Are still trying to be a teacher in these hard times for education

Discussion in 'Debate & Marathon Threads Archive' started by nasirahc83, Mar 24, 2011.

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  1. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Mar 26, 2011

    I'm in a Catholic high school, as is my husband. We're completely tuition dependent; we receive no state aid. So the budget cuts haven't effected us.

    When things crashed, we accepted more incoming freshmen than normal, anticipating that a certain percentage simply wouldn't be able to swing tuition by the time September rolled around. What we ended up with was a larger than normal class. Somehow the parents are managing to pay the tuition.

    As far as supplies go: we take what we want from the bookstore. There's no formal allotment, but I go in and grab what I want. Each department has a budget. To be honest, I'm not sure what it is; it's been 12 years since I was chairman and worried about the budget. I'm pretty low tech as a teacher, so I don't use much of it. But each room in the building has a computer with internet access, a DVD player, and a document camera (lots of people here call them Elmos).

    Our classes are large-- mine range this year from 32 to 41. But discipline is a non-issue. I haven't writtten an single detention all year. (In fact, I haven't had to ask a single kid to see me after school.) Not all teachers are that lucky; during the week I had detention duty, I had up to about 20 kids in detention (out of a high school population of about 2000-- our kids in grades 6-8 have their own detention room)
     
  2. John Lee

    John Lee Groupie

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    Mar 26, 2011

    It's all nice and good if you want to "follow your dream" to be a teacher. But I think you would like to honestly know the climate you are about to enter. And I don't think that's "being pessimistic" or giving up or anything of the sort. If a kid was thinking about going in to teaching, among other things I'd basically tell them: I think you are a 99:1 shot of landing a classroom teaching job (in this state) after graduating and earning your credential. And I honestly think that's generous.
     
  3. schoolteacher

    schoolteacher Habitué

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    Mar 26, 2011

    My daughter's best friend will be entering college in the fall, and wants to major in elementary education. Of course she is only 17 and could easily change her mind about what she wants to do.

    I haven't made any mention to her of the tough job market for teachers. But I do plan to mention this to her sometime soon, so that she knows the facts about the current job market and can make her choice accordingly. Certainly her college will not give her that information.
     
  4. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

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    Mar 26, 2011

    I have a business degree and went back to school for my credential because I feel like education is a key to giving children choices in life. It is not a level playing field for everyone in this country and I cannot continue to prosper while others suffer. I genuinely enjoy my job and I don't want to do anything else right now. Education is a tough market, but I don't know a single field that isn't. We will always need teachers as long as people keep being born. Our society requires a certain level of education. We may see changes in what is being taught and how things are being taught, but I feel safe that my field will never be obliterated. I'm riding it out as best I can.
     
  5. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    Mar 26, 2011

    This is true for any field college students may decide to enter.
     
  6. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    Mar 26, 2011

    My husband just got a job at an amazing tech company. They are in the process of expanding their company. He is a computer programmer. My brother just got a job with Microsoft, right out of college (he's finishing up his last quarter). My friend is getting her statistics degree. She will most certainly will have a job as soon as she is done with her masters (already has a lot of connections). So, I think some majors are a bit easier to get jobs in than others. You just need to do a lot of research.
     
  7. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

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    Mar 26, 2011

    Agreed. But then you're unhappy doing a job that you picked because it was practical and not what you really wanted. I'd rather love what I do and try to apply my skills elsewhere than train in something that will land me a job but not make me fulfilled. We spend way too much time working to not be passionate about the work itself. :2cents:
     
  8. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Mar 26, 2011

    I COMPLETELY agree with this. I just watched an episode of Oprah that was all about happiness, and how to be happy, and they emphasized the importance of being happy with your job. They also said the happiest jobs were ones that involved socializing with others...

    They also said the happiest place in America is San Luis Obispo...About an hour where I use to live in California...
     
  9. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    True, but then I've met so many people who did THINK that the major they picked was their passion only to get into the working world and realize that this isn't what they wanted. Really, no one knows what anything will be like until they are out into the working world. Even student teaching isn't enough to make one realize what teaching is really about (and sometimes then it's too late to back out for some people). So, there is no easy answer to this. LIfe is full of trial and error. All we can do is listen to our elders for their opinions and go on from there.
     
