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redandblue
03-29-2011, 03:24 PM
I thought I was posting this in the budget board but I accidentally put it in the family board so I am reposting.

What I mean is you had your bachelors and worked in a different field then went back to school to be a teacher.

I have my bachelors of Science in Business. I have worked in the insurance industry for the past 10 years and am 34 with a 3yo DS and a 1yo DD. And I a considering going back to school to be a teacher. I have some questions. (I also live in Michigan)

1. How long did it take you to get your teaching certificate with a BS? Rough idea considering all the general ed courses already taken.
2. Was it hard to go back to school and student teach with kids.
3. What made you do it?
4. How hard was it to find a job? (are schools looking for 20 somethings or do they like the prior experience)
5. What made your decision to take the leap
6. Would you do it over again with all the issues with teachers now? And am I crazy to even consider leaving a well paying job in this economy.

daisyduck123
03-29-2011, 03:51 PM
Hi! I'm not a "2nd career teacher" (I've been teaching 20 years) but I do just want to suggest that if you haven't already, you should really try substitute teaching for awhile. This will give you an idea of what the job is like. You will also get an idea for what grades/levels you prefer.

I'm just suggesting this because there really, truly are a LOT of people out there who have no idea what teaching is really like. Everyone thinks they know it/are familiar with it just because they were students themselves & went through school. (And no, being a Room Mom or volunteering in the classroom does not count...as many people seem to think they get a clear view of teaching that way:rotfl:).

If, after subbing, you find that you do enjoy it, then I'd say it will be worth the time & energy you put into getting your teaching certificate. Good luck & have fun!

bridget
03-29-2011, 04:01 PM
I also think subbing is a good idea.

Right now there are lots of places that have hiring freezes and are laying off teachers due to budget issues.


I have an IT degree and and elementary ed degree. I taught for 2 years, then used my IT degree in the business world for 8 years. I am now teaching again (I am a part-time reading specialist).

amyy
03-29-2011, 04:56 PM
I am kind of a 2nd career teacher as I am on a teacher's salary scale/contract.

I agree with subbing. Try to job shadow as much as you can too. Weigh out if you need to take out loans compare to what your salary will be. Plus how many hours you work now as compare to what you might as a teacher. My district is extreme but a large percentage of the teacher's work 60-70+ hours a week. I know other districts where the workload is closer to 45-50 but I am sure there are a lot like the district where I work.

6-probably not. I love my job but I would probably use my degree elsewhere. I live in Maine and if the Governor's gets his way with changes to our retirement I will probably find a different job. That sad fact is I have to pay the bills now and when I retire. It is hard to do that on a teacher's salary (at least in Maine). Not to mention a lot of stuff with standardized test scores etc. That is a whole other subject.

gatormom2tots
03-29-2011, 05:46 PM
Have to agree....sub first and make sure you are cut out for it....I easily put in 50 hour weeks! But I love my job...


The other thing its not a great field right now. I have friends that have been teaching for 10 years at the same school and have been displaced. I work inthe largest district in the state of Georgia and over 300 employees with experience were displaced...can't even imagine somebody coming in straight from school.

I keep hearing of all the grads who are still looking for a job 2-3 years later.

Cindy B
03-29-2011, 08:44 PM
I thought I was posting this in the budget board but I accidentally put it in the family board so I am reposting.

What I mean is you had your bachelors and worked in a different field then went back to school to be a teacher.

I have my bachelors of Science in Business. I have worked in the insurance industry for the past 10 years and am 34 with a 3yo DS and a 1yo DD. And I a considering going back to school to be a teacher. I have some questions. (I also live in Michigan)

1. How long did it take you to get your teaching certificate with a BS? Rough idea considering all the general ed courses already taken.
2. Was it hard to go back to school and student teach with kids.
3. What made you do it?
4. How hard was it to find a job? (are schools looking for 20 somethings or do they like the prior experience)
5. What made your decision to take the leap
6. Would you do it over again with all the issues with teachers now? And am I crazy to even consider leaving a well paying job in this economy.

I am 40 years old and currently in my first year of teaching. I have two teenagers. I have worked other positions and so teaching is my 2nd career.

However, I did things a little differently. I have two bachelors, one in writing and one in education. I did the dual major so I could become a highly qualified teacher.

1)It took me about 2 years to get these two bachelor's degrees with all general education courses completed (I already had an associates degree)

2) Student teaching was challenging. I student taught in an urban inner city school and it was HARD. I dealt with extreme poverty, racism, challenging parents.. and I should mention I was in the most dangerous city in the United States. (I am a suburban Caucasian woman... I stuck out!)

3) I always wanted to teach. That was the reason why I finally finished after 20 years after graduating high school.

4) It is extremely difficult to find a teaching job. I had a 4.0 GPA, great recommendations, dual certifications in Middle School English and Elementary Education and still took 22 months to find a teaching job. I sent over 200 resumes and went on 17, yes, 17 interviews until I found my full time teaching position. As for age, I know in my situation, being older and more mature helps.

I work full time in the same inner city I student taught in. I still deal with extreme poverty, racism, danger, and truth be told very SCARY student. The town is still the most dangerous in the nation. The need is great in this district. Everyday is an extreme challenge. Younger teachers can't do it.. my oldest students are 16 year old 8th graders.. the age gap is too small. Being a parent even a grandparent helps you.

5) The leap was needed. I know that having a bachelors degree would never be "wasted" because other professions require a bachelors. I worked for the Federal Government for over a year and my bachelor degrees were a prerequisite.

6) Would I do it all over again? I did leave a stable Federal Government position to come to my teaching position. Somedays I question my sanity. Somedays I see the light bulb over my students heads and it makes it worthwile. I'm still in my first year so it is difficult to say.

At this very moment, I would say to stay where you are. Depending on your state, you may be in a difficult position. I'm "lucky" because of my district.. nobody is knocking down doors to work in this town due to the violence and crime. Would I love a suburban district where all is right, and all I have to worry about is kids chewing gum... yes! Right now, I have homeless students, students who are in juvenile detention, students who have drug and alcohol problems, students who live in extreme poverty, students who can't resist the pull of the street corner and easy money. Note this is a public school.. not a school for troubled teens or an alternative school.

Many days I come home crying.. today was one of them. I will say that this experience has made me stronger. By the way, I subbed for 6 years while I was going to school. I subbed in surburban districts and I should have subbed in urban districts to understand the students better.

Tink-aholic
03-29-2011, 09:27 PM
I thought I was posting this in the budget board but I accidentally put it in the family board so I am reposting.

What I mean is you had your bachelors and worked in a different field then went back to school to be a teacher.

I have my bachelors of Science in Business. I have worked in the insurance industry for the past 10 years and am 34 with a 3yo DS and a 1yo DD. And I a considering going back to school to be a teacher. I have some questions. (I also live in Michigan)

1. How long did it take you to get your teaching certificate with a BS? Rough idea considering all the general ed courses already taken.
2. Was it hard to go back to school and student teach with kids.
3. What made you do it?
4. How hard was it to find a job? (are schools looking for 20 somethings or do they like the prior experience)
5. What made your decision to take the leap
6. Would you do it over again with all the issues with teachers now? And am I crazy to even consider leaving a well paying job in this economy.

