(Closed) How do I know if I'll make a good teacher?

posted 5 years ago in Career
Post # 3
Member
6211 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2013 - The Liberty House

I don’t think you can really know if anything is right before you try it. Have you tried Kaplan to do SAT tutoring or something like that?

Post # 5
Member
6211 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2013 - The Liberty House

@Meglin:  Yeah, SAT tutoring might work because it’s only twice a week at night, usually. You really can’t know anythign for sure in life so you kinda just have to operate under the assumption that it will be perfect

Post # 6
Member
678 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

I am a teacher (early childhood special needs) who was a history major in college πŸ™‚

I agree with the PP that you never know until you try. I was introduced to the field by randomly deciding to volunteer at an inner city after-school program. From there, I tutored in elementary schools through Americorps for almost 2 years, and then decided it was right for me before starting a master’s in education. I really had to start at the beginning because I had no education coursework or work experience… but the volunteering was enough to get me into the master’s program I wanted to go to.

What age levels appeal to you? Would you consider special ed (always an area of high need?)

I was not one of those people that was born wanting to teach, it was a role that I grew into over time and one that I am very proud of πŸ™‚

Post # 8
Member
1278 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2013

See what the requirements for a sub license in your district is. You may already have enough credits and be able to get  a sub license. With that you can sub on your days off from Petsmart to see if its something you enjoy. If you have a lot of patience and love kids and want to inspire them u will probably be a good teacher  

Post # 9
Member
678 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

@Meglin:  I had definite confidence issues too- I never thought any child could see me as an authority figure- so that’s just how long it took for me to feel comfortable in the classroom! 

In my experience, 2nd and 3rd grades are awesome. 2nd and 3rd graders are still as sweet as the younger ones, but they are able to learn more about life and the world outside their own. I don’t know about 4th or 5th- the thought of the hormones starting to change is frightening! You will always be able to incorporate your love of animals into the classroom, kids at any age would love that.

A sub license is a good idea, as it would get you into a classroom. But for me the idea of subbing was a bit scary too. I don’t know how subs deal with so many unfamiliar kids and classroom rules and routines in so many different grade levels… it must be an art of its own!

As for knowing if you would be a good tutor, it’s really impossible to tell! For example I have zero patience with things like traffic and showing my mom how to use computers… but I have tons of patience with my preschoolers. Go figure. Can you break down concepts and tasks into clear and manageable steps? Do you notice what people are doing right as well as what they might be doing incorrectly? I can guarantee that you WON’T have a negative impact on any child. There is no ‘perfect’ way to do it, just remember that taking the time to build student-teacher rapport goes a long way.

Good luck!!

Post # 10
Member
1471 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

@Meglin:  There is a whole tonne of research though. If I have an issue with a students (particularly back home, where I taught 11-13 year olds, primary setting) I have a whole lot of research and information at my fingetips, as well as teachers who have been in the profession much longer than me to give tips and mentoring.

Post # 11
Member
1844 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

  I agree with @mjwyatt84:  … find out some requirements for subbing, and you can try that. Just keep in mind…subbing is different from having your own room! It’s a nice way to see how the day is laid out, but even the most well behaved kids can act different when a sub comes into the room :-).

  Your university program will probably have some rotations set up for you to experience being in a classroom. My program…we started out with 10 hours over the course of the semester (which ended up working out to be something like 1x/week). The next year, it jumped to 6 hours per week, and then we had a year of student teaching.

  I was in a very similar situation to you…except I thought I wanted to be a writer. I switched my major halfway through my second year and never looked back! Could you also contact your education department at your university? Let them know what you’re thinking and they may be able to set you up with something. Some campuses even have childcare on their premises…you may be able to volunteer there.

  Good luck!

Post # 12
Member
4008 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

I’m a high school English teacher, in my 12th year of teaching. A couple of things –

1) you can’t start off in grades 2-5 and then transfer to high shcool. They are seperate degrees. Most degrees do something like K-6 and then 7-12. I have never seen a degree program that covered all grades.

2) Stop worrying about being “the best” or “perfect”. It’s never going to happen. As a high school teacher, I have 143 students this year. I will never reach all of them, all the time. You do the best you can and put in as much effort as you can. I don’t mean this to sound like I don’t care, I love my job more than anything and can’t imagine doing anything else, but it is not possible to be perfect or the best.

3) Teaching takes time and commitment. For me, since I teach English, the grading is a whole heck of a lot of time. My shcool gives 4-5 essays a year (which means teaching how to write an analytical essay, looking at drafts, doing writing ocnferences with students) and then grading those essays. 143 essays at 10-15 minutes an essay adds up to a lot of outside time. Tests for English are not multiple choice – they are short answer and quotation analysis and in class essays. In elementarty schools, there is a TON of paperwork and charting of progress.  Being a teacher requires time outside of the classroom to get stuff done – grading, planning, etc.

4) Being a teacher is the most rewarding thing I have ever done (I’m assuming this will be eclipsed when I have kids). It is rewarding and fulfilling and great. It is wonderful to see that you have made a difference to someone – whether it be the kid who gets no support at home and just needs someone to love them, or the kid who just found a book that they actually like πŸ™‚

I am happy to talk about teaching as much as you like. Feel free to ask wahtever questions you have!

Post # 13
Member
240 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

I agree with everything @Glasgowbound said. Been teaching 10 years now. 

Just a side note – tutoring is very different from teaching. There is a huge difference between sitting down with one kid or a handful of kids and standing up in front of 20+ students. Tutoring might show you if you truly enjoy imparting knowledge to others, but it won’t really prepare you for the issues you’ll face in a full classroom.

That said, I had a friend who worked a desk job for years before quitting to become a teacher. She loves it now and she’s good at what she does. So you definitely don’t have to be born with the desire to teach to be a good teacher.

In my experience, if you are sincere in your desire to better your students, that’s half the battle. I run into many teachers that don’t really give a crap if their students learn anything in their classrooms or not.

Post # 14
Member
253 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

 @Meglin: 

I’m not a teacher yet, or even in an education program, but I have been leading supplemental instruction for Biol 100 and 101 at my university for going on three years now. I basically review material from class, make up question sheets so students can practice things like multiple choice, play pictionary with them, and conduct midterm and final reviews with 100-200 students. It’s awesome! Sometimes they’re so hard to deal with, because most of them are 17 year olds, but they’re also great fun.

I feel pretty comfortable with people that age, and so I really want to teach high school sciences (preferrably grades 10, 11, and 12). It’s like a performance all the time, and a challenge. It’s also all about confidence, or just pretending to have confidence. πŸ˜‰

You might want to look into volunteering at places like women’s shelters, after school programs, or daycares. I worked at a daycare and found that, while I LOVE 2 year olds, 8-13 year olds kind of weird me out.

The good education programs tend to give you lots of classroom experience. Before I decided to finish my science degree, I switched and took a semester of education. I hung out in a grade 3/4 class during that whole semester.

 Edit:
In Saskatchewan, Canada, you can get a “Secondary Education” degree and teach kindergarten. I believe the reverse is true, too.

Post # 16
Member
240 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

@Meglin:  Many of my friends were able to get teaching jobs at high schools right after graduating from an MA program (caveat – this may depend on what school you get your MA from). In fact, depending on what state you’re in (New York, for example), an MA may be mandatory. Private high schools don’t require certification but they almost always ask that you have an MA in the subject you mean to teach.

An MA in your subject would also allow you to teach as an adjunct at a college, if you wanted to explore that option. 

Also, I don’t know how pertinent any elementary school experience is going to be when applying to a high school. A lot of schools ask specifically for experience in teaching a certain age group.

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