Career Changers

Discussion in 'Job Hunting & Interviews' started by teach123, Sep 20, 2006.

  1. teach123

    teach123 Cohort

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    Sep 20, 2006

    Lately I have been noticing a lot of career changers are going into teaching and it seems like they are the ones getting the teaching jobs. Does anyone else notice that trend? Why are they choosing teaching when there is a teacher abundance already? It is just so frustrating when all I have wanted to do all my life is teach and now I can't get a job. I would love to hear from all you career changers.
     
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  3. misscyteach

    misscyteach Rookie

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    teach123: I am a career changer WITHOUT a teaching job (kinda). I'm working 3.75 hours a day in a Kindergarten classroom, if that counts for teaching. I was a secretary for 22 years....always wanted to be a teacher but not enough self-confidence until a trauma sent me to counseling.....then I became a teacher. When I enrolled in college, I thought there was a shortage of teachers, at least that's what I had heard.
     
  4. TeachwLove

    TeachwLove Rookie

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    Sep 20, 2006

    I'm a career changer going for el ed certificate

    Hi 123: I'm a career-changer too, 45 years old and going from being a clerical worker to getting a K-8 certification. I've taught before at the college level - I LOVE teaching and I've always wanted to teach elementary but I didn't want to jump the hoops for certification. Now I've saved up and have a job I can stay at as I go through my second masters.

    I've heard mixed things about the job shortage/surplus for el ed teachers. I've heard that it depends on where you live. If you're willing to relocate, most people can find a job. I know a guy out here in the Seattle area who had 17 interviews and finally landed a job. I hope I'll find a job too when I get through school--this career change is a huge risk and expense for me.

    Keep up your faith--it just takes one job to be that right fit for you. And--I hope you don't mind my saying, but focus on developing YOUR job-search skills rather than on who else is getting positions. Best to you!
     
  5. zanke

    zanke Rookie

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    I am making a career change into teaching. When I was in college I was going into teaching but changed to a different major with the dot com boom (mid 90's). After eight years of that I am going back to school for my masters in El ED that includes a teaching certificate for my state.

    Some people decide early on to teach and the rest of us decide later. I could have stayed in the corporate world with a very good job and a lot more pay than I will ever get as a teacher, but it no longer interests me, for several reasons, but I won't get into those here. So I quit and and am now going to school for my masters.

    Why teaching? For me, I wanted to do it back in college, probably for the same reasons that you are teaching now. Others, it could be because they had a teacher that made a difference to them and they are hoping that they can make a difference to some kid along their new career. There are lots of reasons for a career switch, some noble and some selfish.
     
  6. thechangingtabl

    thechangingtabl Companion

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    Sep 24, 2006

    I am a career changer, well stay at home mom for 8 years and now going back into the workforce. I was fortunate to get a position, but it is in ESE/Special Education, not regular education. I think if you are in a high need area, both career changers and Elem Ed teachers would be employed if you are willing to work with that population.

    I did not have any experience with that population, it is difficult being a first year teacher and having no experience, but so far I enjoy going to school everyday and love my students. Yes, some drive me crazy and my classroom management is a bit soft, but I am working on it!
     
  7. kidatheart

    kidatheart Habitué

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    Sep 24, 2006

    I am sort of a career changer... I received my BS in el ed back in '91 with a license to teach in both PA and NJ. The market was just as tough back then! I was either unsuccessful or naive about what I wanted as far as finding a teaching position. Due to some personal circumstances, I decided to take a job offer from corporate America and worked at a desk for 10 years. Now I am back on the market, trying to find a teaching position. For now I have accepted an instructional aide position.
    The thing is that people who pursue teaching from the beginning and those who are career changers all want the same things - to change the world, one student at a time. To make a difference in the life of a child is the greatest possible goal one could have.
     
  8. Malcolm

    Malcolm Enthusiast

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    Sep 24, 2006

    Most of the career changers are going into teaching just because it is what they want to do. Some of the older ones, like me, are giving up significantly higher pay to do it. Some are just tired of what they were doing and think teaching might be better. In my case, I taugh a community college class, found out I like teaching, and decided I could be more effective at the high school level.

    Teaching is just like any other profession. Sometimes there aren't enough candidates for the number of jobs. Sometime there are too many. The fact is that there are plenty of people who would like to teach K8. In most parts of the state, there is an oversupply. And likewise, in many parts of the state, there is an undersupply of math, science and special ed teachers.
     
  9. Mrs_Goatess

    Mrs_Goatess Comrade

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    Sep 24, 2006

    Can one change careers if one never had one in the first place?

    I earned a BA in English Lit., romantic in the thought that I would know what to go into and how to use my degree once I earned it.

    No such luck.

    I learned about alternative cerification after two years of languishing in my college job. I went on to sub, but I still haven't gotten my own class yet. Honestly, I wasn't prepared yet, but I feel I am getting more ready every day.

