Post # 16
My suggestion? Get into the classroom BEFORE making the decision to go get a degree in education. Teaching is something you will not fully understand until you are in the classroom. It is insanely rewarding but it is also insanely stressful. People always say “oh teachers get to work 8-2:30 and get summers off!” but in reality the hours are usually MUCH longer than that. We fit a full time job into 9 months. It is exhausting but incredibly rewarding…if you go into teaching for the right reasons. The time it takes to do the job properly is insane.
Find every way you can to work with students…tutoring, volunteering in a classroom, etc. That will give you a better feel for how teaching is.
Post # 17
Cheekie0077: I think Shakespeare has a time and place, but I just can’t handle teaching any text because it’s just what has always been done. The text should be used to help students become proficient/master whatever skills the unit is focused on. I think Shakesepare is often taught wrong and we spend so much time helping students decipher whichever play (I particularly despise Hamlet) connecting the skills and relevancy is lost. I just think we keep ourselves stagnant because we’re often so unwilling to see that certain texts are not what works best for the skills/goals.
The worst is when I ask, “Why are we reading this book? How does it help students master the skills/why is it relevant to what they’re studying?” and I simply get back, “Well, this is what X team decided.” That’s not anywhere near a good enough response for me. Everything ahould have a purpose.
Post # 18
I agree with previous posters who said to go into a classroom before you decide. Teaching is not like it used to be, even when I was in high school, which was 6 years ago.
if you are an introvert who gets drained easily, run far away. This job will suck you dry and you will be miserable.
I ended my first year teaching this year, and I will not be going back. Now, I know there are tons of first year teachers who quit because the job is really hard the first few years, but I can’t see myself dealing with the crap teachers do.
Be prepared to take work home with you. A LOT. This is not a 9-5 job, especially teaching English.
people warned me as well, and I didn’t listen. Teaching was/is a passion for me and I still couldn’t handle the stress and expectations.
Bottom line: go through the process to be a substitute. Sub in different classrooms, different grade levels before you make a decision. Take the stress you feel subbing and add meetings, paperwork, interruptions during lunch, and 1-3 hours of work to take home each night. Plus the feeling of being helpless to actually help many students as state standards and high pressure evaluations get in the way.
I’m going back to school to be a school psychologist, and am very excited for that. Being responsible for 200+ kids was too much for me on top of everything else expected. There are still high demands, but it’s more flexible.
I want to edit to add: you may also find that you love teaching through subbing. You have to try it first really either way. 🙂
Post # 19
KatiePi: ahh where were you 6 months ago? I tried standard based grading–which was a b**** to set up from scratch–and my administration was furious. Exact words: “You can’t just do that.” Do what? Show students the skills they are best/worst in instead of slapping a grade on it and calling it a day? Giving them a chance to master those skills? I guess parents were complaining when the “A” students–who were sliding by in my class because the department agreed that participation was basically gold–were starting to prove their true ability.
Sorry to thread hijack. End rant 😉
Post # 20
I substitute teach, so it’s a little different, but I know here, if you have a BA, you can get into an alternative certification program, some completely online, (down payment of $199/299 depending on specials they are having and other things) then register for a test (about $160). Once passed, you can apply for a job. You work the first year on a probationary certificate with full pay and benefits and py about $400/month. After that you get a full certificate and you’re fully certified. Obviously all states are different but it’s worth checking out.
*edit – I just saw some posts ahead of mine. Definitely go into the classroom first. I suggest substitute teaching. You are the one in charge and get a crash course of what at least the first day would be like. I know for me it was what made me decide against full time teaching.
Post # 21
Thank you all for your posts!
I planned on shadowing already, so I am happy to hear that’s a good starting point. I have a middle school teacher friend who will be letting me sit in on her classroom in the new year!
Im really thankful for both the positive and negative reviews/comments. I never though of this as a career before because I was intimidated, not as others have mentioned from lack of passion. Over the last few years I have grown to absolutely love English and business classes/writing (I’m hoping to also teach some business classes). I already work 50 hour weeks, all year long so I don’t think the long hours would bother me. Lucky for me organization/planning, determination, and time management are things I thrive on, which seem to be requirements to be successful as a teacher. I also LOVE learning and growing, so I happy to hear thats a necessary component of the job. Feedback and growth opportunities are my favorite. 🙂
Ive had so many great teachers who have changed my life and shaped the person I am. I want to do that for other students and give back in other ways too, through teaching abroad and creating safe environments that challenge each child. I think you are all making an important difference, so I hope you know how special you are to the children you teach. Thanks again for the advice!
Post # 22
Excited To Bee: Know that it is waaay more than 50 hours per week. I get that you already have a very full job, but when teaching you never quite finish the to do list. There is ALWAYS grading, planning, meetings, paperwork…it is a neverending cycle. I easily put in 60 hours per week, plus I find myself constantly thinking about my students. I’m already planning for next school year and we don’t go back for just under 2 months. I go to Target and end up buying a bunch of stuff for my classroom.
To give you an example I have an aunt who just retired this year. I lived with her for a year to help save money and she did a TON. She left the house before 7 (the school was 3 minutes away), she got home usually way after 5, AND she spent every single Sunday morning in her classroom getting things ready for the week. Plus she was updating things at home all the time…she was grading, planning, sending emails…and she was a phenomenal teacher who had over 40 years of experience. Yet…she still needed to put that much time in. I’m not trying to scare you but it really isn’t for the faint of heart. Be sure you are absolutely ready for the commitment it takes.
Post # 23
mrsrtobee: The first 3 years I taught I was in a much more progressive district (in MO) with more autonomy. We had teams and collaborated, but we focused solely on the skills being taught and a similar common assessment of the same rigor. The district I work for currently (TX) wouldn’t accept this because they want everything the same (texts especially) across all schools. Education is a very close minded (in some areas) world that doesn’t like change, but should be changing the most of any profession.