Post # 1
I have a bachelor’s degree in art, but I’ve been feeling burned out on working freelance. I’m managing okay financially, but it’s stressful to not have a consistant paycheck and I miss having coworkers, so I’m thinking about changing careers. I’ve been looking into getting certified to teach K-12.
Do any of you teach? What sort of subjects or age groups and how do you like it? What degree(s) do you have?
(I know that a lot of school districts are cutting their art programs right now, so that’s a consideration too. I’m willing to relocate anywhere though.)
Post # 3
@vitula: I teach high school biology – mostly 9th grade, but I have taught elective classes that have kids from 10th through 12th grade. I prefer 9th grade. I LOVE my job!
I have a BS in Neuroscience and I’m almost done with my MS in Biology with a Biology Education concentration
Post # 4
If I were you, I might consider looking into a company first… Not sure what kind of art you do, so that makes a difference.
I’m not a teacher yet, but I’m a science education major (bachelor’s, middle school), and working with students has a lot of little things that you wouldn’t realize are part of it. Thn again, a simple certification might be a totally different boat, but still.
As an art teacher, I honestly don’t know what you’ll have to do differently, but it will definitely be a pain. Can you teach art not as a teacher at a school? Or a private school? Something that won’t leave you screaming at the end of the day? 😉
Post # 5
I’m certified K-6, but where I live it is hard to get a teaching job. Right now I am a reading assistant for grade k-3 in an elementary school. Right now I love 2nd and 3rd grade, but would be happy in any grade.
Post # 6
I teach a K-2 self-contained special ed at the moment, but most of my experience has been with preschool special ed. I have a BA in history and an MS Ed in Special Ed (also my certification program).
My advice would be to start out as a sub in a district you are interested in working for to really get the inside scoop. I have worked for 3 different districts (in different states, different regions of the country), and I was very lucky with my first 2 teaching jobs. My current district, however, I am less than thrilled with. I haven’t adjusted well to the minimal amount of resources and training provided to teachers here, and I have been struggling to keep up with additional demands as far as paperwork, home visits, etc. Let’s just say this has been the first time in 8 years that I have ever thought about quitting. And it has nothing to do with the students- it’s about being happy with your work environment, and there is such a range of working conditions from district to district.
Teaching CAN be amazing, it will make you say “I can’t believe I get to do this for a living!” The kiddos are that much fun. Just make sure the district is a good “fit” for you before you commit! Good luck and sorry for the mini-rant 🙂
Post # 7
Keep in mind that teaching is a low paying job that requires a lot of personal investment. I am a middle school teacher; it’s tough, though very rewarding. I have a master’s and a certification for K-8 education.
You should look into indpendent (private) schools – they do not require certification. Do you have any other experience working with kids?
Post # 8
I am a teacher – I was a secondary specialist until my program was cut. Luckily I recieved a dual major so now I teach elementary, but I would highly conisder the fact that many districts will be cutting art in the years to come 🙁 – feel free to inbox me if you would like to discuss with someone whose been there !
Post # 9
@vitula: I have a Bachelor’s degree in music, and currently I’m in school again to get certified to teach in Ontario, at least grades K-8 for now (will do HS certification later). I totally understand the lack of steady paychecks. Right now I’m teaching flute privately out of my house (and FH teaches piano privately at a music school), and if a student leaves it affects my income as I’m self employed. I’m hoping that will become my second source of income once I start full time work as a teacher.
I’ve finished my practicum for the first semester (I’ll do another one with high school students next semester), and I really like it. I’ve been told the kids love me and I have a knack for teaching them. I was placed in a 3rd grade classroom (~8 years old).
Keep in mind that the first thing that gets cut for school budgets is anything in the arts (oops just read that you know this already, sorry!). Which is terrible as art and music education strongly complement and aid in a child’s academic development. Be prepared to teach English or something if you’re placed at a school that does not have an art program.
Teachers in Ontario get paid very well, have good benefits, and get an excellent pension upon retirement. But it’s not like that for every region, I think in some areas, teachers are underpaid. Just beware of that.
