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  #1  
Old 08-15-2005, 11:47 PM
Sam Aye M Sam Aye M is offline
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Pasadena, CA
School Psychologist
I don't want to teach anymore. I think.

I have spent the last years working at a special ed school as a "student teacher" of sorts while I work my way through college. I actually like my job (usually) and I really like working with the kids there. I get to know them pretty well, as I often have the same kids for several years. Last year I got to experience something cool, as the first kids that i ever worked with when I arrived so many years ago graduated from high school. I was proud of them, and we talked alot about how many times they ended up in my class over the years. It was only fitting that they graduated the same year I moved into the HS class (we only have one). It was a great way to end the year and take the summer off.

Sounds all rosey and happy, but my dilemna is this: It is time for me to start thinking about graduate school, and I can't decide which way I want to go. I love psychology, and the original plan was to go into a Clinical Psychology program. But now, I don't know what I want to do. I still want to go in the psych direction, cause i find it fascinating and it challenges me. But at the same time, I like working with these kids. I like teaching, and over the years, I have realized just how good I am at it. I can't always tell you what it is that I do sometimes that makes my classes run smoother, or grabs their attention like my lectures often do, but I know it's there. Several of the led teachers in our school often come to me asking me what should be done, or how to present something, or just ask for help with some of their "unruly" students. The administration here has been waiting for me to finish school so that I can become a lead teacher for some time now, but I think maybe I have been purposely dragging my feet, because I didn't want to face this decision. My soles are worn out now, and I can't drag anymore, and I still don't know what I want to do. Do i get up and leave a job I love to follow through and work in a field that I think I will also love? Or do I stay where I am at (in a different capacity), and put off the clinical work until who know when? I am torn, because even though I know that Clinical is what I want to do, I don't think I realized just how much I liked this job until it was time for me to make a decision about leaving it. I have no idea what I wil do, but for now, any and all advice would certainly be appreciated.

 
  #2  
Old 08-16-2005, 12:21 AM
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Upsadaisy Upsadaisy is offline
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Florida
How are you so sure that the clinical angle is what you really want to do? I think the fact that you don't want to leave your position is very important. If you were to follow your heart, what would you do? You can always make a change in the future if you want to.
  #3  
Old 08-16-2005, 09:03 AM
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TeacherC TeacherC is offline
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Wow, what a hard decision. Try to think of how you will feel eight months from now when you are not at the school...will you miss the kids but think "they're fine without me, I'll go visit", or will you be thinking "I can't believe I left that wonderful job!"? It sounds like you are a great teacher, and those are hard to find. Is it possible that you can combine your psych interest and still work with students, say as a school couselor or something? I know it is not the same, but just a thought...Please let us know what you decide to do! Good luck
  #4  
Old 08-16-2005, 11:47 AM
Sam Aye M Sam Aye M is offline
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Pasadena, CA
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I know I want to go into clinical because the little bit of counseling that I do now is what I really love to do. I work in Spec. Ed., where I deal with many different diagnoses, such as PTSD, Bi-polar, Schizophrenia of various types, and nearly everything in between. Working with this population and studying it at school had made it a truly wonderful experience for me so far. Nearly all of the students I have worked with all these years are victims of child abuse/molestation/neglect, and whatever else people's minds can think of. It was working here that really steered me in the clinical direction.

Teacher C, I know how I will feel in eight months, I will miss it dearly. I haven't seen most of my kids since June, and while I was ready to run out of that place in June, I am ready to run back in about three weeks. Not so long ago, I was looking to leave this place and move far away, and it was while applying to a facility similar to our that I realized how much I would miss this job whenever I left. At the time, I was't sure if I was feeling that way because I loved my job, or if I was feeling that way because I was so comfortable where I was and was feeling anxious about change. I have worked there for about 9 years now, so any change of employment would be a rather large change in my life. I have no wife or kids to worry about, so my change would only affect me and the kids I work with. I have a little while to make up my mind, but I just don't know what it is that I want to do quite yet.
  #5  
Old 08-16-2005, 04:51 PM
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CanadianTeacher CanadianTeacher is offline
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You seem to have a natural gift in teaching, from what you say. You also seem to love counselling. Pursue the counselling. If you don't, you may regret it down the road. My guess is that you will be so busy doing the other thing you love, you won't have time to think about the thing you left. Don't forget, you are ready to run back now because you have been off all summer and are refreshed (I assume); of course we will want to go to what we already know and where we are already comfortable. If you go to graduate school, you will be able to say you pursued two things you loved and you'll be able to just go where the road takes you. This may be your window of opportunity to pursue psychology in graduate school - take it. You can always go back to teaching later if you so choose - and really, they are often not that different anyway, especially if you are working in special ed. It's win-win.
  #6  
Old 08-16-2005, 09:15 PM
Nisey Nisey is offline
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CANADA
Sam I face the same thing as you. I want to be psychologist but my heart strings still pull towards the classroom somewhat. So I have decided to go pursue my masters in Educational Psychlogy but I'm pursuing a field in psychology that allows me to the assessment and still be in a classroom where needed. Right now I am just doing some extra psychology classes to refresh my "psychology" mind before applying to the program.
  #7  
Old 08-17-2005, 11:17 PM
Miss Molly Miss Molly is offline
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Massachusetts
How can you really know if counselling is the right choice until you've done it? You've done nine years of teaching and you know how you feel about that. Go for the graduate program and get some counselling sessions under your belt. If you find it isn't all that you thought it would be, the teaching profession will welcome you back with open arms. Go for it and good luck!
  #8  
Old 11-06-2005, 11:39 PM
Sam Aye M Sam Aye M is offline
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Pasadena, CA
School Psychologist
Well, since I first started this thread, I have done lots of soul searching, and talked with a lot of people, both at work at at the University, and I have decided to apply to Psychology Ph.D programs and pursue counseling. These Ph.D programs are extremely tough to get into in So Cal (where I live) so I am going to try my luck, and apply to as many schools as I can. If I can't get into one within reasonable distance (we have a LOT of schools around here) I will probably go back into an education program for a while, since my current employer will help me pay for college if I stay in education. I have worked very hard as a working student though, and should graduate near the top of my class. I think I owe it to myself to apply to the Ph.D programs and give myself a chance to see if I can get in. I'll miss teaching whenever I leave, but i have worked hard, and I don't want to sell myself short. As a few of you said, teaching will always be there, and my employer will always welcome me back with open arms should I change my mind. I think this is the right decision for me. I suppoes only time will tell.
  #9  
Old 11-07-2005, 07:09 AM
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Grammy Teacher Grammy Teacher is offline
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U.S.A.
Retired Preschool Teacher
Sam, you have made the right choice as far as I see it...you will someday have a wife and children(possibly) and then it will not be possible. This is the time for it...go at it with full force.
  #10  
Old 11-07-2005, 03:46 PM
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GlendaLL GlendaLL is offline
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Central Ohio
Congratulations on your decision and good luck with your new venture!
 

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