I do feel like I am called to teaching but I also think I could do other things well. It is a tough decision and I likely will teach for another year. I am happy to hear about the other math teachers you know.

-MI

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William Million
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Re: Teacher Considering Career Change

Post by William Million » Wed Jul 16, 2014 9:48 pm

Let's see: Maybe time to think outside the box. You're a Boglehead and you picked public over private school partly due to the money, so compensation is an important factor for you. However, education is not always a high income field. Also, you appear to be young and free. OK, why not take a teaching job at one of the many international schools based on the US model? Kids tend to be well-behaved expats or rich locals, and you get free housing, preferential tax treatment and an exotic experience. Even if you later decide to chuck teaching, expat work looks great on the resume. Anyway, you'll save a lot more money and avoid the Mass winter. I understand there are job fairs for international schools.

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Re: Teacher Considering Career Change

Post by Ron Ronnerson » Wed Jul 16, 2014 9:55 pm

hoppy08520 wrote:MassInvestor, sorry about your predicament but I hope this turns into the old "one door closes, another opens" opportunity for you.

I feel like after all you did to become a teacher, you owe it to yourself to try one more year at one more school. One more year in a different school won't throw off your entire career, but it might help you figure out if teaching is or is not right for you. If you have another bad experience, then maybe teaching just isn't for you, and at least you'll know and you'll have only "thrown away" one more year as a cost of finding out. But if it works, then you'll be glad you didn't give up too fast.

I'd also try to think about how you felt when you were actually in the classroom, with kids, teaching. You mention the "climate" was bad. Was the classroom bad too? If you felt energized when you were actually in the classroom, teaching, interacting with young people, then that's a good sign. But if you didn't like that part, then that's a little worrisome. I'm trying to distinguish between the actual practice of teaching and the environment in which you were teaching (the "climate"), although I recognize that you can't entirely separate the two.
The advice above is excellent. I speak from experience. I'm a business major with an MBA who went on to pursue a career as a public school teacher. I'll be starting my 12th year in the classroom this fall but almost didn't make it to this point. My first year was terribly difficult. The lack of support from administration and many discipline issues took a toll and I decided after my first year that I would quit and go back to working at a company. I liked my previous work just fine and teaching was proving to be miserable.

During the summer after my first year as a teacher, I decided to give it one more year. I reminded myself how hard I'd worked to make the transition. Due to low seniority at the time, I was not hired back in the fall to the school where I had been the previous year because of declining enrollment. Instead, I found a position at a different school in the district. The students there were mostly behind grade level but were relatively well behaved. The principal was excellent and very supportive. I enjoyed that year and found it rewarding but, again, due to low seniority and declining enrollment, I was bumped out of that school too.

As luck would have it, there was a position available at an excellent school in the district at the start of my 3rd year. I've been there for the past decade. The students at the school are highly motivated and the parents are involved. The principal is good as well. So the climate makes a big difference. I look forward to going to work each day and can't believe that I came so close to walking away from a job that I love so much. So I'd say give it just another year at a different school. If it isn't the right career for you, at least you'll be more certain.

All the best,
Ron

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Re: Teacher Considering Career Change

Post by JMacDonald » Wed Jul 16, 2014 10:18 pm

I retired after 30 years of teaching. At the beginning of my first year, I had to do substitute teaching as I didn't have a contract at first. It actually was a good experience. I got to see many different schools in a short amount of time. If I liked the school, I left my card with the head clerk in the office so she could call me again in the future. I also would let her know that I was looking for a full time position. Before long I was offered a long term substitute position for a teacher on leave. That turned into a regular position the next year.

