Post # 1
I am a teacher. This is my third year as a middle school (5th and 6th grade) Special Ed teacher. Prior to that I was an Academic Interventionist for K-5.
I know I should be thanking God that I have a teaching job in New York State. I know that 3 years ago I said that I would kill for any teaching job….but the truth is I am SO UNHAPPY!
First, when I went to school for teaching I wanted to either be with the severely disabled (think helmets, wheelchairs, feed tubes) OR do gen ed no older than 1st grade. Anyone in NY (or pretty much anywhere now) knows that teaching jobs are hard to come by. I ended up teaching grades 3-6…then last year 4-6 and now this year 5-6.
Not only have they continued to consolidate my grade levels (going the opposite direction that I want), but they have also decided to switch to coteaching and put me in MATH ONLY. I was heartbroken. My heart is in beginning reading/phonics NOT middle school math. To be honest I was always in the lower math groups in school and it is something that has never clicked with me. I am studying and studying what I now have to teach which, might I add is what I learned in 8th/9th grade (and take over the whole gen ed class sometimes) and I really do not get it. We have to teach NYS modules, they have not even given us the whole curriculum. my principal wants me teaching ON GRADE LEVEL from day one.
I am going to make an effort of course but I am so sad and I do not want to go in anymore…my students are the only thing that keeps me going.
My question is…who has a teaching degree but is doing something else? What are you doing? I need a change and it has to be in the $40,000 range (UGH).
Post # 3
@Tatertot2003: Have you spoken to your administration about how uncomfortable you are with what you’re teaching? If you like teaching even a little, please stick with it!!!!
Post # 4
@Tatertot2003: My friend graduated teacher’s college but cannot find a job. She is working at Starbucks. I feel that is not the direction you want to go in (and I don’t blame you). My cousin is in the same boat as my friend, but she chose to run a home daycare. She branded her services with her teaching degree and actually really enjoys watching/teaching the kids. It works for her!
Post # 5
If you have children I would suggest starting a home day care. If you do not have children, I would suggest looking into entreprenurial (spelling? sorry) opporotunities for yourself. For example, you can become a Pilates instructor in as little as 6 weeks. Build up your clients and reputation while teaching, and then be able to quit. You could become a certified laser technician for hair removal and facials. You could get started in real estate.
I guess my point is there are a lot of options to bring in an income that don’t involve going back to school (It sounds like that’s not what you want to do anyways at this point)
Keep us updated!
Post # 6
Yes, I have discussed my basic uncomfort. I cannot say anything too indepth because this is my tenure year and if I appear to have no confidence I may not get tenured. If a district does not tenure you then you have NO CHANCE in ever working in a school again-honestly. Also the two teachers above me (who are not retiring or switching grades anytime soon) have “called” the younger grades/ELA…so for me to express that I am uncomfortable means that I no longer have a job.
I have always wanted to go the home daycare route but I do not have children yet. My SO and I are considering moving in together soon which would mean a change of towns for me…and I highly doubt he would want me to start an inhome day care in the house months after moving in! haha.
UGH it feels hopeless. I would LOVE to keep teaching just a different age/ability level!
Post # 7
@Tatertot2003: Even if you don’t have children, you are still capable of watching and teaching them! Maybe you can divide the house into 2 parts – one living space for the two of you, and one separate work space for your business. That is what we do so that we can have a physical divide between work and family time. You should talk to your partner about it – I’m sure he’d give up some space for you to be happy! You could easily make $40,000/year doing it too.
Post # 8
- Wedding: May 2014 - Madison, WI
My Fiance is/was a teacher and a school librarian. He now works for a non-profit doing research for them. He collects information on people to keep their databases up to date on donors, potential donors, staff, etc. People might e-mail him with questions and he needs to research and find the answers for them. His boss compared it to marketing if it were a for-profit organization. He makes more than he did teaching but his positions teaching were usually “3/4 time” so not full time because of districts lacking the funding.
It’s been good because he’s gone from honestly putting in well over 40 hours a week teaching, spending every weekend lesson planning to just working a normal ~40 week with no work to worry about over the weekends.
So there are a lot of different options out there.
Post # 9
@Tatertot2003: Can you add another certification? If you’re sure you’d like to be teaching introductory reading, could you go get a reading specialist certification? Or something else that would make you the better candidate for getting the younger grades or reading classes in the future?
