Post # 1
- Wedding: October 2016 - Cape May, NJ
I’ll try not to make this too long. I’m a graphic designer, been in the field 3 years. And I hate it. I knew since I was a little kid I wanted to do something creative it’s who I am. I considered teaching art and my parents pushed it as well, my step mom is a kindergarten teacher, but wanted to be a “working artist” blah stupid. I chose design as it seemed a good stable job but I’ve discovered it’s not for me. I can’t stand having an office job, sitting for 8 hours staring at a screen, and feeling like I’m not doing anything positive. I design advertising for casinos and it doesn’t feel creative at all or helpful to society. I considered just applying elsewhere but every time I read the job description for them and imagine myself doing the job it sounds horrible. I have been considering becoming a teacher for almost 2 years. Art specifically but I’d consider getting certified in English also. My step mom told me pretty much no one is hiring the alternative route teachers in our state though. I considered getting my certification through a post baccalaureate program but that means more loans on top of the ones I’m stuck with now. On top of the fact I see so many complaints about how hard teaching is with kids who don’t care and difficult parents and school boards, and how art teachers especially have a hard time finding jobs. It keeps seeming like the right way for me to go, and enriching kids lives with art makes me so excited, but I just don’t know if it’s worth it?
Post # 2
FoxFace: I can’t speak about Art or teaching young ones, but I will tell you that teaching high school has been one of the most rewarding experiences so far of my life. Teaching IS hard. I don’t think anyone could say that it is easy, or that we get “3 Months of vacation” really knows what goes on. If you are going to go back, I would avoid alternative route. Try to see if you can volunteer at a school with young ones, see if it is your calling. Art is a hard subject to find a job in, but people do it. You may need to move to find a job. If it is your calling, you will be able to overcome the hurdles of parents and school board. Becoming a teacher is the best thing I have ever done. Yes, I have nights I sit at my desk till 9pm grading papers, but it is worth it once a student “gets” it.
Post # 3
I will echo what PP said. Teaching IS hard. You have no idea what its going to be like until you are in it. Last week I pulled one 14 hr day, 12 hr day and another 14 hr day. Thankfully most weeks arent like that. Despite what people think it is difficult because you will have politicians who think they know more, paretns who think their kids are angels, and those that you work with who are always in your business, because as an art teacher “you don’t really teach.” But I love my job. Still, I know some who don’t and are just worn out. Common Core has a lot of dead bodies in its wake. I’m seeing teachers retire, who aren’t ready but can’t take it anymore. Plus society hates you because you make too much money, and we don’t do anything. It gets tiresome, but you will always have to defend yoruself.
Art is a hard subject to find a job in. In my state it is not mandated at the elementary level and thefore is one of the first things to cut. We have an art teacher retiriting this year, and I doubt we will replace her. As much as I hate to say it, its not part of the core, and is cut often.
Post # 4
FoxFace: My sister is an art teacher. She was teaching in the same district for TEN years and in spite of having “tenure” was just laid off last week (the school has been laying art teachers off for years and since she was now the most junior art teacher, she was next to go). She was making a pretty significant salary (I believe around $90K) as she had taken extra credits to move her up on the payscale. The issue is that being an art teacher is a VERY niche profession and since it isn’t valued as much as math, sciences, and other topics that schools are ranked on, art is the first to go. She’s in a tough position because whatever school she interviews with next is required to pay her at her higher salary and they would much rather hire someone fresh out of college for half as much pay than an experienced teacher (since art is considered “extracurricular” for the most part)…she’s also finding that it’s very hard to find a job in spite of her “art connections” as it’s more about who you know or who you are related to in the school administration that offers the best opportunity.
Post # 5
Teaching is only worth it if you can’t imagine doing anything else. I would not become a specialist teacher in the current political climate – budget cuts are happening like crazy and if you’re the newest hire and least experienced you’re at the most risk of being cut.
Post # 6
FoxFace: At 26 I changed my career path and went into teaching high school kids, thinking I’d be doing something positive and rewarding. After two months I was missing a banter and the different networks I had in my previous jobs. I stuck it out for the rest of my training year and then two years teaching too, plus a supply/substitute year to allow me the flexibility of finding something else. I miss the teaching but don’t miss the horrible kids, paperwork, lesson planning, report writing etc. I did two days at a school before my training year, but it was one of those hard to find perfect schools, I should have gone to a not so nice school too. Do your homework is my advice, though I thought I had, good luck to you!
