I’m a UK bee so i’m not sure how much specific information I can give you as i’m sure its very different process here to in the US but I can share with you my experience.
Have you transitioned to teaching without having studied education?
Yes, I did a traditional, unrelated three year undergrad and then a MA, again in an unrelated area. I had been working in a different public sector before retraining as a elementary teacher.
-If so, what was your degree in, and how did you transition to teaching?
In order to transfer to teaching here I did a 1 year intensive PGCE course (post graduate certificate of education). It is fairly common route to teaching here in the UK athough there are other options.
As I am teaching elementary, it didn’t matter what my original degree was in. If I had trained to become a high school teacher, i would have needed to teach the subject my degree is in, in your case English Lit/Language.
-What are the pros/cons of teaching?
Pros: In general, I love the kids i teach. I love seeing them grow and learn. I enjoy the creativity that comes with elementary school teaching. I love the long holidays ha!
Cons: It is a massively undervalued profession. I regularly work 70+ hour weeks and I still dont get everything done. It can be very frustrating therefore when a child doesn’t make ‘enough’ progress and you are blamed by parents/public/ofsted (Uk governing body for education) – you kind of think to yourself, I literally dont see my own kids because I spend 6 hours a day bringing up your child and another 6 hours a day planning how I am going to make them absorb anything! I dont know about the US but in the UK, the government is making a lot of changes to education and the paperwork involved is getting to the point where is is detrimental to us teachers doing our jobs.
Overall, I think teaching is a job you have to love. I describe it to others as like being a single parent to 31 children – you spend all most of the day teaching them how to be human beings and spending the rest of the day worrying about said children ha! Its not a 9-5, come home and switch off kinda job.