Deciding whether to change from engineer to teacher

Discussion in 'General Education' started by LostEngineer, Aug 6, 2008.

  1. LostEngineer

    LostEngineer New Member

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    Aug 6, 2008

    Hi Everyone! I'm new to the forum but I've been viewing for a while now. I have a question for anyone that has had a non-teaching career before they became a teacher. I'm currently an engineer of 4 years now and while I like the pay, I dislike the job. I'm considering switching to a math 7-12 teaching position. I'm really worried about making another career mistake. Has anyone made this transition? I really appreciate any input!!
     
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  3. ready2teachintx

    ready2teachintx Companion

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    Hi Lost Engineer,
    Yes, I made the career change last year. This will be my 2nd year as a teacher. I used to be an accountant...boring (yawn). I am really happy now and I love working with kids and actually feeling like I do something important/make a difference in someone's life when I go to work. Yes, you will take a pay-cut....but to me it is worth it. I say go for it. Don't look back!
     
  4. MathTeacher29

    MathTeacher29 Rookie

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    Hi, I worked as a mechanical engineer for 4 years before I decided it wasn't for me. I moved from NY to NC to become a high school math teacher. When the other teachers found out I used to be an engineer they thought I was absolutely crazy. I'm going into my third year teaching, and I love it. It's so much more rewarding, every day there is something new, and if there is something you don't like in your classroom you have the control to change it. It's challenging, but when a student says something nice, it makes it all worth it. Plus if you tell the students you used to be an engineer they get really interested in what you have to say about it. You have to have a great attitude, but I say its worth it.
     
  5. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

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    Aug 6, 2008

    I left a science/research career for the English classroom and never looked back. But, I had always considered teaching as a career choice. And, luckily as a researcher I had the opportunity to teach at the univeristy level. I was sold on teaching after 1 day of it.

    Things I LOVE about my teaching job: the unexpected, MY daily learning, the creative element, the problem solving element.

    The pay isn't thaaaaaaaaaaat bad ... could be better, but I survive just fine (2 incomes in the household, no kids).

    My students (11th and 12th graders) are the best part of my job, and it's worth noting that people who know me well would NOT describe me as someone that loves kids or is good with kids ... so, I don't think that is a requirement for teaching (but it's probably helpful!) But, upper secondary is a great match for me.

    Math teachers are typically considered high demand ... your background may also be good prep for vocational teaching. If you've got coaching skills, you'd be wanted by a LOT of districts. Math + Coach = Job.

    I think if you can pretty easily describe yourself as patient, tolerant, a bit of a ham, and flexible ... a classroom could be a good match for you. If you like to learn, like to problem solve, like to work in a team, want to effect people's lives in a positive way, like to help people ... teaching could be a good match for you.
     
  6. Yank7

    Yank7 Habitué

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    I know here in NYC there are programs which will help you to make a career change from another career into a teaching career,especially in Math and science.They are probably available in other states as well.You might want to look into
    it.Good Luck.
     
  7. Mable

    Mable Enthusiast

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    My husband is a career change teacher and he loves it.
     
  8. kimberd

    kimberd Rookie

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    I was a research scientist for 20+ years, left a 100K+/yr job because I just didn't feel like I was making a difference anymore. Relocated my family to TX (we couldn't have afforded the pay cut where we were living, and my lovely hubby was willing to transfer with his company for this), and now I'm starting my first year of teaching (8th grade math). I was never this excited about anything I did in the science world. I can't wait. Don't get me wrong, it was a huge life change, and I'm scared stiff about that first day, but I'm also so looking forward to working with kids in a rural community. I want to show them how math is everywhere around them, and how they ARE going to need this stuff someday.

    Best of luck in your decision. I'll let you know if I still feel the same way in a couple weeks. :p
     
  9. Major

    Major Connoisseur

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    If you are wealthy then switch... teaching is fun.... but if you like lots of toys then bring your own money.. :p:p:p

    Major......:)
     
  10. LostEngineer

    LostEngineer New Member

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    Thank you all for your great advice!!! I really appreciate your quick responses. I have sent my information to the department of education and I will need to pass the Praxis II and complete 3 credits of teaching methods and 3 credits of developmental characteristics. This will give me an Alternative License.

    I thought about teaching while I was still in high school but I wanted more money and engineering seemed to be a good fit. I don't find engineering rewarding at all and I'm hoping that teaching will be rewarding for me. I love math and love when someone asks for help with a math problem.

    I'm thinking of taking some classes this fall and I get excited when I think about teaching. If I would have ask this question earlier then I could be starting my new career this fall.

    Thank you again :)
     
  11. Mable

    Mable Enthusiast

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    Good luck! Be sure to update us on how it's going for you.
     
  12. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    You might do some volunteering to see how it is in the classroom first. Other than that..go for it if your heart says to do so!
     
  13. esfgirl

    esfgirl Rookie

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    I worked for an environmental consulting firm for 5 years before I reevaluated my goals and went back to school for education. The bottom line was, I love the environment and I was helping destroy it at the firm (filling wetlands, destroying habitat, etc). I figured, for me, the best way I can make a difference is through education. So I went back to school and I am so glad I did.

    If you are an engineer, you will likely be taking a major pay cut. But the rewards are worth it. Don't look back, just do it if it is what your gut is telling you. And, if for some reason you find education isnt your "thing" you always have your engineering degree to fall back on. But, if you are questioning you position as an engineer, you probably are not all that happy. Go with your gut...it is usually right!
     
  14. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    The first teacher I observed when the question was posed to me, "have you ever thought of becoming a teacher" was previously an engineer. She gave me fabulous advice about going back to school and pursuing this field. She shared some of the things she loved about this field and I was incredulous for giving up her previous job but she said it wasn't her thing and her experience has only helped her in this career.
     

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