Post # 1
I’m considering a career change. I’ve been stuck in a cubicle for the last 8 years of my life. I hate it! I hate CORPORATE AMERICA. I hate the demands of the job when it comes to working late (maybe till 7 or 8pm) sometimes on the weekend. I hate the fact that my boss has previously asked me to “log in” when I’ve been out on PTO or home sick.. and the hate list can go on and on for ages.
I’ve always considered teaching (not sure why I didn’t go into it), I played teacher when I was little when most kids my age played all sorts of other things… but long story short. What are the PROS and CONS of your job according to you? I feel like it could be a really rewarding job and one that I would be happy with. I love kids, I love spending time with kids and I believe I’m patient enough to deal with them as well. If you are a teacher – please let me know what grade you teach!
Post # 3
I’m going into teaching soon, so I’m going to bump this thread. 🙂
Post # 4
I taught kindergarten this year, and I’ll be teaching first grade next year. The first thing that popped into my head when reading that you hate the demands of the job like staying late and working on weekends, was laughter. I FREQUENTLY stay at work until 6 or later, and have gone in on many weekends. There are a ton of hours out into teaching, and I definitely work more than the 37.5 hours a week that’s in my contract. It’s very worthwhile to me, but it is an EXTREMELY demanding job.
Post # 5
@jazzy14: that was my first thought too!
I’m a 9th grade English teacher, just finished my 12th year.
Teaching can be very rewarding but it’s not short hours. Even after so many years, I grade at home and on the weekends. As a firyer year teacher, even a second or third year teacher, you will work A LOT. Until 9 or 10 at night. On weekends.
Pros: I make a difference in kids lives. I get kids to like books. They make me laugh. I get to talk about what I love all day – books!
Cons: parents, paperwork, grading, meetings
Post # 6
@Bwed2012: Teaching means late nights. I usually stay at work 3 or 4 hours after the bell rings at the end of the day. Plus it means a few hours of work on Saturday and Sunday.
It also means most of the summer prepping for the next school year and the last month of the summer spent in the sweltering heat of the school organizing a classroom.
When you are sick you are still expected to prepare work for your class and mark whatever was accomplished. When you return you often have to work even harder to make up for lost time. On top of that you are “expected” (sometimes informally) to be involved in extracurriculars such as coaching, supervising clubs, etc. that add on to this workload.
Oh, and the DRAMA. Working in elementary school often means a large staff of mainly women. The drama can be entirely draining. You may luck out and get a wonderful staff that all get along, but this is rare. So.much.drama. Sigh.
And the parents. I hate the parents. I love the kids, even the worst behaved, but the parents can be so ungrateful and can really get on your nerves. Their child can do no wrong, you’re not providing enough extra practice or help, it’s your fault their child didn’t do well on the test, even though they didn’t do any of the homework and/or study, etc. etc.
I think the only way you can survive teaching without burning out is if you are passionate about the profession. It is NOT a solution to getting away from the problems you have at your current job. I would almost guarantee that you’d encounter way more stress and demands as a teacher and if you find your current job overwhelming than teaching is not for you. 🙂
Post # 7
@Bwed2012: I teach high school English. Let me just say that if you read recent articles about the issues in education then read the comments below the articles, you will learn a lot about the current state of being a teacher. Unfortunately, I believe many teachers actually leave teaching and look for cubicle jobs. So your situation is the opposite.
Teaching is more than loving kids and having the patience to deal with them as I’m sure you know. It’s very true that it is rewarding but more often, it will seem like it’s not. It’s actually the one kid out of the hundreds that make teachers want to stay at their job. What I’m trying to say is that it’s rewarding (pro) but it can seem like it’s not (con).
I have been asked many times if I think the job is worth it – the stress of dealing with the issues of students and parents, the work I have to take home on my days off (weekends), and even the work I do in the summer. I’m still sticking to it so obviously, I find it worth it. I won’t lie and say I never thought about quitting to take the office job that allows me to come at 8 and leave at 4 with rarely any work to take home and my weekends are all mine.
I suggest subbing at the school/grade level you are considering and see what it is like… It will give you a better picture of whether or not the grass is greener on the other side. Subbing is not half of what you will encounter but it’s a start on experiencing the life of a teacher.