    I know eactly what I want to teach (11th and 12th grade English), but I get pulled into the areas of need come interview time (remedial reading in middle school is were the jobs are in my area). It's been suggested that I work at the younger levels (elem. or early middle school) first to get experience to get where I want, but it seems to me that that area is even tighter. It's frustrating.

    I know if I keep it up I'll be in my own room talking Shakespeare and Whitman, but it seems so far away sometimes.
     
  10. mviera

    mviera Rookie

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    Sep 24, 2006

    teach123
    I am a career changer and midway through my Masters in Business, I realized that I wanted to teach.Talk about an expensive epithany! I worked for 10 years in a company and literally walked away, never regreting that decision. Out of college I would have never choosen teaching,after having children, yes .Life's circumstances change the way you choose to live, including what you choose to do for a living.
    Sorry to hear of your circumstance, Here in S Fl there is a huge teaching shortage, due to reduced class size , low raises ,among other things, finding a job was not a problem. Some states have a surplus and some have a shortage of teachers.You might consider relocation because there is not an abundance of teachers in all states.
     
  11. teach123

    teach123 Cohort

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    Sep 25, 2006

    I wish we could relocate, but that is not an option at this point. My son is a senior and my daughter is a freshman, so I don't think it would be a good time for us to move.
    Thank you so much to everyone who responded to my question. It is very interesting to read your stories and hear why you chose teaching at this time in your life.
     
  12. Suburban Gal

    Suburban Gal (formerly Elizabeth) Banned

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    Sep 25, 2006

    My mom is thinking of becoming a career changer. Right now, she works for the Department of the Navy (DoN) as a Civil Service employee, but may loose her job in another year or two due to outsourcing. The Hosuing people have already lost their jobs to contractors so I suppose it's just a matter of time for Personal Property.

    Even though policy dictates they have to place her in another Civil Service job if she looses this one, it will be hard to do since most of Civil Service has been outsourced to contractors over the past 10 years or so.

    Therefore, my mom has been giving alternative carrers a lot of thought as of late.

    My mom loves kids and has always been deterred from it due to the low wages, which is why she eventually got her Business Administration degree and worked Accounting and Finance jobs for the U.S. Navy.

    After seeing how easy it was for me to get certified as a Substitute and Teacher's Aide and after experiencing the joys of teaching CCD, she's decided that she will eventually make the transition to teaching. Besides, she has never really liked offices very much and feels it would be a good change for her and I agree. It would.

    Like Malcolm said, most of the career changers are going into teaching just because it's what they want to do with their lives. And like Malcolm, my mom will be giving up much higher pay to do it, but at least she'll be doing something she loves doing and working in a better environment.
     
  13. Mrs_Goatess

    Mrs_Goatess Comrade

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    Sep 28, 2006

    My father-in-law is also working into the profession. He wants to teach elementary, possibly special needs. He's currently working counter-intellegence in Iraq! (If anyone is preped to work with kids, it's conter-intell, IMHO. :) ) He's been serving for almost 15 years now, and he will also be taking a deep pay cut. He hasn't gotten into why he wants to switch with me, but I can imagine...
     
  14. Suburban Gal

    Suburban Gal (formerly Elizabeth) Banned

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    Sep 29, 2006

    By the way, I have a friend in NYC who's mom gave up law in order to be a high school teacher [at a Catholic School]. Not only did she give up a $65,000 a year job just to teach, but she even hiked across the bordder into NJ just to do it!

    I asked my friend what made his mom give up her lucrative career as a lawyer and he told me she did it because she felt a calling to teach and share her knowledge. So while some people switch because it's what they want to do with their lives, others switch because they feel a "calling" [from above].
     
  15. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Don't let her kid you... from NYC to parts of NJ is a "hike"... across a bridge!! Cross the GW and voila-- you're in Jersey!:D

    I think that career changers, just like other teachers, are facing the glut of teachers that some parts of the country have. So a career changer who teaches math or science won't have a problem finding a job. One in elementary ed is going to have a much harder time.

    That said, I think a career changer brings a lot more to the table than another first year teacher. You can demonstrate competance in some field, and there's almost always a carry-over into teaching you can find to highlight. You've shown a degreee of professionalism in your old career, and that teaching is important enought to you that you're willing to make financial sacrifices to do it.
     
  16. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

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    I'm also a career changer. I always wanted to be a teacher, but when I started college back in the 70's (Yikes!!) I heard about the glut of teachers and switched gears - went on to law school, worked as a prosecutor ( very unhappy job), stayed home with my daughters for a few years and kept putting off going back to work because I couldn't face it again - my wonderful husband suggested I do what I had always wanted to do, so I took the plunge knowing about the current glut of teachers in my area, did an alternative cert and Master's route and got extremely lucky and found a job immediately. In my district most new hires are young 20's, but my principal said she knew my background got her a lot for the same money. Good luck!
     