I am in my fifth year teaching now and I LOVE it! I will answer your questions:

1. I am still working on my teaching certificate. I took a few tests to get my preliminary teaching certificate and had five years to take seven 3-credit courses and complete a mentoring program. I will finish this June and most of it will have been paid by the school where I work.
2. I didn't "student-teach" -- they just tossed me to the wolves on the first day! My first year was the hardest. Like the PP, I work in an impoverished district. We deal with gangs, drugs, teen parents, etc. My kids are all seniors in high school and some of them have more than one child by this point. At least they are still in school.
3. I had taught a few night classes and found that I liked teaching. Teaching adults skills that they want (and pay for) is COMPLETELY different than teaching teens, however. Some days, I feel like I am herding cats all day. But sometimes, I know that I make a difference in someone's life.
4. I was lucky in that my school wanted to hire me before I knew there was a position open. It is much harder to get in here now.
5. I was working in healthcare before and this job pays more than double my last job...and for sixteen fewer weeks! And the benefits are crazy (15 sick days a year?!).
6. Not sure what you mean by the last question and "issues with teachers now". Bullying? Sex with students? Breaking up the unions? Standardized testing? These issues have always been around. I am glad that they are taking a stronger stand against ALL of them (yes, I am a teacher and yes, I am against unions).

I read a statistic once that said that more than half of all new teachers quit and change professions within the first three years. That is a risky proposition if you don't know if you are even going to like it. Many districts aren't offering subbing right now, but you could teach other classes. Try night school/GED classes, etc. Get your feet wet and see if you like it. You might just get hooked like the rest of us. :goodvibes

Good luck.

Tink2Day
03-29-2011, 09:42 PM
I'm a first career teacher and a second (or is it third?) career something else.

Most districts are cutting drastically. Many have no subbing available.
My home state is increasing class size to 60 students and have a hiring freeze and buy-out retirement in place.
This is a state which was routinely 'raided' by other states for the teachers, but not happening now.
Take a look at Wisconsin and some of the States where they are closing schools to save money.

This economy? Unless you have a stable income from a spouse/partner I'd say wait it out a bit. Volunteer at the local youth centers or something similar and teach a class of some type there to see if you even like it.

I have a friend who has a degree in Chemical engineering and went back to get her teaching degree and certification. I believe it took her two years. She's waiting it out until her children are older and then wants to be a professor, so more work ahead for her.

Gone are the days (just about 5 years ago) where the local University was offering accelerated avenues to certification, taking life/work experience into account and allowing people to take a couple of years worth of classes and student teach and be certified in 2 years.

Tink-aholic, lucky you. In this state you don't teach if you aren't certified and you have to re-certify.
When I graduated eons ago, we had 5 years max to obtain our Masters, it was a requirement or no tenure. Times have changed and frankly so has the educational system and the quality. I thought at one time 45 children in a class was at times overwhelming.
Imagine SIXTY!
p.s. I'm opposite, I now work in healthcare and make MUCH more than I did teaching. But my area is very well paid and somewhat technical.

aprilfoolwed
03-29-2011, 10:02 PM
Not a second-career teacher yet, but I am in school for it. This is my 2nd semester. I had to take one class in my "major" (English), one 3-credit math class (6 credits are required by PA for any teacher), and then a whole bunch of education classes. I am a part-time student, and it will take me 2.5 years to get my English 7-12 cert. I also want to get my special ed cert, but that will take longer, and because of some changes to teacher certification in PA, I am opting to at least get my English done by the close of 2012.

1. How long did it take you to get your teaching certificate with a BS? Rough idea considering all the general ed courses already taken.
It will depend on your state's requirements and how many classes you can take a semester. It will also depend on the college and how frequently they offer the classes. I would think 2 years is a good estimate.

2. Was it hard to go back to school and student teach with kids.
Yes, it's the hardest part. I love being back in school. I love the classes and the work - it's a nice change after 10 years at home with the kids. But it's REALLY hard to balance everything. I still do all the kid stuff, plus most of the house stuff, and have to fit my schooling (including my 90 hours/semester field work) into the schedule. It's really tough, but it can be done!

3. What made you do it?
I took a job as a teacher's aide and loved working with the high school special ed kids. I ended up doing A LOT more than my job description, and after 3 days of full-time teaching when the (much higher paid) sub sat watching me, I decided I needed to go back to school myself.

4. How hard was it to find a job? (are schools looking for 20 somethings or do they like the prior experience)
Haven't gotten that far, but it doesn't look good. Once I get my spec ed cert, I will have a better chance for employment.

5. What made your decision to take the leap
see above
6. Would you do it over again with all the issues with teachers now? And am I crazy to even consider leaving a well paying job in this economy.
I would do it again. It's something that can't be taken away from me. BUT - I am in a different situation than you. I have been a SAHM for 10 years, and really didn't have any great job prospects out there. I was not ready for full-time employment because I still have a little one at home, so going abck to school was a good option. I didn't count on PA changing requirements and me ended up student teaching in 2012, but it will be good to get it done. The market for teachers will rebound at some point, and when it does, i'll be ready. Now, if I had a job that paid well and I enjoyed, I am not sure I'd make the move. But if it would make you happy, and you could survive without a salary while you job hunt, then go for it!

tasha99
03-29-2011, 10:58 PM
I will be sort of a second career teacher starting this fall. My BA is in English, but I went back to school to get a Masters in Communication Disorders and Sciences. I'm almost done, and it will have taken 3 years-- 1 for postbac work, and 2 for the Masters.

I did my student teaching last term and am doing my medical externship this term. That's sort of a plus--there are several other routes than teaching with this degree. I don't have a job yet, but had my first interview last week. The school district actually contacted me first to invite me to apply, so that's promising. Just an idea, since school districts are cutting, but many seem to be short of speech teachers (as well as PTs and OTs for that matter--probably even more so).

As for your questions:
1. How long did it take you to get your teaching certificate with a BS? Rough idea considering all the general ed courses already taken.
n/a--Masters required.
2. Was it hard to go back to school and student teach with kids.
Easy because I LOVED it. I'm 44 and was the same age as my supervising teacher. It made it fun to be agemates like that. The kids were great and loved speech class. I student taught at a community elementary school and two schools with residential programs for kids with severe behavior problems. It was a great teaching experience there too. I found being older helped, because I had experience with behavior management from my own life (3 kids, mostly grown.)
3. What made you do it?
I realized I didn't enjoy working in a law office and wanted a job that would be more fun and give me more income. My friend, a retired PT, started suggesting I go for OT or PT. I thought about all the therapy jobs and realized that for someone who loves language, being an SLP would be a great career.
4. How hard was it to find a job? (are schools looking for 20 somethings or do they like the prior experience)
Well, I just started looking, so I can't say for sure. I have heard it can be harder with experience that counts on the pay scale, but as a new teacher, none of yours would. Youth vs. wisdom--it would probably vary.
5. What made your decision to take the leap
I just did it. I thought about it, went and talked to someone at the grad school, and applied for my post bac classes in a two week period. I figured the time will pass no matter what I do--might as well be getting some skills.
6. Would you do it over again with all the issues with teachers now? And am I crazy to even consider leaving a well paying job in this economy.
Yes, I would. About your situation, I couldn't say. I was leaving a $15/hour no benefits secretarial job so I wasn't risking as much. What do you want to teach? Have you job shadowed anyone to get an idea of what the job entails?
Here's data on an upcoming job fair for Oregon Educators. It gives an idea of how many people are applying for how many positions, at that fair at least.

Position #Applicants #Schools w/positions
Math 130 30
English/LangArts 163 20
K-3 425 32
4-6 444 33
Science 111 23
Social Studies 141 12
PT 2 11
OT 2 11
SLP 8 17
Special Ed 128 36

StephMK
03-29-2011, 11:19 PM
I'm at the end of my schooling to be a second career teacher. I have a BA in Psych & also have worked in insurance for 10+ years. I am still working for them PT from home while in school.

1. How long did it take you to get your teaching certificate with a BS? Rough idea considering all the general ed courses already taken.

It's taken me 2 years FT and I have 2 more classes for my sped cert. I am getting my MEd in Elem Ed. All my gen ed classes applied so I took 4 education pre-reqs-music, art, etc. and all the ed classes.