I’m currently unemployed and trying to get a new school librarian position, so I have been thinking of what else I could do with my degree/certificate but can’t really think of anything that would have the benefits of teaching.
Post # 10
Maybe it’s because I’m in VA, but I’m confused. What are you certified to teach? Here, the severely disabled is a different degree than a co-teaching special ed position. You also mentioned wanting gen ed no older than 1st grade – that’s also a different degree here. So what are you certified to teach?
Can you look into switching schools within your district? We have a transfer program that runs every May in my district. You apply to other school, in the same district so it’s no paperwork or hassle, and then see if you get a position.
I’d also talk to your SO – there are a lot of places that are actually hiring teachers. Are you willing to move?
ETA: I ask because it sounds like you enjoy teaching, just not the situation you are currently in
Post # 11
@Glasgowbound: thanks for the advice. I have 4 certifications. In NYS we have one Special Education degree that is separated into age levels. I have both birth-grade 2 and grades 1-6. Then I am also gen ed certified in both of those age groups as well.
I live in the country so my entire school district is actually one school, pre-k through grade 12.
And as long as I am with my SO (which isn’t going to change anytime soon) we cannot move. He works on the family farm and is inhertiting farm land, etc.
Post # 12
Before I read your last update I was going to give you a lot of the same advice that @Glasgowbound: did. To me it sounds like you love to teach you just hate the school you work for. However, I think your situation is different that the situation most teachers find themselves in. You work in a school district that consist of only one school which prevents you from doing what most of us can.
Let me explain. I teach in DC and I am certified in k-12 special education and 7-12 grade science. If my principal came to me and told me I was teaching 7th grade math, I have the right to say no and I cannot lose my job. DC has what is called a “highly qualified status” and if I am not certified to teach it, I simply cannot. If my principal does not like my answer I can move to another school that needs me. DC is a very hard to staff school district, especially in the special education program. There are always job openings. Sometimes it bothes me when people say there are no teaching jobs. Yes there are, in the areas where they are most needed. Also, in DC we do not get tenure. If i don’t pass their evaluation system, I can lose my job.
Since your school distric is different from so many, and you are unwilling to move, I suggest the day care route that other people have suggested. Maybe you can even market yourself as a special needs daycare, that way you can still work with the type of children you have always wanted to help. Maybe you could also do tutoring. Set up a tutoring business where you can focus on the age group you wanted to.
Post # 13
I taught 1st and 2nd grade ESL (sheltered English immersion) in a low-income school for a year right after graduating. I hated it. Unlike you, I wanted to teach older kids (middle or high school) and had significant experience working with kids of that age. I just couldn’t relate to the little ones in the same way and really struggled throughout that year. I ended up quitting that job and now work in a non-profit that works with kids involved in the juvenile court system. It’s very different than teaching, but it definitely draws on some of the same skills and mindsets that teaching did. I make the exact same amount that I made teaching, too.
BUT I do miss teaching. I’m in the process of applying to grad school right now in order to get my Master’s degree so I can return to teaching. This time around, I am seeking certification in secondary history education, which I am confident will be a better fit.
Lots of non-profits (especially those who work with kids and/or involve education) like to see a background of teaching. It means you can relate to the work on a deeper level than those who have been in administration or development their whole lives. Not all non-profits can pay as much as a teaching salary, but many can.
Post # 14
What about home services (ABA) for kids with autism? Or early intervention. You could also look into hospital teacher programs or teachers that go to kids houses when they are too sick for school.
Post # 15
@Tatertot2003: I have a teaching degree (early childhood and elementary) but I’m not teaching…during the student teaching process (Ihad kindergarten in the am and 3rd grade in the pm) I realized that teaching was not for me..at least not 3rd grade…loved the kindergarten though…the teacher I was working with makde my teaching experience horrible and I hated going every day. Anyways when I graduated 2 years ago I could not find a teaching job and did not want to rely on substitue salary…I am not teaching…I’m working full time in banking and I really like it. I have thought about becoming a reading specialist, working with small groups of kids but I dont want anymore school loan debt. What did you end up doing? Are you considering the home day care? I would love to do something like that
Post # 16
@Tatertot2003: could you try looking for private school jobs? I work at one and I live in NY. My pay is around 50k and it’s a lot less stressful. I love my job.