Should I Go Into Teaching?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Curious99, Mar 12, 2017.

  1. newbieeducator

    newbieeducator Rookie

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    Mar 16, 2017

    Amy, I feel that it may be time for a career change for you. I don't think that anyone entered the teaching profession expecting to become rich out of it. Pay definitely increases with higher degrees, experience, certifications, etc. The starting salary for my district in Orange County, CA is at least 48k. I've seen another in OC where the starting is 60k and as time increases so does your pay.


    OP-I agree with the others who say that subbing or volunteering is the way to go. Subbing is rough but it gives you a ton of experience. You won't know if teaching is for you unless you try it out! :)
     
  2. mitchfairchild

    mitchfairchild New Member

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    Mar 16, 2017

    Teaching is hard work, don't get us wrong. All too often people enter the profession eyeing the 2-3 months off in the Summer. Those breaks are great, but you generally make that time up during the year. I typically get to school at 6:30am and don't leave until 5:30pm. We grade, create curriculum, work on lesson plans, collaborate with fellow teachers all before the most of the world is awake. It can be a strain on your relationships with your significant other (husbands/wives, boyfriend/girlfriend). You buy supplies for your classroom with the promise of getting "reimbursed"...whatever that means. And you deal with parents who have no clue what happens in the classroom, but who are willing to impart their knowledge of what it takes to operate a productive learning environment. This is what you can expect.

    BUT...at the end of the day, when a "challenging" student comes up to you and is excited because they passed a test (without cheating) and actually learned a lifelong practical skill...all the issues stated above fall to the floor. When you witness a student, who has been told by family, "friends", and society that they will never succeed, pass their state mandated testing and then come to you and thank you for not giving up on them...you are willing to press on, no matter what the circumstances.

    The reward for teaching doesn't lie in the Summers off, and it definitely doesn't lie in the pay. The reward is knowing that you had a positive impact on a kid who now has a fighting chance to become a beneficial member of society.

    #TeachersRock #StudentsRock

    ~Mitch
     
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  3. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Mar 16, 2017

    Yup. I'm ALL about lying, prevarication and fiction. Try wrapping your head around the fact that there ARE districts that pay in the 6 figures. Truth be told, had I started in NY state (I live just a few minutes south of NY border), I'd have been making more money all along.
    And here's the thing. It's NEVER been about the money for me. I taught in Catholic schools for two years making 19k I left because I craved PD opportunities, better resources for my students. And when I made the shift to public, I more than doubled my salary (got salary guide credit for myMasters). And then with an additional 60 credits built up over a few years, I managed to bump my salary to the max at each step on the guide And at Year 16 in my district I was at the top of the scale. A scale that pays in the six figures. I'm worth it, but I was an excellent teacher when I was paid less than 20 K per year.
     
  4. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Mar 16, 2017

    Sounds like not finishing your internship was an awesome decision.
     
  5. AdamnJakesMommy

    AdamnJakesMommy Habitué

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    Mar 16, 2017

    I didn't sub before I decided to go into teaching--I did some volunteering and observing because it was required to get into the graduate certificate program (I already had my B.A. in History). I didn't even consider subbing because I KNEW I wanted to be a teacher, there wasn't a doubt in my mind.

    If you are on the bubble, I think subbing *could* be useful. I think time would be better spent volunteering, observing teachers in action, talking to the teachers, observing protocols and procedures, etc., rather than subbing without ever having stepped foot in a classroom---new subs can often get a distorted view of the classroom if they are unexposed.

    Pay has been a hot topic on this thread. Honestly, I'd do my job for free. I teach in eastern North Carolina, I'm a fourth year, Master's prepared educator and I make 39K per year. I'm going for my national board certification which will hike me a 12% pay increase. Within 5 years, I expect to be making close to 45K--based on the pay schedule. That is REALLY good pay for my area and well above the cost-of-living requirements. The average person makes about 25-30K in my area, so I'm already well-above the norm.
     
  6. AmyMyNamey

    AmyMyNamey Comrade

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    Mar 17, 2017

    Pretentiousness earns you less than 4%. ;) I missed which districts pay those giant salaries, though.

    Many legislators would prefer teachers work for free, and it seems some here are chomping at the bit to do so. Perhaps, one day soon, you will have your wish and be allowed to work for free, free to feed your children with dreams and cloth them with idealism.

    I've never known a teacher to go into teaching to make a great salary, but every one I've ever met needs to eat, and has children of their own needing someplace to live. But the goal of this country, on a national level, is to reduce teaching to a minor bump in a larger career trajectory, something you might do for two years before moving on to save the whales or work for nonprofits in some third world country in need of your special brand of salvation. Cutting teacher salaries to a notch or two above minimum wage (which may soon be a thing of the past, as well) is the legislative goal driving many of our aggressive "reforms." The way some teachers embrace these "reforms" belies the nature of these forums.

    But readers have seen mention of pay schedules.