2. Was it hard to go back to school and student teach with kids. YES! I am student teaching now. My kids are older elem & HS so they are fairly independent, which helps. Plus DH has a flexible job w/regular hours.

3. What made you do it? mid life crisis! :lmao: Actually, my 1st major was elem ed but the market was horrible back then too. I've always wanted to go back and get my masters.

4. How hard was it to find a job? (are schools looking for 20 somethings or do they like the prior experience)

I get mixed reactions to that question. I think my maturity will help & I'm not going to marry/get pg/etc. & leave in a year. My resume is out so just waiting for the hiring season to pick up. My student teaching school has at least 1 opening.

5. What made your decision to take the leap see above! I could not stomach the thought of spending another 20+ yrs in insurance. I mean, seriously, like I was going to poke my eyes out if I had to keep sitting in front of that desk for that many more years. Something had to change so I took the leap.

6. Would you do it over again with all the issues with teachers now? And am I crazy to even consider leaving a well paying job in this economy.

If you ask my father, he would say yes, you are crazy. :rotfl: I would definitely go back again. Too soon to tell if I would pick education again. I have also wanted to be a counselor and wonder if I should have gone that route since there are so many issues. I love working w/the kids though and feel like I have options in my future.

Research all your options. There are 17 approved ed programs in my state & I looked at all of them. I'm at a private college because it was a better situation than the large public college in the same town. I have spent a lot of time in schools during my 2 yrs but can't sub because they require certified teachers. I have taken a few classes online in the summer from another college because it is cheaper & helped me get some core classes out of the way.

I want to teach sped and there are still openings around here for that. Another college has a EdS/PhD program for sped, which I hope to look into or possibly school counseling (which requires 2 yrs of teaching in my state).

I am looking forward to graduation in May & keeping fingers crossed that I can find employment. Let me know if you have any questions, I'm happy to share any info that might help you!

RangerPooh
03-29-2011, 11:25 PM
1. How long did it take you to get your teaching certificate with a BS? Rough idea considering all the general ed courses already taken.
2. Was it hard to go back to school and student teach with kids.
3. What made you do it?
4. How hard was it to find a job? (are schools looking for 20 somethings or do they like the prior experience)
5. What made your decision to take the leap
6. Would you do it over again with all the issues with teachers now? And am I crazy to even consider leaving a well paying job in this economy.

1) My BS is in Environemntal Studies but I went back to schoo and got my Masters degree in Teahcing Elementary Educariton, with K-8 certification. The program that I went through is designed ot be a 1 year program that is very intense. Right before I started the program I found out that I was pregnant, and as a result was encouraged to delay my student teaching a semester or two. In the end my program took almost 2 years to complete.

2) It is difficult. When I started my kids were 1.5 years and a newborn. It was very challenging!

3) While working towards my BS I was employed as a interpretive guide for the state parks in Ca, where I gave historical presentations to 3rd and 4th grade students. I enjoyed the job, but saw that having teacher certification would be benefical down the road.

4) I will be honest when I say that in the first year following the granting of my teacher certification that I applied to almost 200 positions throughout the country. I attended 3 job fairs and had a number of interviews, and 1 job offer that I declined. In the second year of searching (as it's more of a March-August kind of search) I attended 6 job fairs, had multiple interviews, applied for close to 100 jobs across the nation, and was offered 1 job that I accepted. As a result we moved our family halfway across the country. At the end of the year I was laid off.

Over the last few years I have attended multiple job fairs in Michigan (yup, lived there and was told that even with Michigan teacher certification no one would hire me as I have my degree from a non-Michigan university :sad2:), Washington, 2 in South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, Florida (a few different ones), Pennsylvania, and another state or two I'm sure...and found job candidates from all over the nation were searching for jobs because their home states were not hiring. As PPs have said, lay offs and hiring freezes have really affected the teaching market.

5) na

6) Honestly I don't know. The market is tough right now, and it looks like there could be additional difficulties for teachers coming down the pipeline. I am considering returning to the field of interpretation as it's still a form of teaching.

EKW
03-30-2011, 12:11 AM
You are crazy for leaving a well paying job in this economy. There are massive lay-offs going on in education. I lost my job last year...and will probably lose the one I have now...due to ongoing budget shortfalls. The teachers who do have jobs are being asked to take massive paycuts...after 4 or 5 years of pay freezes, AND pay more for insurance.

I moved "home" 4 years ago. I'm making $7K a year less than I was prior to the move...and paying double what I was paying for insurance. When you consider the general increase in food and energy prices, I am living on far less now than I was 10 years ago.

If you've seen Waiting for Superman and think you can solve the problems in public education, please know that teachers are not a bunch of greedy, lazy idiots. There are corrupt systems, and I've known bad teachers, but don't feel you need to give up a decent living to try to save the world!

eeyorethegreat
03-30-2011, 06:33 AM
I think you have to go in with realistic expectations and pp have been pretty honest with you. I have my teaching degree and cert. in Special Ed. I taught pre K for several years and due to various reasons left that position (it paid peanuts so it wasn't much of an income loss) . DH is a Spec Ed teacher too (currently on active military duty but will return to teaching when his tour is through) so I am aware of all the time and effort he puts into his students. The paperwork and testing is overwhelming. When I left my Pre K job I decided I did not want to have to deal with all the testing meetings paperwork etc. I am currently a Spec Ed ed tech (teachers aid) and am enjoying myself but I do not know if my position will be open next year. There are so many cuts to teachers and ed techs all around. Many positions are cut and when a teacher leaves they do not fill the position. What we see in the area districts here is that once a program or position is cut it is never reinstated. It is a sad state of affairs.

I think you should take a hard look into if teaching is really right for you and if it is decide if it is reasonable to believe that you would be able to find an open position and be hired. If you really think you have a heart for it, it could be a wonderful thing for you. You could get your cert and get right in or your could be looking for years. It took DH 4 years to get a teaching job because at the time he finished schools there just were no openings similar to what it is like now.

Best of luck in your decision.

stm61
03-30-2011, 06:50 AM
OP check the colleges within driving distance of your home. I'm a 2nd career teacher also. I had a choice of another BS degree in elementary ed from the state college, or a Master's from a private school. The private school accepted any BA/BS and put you into a 2-2 1/2 yr program that included student teaching. I chose the private school (and I'm still paying the loans after 15 yrs!). I dual certified in spec. ed. and elem. I've only taught spec. ed. As others have said, the job market is horrible right now. I'm in SC, close to the NC border. NC has had furloughs and lay offs for the past several years. SC had furloughs this year and we don't know what we're looking at for next year. For every job opening, there are hundreds of candidates. Teaching is still a field, at least in the areas that I've lived in, where WHO you know counts more then what you know, your degree, experience, etc. I love my kids, but if I had to enter the job market now, I don't think I'd do it.

nunzia
03-30-2011, 07:29 AM
I used my BS to teach for a brief time but decided against going to get the full teacher certificate. I totally HATED IT..I was in mid high in a bad school and it was amazing the level of disrepect allowed from kids and uncaring for actually educating the kids that was evident in the administration and with the parents. NO support from the administration and many teachers resented me being there with a different degree and made it very known. I would not join the union (right to work state) so I'm sure that didn't help. I had thought about options to get a teaching certificate for younger grades btu the college people basically gave me a run around, pretty much lied (as I found later) and made me feel that couldn't be done.
And, at the risk of getting flamed, I think the pay is pretty darn good..in thinking about teachers pay it is only fair to break that down to days worked. If you make 40K..that is for 184 contracted days where I live. My DH..with a degree..makes far less than that, as do I, for many many more work days. And yes I know work days can be long and work taken home, but all jobs have extra duties. Not many have 184 work days though.
Still..if you can be in a decent school wtih decent support I can see it would be a good thing, but from my experience, never again.

redandblue
03-30-2011, 07:54 AM
op here, thanks for the honest responses. Honestly I am going through a funk with my job. I just get work piled on me and have to meet these demanding requirements including customer service and to be honest I have never liked my career choice, I have always regretted not going to school to be a teacher. I am a claims adjuster.