Post # 10
I’m a student teacher right now – I graduate in May. So far I LOVE teaching. I’m currently with a grade 8 class and although it’s a lot of work, it’s totally worth it to me.
Post # 11
I have my BS in elementary education, but am currently a preschool teacher! I started working in childcare centers/daycares my freshmen year of college and by the time I graduated, I’d fallen in love with the 0-5 years age group!!! 🙂 I’m not sure if I’ll teach in a k-8 classroom, but I’m happy with what I am doing right now 🙂
Post # 12
@vitula: i teach kindergarten. I have a bs in early childhood education. I can teach up until 4th with that certification. I love my job. It is trying, sometimes I question my sanity. But at the end of the day when they give you a hug and you see the progress they have made….all the long days are so worth it!
Post # 13
I have a bachelors in primary teaching, taught upper primary, what would be middle school in the US, in NZ for about 1 1/2 years (plus some subbing). I then taught English in Japan for 3 years. I have recently moved to the US and am working on my NZ Masters until i get my work permit and can apply for my Certification here.
If teaching art is your passion, and you are willing to move anywhere, go for it. It is a tight market for art teachers though, as you know, so be prepared for it to take some time to find a job even if you are prepared to move. Also, make sure you want to teach, not just want an art related steady paycheck. Teaching takes a lot our of you. I can say though that all the art teachers I have worked with have loved their jobs!
Post # 14
- Wedding: June 2013 - Upstate NY
@vitula: New York teacher here! In you have to have a ‘functionally related” masters within 5 years of getting hired to maintain your tenure track. Maybe NYC public schools are different?
I teach 10, 11, 12 Spanish at a local suburban high school. I am certified grades 1-12 Spanish (got 2 extensions). Got my masters over 2.5 years part time when I was teaching the first few years.
I have been teaching 9 years and I still absolutely love it. (And I’m not a doe-eyed naive rookie teacher 🙂 ) I am challenged daily as I teach a very high level college course in the high school and have great relationships with my kids and colleagues. I don’t make a ton but my schedule is freakin amazing and I get joy from what I do every day. I am very happy and I believe I made the best career choice.
Post # 15
I’ve been a teacher for the past 12 years. I’ve taught just about every grade from K-5. I’m certified to teach K-8 and just recently got my Master’s for School Counseling for K-12.
I enjoy grades 3 & 4 the best. The Language Arts is fun and the math is easy for those of us who aren’t “math people.”
I have to be honest. Teaching isn’t what it used to be. When I first started, it was actually fun. Now, every kid in your class is just a test score, plain and simple. There is no more fun, there is no more laughter, there is no more “free time” when they’ve been good.
It all comes down to YOU. If the kids fail, it’s MY fault, not the student’s fault. (And that goes for special needs students as well. All they get is extra time or someone to read it to them.)
About 4 or 5 years ago, I decided I wanted out. However, this is the only life I know. I like talking to kids about issues and helping them out when they are feeling sad or crying. When I was younger, I wanted to be a psychologist. So I figured I’d get a degree in School Counseling.
So I am patiently waiting to change up careers from being a class room teacher to a school counselor. It certainly isn’t easy. I’ve applied EVERYWHERE and only had 2 interviews.
You really have to have a PASSION to teach. It certainly isn’t for everybody.
Post # 16
@vitula: I have a bachelor’s in art, and just got licensed. I can’t find a job 🙁 Thanks to older teachers not retiring as early as they could, and thanks to budget cuts to fine arts, in addition to the fact that in my area most schools are highly desirable to work in (rural, small classes, involved communities)…. once people get a job here they either retire from it or die working it!
The only changes are when they switch teachers from one school to another, it seems.
You have to be willing to move, and possibly teach in a more stressful, urban school, if you want to get a teaching job right now. DH and I are not willing to move now, since he has a stable, good job, and will make more than I will as a teacher.
I made the decision to pursue teaching a few years after getting my B.A. and deciding that I did not like my current career path (management). I don’t necessarily regret it, but I am very troubled to be in my mid-twenties and still not have a career job.