When you get you next teaching job, do not be afraid to ask for help. Most teachers will be willing to give assistance to someone who in new and trying to do a good job. Teaching is a tough job. Good luck to you in the future.
Best Wishes, | Joe

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Re: Teacher Considering Career Change

Post by MassInvestor » Wed Jul 16, 2014 10:46 pm

Ron and Hoppy,

I agree with you about giving it at least another year. This will amuse the more wizened forum members but I am starting to feel like an old man. I've seen some of my friends launch off into careers and I feel like I am stumbling along. I love teaching. There are a lot of caveats though. I love teaching when students are being respectful and putting in a at least a modicum of effort. That may sound like a low bar but the teachers out there will recognize it is actually a high one. Two of my five classes last year met that standard. Maybe that's actually a good record considering it was my first year. I don't know.

The climate seeped from outside the classroom into it. For instance, the kids knew if they skipped detention the administration would do nothing. That made classroom difficult harder. I would keep listing things except I have made a commitment to myself not to complain.

I hope to find a school with a better climate. I know good schools are out there.

One another note. Sometimes people think that teaching isn't part of the real world. It is. I have learned so much about society, good and bad, in three years that I could never explain it to someone who wasn't there.

-MI

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Re: Teacher Considering Career Change

Post by MassInvestor » Wed Jul 16, 2014 10:47 pm

JMacDonald,

Thanks.

-MI

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Re: Teacher Considering Career Change

Post by cmr86 » Thu Jul 17, 2014 12:49 am

MassInvestor wrote:I love teaching when students are being respectful and putting in a at least a modicum of effort. That may sound like a low bar but the teachers out there will recognize it is actually a high one. Two of my five classes last year met that standard. Maybe that's actually a good record considering it was my first year. I don't know.
My first year, I had two obnoxious classes (one was a true nightmare class). Last year, I only had one (my second year of teaching). The most important thing to do is to focus not on content delivery but firming up classroom procedures. Tighten them up, build rapport with your students, and it'll smooth out.
The climate seeped from outside the classroom into it. For instance, the kids knew if they skipped detention the administration would do nothing. That made classroom difficult harder. I would keep listing things except I have made a commitment to myself not to complain.
That's rough. You may want to notify your students' parents. (Yes, I'm aware of the myriad of annoying problems that that can incur, but at least you tried). Find someone with a positive outlook at your next school. That is key.

I hope to find a school with a better climate. I know good schools are out there.
One another note. Sometimes people think that teaching isn't part of the real world. It is. I have learned so much about society, good and bad, in three years that I could never explain it to someone who wasn't there.

-MI
You're never going escape the "You only work half a year" mentality. It's just something you get over, push through, recharge and start up again.

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Re: Teacher Considering Career Change

Post by anonenigma » Thu Jul 17, 2014 1:57 am

The administration at your school may well have been toxic, but it all comes down to how you feel about the kids. If you fundamentally enjoy working with them, teaching is a great profession.

Also, how deeply do you believe in the importance of your subject matter? You were an econ major teaching math. Social Studies jobs are hard to get, but if you feel more passion about social science, would you be able be able to switch subjects after a few years?

In addition, the math classes you were teaching make a big difference. If you were teaching Algebra 1 in high school, I feel for you. That is one tough job. With the Common Core Standards being implemented, it will probably become even more difficult.

It takes a few years to discover how good a teacher you can be. If the fundamentals mentioned above are workable, I'd give it another try.

I'd stick with public schools if I were you. Charters overwork their teachers and they leave pretty quickly, and private schools/education companies don't offer pension benefits. Teachers are not incredibly well paid, so that pension will make a huge difference in your retirement prospects.

Good luck.