But whenever I mention to one of my friends (who are teachers) how I considered going back to school they get all defensive and say teaching isn't easy and they are tired of people just saying "Oh I wish I could be a teacher" I think they think people just want to do it for the summers off. :confused3

Really I only have 1 friend out of many that are teachers that will admit that having summers and other holidays off is a nice perk, it is like teachers are afraid to say the enjoy some time off.

redandblue
03-30-2011, 07:56 AM
Oh and I know how hard it is to find a job as a teacher I have a cousin that graduated 2 years ago and no a few others that have been looking for a few years. I am sure it is hard to find a job that most openings only occur once a year.

raider97
03-30-2011, 09:01 AM
OP, I'm right here with you! I am planning to go back to school to get my master's degree and elementary teaching certification in the fall, my little one starts kinder then. My dh thinks I'm crazy in this market. But this is something I've wanted to do forever, and I have a ton of friends who think I only want to do it because it is an "easy" job. Not sure why they think it is "easy", I sure don't. I worked as a substitute teacher for a year, it started as just a job while waiting for my bar exam results, but I loved it so much I kept substituting three times a week even after I got hired on at a law office until my DH graduated. :) I've been looking forward to being able to teach since then. I'm going on hoping that by the time I get it out in 2+ years the market will have gotten better. If not, I have my B.B.A. and J.D. to fall back on.

Good luck!!

RangerPooh
03-30-2011, 10:02 AM
Something else to consider is, are you willing to relocate for a job? The area where I live is saturated with teachers, where you do get a couple hundred applicants for 1 job. So if you live in an area with smaller districts you need to consider if relocating is worth it to you as there is no guarantee that you will be hired at your local district, or even a district within 45 minutes of your home.

I don't know if you are are interested in teaching in a high needs field, but it is something to consider. This can vary by area, but it has typically been special education, math, and science. Sadly I was laid off from a job in SpEd, and a girlfriend of mine from Math; so it's still no guarantee that there are jobs.

bigmama67
03-30-2011, 10:16 AM
I'm in the process of getting an M.A. for "Early Childhood" (Pre-K through Grade 3). I have been laid off from 3 paralegal jobs since my DD was born in October of '08, and I am burned out on law firms (though I still submit to those positions when I see a suitable one). I started out planning to go "Alternate Route" and already have my provisional certificate, so I could teach tomorrow if I got a job...but I was told that many districts won't consider Alternate Route candidates so I decided to go on and get the full degree.

I already have a B.A. in English/Drama, an M.A. in Theatre and years of experience working with kids in the arts (though usually not for pay). My DH works at the University where I take classes so I get a tuition break (not free though!) At this point I am going to take 6 credits this fall and 9 next spring (including student teaching).

Generally I am trying to stay calm - be realistic about the challenges I will face in getting a job, but also not get negative about it! I am tutoring after school four days a week and that's something. I have tutored in the past. I'm on the substitute list in my town as of the start of this month (though I haven't been called YET). There's no way to be sure how things will be in 18 months when I'm done with my degree...so I am forging ahead.

Best of luck with your decision...and don't get TOO stressed about possibilities in the future, if you know what I mean. I have a good friend who constantly reminds me not to try to solve all the problems and "what-ifs" at one time because I'll drive myself crazy; I need to focus on the here-and-now (while not negating the facts!) HTH.

Pigeon
03-30-2011, 11:06 AM
Not me, but dh is a second career science teacher.

It took him 18 months (including an extended student teaching stint) at a college that has a special program for second career teachers, which also included getting his masters.

The going back to school part wasn't that hard.

He did it because he'd wanted to do it for a long time, and the situation in our life came up that made it good timing. He had a BS and had been working in technician type jobs as where we lived there were very few jobs for scientists in that field with a BS.

He didn't have a hard time getting a job, but this was 14 years ago. If he were to do it today, he'd have a horrible time getting a job. All the districts around us are laying off teachers, including teachers in math and science. Several teachers from his department will lose their jobs next year.

Would he do it all over again? I doubt it. He loves, loves, loves teaching students. He loves the subject matter. He's a fabulous teacher.

NCLB and the current demonizing of teachers and gutting unions have changed everything. His district has a low payscale and is kind of blue collar. Because of that, he gets new administrators every two years, as they take the job as soon as they get their credential and leave after they have a little experience.

Last year, he had the principal from hell. This guy (a former gym teacher) hated science teachers. He ended up driving out more than half of the department, including some people who left in the middle of the year with no other job lined up, which is an indication of how bad an environment this jerk created. He had dh is his sights and was working on trying to get rid of him. Dh's kids consistently do better than any other teacher in the department, but he doesn't try to be the kids' friend, and he's not "cool.' Fortunately, the jerk left to go to a different school system this year, and dh has no problem with the current principal, but it's made a mark.

And once the union protections are gone, you'd better believe that administrators all over are going to go after the senior, more experienced (and more highly paid) teachers with a vengeance.

CaFeeney
03-30-2011, 11:17 AM
One of the things to consider is to ensure that your certification is in an area of demand. In my district the current areas of need are SPED, Speech therapists, science and mathmatics. So, for a teacher with a provisional license in English or History - they go to the bottom of the pile. Actually, the teachers with multiple certifications take postions they may not be as interested in (such as SPED)in order to get into the district - and once they have some senority they transfer to the English or History positions, leaving no room from someone from the outside to be considered.

I also think the pushback you are getting from some teachers is that the general public (not OP of course) often feel like teaching is not a difficult profession, "all the time off" is what I hear all the time. I know that I worked really hard to become a teacher (BA, M.ED and CAGS degrees) and it is not an easy job for someone without a degree in education.

One of the most valuable things you need to know as a teacher is not content knowledge (which is important) but how to manage a classroom, how to present material, and how to differentiate the instruction for various levels of learners. This comes with experience and education. I can't imagine being just thrown in and not knowing what is expected - the kids will surely take advantage!

Listen to the PP's and if teaching is still an option I say go for it - but definately sub first!

DawnM
03-30-2011, 11:17 AM
I really need to disagree with your post.

I started teaching in inner city Los Angeles at age 22. I LOVED it and stayed for 17 years, until my DH decided to move across the country. I was never scared and I went to students' funerals (I taught high school). I would say that if you really feel that way about where you are, you shouldn't be in that area. They sense fear and dislike a mile away! When the kids start realizing how much you care for them, they will give you the world! I have had difficult situations, have been called names, etc.....but those same kids came around within weeks knowing I cared about them deeply and believed in them.

FWIW: I would much rather deal with any gang kid in LA than with some of these snotty parents who think their kid deserves all the special attention they get at home. ;)

Dawn

I am 40 years old and currently in my first year of teaching. I have two teenagers. I have worked other positions and so teaching is my 2nd career.

However, I did things a little differently. I have two bachelors, one in writing and one in education. I did the dual major so I could become a highly qualified teacher.

1)It took me about 2 years to get these two bachelor's degrees with all general education courses completed (I already had an associates degree)

2) Student teaching was challenging. I student taught in an urban inner city school and it was HARD. I dealt with extreme poverty, racism, challenging parents.. and I should mention I was in the most dangerous city in the United States. (I am a suburban Caucasian woman... I stuck out!)

3) I always wanted to teach. That was the reason why I finally finished after 20 years after graduating high school.

4) It is extremely difficult to find a teaching job. I had a 4.0 GPA, great recommendations, dual certifications in Middle School English and Elementary Education and still took 22 months to find a teaching job. I sent over 200 resumes and went on 17, yes, 17 interviews until I found my full time teaching position. As for age, I know in my situation, being older and more mature helps.