Post # 7
I’m similar to you as I teach music. I will say as a specialist it is challenging because you will likely end up teaching multiple grade levels (I teach 13 sections of 9 different grades, K-8 and am the only music teacher at my school). I also teach band as well as choir so it is a VERY full job. What keeps me going is I DO love what I do. I easily put in 50-60 hours per week. Not trying to boast or anything but it’s the reality. I feel secure in my position because my school places high value on music. It is also a private school.
I will also say with art especially you will likely find mostly part time jobs. It is so so so unfortunate. 🙁
Post # 9
FoxFace: I ended up changing my career and going alternate route and now I’ve been a teacher ofr 5 years. The way in for me was to have a connection and know someone. Would your stepmom be able to put in a good word for you through her district? Seriously, everyone in my district is connected to someone. I would also suggest that you start subbing (if you can). Also, the more certifications the better. Get as many as you can.
Post # 10
Only do it if educating children is absolutely your passion. I tried to teach as a way to fund myself through grad school. Since I knew I had to get my maste’s anyway for careers that interest me, I went ahead with an education undergrad. I had excellent classroom management and love working with kids. But education is not my passion. I only made it 3 months. The 80 hour work weeks nearly killed me. I loved my kids, yet found myself driving to work at 6 am dreaming about being in a car accident to get me out of work. It was nothing like I’d ever experienced.
If education is your passion, do it. If not, I recommend you don’t.
Post # 11
I don’t know how relevant this would be but in my high school years,(7 years ago), the art teachers always taught more than art. I was in a technology program where we did web and graphic design, video editing and then programming(java). One subject per year. All was taught by the same teacher. I also took art class. That teacher was the basketball coach and also taught journalism. I think they did the school news paper as well as the yearbook. In middle school there were two art teachers. One also taught language arts(english). She was one of the scariest teachers in the school. The other, taught science as well as art.
Post # 12
Im in the UK and the number of teachers quitting is at an all time high here. I’ve been teaching 3 years and I am looking at other careers (Graphic Design being one ironically).
I love teaching and I love the kids but I can’t cope with having no personal time. I wake up to do work at 5, leave the house at 6, don’t get home until 7pm and then work at home until 9 nearly every day. Plus all day on a Sunday. The hours to pay ratio is insane and the amount of paperwork is only increasing. I spend more time doing paperwork than actually teaching. I’m barely able to spend time with my SO (even though we live together) and never have time for friends. I want to get out now before we think about having kids (which I think would be impossible to do without losing my mind).
Post # 13
- Wedding: Breckenridge, CO
No. I did it for years in a couple of different states but I can not with good conscience recommend teaching in a public school in the US
If you love teaching you can work for yourself or in a difference environment. Can you create your own business with art education? Like in a bougie neighborhood as an art enrichment after-school activity. I can totally see that working.
I love working at a community college- it’s teaching just with 10% of the administrative bullshit and 1% of the behavioral issues. Also zero parents (unless they’re your students!)
Post # 14
I teach music and love it; a very good friend of mine teaches full-time art at a large public high school and loves it. Her kids adore her and she does get to create most days. I would much rather be teaching than doing anything else. Most days I leave by 3:30pm.
They love to throw things at teachers (ideas that don’t stick past a year or two) so be ready to let things go in one ear, out the other. This especially works at staff meetings.
I would advise going to a local school and shadowing an art teacher for a day!
Post # 15
I substitute teach, so I see a little of everything that goes on. That being said, I’m asked all the time when I’m going to become certified and teach full time. The answer? Never. However, that being said, if it is something you REALLY wanted to do, high school art 2 or 3. Just from what you said I feel you’d be miserable with younger kids, many who are there just because it’s required.
I’m not sure if this is just where i live or a nationwide franchise, but we have something called painting with a twist where people come and learn to paint and can bring wine or something. I’m not sure how much it pays but you might want to look into something like that. Where people are there because they want to be.