Post # 8
@Bwed2012: I’ve been teaching maths for 5 years. I teach secondary school so ages 11 – 18. I am Head of Department at my school. Honestly, I can’t imagine doing anything else. Yes, it is frustrating, tiring and you will feel worn out at times. The kids irritate the hell out of you and sometimes you want to scream and walk away. However, most of the time the kids are funny, respectful and a pleasure to work with. And we get kick ass holidays!
I didn’t know what I wanted to do when I got to the last year of uni. I decided to give teaching a go. I don’t particularly like kids, but I do love my subject. I am a good teacher, I can keep control of my classroom (most of the time) if you aren’t a strong person who can deal with kids being horrible to you, you won’t make it as a teacher. You have to be on the go constantly. If you feel like crap, tough shit, you gotta stand up there in front of 30 kids who don’t want to learn and still make it interesting for them.
I rarely now take work home with me, I leave the house at 7.30 and most days I’m back by 5.30 ( I have a 40 minute commute each way )
Post # 9
@Bwed2012: High school English teacher here.
Pros: the students, the holidays
Cons: the pay, the parents, the high school mentality (which is strangely present in faculty and staff), the inability to take time off if sick (substitutes cost the school money and being gone is HIGHLY discouraged), the early/late hours (typical day–I get up for work at 5:20, stay at school until 4 or 5, eat dinner, and then grade until I go to bed), the high level of stress (you don’t get to go to the bathroom when you need and you never get a break; you are in charge of 20-30 kids no matter you feel up to it or not)…this is not a definitive list.
Do I like teaching? Yes. Do I dream of a cubicle lifestyle? Yep!
Post # 10
I work in Early Childhood Education! It’s wonderful/fufilling/etc., I would definitey not trade a desk job for it, though! Though the hours are way better in ECE than older education fields… And there’s nap time!
Post # 11
I taught in a kindergarten classroom for 4 years. First as a TA, then as a full time teacher. My situation was a little different because I taught at a child care center where the ratio of kids to teachers has to be 8:1. I had 3 other teachers I collaborated with plus TAs. I can honestly say that I have no idea how one person manages a whole classroom alone. I had always wanted to be a teacher and that job sent me running in the other direction. It is so demanding and exhausting and there were days that I just wanted to lie in the sandbox and cry.
The pros of the job are seeing how much your kids progress in a year. I was the unofficial special needs teacher of the classroom, and watching kids overcome certain obstacles is just amazing. They love their teachers and it’s great to walk into a room where everyone wants you to be there haha. Plus you learn as much as they do. Those kids teach you life lessons you won’t learn anywhere else and you’ll take those lessons with you forever. I’m constantly referencing stuff from my teaching days even though I left the job 4 years ago.
The cons are the pay, the demands, and the drama. PP’s have already mentioned these things. I would just like to emphasize that working with 95% women is almost never a good thing. Even if you don’t get directly involved in the drama, it’ll affect you. There’s no escape.
Don’t go into teaching for the “convenient” hours. It’s not really like that, plus it’s unfair to the kids. Do it if you’re seriously passionate about teaching.
Post # 12
Bees – thank you for your responses! I currently work with 95% women if not close to 100% the only men I work with are the CEO, CFO and sales guys. I’ve dealt with the drama and I can handle it. As far as taking my work home and staying late – well most of the time I have to stay late or work on the weekends or at home when I’m not at work is because I have to wait for other people to get their stuff turned in on time. So technically a lot of it could be avoided, I think that is the part I find the most frustrating though (the fact that if it was up to me and I was working late because of other reasons than having to wait on other co-workers) then maybe it would be a different scenario.
Post # 13
@Bwed2012: I quit my job 4 years ago to go into teaching. I teach 1st grade. Next year will be my 3rd year and I will be in an ICT class. When I started telling my friends i was going into teachig everyone called me crazy (im in Nyc). A lot of things have changed – more assessments and now how we as teachers will get evaluated. The only time I wotk late is in September due to paperwork. I do go in an hour and a half early but refuse to stay late. I am overly organized. Some thinggs I take home only because its easier to work on my home computer to put in data. The kids are amazing! And i feel like im actually making a change in the world.
my only con is teacher accountability- we are held accountable for everythig so i am constantly worried kf a child isnt progressing that it js my fault. Luckily i dont teach a testing grade where now teachers scores are now online!
I say do it and never look back it is soo worth it!
oh another con is the money .. I took a massive pay cut- but its easy to get per session jobs and i work summer school bc im used to working year round so thats extra $ too