I work full time in the same inner city I student taught in. I still deal with extreme poverty, racism, danger, and truth be told very SCARY student. The town is still the most dangerous in the nation. The need is great in this district. Everyday is an extreme challenge. Younger teachers can't do it.. my oldest students are 16 year old 8th graders.. the age gap is too small. Being a parent even a grandparent helps you.

5) The leap was needed. I know that having a bachelors degree would never be "wasted" because other professions require a bachelors. I worked for the Federal Government for over a year and my bachelor degrees were a prerequisite.

6) Would I do it all over again? I did leave a stable Federal Government position to come to my teaching position. Somedays I question my sanity. Somedays I see the light bulb over my students heads and it makes it worthwile. I'm still in my first year so it is difficult to say.

At this very moment, I would say to stay where you are. Depending on your state, you may be in a difficult position. I'm "lucky" because of my district.. nobody is knocking down doors to work in this town due to the violence and crime. Would I love a suburban district where all is right, and all I have to worry about is kids chewing gum... yes! Right now, I have homeless students, students who are in juvenile detention, students who have drug and alcohol problems, students who live in extreme poverty, students who can't resist the pull of the street corner and easy money. Note this is a public school.. not a school for troubled teens or an alternative school.

Many days I come home crying.. today was one of them. I will say that this experience has made me stronger. By the way, I subbed for 6 years while I was going to school. I subbed in surburban districts and I should have subbed in urban districts to understand the students better.

DawnM
03-30-2011, 11:21 AM
Here is what I would advise.....

Given that teachers are being laid off around the country and teaching jobs are hard to find, I would specialize in a high need area. Math, Science, special education, ESL, or whatever high need is in your area. You can double certify if you really would prefer one area but need to get your foot in the door in another higher need area. I have several credentials actually (English, History, ESL, School Counseling.) Only having babies stopped me from going back for even more schooling.....I had a hard time stopping as I tend to be a goal setter and always looking towards my next goal.

That said, even thought I would much prefer being in the counseling office, I would take an ESL job if I needed to work and that was all I could get. At least I would be working and I really do like teaching ESL, I just prefer counseling.

Dawn

EKW
03-30-2011, 01:41 PM
Concerning "summer's off". Those weeks we are off are not a paid vacation. That is unpaid time. While there was a time when it was a 3 month vacation, now it is usually 8 to 9 months.

I have to recertify every 5 years. When do I take those graduate hours? Usually in the summer! The hours aren't optional.

Additionally, one school district that I worked in decided that teachers lose their skills if they're allowed to have 8 weeks "off", and they began requiring teachers to attend PD during the month of July.

The reality for me for most of my career has been: Teach the year. On the Saturday after school ends, set up for summer school. Teach the entire month of June. Have the week of 4th of July off. Attend several days of PD. Have two to three weeks of "vacation" time with my family.

Oh, and on evenings and weekends I take those required grad hours.

eeyorethegreat
03-30-2011, 01:57 PM
Concerning "summer's off". Those weeks we are off are not a paid vacation. That is unpaid time. While there was a time when it was a 3 month vacation, now it is usually 8 to 9 months.

I have to recertify every 5 years. When do I take those graduate hours? Usually in the summer! The hours aren't optional.

Additionally, one school district that I worked in decided that teachers lose their skills if they're allowed to have 8 weeks "off", and they began requiring teachers to attend PD during the month of July.

The reality for me for most of my career has been: Teach the year. On the Saturday after school ends, set up for summer school. Teach the entire month of June. Have the week of 4th of July off. Attend several days of PD. Have two to three weeks of "vacation" time with my family.

Oh, and on evenings and weekends I take those required grad hours.

This is what many people do not get about the teaching profession. Locally and throughout the state there has been a great deal of "teacher bashing" as of late especially now that the Gov is pushing for changing the Maine State Retirement. I hear over and over again how easy teachers have it. None of them of course are teachers and see no further than the end of their nose on the subject.

princessmom29
03-30-2011, 02:09 PM
I thought I was posting this in the budget board but I accidentally put it in the family board so I am reposting.

What I mean is you had your bachelors and worked in a different field then went back to school to be a teacher.

I have my bachelors of Science in Business. I have worked in the insurance industry for the past 10 years and am 34 with a 3yo DS and a 1yo DD. And I a considering going back to school to be a teacher. I have some questions. (I also live in Michigan)

1. How long did it take you to get your teaching certificate with a BS? Rough idea considering all the general ed courses already taken.I participated in a program that allowed us to get a certificate in a year, concurrent with our first year of teaching. I took 2 masters classes per semester the first year I taught. It is called alternate bachelors certification (ABC). Several states have it for high need areas like math nad science
2. Was it hard to go back to school and student teach with kids. Not for me. I have always been comfortable around kids, and did a lot of tutoring in college.
3. What made you do it? I was always interested in teaching, but having my DD was what finally made me take thye plunge. I was a chemist worknig 50 hour weeks and getting calls at all hours. Leaving the house at 2 am to go fix something was just not as appealing anymore.
4. How hard was it to find a job? (are schools looking for 20 somethings or do they like the prior experience) For me, it was not hard at all. English andhistroy are much harder. It would depend on what you were teaching.
5. What made your decision to take the leap See #3
6. Would you do it over again with all the issues with teachers now? And am I crazy to even consider leaving a well paying job in this economy. I would do it agian because I love what I do, and it gives me the freedom to do so much more with DD during summers and school breaks. The politics are not fun, and teachers take a lot o undeserved abuse but it just boils down to the fact that I love teaching.
:goodvibes

kmcford
03-30-2011, 02:16 PM
1. How long did it take you to get your teaching certificate with a BS? Rough idea considering all the general ed courses already taken.
2. Was it hard to go back to school and student teach with kids.
3. What made you do it?
4. How hard was it to find a job? (are schools looking for 20 somethings or do they like the prior experience)
5. What made your decision to take the leap
6. Would you do it over again with all the issues with teachers now? And am I crazy to even consider leaving a well paying job in this economy.
__________________


1. It should take about 2 years to complete your content specific courses.
2. Student teaching is difficult with kids but the hardest thing is many universities will not allow you to have a job while you are student teaching. Can you make it without the income?
3. I did not go back as a teacher for a second career but I have had many friends do it as well as my student teacher I currently have.
4. I don't know about your particular area but I know that in Michigan things are very very challenging. Because of the declining population there is a need for many fewer teachers. All that being said as soon as the economy turns around you will see all the teachers who were supposed to retire during the last few years retire at once. There could potentially be lots of openings about the time you were to finish school.
5. Keep in mind that teaching is not just teaching. You are teacher, parent, counselor, nurse, mediator,multitasker,project manager, etc. It is a hard job. If it is something that you feel passionate about then I say go for it. If you are just thinking teaching might be fun. I say stay far, far away. It is too mcuh work iwith ver little tangible reward if you don't have the passion.

Good luck!

nunzia
03-30-2011, 02:32 PM
This is what many people do not get about the teaching profession. Locally and throughout the state there has been a great deal of "teacher bashing" as of late especially now that the Gov is pushing for changing the Maine State Retirement. I hear over and over again how easy teachers have it. None of them of course are teachers and see no further than the end of their nose on the subject.