    Don't teach in districts without pay schedules based on seniority and education. When a state makes it illegal to pay teachers based on these criteria, that state has made the collective decision to destroy education. It's a good thing these same states can recruit educated foreign workers.

    Unless making less every year you work seems like sound financial planning, in which case, jump in with both feet and prove how your own personal poverty sets the sterling example the rest of us should eagerly follow.

    Let poverty separate the "real" teachers from the undeserving.

    There should be a poster, a commercial, showing a proud teacher and her children surrounded by squalor, calling all young people to prove their metal by working in the worst conditions for little to no pay, knowing that their sacrifice, and the sacrifice of their own children, will make corporate America great again.

    Oddly, I never see the people suggesting teachers work for free actually work for free themselves.

    Don't forget strong union protects. Don't work without them. Because people cannot be trusted to treat each other properly, and the only thing preventing the Soylent Green dystopia so many here crave are actual laws with sharp teeth.
     
  7. AmyMyNamey

    AmyMyNamey Comrade

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    Mar 17, 2017

    The starting pay....

    We used to have starting pay. Now, we have pay. The salary we start with is the most we will ever make. Every year, our salary is cut, our benefits go up (also cutting salary!), and our coverage decreases (also cutting salary!).

    Wrap your head around that. Teachers who still have that nice graded pay schedule are the lucky ones. When your state takes that away, then you have your colleagues suggesting you just aren't dedicated or professional enough to gladly slip into abject poverty.

    I never expected to get rich. But I expected to be able to pay my bills and care for my children. As these abilities are stripped away from you, you find yourself getting a little bitter, a little angry.

    Before looking down on me, consider how you might feel once it looks like you will lose your house and be forced onto public assistance.
     
  8. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Mar 17, 2017

    Does she explicitly say that many teachers in low income schools are institutionalized racists? How many is "many"? Does "schools in poverty" refer to all low income schools or only to schools in urban areas?
     
  9. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Mar 17, 2017

    In any career you need to consider potential salary and how much it will cost (in both time and money) to get where you want to be. I wouldn't mind being a novelist, but I don't feel like that is a feasible option for me as a full-time career unless and until I make it big and can anticipate a decent salary. Teacher salaries are usually fairly easy to access, so they can and should be part of the research you do before accepting a job in a particular district or in the field in general. I turned down the first offer I ever got because it was very part time and the pay was terrible. Although I really wanted to start working right away, I knew that there would be no way to live on that salary, even as frugally as I live. It was a tough decision, because the school was good and I think that there would have been potential for growth over the following several years. Unfortunately, I couldn't afford to wait that long. I ended up taking a job in the mental health field for a while until I could secure a better paying teaching job, which I eventually did.

    I'm the first one to support across-the-board raises for teachers. I do believe that we are terribly underpaid as a profession, which I think has to do with our history and the fact that we are a predominantly women-driven field (and women make a lot less money than men). At the same time, until things change, it is what it is. It is still a choice to accept a teaching job for less money than you need to pay your bills. There are other jobs out there, and if they aren't where you are then you have the option to move. Sometimes the choices aren't easy, but there are always choices.
     
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  10. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Mar 17, 2017

    Right, but you've made a pretty serious claim, that "many" teachers in these schools are "institutionalized racists". That's something that you're going to need to back up with factual data, not anecdotes. I don't doubt that there are racists in teaching, even at low-income schools, just as there are racists in every profession. I'm concerned about your use of the word "many" and your implication that this is the norm.
     
  11. tchr4vr

    tchr4vr Rookie

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    Mar 17, 2017

    I would think very strongly about not going into teaching. While I love my job most days, I have had far too many days where I have thought I was going to drop from the stress and the pressure, and I have been put on medication due to the stress of my job (that was one particular school that I got out of) I have been fortunate that I teach very upper level kids and electives most of the time, so many of the problems that a lot of people talk about I have not had. I have taught in a variety of states, with a variety of pay scales. I taught in NY, and the pay is better--however, the cost of living is also incredibly high. I want to teach in Hawaii, but I was honestly told by a principaly who interviewed me that I could not afford to live in Hawaii on what I was paid as a teacher. Where I work now, there are a lot of different districts, and they all pay differently--the wealthier districts pay more. I know many teachers who work a second job to pay their bills. I don't, but I have a husband who is paid very well. WOuld I be able to live on my salary by myself--probably. BUt I would't be able to live like I want--occassional vacations, extra savings, money for big repairs, purchases when I need them. As someone who spent six years in school, and has three degrees, I should be able to live comfortably on my salary. You don't see lawyers moonlighting, or doctors, or accountants, or other professionals. We unfortunately live in a time where education is not valued, so the people who provide it are not either. Every time I have gotten a raise in the last 10 years, my insurance costs have gone up, negating the raise. My husband, however, who works in the private sector, does not have that problem--he still has free healthcare. His raises compensate for any additional changes in his benefits. They are called cost-of-living raises. Teachers in general don't get them.

