Considering becoming a teacher. Currently Active-duty Military..

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Gulleysaurus, Sep 29, 2011.

  1. Gulleysaurus

    Gulleysaurus New Member

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    Sep 29, 2011

    Hello everyone. First of all, my apologies if I've posted this in the wrong section. I know some forums can be pretty strict about that sort of thing.

    I'm currently Active-duty Military (Marine Corps, 5 years in service) and nearing my contract expiration. Due to a physical complication, I'm unable to re-enlist, and am considering a career in education. (High School level English/Lit to be specific.)

    The only thing currently preventing me from pulling the trigger on my G.I. Bill is the uncertainty that someone like myself can get a job. My appearance to be more specific. I'm 22 and look relatively young for my age. I've got both arms fully sleeved in tattoos, none of which are offensive in any way and are done tastefully (in my humble opinion). They are completely covered by a long-sleeve shirt, nothing below the upper wrists or above the collarbone.

    As previously stated, five years of active military service with multiple tours overseas. I'm also concerned that I might be a little overly rigid for the job. I unfortunately do not qualify for Troops to Teachers.

    I'm seeing it in two ways. On one hand, I feel that I don't fit into the appropriate image. On the other hand, I feel strongly that someone in my position could really make a positive impact on a lot of kids' lives.

    I was an absolutely horrid student myself in High School, or maybe just typical. I never did my homework (ever), I skipped school consistently, and was always more concerned with the next party. This might be sort of biased, but sometimes I feel like if I had a teacher back then that was a lot like I am now, some things might have been different.

    I'd really appreciate some advice and/or guidance from the more experienced crowd.

    Thanks in advance.
     
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  3. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Sep 29, 2011

    Welcome, and thank you for all your sacrifices on behalf of our country.

    The market for English teachers has never been good, and right now things are pretty dismal. That said, you're not looking right now; things could improve. If you could find an interest in Chem, Physics or Math, the outlook would be considerably brighter. And every year some DO get hired... who's to say you wouldn't be among those people??

    As to the tattoos, they would be an issue in my Catholic High School; they would have to be covered. (Then again,you would be wearing a jacket and tie, so they would be.) But I'm fairly sure that many, many public school administrators would have no issue with them.

    And I absolutely agree: having a role model like you would make a definite difference to some kids.

    In short: teaching can be hard, very hard. But the rewards are incredible. If this is something you want to do, take the classes and make it happen.
     
  4. Gulleysaurus

    Gulleysaurus New Member

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    Thanks for the feedback on English. I've never been incredibly strong in Science, but Physics or Math, or possibly even CS is a possibility.

    I'm currently a strike Aircraft Mechanic, and I'm a huge nerd for physics and aerodynamic theory.
     
  5. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Sep 29, 2011

    The market for Physics teachers is probably the strongest education market there IS, even in rough economic times.

    If it's something you can forsee yourself doing, I would probably suggest it over English-- the job outlook is much, much brighter.

    And by the way, it's not quite 6 am on the East coast... can we assume you're serving abroad?? Please, stay safe!

    (For the record, the mods here aren't terribly picky about what gets posted where. And I would say your post landed exactly where it should have.)
     
  6. Gulleysaurus

    Gulleysaurus New Member

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    That's excellent advice, Alice.

    I'm actually serving in Maryland on the F-35 Program currently. I just work second shift and had to stay up late to make a medical appointment here in about an hour. I no longer leave the country on military business.
     
  7. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Sep 29, 2011

    OK, that makes sense.

    My husband just left for work and normally I would be getting the kids up now. But NY public schools are closed for the Jewish Holy Days, so it's just the 2 of us -- Catholic School teachers-- going in today.

    Seriously, look into teaching Physics.

    As an additional perk, you would end up teaching upperclassmen, and almost always kids who WANT to be there. Most schools (unlike mine) don't require Physics for all Seniors.
     
  8. Gulleysaurus

    Gulleysaurus New Member

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    Shoot, my highschool didn't even have a physics class, with our monster graduating class of 37. I might want to take one to feel it out.
     
  9. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Our graduating class is in the low 500's...
     
  10. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    Sep 29, 2011

    Welcome!

    First, don't worry about looking young. Working with the kids is less about how young you look and more about how you present yourself to them.

    Don't worry about the tats... just wear a long-sleeve shirt.

    As for English - it's true it's a tough market, but I could never imagine teaching anything else. In my area, most English teachers are elementary teachers who have taken the English test and moved up. When we hire for English, my P is always on the lookout for people with an actual English/literature background. There are a few things to keep in mind, however...

    - There is a huge difference between enjoying literature and teaching literature. Having said that, you still need a strong background in literary analysis.
    - A huge chunk of your personal time will be dedicated to reading and grading essays.
    - Teaching grammar is just a torturous as learning grammar sometimes.

    I was also one of "those" kids in HS - never did homework, skipped class, slept when I was there. I think it makes me a better teacher to "those" kids today because I understand where they are coming from.
     
  11. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    Sep 29, 2011

    We have a critical shortage of English teachers in our district right now. My school alone hired four new ones this year. Don't worry about finding a job! Before you choose a major, see if you can go spend some time in a high school classroom as a volunteer and talk to the teachers. Make sure it's something you're really interested in.
     
  12. INteacher

    INteacher Aficionado

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    Sep 29, 2011

    I think you will probably have one advantage over many other teachers at graduation (hopefully I am right), given your background, you would be willing to relocate. Also, I do know getting hired to teach at a DoD school either stateside or overseas is highly competitive,but maybe you might have some type of advantage since you were a previous service member.

    I second MissCelia advice on spending time in a high school and talking with teachers. I also think chebrutta's advice about English is spot on ~ I was undecided between English and Social Studies and what tipped the scale was the thought of having to teach grammar :)

    Good Luck with your decision
     
  13. donziejo

    donziejo Devotee

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    Sep 29, 2011

    If you are willing to relocate you will have a good chance of getting a job. Utah needs teachers as well as Mississippi. I know Nebraska does too. Miss CeliaB knows that Louisiana does too. That's 4 state at this moment. Good luck!!!
     
  14. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Enthusiast

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    Sep 29, 2011

    Have you thought at all about special ed, especially on the secondary level? I'm a general ed English teacher but I've co-taught a combined SPED/low-level class, and I have several SPED students in my standard-level senior class this year. In my experience, they are sweet kids who are eager to learn; they just have difficulties. And BTW, our SPED department chair is a former Navy cook who was the same kind student you were in high school; he has full sleeves and legs and usually wears shorts and a t-shirt to school. There's an advantage being in laid-back California!
     

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