Well, I was a teacher and did not say it was easy..it is NOT..but...I hold that the pay for days contracted is not the 'poor teacher' statement I hear so often. It is a very hard profession..yes..however...working Summer School is extra pay...if you can live within your contracted salary (around here I think it is 35k+) you can indeed have 2 wks at Christmas, 1 week spring, many 3 day weekends and summer..etc. many friends and family are teachers..they are good ones and work hard..but they do love thier time off and I say enjoy it! good for them...but..days contracted divided by pay must be considered when realistically considering income value. I would guess the average worker works 21 days a month x 12 for 252 days a year..minus some holidays (DH gets Thanksgiving,Labor, Memorial and Christmas) minus a generous 3 weeks of vaction if one is so lucky (DH gets 12 vacation days after 10 years employment) making it 233 days at work. Say he makes 40K (which he doesn't) that makes his pay $173.00 a day. If you work 184 days then your actual wage would be $217.40 a day. My DH also needs continuing ed and that is done in little trips after work that bring him home at 11PM or weekends to a different city on his own time.
I'm not saying that teachers are overpaid lazy slackers, but I am saying the whole underpaid thing needs to have days contracted taken into consideration.

kmcford
03-30-2011, 03:06 PM
Well, I was a teacher and did not say it was easy..it is NOT..but...I hold that the pay for days contracted is not the 'poor teacher' statement I hear so often. It is a very hard profession..yes..however...working Summer School is extra pay...if you can live within your contracted salary (around here I think it is 35k+) you can indeed have 2 wks at Christmas, 1 week spring, many 3 day weekends and summer..etc. many friends and family are teachers..they are good ones and work hard..but they do love thier time off and I say enjoy it! good for them...but..days contracted divided by pay must be considered when realistically considering income value. I would guess the average worker works 21 days a month x 12 for 252 days a year..minus some holidays (DH gets Thanksgiving,Labor, Memorial and Christmas) minus a generous 3 weeks of vaction if one is so lucky (DH gets 12 vacation days after 10 years employment) making it 233 days at work. Say he makes 40K (which he doesn't) that makes his pay $173.00 a day. If you work 184 days then your actual wage would be $217.40 a day. My DH also needs continuing ed and that is done in little trips after work that bring him home at 11PM or weekends to a different city on his own time.
I'm not saying that teachers are overpaid lazy slackers, but I am saying the whole underpaid thing needs to have days contracted taken into consideration.

As a teacher I completly disagree with you. There are very few teachers out there that only work the hours and days they are contracted for. We spend hours upon hours of at home time making lesson plans, grading papers, calling parents, etc. I challenge any person to drive by an elementary school all summer long and tell me how many cars you see in the parking lot. Those cars are teachers volunteering their time for your child. I spend hours upon hours at the school working on my room, making plans, meeting with my team. I don't get paid for this. I spend my own money buying supplies for children who don't have it or board games for my room for recess. I spend money on markers, and crayone, and scissors. I lose my sick days staying home because I help your child's head while he vomited because his parents sent him to school sick. I mediate fights between kids, I give them hugs when they cry. People tend to forget when they look at teacher's salary the high level of teacher's education. You can't compare our salaries with job postions that do not require a college degree, not to mention the high percentage of teacher's that have a Master's Degeree. That takes you into an entirely different salary range.

One single teacher can determine your child's future salary potential, even their Kindergarten teacher. So tell me what a teacher is worth?

eeyorethegreat
03-30-2011, 03:11 PM
Well, I was a teacher and did not say it was easy..it is NOT..but...I hold that the pay for days contracted is not the 'poor teacher' statement I hear so often. It is a very hard profession..yes..however...working Summer School is extra pay...if you can live within your contracted salary (around here I think it is 35k+) you can indeed have 2 wks at Christmas, 1 week spring, many 3 day weekends and summer..etc. many friends and family are teachers..they are good ones and work hard..but they do love thier time off and I say enjoy it! good for them...but..days contracted divided by pay must be considered when realistically considering income value. I would guess the average worker works 21 days a month x 12 for 252 days a year..minus some holidays (DH gets Thanksgiving,Labor, Memorial and Christmas) minus a generous 3 weeks of vaction if one is so lucky (DH gets 12 vacation days after 10 years employment) making it 233 days at work. Say he makes 40K (which he doesn't) that makes his pay $173.00 a day. If you work 184 days then your actual wage would be $217.40 a day. My DH also needs continuing ed and that is done in little trips after work that bring him home at 11PM or weekends to a different city on his own time.
I'm not saying that teachers are overpaid lazy slackers, but I am saying the whole underpaid thing needs to have days contracted taken into consideration.

Both Dh and I are in the education profession. The major thing I take issue with in general is the lake of courtesy and respect teachers receive. I appreciate that you were a teacher and discovered you were not a good fit for it. It's not for everyone. I decided not to look for a Spec Ed teaching position and to work as an ed tech instead. We do live with in our means and I won't complain about DH salary (I am now 'just" an ed tech formally a pre K teacher) and yes having vacations off with the kids is totally awesome (when DH is not deployed), however what upsets me is the general negativity towards teachers. Like I said especially recently it in our area we only hear about how many days teachers are inside the school, how teachers only do it for the money, how teachers have so much time off to do nothing etc. There is rarely consideration to all the teachers GIVE on and off that contracted time. IE we have purchased non reimbursed school supplies for all the students in the class at the beginning of the school year and replenished through the year- that is one of the cuts schools have taken that teachers fill the need for. Parents (I am not giving a blanket statement here but all parents of Dh students fall here) don't bother to send the supplies in because they believe regardless of whether the school supplies the items, they shouldn't have to. We have every year purchased back packs, hats mittens, boots, jackets, general every day clothes, shoes for students because there were other priorities at home that did not include those things. Things like that are rarely ever recognized but how many days a teacher is contracted is always noted. That is what frustrates me. One can't teach for the "glory" or for the money but for the joy of helping a young mind blossom.

Sorry OP for hijacking. Still, it is a good thing for you to be aware of. You will find that some parents, community members will support you and encourage you while others can be just viscous about teachers (not saying that about anyone in this particular thread).

nunzia
03-30-2011, 05:02 PM
As a teacher I completly disagree with you. There are very few teachers out there that only work the hours and days they are contracted for. We spend hours upon hours of at home time making lesson plans, grading papers, calling parents, etc. I challenge any person to drive by an elementary school all summer long and tell me how many cars you see in the parking lot. Those cars are teachers volunteering their time for your child. I spend hours upon hours at the school working on my room, making plans, meeting with my team. I don't get paid for this. I spend my own money buying supplies for children who don't have it or board games for my room for recess. I spend money on markers, and crayone, and scissors. I lose my sick days staying home because I help your child's head while he vomited because his parents sent him to school sick. I mediate fights between kids, I give them hugs when they cry. People tend to forget when they look at teacher's salary the high level of teacher's education. You can't compare our salaries with job postions that do not require a college degree, not to mention the high percentage of teacher's that have a Master's Degeree. That takes you into an entirely different salary range.

One single teacher can determine your child's future salary potential, even their Kindergarten teacher. So tell me what a teacher is worth?

I commend your dedication. Yes, I brought home papers, called parents, fixed my room, bought things out of my own money..all what a good helpful person will do and I admire your dedication.
DH and I both have degrees...in NM the masters gets you more pay. Yes, good teachers have a great impact on young people and I am grateful for those my kids and grandkids have had..but influence isn't the only indicator of pay..My son is a cop..he gets less than a teacher and one single cop can save you, one single airman can save you, one single cook can insure your food is healthful, one single taxi driver can get you safely where you are going, one paramedic can start your heart, one single firefighter can save your house.
Again..Teachers are wonderful and deserve accolades..but..work days must be considered. Here, teachers go back early in summer to get their rooms ready..they are contracted days...I had a prep period and if I used it wisely I didn't need to take much home. Even when I took work home it was no more than a couple hours a day, so still brought me in under my 10 hours a day schedule as a restaurant manager (which often went to 12).
I don't why every discussion of pay and days worked has to bring up such defensivness...

cheery97
03-30-2011, 05:11 PM
I thought I was posting this in the budget board but I accidentally put it in the family board so I am reposting.

