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Thread: Switch to teaching?

  1. #1
    Cyburbian
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    Switch to teaching?

    I have about 7 years experience as a planner. I have a master's and I am getting the itch for something new. I have longed thought about becoming a teacher but the requirements to teach younger grades basically requires me to quit my job to go to school. Two questions here: one, why do you need a "teaching degree" to teach elementary and high school kids but not community colleges or universities? Why is there no online program to get the necessary requirements while working? And two, has anyone thought about this life path? Has it been successful, not worth it, etc? The main thing holding me back is the $20,000 pay loss (not considering the time not working). Things are pretty comfortable right now but sometimes I think I'd be happier doing something more meaningful with my life.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Brocktoon's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by paiste13 View post
    I have about 7 years experience as a planner. I have a master's and I am getting the itch for something new. I have longed thought about becoming a teacher but the requirements to teach younger grades basically requires me to quit my job to go to school. Two questions here: one, why do you need a "teaching degree" to teach elementary and high school kids but not community colleges or universities? Why is there no online program to get the necessary requirements while working?
    Professors are not teachers. A teacher is an expert in not only their field but on how people learn and how best to encourage their students to gain and interact with the knowledge they are presenting. I would agrue that professors should also have this instruction but this has never been a requirement and why there are so many brilliant professors that cannot relate their knowledge to their students.

    As for the you going back to school there are tons of programs that are part time, evening programs. My wife went through one 10 years ago and a friend just completed a masters in education. University of Phoenix is the first one that comes to mind but most state schools have part time programs. Most states still require a semester of student teaching. My wife worked part time while she did this but given your day job you would probably have to quit to make that happen.

    And two, has anyone thought about this life path? Has it been successful, not worth it, etc? The main thing holding me back is the $20,000 pay loss (not considering the time not working). Things are pretty comfortable right now but sometimes I think I'd be happier doing something more meaningful with my life.
    My wife and I went through this discussion. She loves teaching and the fact she has been doing it for 8 years. The pay is poor and the hours are long but she loves what she does, she finds meaning and when a student is impacted it validates the decision she made. We talked about the reduction of income; the fulfillment of doing a job that has menaing; how long to try it if she did not like teaching; why she decided to become a teacher; other career options and what I would need to do to support her both during her going back to school and while working as a teacher. Her mom is a teacher so she was farmiliar with the basics of the job.
    "If you don't like change, you're going to like irrelevance even less" General Eric Shinseki

  3. #3
    Cyburbian
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    Seems to me teaching wouldn't pay that much less than planning. Plus there are a lot more jobs. If the pay is what is holding you back, I'm not sure that's a valid concern.

    I thought about being a teacher on and off, mostly because of summers off. Yes, I'm serious.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian ColoGI's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by paiste13 View post
    I have about 7 years experience as a planner. I have a master's and I am getting the itch for something new. I have longed thought about becoming a teacher but the requirements to teach younger grades basically requires me to quit my job to go to school. Two questions here: one, why do you need a "teaching degree" to teach elementary and high school kids but not community colleges or universities? Why is there no online program to get the necessary requirements while working? And two, has anyone thought about this life path? Has it been successful, not worth it, etc? The main thing holding me back is the $20,000 pay loss (not considering the time not working). Things are pretty comfortable right now but sometimes I think I'd be happier doing something more meaningful with my life.
    My sister and her daughter are teachers, two good friend's wives are teachers, an old long-term roommate is a teacher, a couple decent friends are professors, a couple more acquaintances are profs. I'm a volunteer interpretive naturalist who works closely with teachers and their standards. If we win the lottery I'll get my PhD and prof, but I wouldn't put up with the BS of K-12 and the sea of incompetent-idiot-too busy to care parents. You can always tell the caring K-12 teachers around parent-teacher conference time: irritable and sad. Seek out some experienced K-12s and assistant profs and get to know what they do before you jump in.
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    Give a man a gun, and he can rob a bank. Give a man a bank, and he can rob the world.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian
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    If you are willing to take a huge pay cut you can always teach at a private school. The only requirement is usually an undergraduate degree. Doesn't really matter in what, as long as you can prove you are knowledgeable about the subject. Especially true if you have a connection to someone within one or have went to one yourself. The rub is that the pay is usually in the low 30's...not sure about bennies. I think this is what I eventually want to end up doing.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian
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    I know a few teachers and it sounds pretty miserable to be doing right now. It sounds like it's more about jumping through bureaucratic hoops rather than teaching kids. On top of this, teachers are now expected to do far more with less. Larger class sizes, less support services, more bureaucracy, unruly kids and parents, etc. all sound like a royal pain. The summers off are nice but you're still responsible for continuing education and training.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian ColoGI's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Blide View post
    I know a few teachers and it sounds pretty miserable to be doing right now. It sounds like it's more about jumping through bureaucratic hoops rather than teaching kids. On top of this, teachers are now expected to do far more with less. Larger class sizes, less support services, more bureaucracy, unruly kids and parents, etc. all sound like a royal pain. The summers off are nice but you're still responsible for continuing education and training.
    It is important for some to ensure there are few good teachers in the public education system. Voucher schools are no better and may be a worse environment in some cases. Many flaming hoops to jump through and it is only getting worse. It is important to speak to many teachers to understand the pros and cons before one jumps into it.
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    Give a man a gun, and he can rob a bank. Give a man a bank, and he can rob the world.

