Am I stupid to become a teacher?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Luckless13, May 27, 2010.

  1. Luckless13

    Luckless13 Rookie

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    May 27, 2010

    I've wanted to be an English teacher ever since I was a little kid. My grandmother, a retired English teacher, fostered my love for literature, books, reading, and writing. Throughout high school, I was on the newspaper staff, English festival, and started my own news blog out of dissatisfaction with our under-funded school newspaper, which only allowed those kids who were taking the newspaper class to write articles. I've written a YA paranormal novel, 65,000 words, and I am hoping to get it published some day.

    I am going to be a Senior this year. That means I must start planning my future and finding out what I want to do with my life. Then, I talked to some teacher school graduates and read this article.

    I cannot post links but if you google "new york times teacher jobs" it should should up, it says "Teacher Candidates Aplenty, but the Jobs are Few". Some of the fun stuff it says are 3,000 candidates per job and how Ivy League graduates aren't getting jobs either.

    It literally gave me nightmares about being unemployed and living with my parents at the age of 30 because I cannot find a job doing what I want. I'm not some drunk frat boy who randomly decided to become a teacher after doing keg stands because "well I get summers off and plus history class is easy yo". I have dedicated my whole life to this dream.

    Anything else is out. I have a C- in Geometry and about the same in Chemistry, while getting A's in everything else. I do not know what to do, what if things aren't better by 2015 when I am out of college? Will my dream just fizzle out and I'll have to become a boring accountant?

    I'm scared and don't know what to do. Any teachers, please help! :unsure:
     
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  3. bros

    bros Phenom

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    May 27, 2010

    In all honesty, go for it.

    If you want to do it, just do it.

    I was a Computer Science major my first semester. I changed my major to Education near the end of the semester.

    I haven't regretted it since.

    Do what you love, not what others impose upon you.

    Your parents will be behind you in any choice you make.

    You sound like you are a very strong student, except with some small weaknesses in Math and Science.

    Honestly, I am similar to you.

    I did horribly in my math and science courses in my two years so far (C+ and C in the two math courses and C+ in the Biology course).

    However, I get As and Bs in every other course.

    Pursue your dream, no matter how bleak the job prospect may seem.

    Here you go:
    http://bls.gov/oco/ocos318.htm

    Employment is projected to grow about as fast as the average for all occupations. Job prospects are best for teachers in high-demand fields, such as mathematics, science, and bilingual education, and in less desirable urban or rural school districts.

    Employment of kindergarten, elementary, middle, and secondary school teachers is expected to grow by 13 percent between 2008 and 2018, which is about as fast as the average for all occupations.
     
  4. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    May 27, 2010

    I also agree you should go for it.
     
  5. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    May 27, 2010

    Actually, most accountants I know are pretty wild and crazy.

    But seriously, it all depends. For example, if you want to teach middle school, your chances are better. If you can relocate, your chances are better. If you can teach more than one subject your chances are better. If you speak fluent Spanish your chances are better.

    Since you are just starting out and know what you want to do (which also give you an edge over all the other English majors who decided to become teacher because they didn't get into law school or their writing career didn't pan out) you have the time to do all of the things that improve your chances on the job market.

    Start compiling the list now. I've given you a few. A few more might be solid experience working with young people, coursework that focuses on literature that is actually used in secondary schools. Since you can start grooming yourself to be a teacher in your freshman year of college, you have an edge right now.

    And in 5 or 6 years, things could change. By then, a lot more of us will be ready to retire.

    Have fun, and keep posting here.
     
  6. Ms.H

    Ms.H Companion

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    May 27, 2010

    It sounds like you've definitely found your niche in the field of English-- even the way you wrote this post demonstrates your talent and passion! I would advise you to follow your interests and your abilities. You could consider pursuing a double major in English education along with writing/ journalism or something like that (not sure if it works out everywhere, but it did for me), since it sounds like you also enjoy creating work of your own. This might give you other options that would, in the event of having to wait awhile to find a job, be more enjoyable to you than "boring accountant"!