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Re: Teacher Considering Career Change

Post by nirvines88 » Thu Jul 17, 2014 4:59 am

MassInvestor wrote: How were the parents at the private school? One complaint I have heard is that parents can be pushier because they are paying customers. Was that true in your experience?
I had a parent or two who fit that description. I recall the principal of the school basically being told, "we've paid enough money over the last few years for our son to graduate", which I hope was ignored. Most of the parents were fine though. Some parents were a little more hands off.
"Beware of little expenses, a small leak will sink a great ship" - Poor Richard

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Re: Teacher Considering Career Change

Post by Julieta » Thu Jul 17, 2014 6:18 am

If you can stay in teaching, do it. The personal rewards helping young people are many, especially if you can teach with a life skills focus. I am doing it now, and wish I started earlier instead of a business career in corporate. There are benefits of group insurance, a union to back you up (in many states), the ability to stay working without getting pushed out due to age discrimination, and in many states, a pension. If you can sub in some other schools, you can find out a lot about the students and administration. I subbed for a year and landed in a terrific school district. If you apply to several districts, you can work full time under sub pay and hopefully get hired by one you like.
Keep It Simple

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Julieta
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Re: Teacher Considering Career Change

Post by Julieta » Thu Jul 17, 2014 6:22 am

MassInvestor wrote:Ron and Hoppy,

I agree with you about giving it at least another year. This will amuse the more wizened forum members but I am starting to feel like an old man. I've seen some of my friends launch off into careers and I feel like I am stumbling along. I love teaching. There are a lot of caveats though. I love teaching when students are being respectful and putting in a at least a modicum of effort. That may sound like a low bar but the teachers out there will recognize it is actually a high one. Two of my five classes last year met that standard. Maybe that's actually a good record considering it was my first year. I don't know.

The climate seeped from outside the classroom into it. For instance, the kids knew if they skipped detention the administration would do nothing. That made classroom difficult harder. I would keep listing things except I have made a commitment to myself not to complain.

I hope to find a school with a better climate. I know good schools are out there.

One another note. Sometimes people think that teaching isn't part of the real world. It is. I have learned so much about society, good and bad, in three years that I could never explain it to someone who wasn't there.

-MI

And here is where you can try working in some other districts as a sub. You can find out a lot by subbing in different schools.
Keep It Simple

windaar
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Re: Teacher Considering Career Change

Post by windaar » Thu Jul 17, 2014 9:39 am

Have you thought about teaching private school?
Since you are in MA maybe you should contact Carney Sandoe & Associates in Boston, a free placement service for private school teachers. There are a lot of private schools in the East and many pay a decent salary.

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Re: Teacher Considering Career Change

Post by Fallible » Thu Jul 17, 2014 10:56 am

If you love teaching, I hope the advice here will help you find a way to stay in this vital profession. I'm not a teacher (although two family members had long teaching careers at the high school and college levels), but I am forever grateful for the good teachers I had in high school and college. An inspiring teacher (especially a patient one in my case), can make all the difference in a young life. Probably few teachers ever know of the good they've done for their students mainly because it takes time, even many years, before students themselves realize it; even then, I would guess few former students think to contact their teachers to thank them.

As another poster here pointed out, there are problems with management and administration in every profession. In my experience, a key to dealing successfully with it is to love what you are doing.
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charley
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Re: Teacher Considering Career Change

Post by charley » Thu Jul 17, 2014 11:24 am

Have you thought about Teach for America? My wife went through the program, and they boast about their alumni network and diverse opportunities available for alumni. While you're unlikely to end up in an idea teaching situation, they do offer a lot of support to corp members.

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Re: Teacher Considering Career Change

Post by Julieta » Thu Jul 17, 2014 12:20 pm

Fallible wrote:If you love teaching, I hope the advice here will help you find a way to stay in this vital profession. I'm not a teacher (although two family members had long teaching careers at the high school and college levels), but I am forever grateful for the good teachers I had in high school and college. An inspiring teacher (especially a patient one in my case), can make all the difference in a young life. Probably few teachers ever know of the good they've done for their students mainly because it takes time, even many years, before students themselves realize it; even then, I would guess few former students think to contact their teachers to thank them.