  8. #8
    Cyburbian Linda_D's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Blide View post
    I know a few teachers and it sounds pretty miserable to be doing right now. It sounds like it's more about jumping through bureaucratic hoops rather than teaching kids. On top of this, teachers are now expected to do far more with less. Larger class sizes, less support services, more bureaucracy, unruly kids and parents, etc. all sound like a royal pain. The summers off are nice but you're still responsible for continuing education and training.
    Quote Originally posted by ColoGI View post
    It is important for some to ensure there are few good teachers in the public education system. Voucher schools are no better and may be a worse environment in some cases. Many flaming hoops to jump through and it is only getting worse. It is important to speak to many teachers to understand the pros and cons before one jumps into it.
    As a former teacher, I will third this. What I disliked most about teaching was all the work that I had to bring home. Nowadays, the situations for teachers is much worse, especially with all the "accountability" crap that simply equals getting students to perform well on more and more standardized tests. It's also a very stressful career, and you don't get paid summers unless you spread your 10 month salary over 12 months.

    As others have said, there are numerous part-time and part-time on-line courses to get your teaching credentials. In NYS, I believe you can get a master's degree (required for permanent certification) and your provisional teaching credentials in one program for people with bachelor's degrees. Most of it can be done on-line, and all of it done part-time except for the student teaching. My alma mater, Buffalo State College, offers such a program as one of my co-workers did it. She was out of work for less than half a year as student teaching is 1 semester (16 weeks) -- and she landed a teaching position almost immediately.
    If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich. -- John F. Kennedy, January 20, 1961

  9. #9
    Cyburbian
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    There are other teaching options beyond just schools. There's GED and ESL stulff which all require less credentials to teach. ESL in particular is in demand but it may require you to be mobile.

  10. #10
    Is there like a glutton-for-punishment gene that we all have? Why else do you have planners wanting to be teachers? Two professions that require way more education, training, and oversight than could ever be rewarded for. You spend 6 years in college to qualify for a shitty 35k job. If you want to give back to society, volunteer on the weekends or something, or just be a good person. (With that said, I feel guilty even mentioning teachers or the public school system without acknowledging the horrible tragedy today.)

    cc's 2 cents

  11. #11
    Cyburbian ColoGI's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by chocolatechip View post
    Is there like a glutton-for-punishment gene that we all have? Why else do you have planners wanting to be teachers? Two professions that require way more education, training, and oversight than could ever be rewarded for. You spend 6 years in college to qualify for a shitty 35k job. If you want to give back to society, volunteer on the weekends or something, or just be a good person. (With that said, I feel guilty even mentioning teachers or the public school system without acknowledging the horrible tragedy today.)

    cc's 2 cents
    I agree - no one should serve society and teach anyone anything. I mean, who cares anyway? Society will collapse in a couple generations anyways, so why not just say F it and do...do...um...well, just do something else?
    -------
    Give a man a gun, and he can rob a bank. Give a man a bank, and he can rob the world.

  12. #12
    If I may, I think CC's point is that teaching is an underpaid, overworked and under respected profession. The pay should be a lot higher to attract talented individuals to the field. We all have to make a living. I have a good friend that's an elementary teacher. She's in her mid twenties and lives at home with her parents because of the low pay and high student loans she has to pay. She has a bachelor's degree that she sometimes feels is a waste because many of her peers just have associates or teaching diplomas.

    Priorities and values in government are out of whack
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  13. #13
    Cyburbian
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    I come from a large family of teachers. Don't make the switch, it's just not worth it. You want to make a difference, volunteer as a mentor/tutor.
    "This is great, honey. What's the crunchy stuff?"
    "M&Ms. I ran out of paprika."