  10. porque_pig

    porque_pig Comrade

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    Mar 26, 2011

    I agree.

    I finished undergrad in 2009, and I'm currently working on my MA. Of all my friends who graduated in the same year, only a handful have gone on to find jobs in their fields, and those friends are either public school teachers or nurses. I have friends with Master's degrees in business who work the cash register at Target or serve tables at Red Lobster. I have friends with international studies degrees who are unemployed after being let go from several companies the day before their benefits were supposed to kick in. My husband worked as a warehouse manager with his college degree, and nearly every employee at the company was laid off within a year.

    I don't feel that I am at any more of a disadvantage than my friends pursuing other careers. No matter what the field, you have to give it your all, make yourself stand out from the crowd, and never give up. I was called to teach, and I will teach. If I want it badly enough, I will find a way to get there. And I don't think I can consider myself to be any worse off than my friends who "wisely" pursued careers in business, science and other fields.
     
  11. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Mar 26, 2011

    I think that it's got to be a healthy mix of the two philiophies.

    Sure, you need to follow your heart; life is way too short to be doing something simply because the odds now are good that you'll be able to find a job in 3 or 4 years.

    But you also need a dose of realism. Think of all the kids we see who are SURE that they'll make it in pro sports and are willing to sacrifice their education because of it.

    I think that prospective teachers, like prospective everything else, need to have a long cold look at the job market. They need to do what's necessary to give themselves whatever edge they can before graduation.

    In terms of education, that might mean planning to teach math or science or Special Ed, or relocating. It might mean a whole lot of volunteering and networking in college. It might mean that you'll have to be willing to coach as well as teaching.

    So I'm perfectly OK with going into it with your eyes wide open. But the job market would not have kept me from teaching.
     
  12. Math

    Math Cohort

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    Mar 26, 2011

    Well.. I'm a freshman.. and this topic probably doesn't apply to me at the moment but, I want to go to college and get a dual major in Math & Education at Rowan University. At my school now a lot of teachers get laid off within their first three years of teaching. This does not discourage my dreams.. for some reason teaching has always been in mind and I just know it is what I was meant to do. I'm going to go to college to pursue my dreams and I just hope that the economy is much better by my senior year.
     
  13. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Mar 26, 2011

    Sounds promising, Math. How are your math classes going?
     
  14. Math

    Math Cohort

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    Mar 26, 2011

    Well on my recent progress report in Algebra I have a 96
     
  15. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Mar 26, 2011

    Very good. Let me suggest, then, a bit of homework - which you may already be doing: pay attention to how your fellow students get stuck in math and to how (and whether) your teacher gets 'em unstuck. This can show you volumes about how to teach math.
     
  16. Math

    Math Cohort

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    Ok and yes I do my homework Math is my favorite class
     
  17. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Mar 26, 2011

    Oh, dear, Math: I wasn't meaning to suggest that you don't do your homework!

    Does math tend to come fairly easy to you?
     
  18. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Teacher Groupie was giving you EXTRA homework: observing how the teacher deals with kids who don't understand.
     
  19. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Mar 26, 2011

    Thanks for stepping in, Alice. Though I intended not just observing how the teacher deals with the students, but also how the students deal with it.

    One of the toughest things in teaching a subject one loves is understanding what it feels like not to love it and not to do well in it when you have to do it anyway.
     
  20. MissKatie

    MissKatie Rookie

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    Mar 26, 2011

    What a scary thread! I'm currently a high school junior, and I've looked into every career I can think of, desperately hoping to find SOMETHING that I might possible enjoy as well as I love teaching.

    I can't. Every time I search degrees, I always end up stumbling upon the "Education" section again. What can I do? I might as well just bite the bullet and major in Education.

    Luckily, I LOVE teaching moderate/severe special needs kids. Hopefully, that will make the job marker a little bit easier.:)
     
  21. Math

    Math Cohort

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    I've helped friends understand how to do Math.. and I usually get done before anyone in the class so when I do for the classwork if someone needs help I offer to help with the teacher. I always observe in my Math Class I look at what works and with what he does that confuses the students and if I'm helping them I take a different approach. Oh, and, yes math comes easily to me.
     