As another poster here pointed out, there are problems with management and administration in every profession. In my experience, a key to dealing successfully with it is to love what you are doing.
This is an important job. It changes lives.
Keep It Simple

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Re: Teacher Considering Career Change

Post by Fallible » Thu Jul 17, 2014 1:21 pm

Julieta wrote:
Fallible wrote:If you love teaching, I hope the advice here will help you find a way to stay in this vital profession. I'm not a teacher (although two family members had long teaching careers at the high school and college levels), but I am forever grateful for the good teachers I had in high school and college. An inspiring teacher (especially a patient one in my case), can make all the difference in a young life. Probably few teachers ever know of the good they've done for their students mainly because it takes time, even many years, before students themselves realize it; even then, I would guess few former students think to contact their teachers to thank them.

As another poster here pointed out, there are problems with management and administration in every profession. In my experience, a key to dealing successfully with it is to love what you are doing.
This is an important job. It changes lives.
It does change lives and it's just unfortunate that too often that change for the better isn't realized by the student until he or she is much older and gains perspective on life. Hopefully, they'll then find a way to thank the teacher(s).

I enjoyed your earlier post.
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Re: Teacher Considering Career Change

Post by uglystickrules » Thu Jul 17, 2014 1:35 pm

I have a degree in economics as well. I thought about going into teaching and changed my mind about the Master of Arts in Teaching I entered after my degree. I'm glad I did. I found a job with my state as a labor market analyst for BLS, and I've recently accepted a position as securities examiner in my state's version of the securities commission. The pay is probably slightly less than that of a teacher but my new position will sponsor me to take the Series 7 and 66 advisor exams - from there, so many more doors will be open. Also, the hours won't be as long, no dealing with lesson plans and certifications.

I honestly didn't expect to get an interview for this position as they were looking for someone with more of a financial background that can speak the language, but they liked me in my interview, the person they hired didn't show even though he was a CFA, so they called me back. I'm starting a new job, getting a bump in pay, and having more doors opened by virtue of merely taking a chance. Use your degree in econ, which is more versatile than it might seem, especially in the financial world.

MassInvestor
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Re: Teacher Considering Career Change

Post by MassInvestor » Thu Jul 17, 2014 8:54 pm

Hello Everyone,

I appreciate all the responses. I am considering all the points you have made.

Thanks,
MI

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Julieta
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Re: Teacher Considering Career Change

Post by Julieta » Thu Jul 17, 2014 9:23 pm

We hope to hear back from you about your decisions. Keep us informed!
Keep It Simple

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Raymond
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Re: Teacher Considering Career Change

Post by Raymond » Thu Jul 17, 2014 9:31 pm

I graduated with a BA in economics from a Big Ten university in the mid-1980s, followed by one year in an urban planning master's program, then left to become an Air Force officer.

Left the Air Force after seven years and returned to school to become a physician assistant (PA) in the mid-1990s, been doing that since then (on career break now.)

As mentioned above, if you love teaching, give it a second chance. I hope you find the perfect trifecta of great students, wonderful parents, and a supportive administration :happy

I know my oldest daughter has been happy with the majority of her teachers, who have really fired up her desire to learn.

If Massachusetts doesn't pan out, would you consider moving out of state? That might widen your options.
"Ritter, Tod und Teufel"

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Re: Teacher Considering Career Change

Post by 4nursebee » Fri Jul 18, 2014 7:36 am

It is likely true that older experienced workers get disillusioned as every system has problems, regardless of industry.
If you stay in teaching, focus on what is controllable--->yourself. Choose your own attitude/approach and avoid the negativity,it will only make you miserable.
On teaching, I read no passion in the job. Perhaps you ought not teach the future. I'd rather have someone passionate about the kids in the seats, working hard under the circumstances to improve their lot. I bet people that work hard with bad situations get better letters of recommendation.
Workplace politics- perhaps you learned a good lesson early on.

