(Closed) Career change from teaching to….??? IDK

posted 5 years ago in Career
Post # 4
9917 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2013

I am a reading specialist.  My mom and dad are teachers.  This is what I will tell you: it gets better.  It takes about three years of teaching to really settle, and after that it won’t be EASY, but a lot of the stress will go away.  You can always find a job in another district.  

If you are interested in becoming a reading specialist, I will tell you this: it is harder to find a reading specialist job than a teaching job.  However, the job requires a lot less planning than classroom teaching.  I work with about 50 or 60 students a week, in small groups of 5 to 7.  At my old school I was required to work with FAR more students and felt really ineffective.  The biggest problem is that the districts that really need reading specialists often don’t have them or have many of them, so their reading specialists are really overwhelmed with students.  In the districts that have a lot of them, they need fewer…it’s really unfair.  

For more support for teaching, you could try posting at atozteacherstuff.com.  They have a discussion forum all for teachers.

If you liked teaching when you started, I think you can like it again.  It’s not an easy job!  I would NEVER in a million years want to be a classroom teacher.  Ever.  

Post # 5
1458 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: January 2015

“Heres what I want, to work 9-5 ish, be able to leave my work at work, weekends off for the most part and still enjoy my job.

I should probably add that if I have to go back to get a Masters, I need to start at more than $50k a year”

What you are looking for is probably the wish of every working person ever, and especially every post-masters student. Those types of jobs might exist in a STEM field, like engineering or mathematics, but are extremely rare in the social sciences/liberal arts field.

Unfortunately, when switching careers (with or without schooling) you are at the bottom and have to “pay your dues” at the lower level kinds of jobs in the field first. What you are doing now is paying your dues in the teaching field. Almost all of my friends who are just starting out in education, 1-3 years post grad, are overworked, underpaid, underappreciated, and strongly considering getting out. I think that you should wait, perhaps try to switch districts, and move up the ladder slowly. You can’t just pop into a field and have the perfect high paying job with perfect hours and no stress.

Post # 7
9917 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2013

@MissEMich:  You are giving up on students who depend on you.  I strongly urge you to consider what you can change within the classroom rather than just give up.  

How can you be a more effective teacher?  How can you spend less time doing your job?  Try to figure out solutions to those questions and see if it helps.


Do you have a mentor?

Post # 8
4035 posts
Honey bee

@MissEMich:  It’s tough, I understand. I work at a charter school as a marketing/admissions person and do community/family programs. Our school is 85% free or reduced lunch and located in the historically lowest performing district in the state! So I really do get where you are coming from.  While I do not teach (though I teach Spanish some semesters), I feel overworked as well at times.

Have you considered working in administration in the education sector? It has some of perks of teaching (i.e., the academic calendar/time off–for some positions). I will warn you though, it is not necessarily much easier.

I make $45k a year (which is fairly good where I live), but I work from 7:30-5:30pm most days, and until 7:30 or 8:00pm, at least 12 days a month for evening, family events. I also work about 10-12 hours on the weekend at home. Sure, I get paid more than teachers, but part of it is because I am bilingual and translate/converse in Spanish, I have 3 1/2 years more experience than a starting teacher, I am really good a graphic design (for the marketing part of my job) and I work about 60+ hours a week, regardless of how efficient I am. I also manage 4 employees and have ownership of my department’s sucesses and failures. My skill set is entirely different than that of teaching and therefore commands a different salary.

Now, when I started working right out of college, I made $29k a year, got 5 days vacation and was really at the bottom of my organization. I worked at a grantmaking foundation, worked 50+ hours a week, always took work home and had to work every other weekend. I learned so much in the first few years, but it was incredibly difficult, for not a ton of pay.

Before swithing, perhaps you could seek more guidance, feedback and structured performance reviews to improve? Teaching is a profession that takes time to become great. If your heart is truly not in it, then I would not advise you to stay, because a teacher without passion can be detrimental to the classroom. However, you pursued this profession for a reason, maybe it is just rediscovering your passion.

Administration might be something you could consider, especially because you have started in education, but realize as other PP’s have said, it’s always tough when you are starting out.

Post # 9
1659 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

OP, do you have anyone you can network with to get your foot in the door?  I recruit for a global F500 company that is pretty much synonymous with a “business job”, but it is extremely rare that we hire anyone with no experience, advanced degree or not.  Even then, most entry level positions that are not sales start in the mid20-30k range.  I see approx. 100 resumes a day for 20ish open positions, and the #1 reason I reject someone is lack of experience.  Unless it’s an internship or a STEM role, I don’t care what your degree is in…I care what you’ve been doing for work for the past few years and the type of value you can bring to the organization.

If you have someone who can get you an interview somewhere, an opportunity for the type of business position that you’re looking for, that’s your best bet.  Please please please do not start a program thinking that the degree be enough to get you a job unless the school/program you attend has a direct feed into a company with a high placement percentage.  Even if you start a program, you’ll need at least a couple of years experience in your field before you get the type of job you’re looking for.

FWIW, I got my degree in organizational communication (HR) with the intent of paying my dues at the upscale retailer that I’d worked for throughout college, and the promise of being able to start in store or corporate HR pretty quickly after graduation.  I graduated, and instead of getting my cushy HR job, I got a life-sucking department manager position that required me to be there 10-12 hours a day, 6 days a week at the very least.  I lasted 14 months — I was having anxiety and sleep issues because of that job and I knew I needed out.  A friend helped me get an interview at her company, and even though I took a 12k pay cut to take that job, it got me on the career path that I wanted to be on.  I LOVE my job now, and I see a great future for myself with this company.  There’s no way that first company would have even looked at my resume, if not for my friend.  Networking is so crucial in the job market today — start there!

Post # 11
9917 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2013

@MissEMich:  I just don’t want you to quit halfway through the year…that’s the WORST for kids.

You said about half your students are receiving special services, right?  Then you should have collaborative help from the specialists in the building.  What is the biggest issue you have each day?  Also, what do the other kindergarten teachers in the building do?  Do they have as much work as you do after school?  What are you working on after school?

Post # 13
424 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2012 - Muckenthaler Cultural Center

Just FYI there’s another thread on here about teacher’s switching careers. There are alot of us =/

Post # 14
4464 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: February 2012

I don’t have advice about a career change, but from one first year teacher to another, I just wanted to tell you that I totally empathize. I’m a private school teacher and I have a group of emotional and behavioral issues, and students that belong in special programs but aren’t because money talks. The parents are vicious and undermining, and I really get 0 respect. I’m overworked, underpaid, and I knew what I was getting myself into since my mom is a teacher. I also thought of becoming a Reading Specialist, I have a background in teaching students with dyslexia. But at the same time I want to be a classroom teacher still and there aren’t many programs that have the combined dyslexia/reading challenges with a classroom setting. (There are, I worked at one last year, there just aren’t many.) Anyway, just wanted to let you know that I understand completely.

Post # 16
557 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

@MissEMich:  It sounds like you’ve made up your mind which I completely understand. 

I am also a kindergarten teacher. Let me just say its gets easier, waaaaay easier! I thought about quitting so many times my first year. I’ve been teaching for 10 years now.

Just remember you’re only a “first year teacher” once. It gets easier each year.

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