    Family Guy

  14. #14
    OfficialPlanner is correct. I did not mean that no one should aspire to do anything for others, but that teaching, like planning, is a career that demands way more than it rewards, if information from virtually every teacher I've ever met can be trusted. Also, teaching pays less than planning, and potentially requires longer hours, especially in the early years. Of course, I've never taught in a grade-school setting, so I can't speak from experience. Over the years, though, I've thought about teaching grade school, because I really love teaching itself. But every time I look into what it takes and what it's like, reality kicks in. Here is a revealing blog by a very experienced teacher (12 yrs): http://ukiahcoachbrown.blogspot.com/...er-cycles.html

  15. #15
    Cyburbian Brocktoon's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by OfficialPlanner View post
    If I may, I think CC's point is that teaching is an underpaid, overworked and under respected profession. The pay should be a lot higher to attract talented individuals to the field. We all have to make a living. I have a good friend that's an elementary teacher. She's in her mid twenties and lives at home with her parents because of the low pay and high student loans she has to pay. She has a bachelor's degree that she sometimes feels is a waste because many of her peers just have associates or teaching diplomas.

    Priorities and values in government are out of whack
    You cannot teach in a public school without a four year degree. Your good friend probably teaches for a private school. My wife has taught at public, private and now a charter school and none of her peers had only an associates.

    What teachers get paid is well advertised. I have not met a teacher that was not aware of the pay even when they were in college. While my wife would like to get paid more she would prefer better working conditions ( fewer students, better professional education and better resources). The best teachers are those that love to teach. There is still an excess supply of teachers which keeps salaries low. When my wife started teaching Arizona had a shortage of teachers and offered signing bonuses and often hired on site. Now positions are few and the number of applicants are many. I do think that schools should pay for advanced degrees and offer significant pay raises after 7 years to keep the best teachers in the classroom.
    "If you don't like change, you're going to like irrelevance even less" General Eric Shinseki

  16. #16
    Cyburbian ColoGI's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by chocolatechip View post
    OfficialPlanner is correct. I did not mean that no one should aspire to do anything for others, but that teaching, like planning, is a career that demands way more than it rewards, if information from virtually every teacher I've ever met can be trusted. Also, teaching pays less than planning, and potentially requires longer hours, especially in the early years. Of course, I've never taught in a grade-school setting, so I can't speak from experience. Over the years, though, I've thought about teaching grade school, because I really love teaching itself. But every time I look into what it takes and what it's like, reality kicks in. Here is a revealing blog by a very experienced teacher (12 yrs): http://ukiahcoachbrown.blogspot.com/...er-cycles.html
    Ah, got it. Apologies. My sister - teaching for 23 years - in MI is losing her job because of the brownshirts in the legislature, so a little touchy right now. Nevertheless, now is not a good time to be a teacher.
    -------
    Give a man a gun, and he can rob a bank. Give a man a bank, and he can rob the world.

  17. #17
    Cyburbian Linda_D's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by ColoGI View post
    Ah, got it. Apologies. My sister - teaching for 23 years - in MI is losing her job because of the brownshirts in the legislature, so a little touchy right now. Nevertheless, now is not a good time to be a teacher.
    QFT. One of the worst things about being a teacher in the US is the general lack of respect for teachers and teaching that is seldom a factor in other countries, even in neighboring Canada. Too many Americans perceive teaching as being an "easy" job that anyone can do. They also complain that teachers "only" work ten months a year, and that they "only" work about 6 hours a day. Of course, the individuals spouting this BS are always people who have never faced a classroom of 20-25 sixth or seventh graders, have never had to spend a week-end correcting 110 essay exams, and who have never had to deal with more than 1 or 2 children at one time.

    Attitudes like these make public schools and public school teachers easy targets.
    If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich. -- John F. Kennedy, January 20, 1961

  18. #18
    I think it's part of the greater problem of lack of respect of public service. Used to be, being a public servant was something honorable; you made sacrifices, but you had a respectable place in society. Now, there's very little of that. Teachers, I believe, are at the forefront of that reversal. And guess what, if no one respects what you do, it's harder for you to respect what you do.

    As far as education... in California you not only effectively need a bachelors in your subject area, but a Teaching Credential, which can take 2-3 more years depending on if it's more subject area or special ed, counseling, etc. There are not many other masters-level jobs around that pay less than being a teacher. Unless you count arts therapy or physiology or whatever. Except in those cases, the demands are a fraction of teaching. I can't think of any profession where you have more scrutiny placed on what you do and how you do it, except doctors, nurses, and cops, and those all pay much better than teaching.

  19. #19
    Cyburbian ColoGI's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Linda_D View post
    Too many Americans perceive teaching as being an "easy" job that anyone can do. They also complain that teachers "only" work ten months a year, and that they "only" work about 6 hours a day. Of course, the individuals spouting this BS are always people who have never faced a classroom of 20-25 sixth or seventh graders, ....
    And the geniuses making these comments or typing letters to the editor have poor grammar, misspellings, poorly-constructed sentences, lack of grasp of history, etc etc etc. Sadly for our country, they are somehow getting into positions of power and influence. Yet another indicator of our decline.
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    Give a man a gun, and he can rob a bank. Give a man a bank, and he can rob the world.

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