  22. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Mar 26, 2011

    I think it's great that at your age you have a solid plan already set. :)
     
  23. rbschreiber@gma

    rbschreiber@gma Rookie

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    Mar 26, 2011

    I've been told I'm crazy to be trying to teach in this economy. (I was also told I must love it if I'm going for it after the warnings.)

    I'm 25, I finished my credential program in June 2010, and was told I would be lucky to find something even related to education. And I got hired this year (part-time, 60% but hey, I'll take what I can get). I was pink slipped for 2011-2012 and may not have a job, but I do believe my positive attitude, open mind, and my willingness to talk to anyone and everyone (connections help!) worked in my favor.

    If this is something you love and desire don't give it up. You WILL make it happen eventually. And the job market WILL get better.
     
  24. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    Mar 26, 2011

    That's great, but I can match it with two of my best friends from college, both of whom are now former computer programmers. They graduated in 1988 and got into the field during the Boom years of the 90's, only to eventually be let go when the dot-com and computer industry market began crashing. They both had to go back to school to pursue different careers. My roommate chose to go into network security and my other friend went to school to become a radiology tech. He did so well that he now teaches the courses he used to take.

    I can offer my own anecdotal experience to counter the pessimism surrounding the education field. I was called by my district and offered the position I have now. I didn't have to apply or interview for the job, I was just asked if I would be willing to take it.

    I agree completely that ALL college students (and even high school juniors and seniors) should be giving some SERIOUS thought about what they really want to do for the rest of their lives AND should do the research needed to understand the current and future trends in the job market for their chosen field. This is one thing I will DRUM into the heads of my own sons as they begin preparing for their college years.

    However, I also agree that you DO have to love your job if you really want to be successful at it. I would not want to spend the rest of my life working in a job I took because it was practical.
     
  25. allisonbeth

    allisonbeth Comrade

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    Mar 27, 2011

    I am an experienced teacher with two children in college studying to be teachers.
    I am thrilled that they want to be teachers! At this point the outlook for jobs are bleak in almost all careers. However, things will come around. Until they do, my children will have degrees that allow them to pursue other interests, too (one math, one English). A degree and certification is something worth having, even if you can not land a job in your field at this moment.
    Both of my children are open to moving nearly anywhere for a job. They know they may not have their dream jobs at first. I know it will all work out for them, even if they are not "classroom" teachers early in their careers.
     
  26. stephenpe

    stephenpe Connoisseur

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    Mar 27, 2011

    I see how politicized teaching and education has become and wonder why anyone would spend all that money (especially in Fla) to earn a degree
    to get a job that a HS diploma gets you in some instances at the same salary. Just a few years ago you could work at the prison for about the same beginning salary as a teacher with four years of education. And they had way better insurance and retirement
    benefits. For those of you in school to be a teacher there will be teaching jobs and we always need good teachers. It may not be in your backyard or the perfect scenario but you will find one if want it.
     
  27. Kangaroo22

    Kangaroo22 Virtuoso

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    Mar 27, 2011

    I think that if it is a person's passion to teach and that if they really can't see themselves doing anything else and being as fulfilled as they can teaching then going for a teaching job is still a good idea. I do, however, think that more prospective teachers should be aware of the job market and how difficult it is to get a teaching job and because of that come up with a back-up plan if they don't get a job right away.

    Now personally for me I've decided to stop pursuing teaching, because I have found that it is not my passion. This is after moving 1200 miles away (from NY to CO) a couple of years ago, then moving back home and subbing for awhile, going on tons of interviews in NY, MD and VA (I was offered a job at the end of last summer in VA, but decided that moving seven hours away within five days wasn't something that I was prepared for after my bad experience moving before) and then doing a LTS job last fall that teaching really wasn't for me. I am now hoping to move with the grocery store I work for and work my way into management.

    I still really think that if you are willing to move just about anywhere in the US and are diligent about applying just about everywhere (which I know can get hard, because so many districts want their own reference forms filled out), that even this year there is a really good chance that eventually a job offer will come.
     
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