    You are being wise and realistic by checking out the job market, but you must remember that there are an infinite number of factors that will contribute to whether you, one individual, will find a job. These include your location, your willingness to relocate, where you end up student teaching (it could provide a quick "in" that others wouldn't get), the economic situation, the needs of different schools, who retires when, and so on.

    I certainly wouldn't advise you to put on blinders pretend that you won't face challenges, but I also wouldn't advise you to make your plans out of avoidance. (As a literature lover, perhaps you are familiar with what happened to Oedipus when he so wisely attempted to flee Corinth to avoid what he thought would be an unsavory future...).

    There are a lot of unknowns in life. Right now, what you do know is that you have a dream, a drive, and talent. Go with it. As a teacher of seniors, I know many students who would give anything to have the passion and sureness about what they would most like to do.

    Good luck!
     
  7. gigi

    gigi Groupie

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    May 27, 2010

    If teaching is your passion, then you need to follow that passion. I became a teacher after my youngest was born, but I always knew it was what I wanted to do. Right now the job market is tough, I myself am tutoring part time because I cannot find a permanent teaching position, however, I am still TEACHING, still feeling that passion, that excitement in what I do after 20 plus years. I cannot imagine doing anything else. If you feel this way, know it is part of you and what you want to do, follow your dream. Best wishes.
     
  8. Luckless13

    Luckless13 Rookie

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    May 27, 2010

    I would like to thank all of you for your well-thought out replies. In a way you have confirmed what I already knew: this is something that I want to do, wanted to do, and will do. I can't imagine anything less and sure will not settle for anything less.

    I was considering a double-major in English Ed & Journalism, actually. I will have to check out how much the course load will be. I am hoping that the economy will be better, I'd even sub & tutor if that's what it takes.

    How long was it until you guys got your first teaching job?
     
  9. Muttling

    Muttling Devotee

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    May 27, 2010

    Follow your passion. If you're not passionate about teaching, you won't do it well and you won't do it for long.


    The money is reasonable, but not great.

    The criticism is definitely there, but it's not as bad as it is in many other careers.


    Lots of pro's and con's to consider. If you're not passionate about teaching kids, it will really suck. If you are passtionate, it will be a labor worth while.
     
  10. gigi

    gigi Groupie

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    May 28, 2010

    I was fortunate to find a position right away and that lasted 16 years, in a private school. Due to the economy it closed, however, I was able to find other temporary positions, and have just had my contract for tutoring renewed for another year. I am very fortunate and grateful for all the experiences I have had.
     
  11. ACardAttack

    ACardAttack Companion

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    May 28, 2010

    Go for it, there is nothing more rewarding than teaching because of the bonds you build with the students
     
  12. MathNrd

    MathNrd Rookie

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    May 28, 2010

    Luckless, there will always be jobs for good teachers out there. You just have to look. You might have to move. Here is my story...
    I always knew that I wanted to be a teacher, since I was in first grade. I was a teacher's helper and I was a peer tutor throughout my schooling. I was a volunteer at the local schools all throughout college. When I graduated, with Elementary and Secondary certification in Mathematics the job market in Vermont was bleak to say the least. Schools were not even looking at candidates with less than 2 years experience. I applied for 30 positions ranging from K to 12 and only got 2 interviews. Needless to say I was down in the dumps by the end of the summer. Then one summer day I was on a walk with my mother and she told me that everything would work itself out. When we got home from our walk I had a messege from a school in Maine. They were calling me to ask me to apply for a position at their school. We drove 5 hours from our home in Vermont to the school in Maine and I was pretty much offered the job on the spot. Go for it! We need more teachers like you!
     
  13. 3Sons

    3Sons Enthusiast

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    May 28, 2010

    The journalism might be a more risky play than education, actually. You might want to ask a few journalists about what the job field is like, also.
     
  14. SPECIALEDMAN

    SPECIALEDMAN Companion

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    May 28, 2010

    Go for it! Most of the elem. schools in my area have 1 or maybe 2 male teachers. A lot of these boys, especially in low SES schools need a positive male figure. A friend of mine is at an elem. school and he gets a lot of the bad boys, and it’s unbelievable to see the change in most of these boys by Christmas break.