What I mean is you had your bachelors and worked in a different field then went back to school to be a teacher.

I have my bachelors of Science in Business. I have worked in the insurance industry for the past 10 years and am 34 with a 3yo DS and a 1yo DD. And I a considering going back to school to be a teacher. I have some questions. (I also live in Michigan)

1. How long did it take you to get your teaching certificate with a BS? Rough idea considering all the general ed courses already taken. We moved to Florida 6 months ago in Florida they have a program for alternative certification. You get a three year temp contract in your subject area and letter of eligibility. I myself have Biology 6-12 and middle integrated 5-9 which allows me to teach any core subject in middle school. I took a test to pass that certification. my husband has his integrated and business ed 6-12.
2. Was it hard to go back to school and student teach with kids.My husband and I have a 4yo and most of the classes we need are online based and we do them while working.
3. What made you do it? we needed a change in our lives and it was a hard choice, but pays off.
4. How hard was it to find a job? (are schools looking for 20 somethings or do they like the prior experience) We had to market ourselves pretty hard core email blasts to principals, created our own website about ourselves as well. We actually ended up getting jobs in the same school, but it was a title 1 school in Orlando. I would not change it for the world. Prior experience is preferred as anything volunteering, working with children helps too.
5. What made your decision to take the leap We had faith, and wanted to move to Florida.
6. Would you do it over again with all the issues with teachers now? And am I crazy to even consider leaving a well paying job in this economy. It is a shock for sure but we are willing to make it work, and then we are going to work on our masters.
If you feel it is right then go for it, but i would sub first to see if it is something you really want.

princessmom29
03-30-2011, 06:59 PM
Well, I was a teacher and did not say it was easy..it is NOT..but...I hold that the pay for days contracted is not the 'poor teacher' statement I hear so often. It is a very hard profession..yes..however...working Summer School is extra pay...if you can live within your contracted salary (around here I think it is 35k+) you can indeed have 2 wks at Christmas, 1 week spring, many 3 day weekends and summer..etc. many friends and family are teachers..they are good ones and work hard..but they do love thier time off and I say enjoy it! good for them...but..days contracted divided by pay must be considered when realistically considering income value. I would guess the average worker works 21 days a month x 12 for 252 days a year..minus some holidays (DH gets Thanksgiving,Labor, Memorial and Christmas) minus a generous 3 weeks of vaction if one is so lucky (DH gets 12 vacation days after 10 years employment) making it 233 days at work. Say he makes 40K (which he doesn't) that makes his pay $173.00 a day. If you work 184 days then your actual wage would be $217.40 a day. My DH also needs continuing ed and that is done in little trips after work that bring him home at 11PM or weekends to a different city on his own time.
I'm not saying that teachers are overpaid lazy slackers, but I am saying the whole underpaid thing needs to have days contracted taken into consideration.
I don't think I am underpaid for what I do. I like having hoidays off with my DD, but I do think the idea that I only work the 185 8 hour days I am contracted for is a joke. I work at least 5 hours a week at home, most of the time more. I am required to offer one hour a week of after school help outside my contract time. I offer 2 different days and usually do about 3 hours a week. I spend about 10 days a summer in required but unpaid workshops, and many hours perparing lessons and activities for the next year. There are no contracted days allowed for this stuff. We go back 3 days before the kids and are in required meetings for those days.

chobie
03-30-2011, 08:03 PM
I commend your dedication. Yes, I brought home papers, called parents, fixed my room, bought things out of my own money..all what a good helpful person will do and I admire your dedication.
DH and I both have degrees...in NM the masters gets you more pay. Yes, good teachers have a great impact on young people and I am grateful for those my kids and grandkids have had..but influence isn't the only indicator of pay..My son is a cop..he gets less than a teacher and one single cop can save you, one single airman can save you, one single cook can insure your food is healthful, one single taxi driver can get you safely where you are going, one paramedic can start your heart, one single firefighter can save your house.
Again..Teachers are wonderful and deserve accolades..but..work days must be considered. Here, teachers go back early in summer to get their rooms ready..they are contracted days...I had a prep period and if I used it wisely I didn't need to take much home. Even when I took work home it was no more than a couple hours a day, so still brought me in under my 10 hours a day schedule as a restaurant manager (which often went to 12).
I don't why every discussion of pay and days worked has to bring up such defensivness...



Because the only people who think that teachers have such a sweet deal are those who:

A: never taught

or

B: those who could not succeed as a teacher.

With all due respect I think you not joining the union had nothing to do with your not being able to handle the job. My husband has taught in 2 states where one did not have to join a union (a small school district and a huge one) and has no idea who did or did not belong to the union, nor did he or any other teacher we know care.

Really, if it was such a sweet deal you would have never quit. Every job has difficult co-workers, bosses, and/or clients -- but if the pay is good enough (as you claim your teacher pay way) then you put up with the bs. It would not make sense to quit a great paying job just because there are some challenges, would it?

alabamagirl
03-30-2011, 08:19 PM
To the OP---

I am in my first year of teaching which is my second career. I worked in human resources for 3 1/2 years before going back to school to be a teacher. It took me 2 years to earn my Masters in Education.

My first year of school I was pregnant. My second year I had an infant. Yes, it was hard. I was lucky to get into the excellent on campus daycare. However, I graduated with honors. I did sub before making the decision to go back to school.

I was lucky to find a job this year because I now live in a rural area with few jobs (teaching and otherwise). Next year it looks like I will be out of a job.

I don't want to be negative, but unless you have a strong conviction and REALLY feel like you want to teach I say don't do it. I really underestimated how stressful teaching is and how much work I would have to bring home. Easily 2-3 hours a night. You take the good with the bad though. I do love my students and co-workers. However, if I had it to do over again would I go back to school to be a teacher?

Probably not.

rock*mom
03-30-2011, 08:31 PM
To OP

I am now in school finishing my degree so that I may teach in the public system after having taught in the private school system were a degree was not required at the time I started. However that has all changed now. The school I taught in closed due to financial reasons. I love teaching and I am not happy when I am not in the classroom. Teaching is not an easy job and takes dedication, determination, and compassion. To be great at this discipline requires much more than listed in the contract you will be presented. Job security is something to consider now, however I believe this will change in the future. I say go for it but don't quit your other job.

daisyduck123
03-30-2011, 08:36 PM
Agreed....people also overlook the fact that teacher's day is non-stop. There are no quiet lunches alone, or I feel like I'll take a half-day because the work is light, and no field trips with their children. I love my job. I would others would respect and appreciate my peers as I do. TEACHERS ROCK

Forget the quiet lunches alone....I just wish we could get to the bathroom when we need to! (Some days, I have a 4 hour stretch where I'm in the room with the kids and I'm just thinking, "Why did I ever have that second cup of coffee?":headache:).

Granfan
03-30-2011, 10:56 PM
My advice is stay with the job you have and be grateful for it. Teaching is the most difficult, uncertain, stressful, job and always has been. It does have it's rewards, but be sure you know what you're in for before you choose it.

Dashzap
03-30-2011, 11:42 PM
I started a MATC (masters with teaching certificate) degree in the fall of 2009. I wanted to start slowly as I have been a SAHM for 17 years. I applied, and passed the state required basic skills test.

However I dropped out after one semester. I had two kids at home and a husband who wasn't supportive of me pursing it. Plus the economy was tanking and teachers were being laid off in our area. Why pay $25,000 for a masters degree and then not be able to get a job??

Now as it turns out I am a single mom who is a full time caretaker of my now quadriplegic son. I wouldn't have been able to teach anyway.

nunzia
03-31-2011, 07:13 AM
Because the only people who think that teachers have such a sweet deal are those who:

A: never taught

or

B: those who could not succeed as a teacher.