    Teaching can be very rewarding--but often, the stress often outweighs the reward. I come home many nights really wondering why I bother. I have good kids, behavior wise, but I have kids who come to class everyday, do nothing, but then school policies allow them to turn in all their work and slide by with a D. We have students who graduate from high school with a 1.0 average. But, since they're not behavior problems, we leave them be and let them coast by. I genuinely like most of my kids, and I enjoy them as people, however, I worry what will become of them in the future, and more importantly--what will become of me. I have about 20 more years to put in before retirement in order to get full benefits--which will be pretty good--but I often think I won't las that long.
     
  12. AmyMyNamey

    AmyMyNamey Comrade

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    Mar 17, 2017

    There are a number of assumptions here I care to correct.

    When I started teaching, the political climate in the state of Indiana was different. We had a graded pay scale based on years of service and education. It was a system designed to allow a person to commit their entire life to teaching.

    In 2011, our legislators made this pay scale illegal, and outlawed our union's ability to negotiate working conditions. Mitch Daniels told Hoosiers this was "for the children," and the voting public ate it up.

    To prevent a mass exodus of teachers that same year, legislators promised they would not cut existing teacher salaries to the new, lower set salaries. However, over the course of the following years, the state simply gutted education funding altogether, that districts could no longer afford to keep teachers making more than those low starter salaries.

    We did not see it coming. I had already gone deep into debt and settled into my community, thinking I had found my calling. I never anticipated my state turning on its teachers the way it had.

    So, no, I could not have "done more research" and known better. And you can't always pick up and move as easily as you imply. I do, however, realize that the finger wagging is par for the course around here and to be expected.

    Today, I hope to help others curious about teaching by telling them not to do it. Given the current national political climate, I expect every state to follow our example.

    But then, you're not even a teacher. I don't understand why any of this even matters to you. Very odd.
     
  13. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Mar 17, 2017

    I'm not even a teacher? What do you mean?
     
  14. AmyMyNamey

    AmyMyNamey Comrade

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    Mar 17, 2017

    My apologies. I thought you had stayed in mental health. I see you went back into teaching.

    Perhaps you do understand why someone who devoted their life to teaching would be somewhat bitter about a state working to destroy the viability of a career in education.
     
  15. jadorelafrance

    jadorelafrance Comrade

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    Mar 18, 2017

    AmyMyNamey since you live in Indiana, is it possible to move to Illinois or at least work in a district in Illinois? I don't know where you are located in IN, but maybe you can commute to another state. Illinois' political climate is a bit of a mess too, but every district has pay scales. The districts close to Chicago like D214 and D211 (two pretty large districts) and New Trier are just some of the ones that pay very well (I'm not going to list them all here and look every single one up. However, they're more on the west and north sides, so probably not commutable for you. Illinois has a lower median pay because it takes into account southern Illinois and all those low paying rural districts.

    Eventually when people start running away from teaching and quitting in droves, maybe the pendulum will swing back to try and attract people to the profession. When I started teaching 8 years ago, the field was saturated and it was so hard to find a full-time job. I'm not starting to see a huge drop in people becoming teachers (my district is starting to have a hard time finding people in my department, and were a pretty good school). It's all starting to trickle down to the kids going into college. Plus now stem is the huge thing.
     
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  16. AmyMyNamey

    AmyMyNamey Comrade

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    Mar 18, 2017

    This swinging of a pendulum is what needs to stop. Social growth and evolution be damned, the future of the nation depends on the upbringing of its young. To retard that by way of defunding and demonizing teachers is to hasten the downfall of civilization itself. America must be steadfast in its support of education, or it will inherit a hell justly deserved.

    It is a thing most heartbreaking, not because of the granular effect on teachers, but because of the avoidable and unbearable cost to America itself.
     
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  17. bella84

    bella84 Fanatic

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    Mar 18, 2017

    Why else would one want to be a teacher??? Because I'm good at it. I enjoy learning about teaching and learning theories and instructional strategies. I love seeing the lightbulb go off. Truthfully, I wish teaching was a year-round job. I definitely did not go into for summers and holidays off. Yes, I like kids, and I enjoy my days off... but those are not the reasons I chose this profession. Anyone who chooses it for those reasons is setting themselves up for disappointment.

    Amy, Chicago Public Schools pays six figures with the right level of education and experience. You asked for specific districts, so I'm giving you one. Sounds like you need to make a choice between moving, starting a new career, or just accepting what you've got. Not everyone is experiencing the same misery you are.
     
  18. scholarteacher

    scholarteacher Connoisseur

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    Mar 20, 2017

    I always tell people, if being a teacher is who you are, and you can't imagine doing anything else, go for it. If it's one of many options, don't do it. I'm 5 years away from retirement, and too much has changed--not for the better. I'm not pessimistic, just realistic.
     
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  19. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

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    Mar 21, 2017

    You can! If you make it that long and don't die from stress and political turmoil. :celebrate: Haha! I'm only on year 6 and I feel like I'm 87.
     
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  20. webgeenius

    webgeenius New Member

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    Apr 7, 2017

    Teaching is a good professional job and enjoy your job.......
     

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