Bad idea to become a teacher?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by toby2, Jan 18, 2010.

  1. toby2

    toby2 New Member

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    Jan 18, 2010

    Hello,
    I'm 29, hold a bachelor's in English/Journalism, and want to become a high school English teacher. But I'm always hesitant to take the plunge and enroll in certification courses. I have what many might consider a good job -- I am a curriculum developer for a private company that produces online education courses. I do enjoy the job, but I keep coming back to wanting to be in a classroom. It's as if I won't be happy unless I at least try it.

    But I have many concerns. Mainly, I hear that teaching jobs are becoming exceedingly scarce due to the economy. The last thing I would want to do would be quit my job only to find teaching job openings non-existent. Also, I'm told that English teachers are not exactly in demand.

    Can anyone here speak to the job situation, as well the availability of English teaching jobs?

    Also, would my experience developing courses give me a leg up over other first-year teachers when it comes to credentials? I also intend to coach wrestling as well. Thanks in advance for the advice!

    -
     
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  3. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    Jan 18, 2010

    I can't speak to how available English positions are, but I will say that if teaching is your heart - go for it. My niece came to me and out of the blue said she wanted to teach. I have several friends who have done everything to discourage their kids from teaching. Not me, I support her 150%. I know I was lucky in getting hired as easily and quickly as I did, and being able to change schools when I wanted, but if teaching (PE for her) is what she really wants to do, then she should. Nobody stopped me from going for my dreams (even when they were crazy - teaching wasn't my destination of choice at the time!) It's not fair to her to bust her bubble. I teach in a rural parish. The English teachers tend to stay in those positions for a long time. I would imagine, though, if you were flexible in your placement, that you would do ok finding a school. Good luck to you, whatever you decide to do!
     
  4. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    Jan 18, 2010

    I have to agree with Christy-I think if it's where your heart is leading you, I think you should definitely take the plunge and follow your bliss, as Oprah would say. Will it be easy to find a teaching job? Maybe not-but there are a lot of people I know losing jobs in various industries-I don't think even "sure thing" jobs of the past are sure things anymore. I think your experience with curriculum certainly couldn't hurt.

    We need people in the classrooms who really want to be there, really want to make a difference.
     
  5. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Jan 18, 2010

    You have nothing to lose by trying it. I would pursue it, but because the economy is not the greatest right now, I wouldn't give up my day job yet. Maybe take night courses, or see if you can change your schedule a bit to accommodate a credential program. At any rate, if that's what you want to do, why should you not go after it? It's true that English teachers are not in great demand, but positions do come up. If you are willing to relocate, you are already increasing your chances of finding a position... Best of luck!
     
  6. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    Jan 18, 2010

    Check with your local universities. With your existing degree (and experience) in English and Journalism, you should have most of the qualificaitons already needed. All you would need are the core education classes (and an internship), most of which can be found online through many universities. That would give you the chance to take classes towards your licensure while still keeping the good job you have now. It would also give you more time to decide if this is really what you want to do.

    If you are drawn towards teaching, you should at least explore the possibility. I believe teachers need a passion and desire to teach rather than just going into as another job. We need all the passionate teachers we can get in every field.

    Even if you decide it isn't right for you at this time, having the license for teaching would give you a "back up plan" if the economy ended up affecting your current job.
     
  7. toby2

    toby2 New Member

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    Jan 18, 2010

    Great replies so far, thank you. Another thing I forgot to mention was that I'm not sure I would be able to quit my job in order to student teach. That, plus the summer months of being out of work and looking for jobs might be too much time spent not working.
     
  8. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Jan 18, 2010

    Would your current employer work with you for the internship? I would imagine that having a teaching certification would be a benefit to a curriculum designer.

    I agree with the others. The job market is brutal, but if this is what you truly want to do, then go for it.
     
  9. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    Jan 18, 2010

    If you want to go into teaching and if you're afraid that you may regret never diving into this opportunity, then go for it. BUT, it's imperative that you go into this with an open mind. Be prepared to perhaps substitute teach for a while until a position opens up.