With all due respect I think you not joining the union had nothing to do with your not being able to handle the job. My husband has taught in 2 states where one did not have to join a union (a small school district and a huge one) and has no idea who did or did not belong to the union, nor did he or any other teacher we know care.

Really, if it was such a sweet deal you would have never quit. Every job has difficult co-workers, bosses, and/or clients -- but if the pay is good enough (as you claim your teacher pay way) then you put up with the bs. It would not make sense to quit a great paying job just because there are some challenges, would it?

Very insulting post...I could handle it and chose not to because the school I was in was ridiculous and I could not teach the children who were wiling to learn, or have tools to help those who wouldn't (no, you can't give kids homework, no you can't have 'rules', no you can't give a kid a zero..ever..it is too 'hard for them to bring up'. You have to be their FRIENDS.) I had a room where 5 subs were run out with kids that had been kicked out of every elective. I could not teach the great kids who wanted to learn, I got to spend all my time stopping kids from drinking alcohol snuck in in their backpacks, cleaning up glass from a thrown chair that broke an oven door, trying to find an interpreter for the kid who didn't speak english and waiting for the 13 year old pregnant girl to go into labor. My beef wasn't pay, it was the administration and parents who truly did not care. My life is too short for me to work in a situation that was impossible for the children to learn in no matter what the pay. Money isn't everything. As far as difficult working conditions, teaching wasn't even highest on my list..my current job has as many challenges and my previous jobs in the casinos in Vegas had many more.
Your defensive and insulting reply is really uncalled for.

PS The union steward was a co worker and there was pressure all around to join and why didn't I, etc...so, yes, they knew, and I don't know why so many of the co workers were downright nasty from day one, but that wasn't the issue..

OP..if you chose to teach, good for you, but do realize there are issues that have nothing to do with teaching children. Almost every teacher I knew at that school, and my peers who have been career teachers, are out of teaching in the public schools. They retired as soon as they could, and if they still teach it is in private school settings.

Since my statements about work days being considered when figuring out compenstion was taken just as I thought they would be, I will bow out now.

tonilea
03-31-2011, 08:06 AM
Originally Posted by rock*mom
Agreed....people also overlook the fact that teacher's day is non-stop. There are no quiet lunches alone, or I feel like I'll take a half-day because the work is light, and no field trips with their children. I love my job. I would others would respect and appreciate my peers as I do. TEACHERS ROCK

That isn't true at all schools. I am working toward my education degree and I sub. In "my" school, teachers are free for most lunches, some teachers choose to allow the kids to bring their lunches into the classroom as an occasional reward. Teachers are also able to go on fieldtrips, if subs are available. In fact, one of the students in my son's class last year was a teacher. We rode together to their fieldtrip.

OP, one of the things I thing will help me get a job is having worked in the school system for three years as a sub. The principal knows I can get the job done. She isn't afraid to give me difficult classes. Also, I am a life long resident of the area. Another teacher (a member of the hiring committee) told me that would be a big plus in my favor.

Colleen27
03-31-2011, 10:38 AM
Honestly, if you're still in Michigan (and intend to stay) I wouldn't recommend it. I have a lot of friends who have tried to get into teaching as their first careers went belly up, and even though they're in typically high demand fields (math, science, technology) very few have found work. And that was before last year's $170 per pupil cut and the additional $300 cut being proposed for this year's budget...

I thought about finishing my degree in education but my youngest came along and I put those plans on hold. I'm glad I did, because otherwise I'd be graduating right about now with 20K in educational debt (something important to keep in mind - Michigan ranks dead last in funding for higher education, so that degree is going to cost you. I was looking at about 30K for two years at a local public university) and no job prospects at all.

Tink2Day
03-31-2011, 12:25 PM
I recall when I first graduated and started teaching (now mind you that was almost 40 years ago), we started school after Labor Day and school ended June 1 or close to that time. Now we have several year round schools here.
The rest of the schools began classes in late August, now they are starting the second week in August and school is out for the year either the end of May or the first few days in June, depending on make-up days (we had some unusually cold weather here and pipes burst all over the area with one HS having 4 FEET of water! So those days will carry them until probably mid June).
The people interested in it for the 'summers off' or the holidays?
I prefer having my time when I want to take it, that way I can avoid all of the crowds. If you have school age children then it's a benefit, if not then it becomes a pain in the neck.

Frankly with lesson plans, grading papers, evaluations, preparing the various projects and areas for my classes (not to mention paying for the supplies myself since my school usually had ONE color of construction paper and not much else in the way of supplies) I had virtually no time for anything outside of those tasks.
Many of my friends who still teach (including a Special Ed teacher in H.S.) also teach summer school to make ends meet and many hold other jobs either in the summer or after school.

Sounds like we're not alone here in cutbacks, increasing class size, increasing employee responsibility for insurance premiums and decreased pension contributions.. This is in a State where the recession hit much later than the rest of the country( and we're already starting to come out of it), the foreclosure rates are still low, unemployment is at a lower average than the rest of the nation and our State budget while out of balance can still be fixed relatively easy. I just cannot imagine what some of these severely depressed states who are reeling from foreclosures, unemployment and so forth are surviving this.
I also wonder what lasting effects to the negative this will have on the education and future of this generation of youngsters. :sad2:

NYEmomma
03-31-2011, 01:50 PM
I answered this in the Family section, but I'll post my answers here too FWIW. :)

I had a BA in History, worked in human resources for a couple of years, was miserable, so I want back for my M.Ed.

1. It highly depends on your undergrad degree & what subject you're specializing in. I went for secondary social studies & since I had a bachelors in history, the majority of my "subject area" classes I had already taken. It took me 3 years for my masters & that was taking 3 classes a semester. I had to take a class while I was student teaching, which is HIGHLY advised against, but because of scheduling, it's what I had to do to graduate... if I didn't, I was going to have to wait another year. It was a pain in the butt but it was an easy class (Comparative Politics) so it worked out fine.

2. Going back to school wasn't hard at all. I love school & learning. I'd go to college for the rest of my life if I could. It was intimidating to student teach at first, but I got over it quickly enough. Public speaking has never bothered me... when I worked in human resources, I always ran & organized meetings and events, so I'm comfortable in front of people. And honestly, it was probably EASIER for me to be older (well, I was 26) than to be a 21 yo. I taught seniors... so I couldn't imagine only being 3 years older than my students!

3. I don't like corporate America. And as I've mentioned before, I love learning. When I was going to my bachelor's, I was an education major for a year so it had been something I contemplated in the past.

4. IMPOSSIBLE. I graduated in 2007... I don't know a single person that I graduated with that's found a teaching job. I certainly haven't and my license lapsed in '08 so now I have to go back to school again and take more classes to get my license renewed so I can TRY to find a job. And with what our state (and many other states) or doing to the education system and the unions, I can't imagine it's going to get easier to find a job anytime soon. School districts have to pay teachers with master's degrees more money, so they typically hire undergrads first.

5. I was super unhappy working an office job. It just wasn't me. Teaching was my only opportunity to do anything with the field that I love (history). And I wanted a job that would be more compatible with being a mom once I had kids. Plus, my parents paid for my master's degree (it was my undergrad graduation present... I always knew I'd go back for my master's in SOMETHING) so it wasn't going to cost me anything.

6. I honestly wouldn't do it again with the state the public education system is in right now. I'd LOVE to teach.... I thoroughly enjoyed my teaching experience and am dying to have the opportunity to show kids that history can be fun & interesting. And be able to make a difference in kids lives. It was just so... fulfilling, I guess. But right now, it just seems like a waste of money & time to try to get a teaching degree. Especially when you already have gainful employment. I'm hoping by the time I'm done having children & they're both in school that something will have changed and I'll finally get a chance to put my degree to use. Right now it's just an expensive wall decoration.