I chuckled at this as I would consider becoming a teacher as a 2nd career.
4nursebee

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gunn_show
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Re: Teacher Considering Career Change

Post by gunn_show » Fri Jul 18, 2014 10:48 am

You're not alone. My bro has been teaching for 6-10 years depending on how you count internships and subbing and various full time gigs and wants out. He's had a horrid principal the last couple years, bad administration, bad kids (he teaches PE and sometimes English to performing arts kids that could care less about anything but their art of trade), 13 year old girls getting expelled for fighting or selling dope or knives or you name it, he's seen it. This is in CA. And to top it off they are very underpaid out here relative to not only the market but teachers in other states. And he has been pink slipped twice due to CA state budget crisis - all teachers under X age or X years tenure got auto-pink slipped and then if lucky brought back.

Luckily he has been a night/weekend bartender the last ten years so he is able to stay afloat during the bad times, summers, etc. He has tried getting into sales, getting a second MA in instructional design, you name it. Very tough to leave teaching sector for something un-related. He is getting closer to a design/training job but hasn't sealed the deal yet. It may require him to move to another state since CA is so competitive on any job at this time, especially one where you have no true experience and are trying to switch careers.

He is currently in New Zealand for 20 days clearing his mind, jumping bridges, drinking good beer, eating Fergburger, and snowboarding all over the place. And waiting to hear if he has his teaching job when he returns. The guy has been an outstanding teacher and used to love it, but now is so burned out he just wants out. pretty sad. meanwhile there are tons of lazy tenured teachers just punching the clock setting up videos every week...

so, you are not alone, good luck in your quest
"The best life hack of all is to just put the work in and never give up." Bas Rutten

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Re: Teacher Considering Career Change

Post by cmr86 » Fri Jul 18, 2014 11:25 am

MassInvestor wrote:Hi tibbitts,

I taught high school math and didn't have any after-school duties. I have worked at a number of schools doing subbing and student teaching. One year doesn't seem like much but I am 25 and at some point I am afraid I will age out of entry level jobs in other industries.

-MI
Also, might I add that your first year is always your hardest. Take the rest of the summer to apply to positions and reassess how you want to run your classroom. Make sure you take the first week or two to really solidify your classroom procedures.

Another thing I've found is that going to professional development over the summer (like AVID summer institute or core subject institutes) are really refreshing. If you love teaching and want to better your profession, you get all these cool ideas and it really jazzes you up.
Last edited by cmr86 on Fri Jul 18, 2014 11:35 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Teacher Considering Career Change

Post by cmr86 » Fri Jul 18, 2014 11:32 am

tommy_gunn wrote: This is in CA. And to top it off they are very underpaid out here relative to not only the market but teachers in other states. And he has been pink slipped twice due to CA state budget crisis - all teachers under X age or X years tenure got auto-pink slipped and then if lucky brought back.
I guess it depends on the district and your education level. I'm all the way on the right of the salary schedule (BA + 75 with a MA stipend). I'm in my third year of teaching and my pay will be between 55k and 63k (depending if I get a 6/5ths position) for the 2014-2015 school year. That's also because I will be coaching (but the stipend for that is only like $2,500).

If you're in Sacramento, like I am, that's very affordable.

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Re: Teacher Considering Career Change

Post by gunn_show » Fri Jul 18, 2014 11:37 am

cmr86 wrote:
tommy_gunn wrote: This is in CA. And to top it off they are very underpaid out here relative to not only the market but teachers in other states. And he has been pink slipped twice due to CA state budget crisis - all teachers under X age or X years tenure got auto-pink slipped and then if lucky brought back.
I guess it depends on the district and your education level. I'm all the way on the right of the salary schedule (BA + 75 with a MA stipend). I'm in my third year of teaching and my pay will be between 55k and 63k (depending if I get a 6/5ths position) for the 2014-2015 school year. That's also because I will be coaching (but the stipend for that is only like $2,500).