    I was just hanging out with my teacher friends for lunch today and we were talking about the job market. Three of us are struggling to find a permanent position. One is out of work, one got a temporary position in a horrid district, and I am working part time, on a classified salary. The out of work one decided that she is through with teaching. She's taught for years but keeps getting laid off. Me too. I am also in the process of getting a degree in geology, ready to move on to another career. BUT, still, go for it. You will never know unless you try.
     
  10. halpey1

    halpey1 Groupie

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    Jan 18, 2010

    You have to look at the market in your area... I don't think it is consistent across the country... also, are you a man or a woman? I only ask this because, while it is totally unfair, you have a much better chance of at least getting your resume looked at if you're a man... just because men are in the minority and usually that can help. I also agree, a job should be more than a 'job' and if you can find something you feel passionate about, you will have a much better time working than if not. :)
     
  11. FourSquare

    FourSquare Enthusiast

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    Jan 18, 2010

    It sucks right now and will probably continue to suck for a few years yet, but I figure we will always need teachers as long as the human race keeps procreating. The job may change, but it shouldn't be obliterated like other careers.
     
  12. Mrs.DLC

    Mrs.DLC Comrade

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    Jan 18, 2010

    Toby,
    Since you have a bachelor's degree, you might not have to student teach if you go an alt. certification route. Some areas/states offer that option. Good luck!
     
  13. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Jan 18, 2010

    Teaching is wonderful. :)

    One thing you can do to make yourself more marketable is to get an ESL/ELL (English as a Second Language/English Language Learner) certification. I know that even though there are tens of thousands of non English proficient students in our school district, there are only a handful of ELL-certified teachers. At my school there are around 120 teachers and only about 6 of us are ELL-certified.

    ELL/ESL teachers are the ones who have job security and are in demand, regardless of their regular content area--science, math, foreign language, PE, whatever.
     
  14. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    Here in Ca, it is a requirement to get our ELL certification (the name is different now, but same concept, oh, it's called CLAD) so here, it doesn't make you more into demand. BUT, that is a good point to check that out and see if it's something that'll help you out in your state. :)
     
  15. FourSquare

    FourSquare Enthusiast

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    Jan 18, 2010

    :hijack:

    Sorry....but is bilingual certification the same thing as ELL cert? Or is bi-lingual more that you can SPEAK another language and not just teach students of that language?
     
  16. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Bilingual certification is completely different from ESL/ELL certification. If you are a bilingual teacher, it means that you teach in two different languages. Our district uses a lot of bilingual teachers at special immersion schools where students spend half the day in English, half the day in the target language.
     
  17. KateL

    KateL Habitué

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    And ELL certification means that you know the best practices for teaching students who aren't fluent in English.
     
  18. SCTeachInTX

    SCTeachInTX Fanatic

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    Jan 19, 2010

    I know these things happen and it saddens me that people that want to teach cannot find positions. But I will say that my experience has been positive. I have changed teaching positions 4X by choice and my last time by moving to a new state. And had no difficulty finding a position in amazing districts. I DO think that LUCK played a big part of it and I also think that I interview well. I think that if teaching is in your heart, the obstacles are so worth jumping through to make your dream come true. My school has many brand new teachers and I can assure you that there are principals that hire new teachers. New teachers can be molded into great teachers!:rolleyes:
     
  19. Kev

    Kev New Member

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    Jan 19, 2010

    If you're worried about not finding a job, you can try going abroad. English teachers are in demand in roughly all none english speaking countries, especially asia. If your current living situation allows you to, you might want to consider it.
     
  20. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Jan 19, 2010

    toby2, that's great that you want to be a teacher, but it's funny that so many current teachers probably wish they had YOUR job right now! But if you want to switch gears to teaching, look into it.
     
  21. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Phenom

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    Jan 19, 2010

    The issue with English teachers in my area is that we have very little turnover in our department. That's true of both high school and middle school.

    I subbed one year, and then there was a half-time position open the next year. The problem was that position was a one-year deal, so I was out of a job again in a year. I told them that I wanted them to contact me if they had a position open. And they kept to their word. They did contact me for their next open position . . . TEN YEARS LATER!

    By that time I had settled into a position at the middle school level, and I really like it.

    I've been with the district for 17 years, and at my current school we have had one teacher retire, three leave due to relocating with family, and one who was let go for performance reasons.

    But if it is something that you would like to try, give it a shot. Maybe your current employer would be able to work with you.
     

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