  17. Giggles1100

    Giggles1100 Comrade

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    I was a teacher back inteh early 90's after 2 horrible years i quit and swore I would never go back I went to work for a bank doing SBA loans then got PG and went to work for my parents doing home loans at least I could take my kids with me to work. had you asked me ths time last year if I would ever go back to teaching I would have promptly told you no. I did, however, keep my hand in teachign I started up and ran our special needs program at church for 5 years and then taught at my kids Mothers day out preschool for 3 years, I taught HS Special ed before, so that was a big change. Then last year my son started Kindergarten and i was an active room mother going to his school at least once a week to work and he was having such a positive experience, his teacher was loving it and having a positive experience that the teaching bug bit me again and bit me hard,I waffled as to weather to go back to teaching or not since I have one more son in his last year of preschool, but I prayed about it and figured if God had a job for me he would give it to me, I decided in JUNE to go back to teaching, fully not expecting to get a job in this market but I figured I could sub if nothing else. I got no phone calls for weeks and took another day off from teachign preschoolt o do another big resume sending spree and got called at the end of July for 2 interviews. The rest is History, but I would say I was a career changer for a while and although teachers may not get paid much in most of the US, they get paid quite well where I teach,and I did not know that before I interviewe. I just really wanted to go back, I am making triple what I made 10 years ago when I first began teaching. so that was an extra perk, so yes many people want to go back in Texas, most districts want good teachers and are willing to pay.
     
  18. AChancetoTeach

    AChancetoTeach Comrade

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    I also wanted to teach all my life, but not everyone can afford college right out of high school. I had to wait until after my children were in school to go to college. I went all 4 years straight through and graduated in May 05. I went a year without a job before I got this one. I'm now a first year teacher in 5th grade and I know that the fact that I have children the same age as those I teach gives me insight to teaching. We all have different paths to get to teaching, and to be honest, I never thought once about whether there was a teacher shortage/surplus. I just wanted to teach. :love:
     
  19. eduk8em

    eduk8em Rookie

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    While many people have answered about the call to teach, I disagree that career changers are the only ones getting jobs. A principal wants to build a diverse team of ages, interests, strenghts.

    Three years ago, I graduated from an excellent teacher preparation program where we earned Master's degrees with an initial certification. The class of 18 who completed it was fairly equally divided between those in their 20's, 30's, 40's and up. Who got the full-time public-school jobs the first year out? The two men (40's) and a bilingual woman (30's). I would consider them excellent candidates, but they were not the only ones in our group. Another woman (20's) got a half-time K position where she student taught (the only one whose student teaching lead directly to a job). Six (1 -20's, 2-30's, 3-40's) took Catholic school positions. One took (20's) took an after school position as director at an exclusive private school. Two had long-term sub jobs that lead to offers of permanent employment in public schools, one took it (30's), the other (40's) did not. One (40's) served as a cadre sub for a large urban district. She was told off the record that her age kept her from getting full-time offers. Another (20's) did daily subbing in a high-paying district in hopes that it would lead to a job offer. It did not. Another (20's) took a position in the same district as an aide, and it did lead to a full-time position the following year. One (30's) decided to defer working until her children were older, and another
    (20's) returned to her previous business job.

    I don't think it's accurate to say that one group has a global advantage over another - to be honest, it always seems that everyone has what I have and my chances for getting a job would be better if I was younger and less educated. But the younger and less educated wish they were older and had a Master's degree. It will be interesting to see where we all are at the 5 year mark, where typically 50% have left teaching.

    I have found that persistence, the willingness to "pay your dues," and flexibility are vital in successful job searches.
     
  20. Lydia

    Lydia Rookie

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    Oct 2, 2006

    I'm a career changer (just started my certification program in September).

    Why the career change? I was dissatisfied in my current/previous profession. Gone are the days where the majority of people stay in one career or with one company for the rest of their lives.

    That there is (or is not) a "teacher abundance" never factored into my decision. It's a new avenue for me to do something that I will enjoy. If I get tired of that, I might even try a third career!
     
  21. MortonR

    MortonR Rookie

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    Oct 3, 2006

    I am a career changer as well, essentially forced into another career when I was RIF'ed out of a 20 year career in the business world. I could have taken another job in the same discipline, but it would have required our family to relocate, something we did not want to do for a myriad of reasons.

    I became a stay-at-home Dad until my children got older, then I returned to college full time to earn my degree in Special Ed. (my oldest son is a Special Ed. youngster.) I taught adults in my business career, and as an extension of that, I went into teaching because of my love for it.

    I think a lot of us "mature students" have a bit of an advantage just because of maturity and (life) experience. I would expect a principal to view me more favorably than a 23 year old fresh out of college for just that reason.

    That's not to say that there aren't advantages to being young and just out of college - there are! However, age does have it's benefits at times, and I think this is probably one of them.

    RM
     
  22. Intervention

    Intervention Rookie

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    Oct 3, 2006

    Over 40 = Protected Class Under Federal Law


    It is a violation of federal law not to hire someone over 40 on the basis of age. However, proving it can be difficult and may not be worth the effort. BTW, there is one exception - it is ok to discriminate against someone over 40 if the basis was economic and not because of the person's age. IOW, if a company was bought out people 40 or over in the bought out company could be let go if they were earning too much.:mad:
     

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