If you're in Sacramento, like I am, that's very affordable.
he is similar in units to you, BA, MA credential, MA instructional design, so he has maxed his pay credits (for this very reason, as I am sure you did), and is around the same pay as you mention. which, for someone at that age and experience level, living in expensive SoCal, is not so affordable, at least as a main breadwinner position (he is single, but you get the point...)
"The best life hack of all is to just put the work in and never give up." Bas Rutten

cmr86
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Re: Teacher Considering Career Change

Post by cmr86 » Fri Jul 18, 2014 12:13 pm

tommy_gunn wrote:
he is similar in units to you, BA, MA credential, MA instructional design, so he has maxed his pay credits (for this very reason, as I am sure you did), and is around the same pay as you mention. which, for someone at that age and experience level, living in expensive SoCal, is not so affordable, at least as a main breadwinner position (he is single, but you get the point...)
One of the many reasons I love NorCal so much more...

Does your brother live alone? I have roommates that subsidize my mortgage, which is super helpful.

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gunn_show
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Re: Teacher Considering Career Change

Post by gunn_show » Fri Jul 18, 2014 12:23 pm

cmr86 wrote:
tommy_gunn wrote:
he is similar in units to you, BA, MA credential, MA instructional design, so he has maxed his pay credits (for this very reason, as I am sure you did), and is around the same pay as you mention. which, for someone at that age and experience level, living in expensive SoCal, is not so affordable, at least as a main breadwinner position (he is single, but you get the point...)
One of the many reasons I love NorCal so much more...

Does your brother live alone? I have roommates that subsidize my mortgage, which is super helpful.
Yes, but that is a sore subject :oops: has had roommates that would cover almost all the mortgage, but as you get older, folks move out because of relationships, move for new job, want to live alone, etc. So he hasn't been able to find another one for a year or two. His mortgage is not that bad, but still that income is not high after taxes and bills and a desire to travel and enjoy the life :beer
"The best life hack of all is to just put the work in and never give up." Bas Rutten

cmr86
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Re: Teacher Considering Career Change

Post by cmr86 » Fri Jul 18, 2014 12:57 pm

tommy_gunn wrote:
Yes, but that is a sore subject :oops: has had roommates that would cover almost all the mortgage, but as you get older, folks move out because of relationships, move for new job, want to live alone, etc. So he hasn't been able to find another one for a year or two. His mortgage is not that bad, but still that income is not high after taxes and bills and a desire to travel and enjoy the life :beer

Believe me, I hate having roommates. I'm 27 and just kind of want to come home and be by myself (or with my girlfriend). I both long for and dread the day that my girlfriend finishes law school and decides she wants to move in. My roommates range from 19 to mid-thirties and two of them are almost never around (ideal, really).

The most frustrating thing is the cleaning situation.

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Re: Teacher Considering Career Change

Post by ja16351 » Fri Jul 18, 2014 2:03 pm

I second what others have said. give it a second year in a different school.
One thing that hasn't been mentioned is that teaching is a rare profession where experience takes a lot of time to build up. I've been teaching for eleven years, but that means less than it sounds like. for example, I've only had eleven days of experience with "the first day of school." I hope to have it all figured out by my 30th year. :wink:

One last thing. I spent most of my first ten years wondering if I had made the right choice. I taught in several schools, had varying administrations, etc. I finally landed in a great school with a wonderful administration. Even in the most challenging schools, there is great satisfaction in going to my classroom after a humiliating faculty meeting, closing the door, and knowing that I'm going to do the best I can for my kids.

As others have said, stay away from the negative. even in the best schools, the Negative Nancies and Neds can drag you down.

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Re: Teacher Considering Career Change

Post by cmr86 » Fri Jul 18, 2014 2:26 pm

ja16351 wrote:I second what others have said. give it a second year in a different school.
One thing that hasn't been mentioned is that teaching is a rare profession where experience takes a lot of time to build up. I've been teaching for eleven years, but that means less than it sounds like. for example, I've only had eleven days of experience with "the first day of school." I hope to have it all figured out by my 30th year. :wink:
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