    It may not always be pretty, but I would try to get in a school where the kids need you most. You hold the ability to break the cycle of these lost boys. Be that guy that they remember!

    Good luck
     
  15. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    May 28, 2010

    I took a double-major in Financial Planning/Marketing. Most of the core courses were the same for both. And some core classes for one counted as electives for the other, so they went together fairly well. Of course, they were both business majors, so MOST of my classes applied to both majors and I was able to just focus on the specific classes for each major (each had a seminar-type class that didn't cross-over).

    I didn't decide to pursue my teaching career until my mid-40's, when most of my former classmates were approaching 20+ years experience in the classroom. I started by subbing. This gave me exposure to the classroom setting and let me decide if I really wanted to pursue this career or not. I learned very quickly that I did, so I took the extra classes needed for certification in Middle School Math and received my license in early March.

    Job Hunting - I have 3 things in my favor; I want to teach math at the middle school level in a rural setting (preferably western NC or northern GA). I am behind in my efforts at the moment, but I was lucky enough to get a call from the first school to receive my application package. I am waiting for a second call to schedule an interview.

    In the meantime, I continue to sub and work in the 21st Century Afterschool program. I've also applied - and been accepted - as an assistant to the 21st Century Summer Institute Program. I've also applied to work at the Summer Camp run by our district schools, but have not heard back on that job yet.

    Finally, I work weekends as a hotel desk clerk. This is my "spending money". While the job market is slim, the area I'm in has some desparate teaching needs, so I'm hopeful I can get a job without relocating. If not, I can always continue subbing and working in the After School program until something permanent does come along.
     
  16. gigi

    gigi Groupie

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    May 28, 2010

    @ACARDATTACK...I just ran into a Mom at Lowe's, I had her kids in my kindergarten class 10 years ago! It was awesome!
     
  17. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    May 28, 2010

    Go for it if you really want to be a teacher. I've known I wanted to be a teacher since I was itty bitty little and I knew I wanted to be a science teacher when I was a freshman in high school. I graduated high school in 2003 and finished up my science education major in 2008. I didn't bother looking for a public school position because that's how many teachers go--- instead I went for public. I was very dissatisfied with how science is taught in public schools, so I'm happy I've been teaching in private school for the past 2 years. Next school year I'm moving on to a different school and will be teaching 4 different grade levels--- I'm SO excited!

    If you're honestly a good teacher, you will find a position. This is all I've ever wanted to do and ya I could be making a lot more money doing something else, but I WANT this job. :)
     
  18. Reality Check

    Reality Check Habitué

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    May 29, 2010

    It's not a great field to get into, at the moment, since the nation seems to be declaring war on teachers.

    However, if nothing else, you can always apply at charter, catholic, or private schools and stay there until the job market improves.
     
  19. maya5250

    maya5250 Comrade

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    May 29, 2010

    :confused: what do you mean, reality check? Just curious.



    I agree with the previous posters about just trying it out. If it does work for you that's great. If it doesn't work for you, you still have the right to change your mind. I am a career changer and just entered the field of education after working in research. Nothing is ever set in stone. I love working with kids and teaching them science.
     
  20. Reality Check

    Reality Check Habitué

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    I mean an increase in stories like the one in Rhode Island, where the entire staff was blamed for the failures of their high school and fired, while the President of the United States publicly cheered that decision on. (Although the school board recently reversed that decision)

    This bogus "Race to the Top" program, where there are punitive measures placed on teaching staffs.

    The governor of New Jersey telling teachers around the state they need to accept a salary freeze or have their positions cut.

    Sounds like a declaration of war to me.
     
  21. maya5250

    maya5250 Comrade

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    May 29, 2010

    Thanks for the clarification, reality check.
     
  22. webmistress

    webmistress Devotee

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    May 29, 2010

    I agree with you Reality check. It is most certainly a war on teachers. Many great teachers are planning to leave the field. But anyway, I'm not going into that.

    I only recommend a person enters teaching (especially public) if his/her passion is off the charts (and that seems to be the case for the OP). Also, choose your school and district carefully.

    But be ready for a war against you, coming from all angles; parents, administrators, school board, other district officials, the state, federal government...

    Notice I didn't say 'students.'
     

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