First year teacher, need career advice.

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by Anonymous89, Sep 9, 2013.

  1. Anonymous89

    Anonymous89 New Member

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    Sep 9, 2013

    Hi Everyone,

    I am three weeks into my first year of teaching at a local private school. As of yesterday, my best friend who owns his own business has offered me a job to work for him.

    I would make $4000 more dollars a year plus an end of year bonus. Id also work Mon-Thurs 8-5 and Friday 8-1.

    It seems like a no brainer to take the job. The only thing holding me back is that i LOVE my students. 99% of teachers would kill for the kids I have, I never have discipline issues and they are all so intelligent and fun to be around.

    My unhappiness with the profession comes from the extremely long hours. Right now Im working 10-12 hours a day, i know everyone says th first year is tough but there are many veteran teachers who say the long hours never end. I dislike always taking my work home with me, and as if I wasnt busy enough with actually teaching, the state thinks I have all the time in the world to complete their yearly requirements for my resident educators license.

    If I could spend from 7-4 teaching and call it a day I dont think id ever leave. But I can't help but feel there might be better more lucrative fields out there waiting for me. Im 24, graduated with a 3.9 gpa, and I know I can be successful at whatever I do.

    I guess I need some advice from current teachers on whether to take the job and run or give it a year. But the extra money and less hours is very hard to pass up.
     
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  3. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Sep 9, 2013

    Yes, the first year is tough and you will do more work this year; however, even in my first year I was not putting in 10-12 hours a day. Look at what you're spending your time on. Lesson planning?
    Don't reinvent the wheel by coming up with lesson plans from scratch. There are lots of resources out there with lessons already made for teachers. Grading? Maybe have the kids do more of their own grading so it doesn't fall on you. Find times during the school day where you could do a little bit of work here and there so you aren't having to do it all at the end of the day. Also, if you haven't already checked it out, I would read Harry Wong's First Days of School book. I know that he gets mixed reviews from teachers, but there are some good time saving ideas that he discusses.
     
  4. lucybelle

    lucybelle Connoisseur

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    STG is right- first year is rough but 10-12 hours a day is ridiculous. What is taking up so much time? What grade level and subject are you teaching?
     
  5. Anonymous89

    Anonymous89 New Member

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    Sep 9, 2013

    I have 3 preps, i dont want to be too specific for obvious reasons.

    I get to school at 6:45 and usually dont leave until 4. Every night it takes about an hour to plan each class. So i get a shower and eat, start planning and the next thing I know the day is over.
     
  6. lucybelle

    lucybelle Connoisseur

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    I currently teach 8 preps and I work 7:30-4:00 and no later.

    So the planning is what is taking you so long? As STG said, don't reinvent the wheel. If someone else is teaching the same class as you ask for resources! Ask your department head for good lesson plans. Teachers should be willing to share. You can also find lots of great stuff online.

    The first year you do create lots of things, and that will definitely cut down the second year (as long as you teach they same subjects).
     
  7. horned_Frog89

    horned_Frog89 Companion

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    Sep 9, 2013

    I am in individual in the industry, looking to transition to teaching. Can you tell us what industry you will be going into or what the job entails?

    If it's anything like my job (business/accounting industry), just because someone tells you your hours are 8-5 does not mean you'll be out the door and on the road at 5:05 everyday. Getting off of work at the time we're supposed to is a actually rare. And no matter how long we work, there's always things to take home to work on.

    Try planning a nice vacation when you only have a weeks worth of PTO - Yes, a sick day takes away from your PTO. Want to go visit family for Christmas Vacation? Think again. Half day on Christmas Eve, then you have to report back to the office bright and early on the 26th or 27th.

    You're friend owns this business? Is it a small business? I work for a small company (less than 50 people) and our health insurance is TERRIBLE. Expensive. HIGH deductibles. I'm lucky I can pay my dad and stay on his for a few more years. He worked for a municipality and has excellent coverage.

    My 401K contribution is unmatched. So that's more money that comes out of my paycheck just so I can be sure I'm saving enough for my future. ( Although, most companies will match up to a % of your paycheck - I just work for a small company)

    What get's me about my job is the computer is now my best friend - it's all I look at. I sit in the same chair all day. I pretty much do the same thing, everyday.

    I'm not trying to be mean - these are just all things to be considered when going to industry. I don't know what field you're going into, it might be opposite of all the scenarios that I described and be an awesome job. Either way, there's much more than money and hours that need to be considered when changing careers.
     
  8. Anonymous89

    Anonymous89 New Member

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    My friend owns a small wholesale business which does between 2-3 million per year in sales and has doubled ever year since start up. I would be inside working with a few friends and also helping customers that come in throughout the day.

    Basically my main job would be dealing with ordering from our suppliers, taking inventory, and pricing our product.

    I would make 35k a year plus an end of year bonus if we hit our goal (which the company has hit every year). Bonus is $10,000. I wouldnt be getting benefits but i can stay on my dads healthcare for free for 2 more years and with the extra $15,000 id be able to pay into an IRA just fine.

    My friend is also very family oriented so we get good vacations at the company for holidays and 2 weeks PTO.


    I love the kids where im at, I truly do. But education just isnt what it used to be and I feel like every teacher I talk to is unhappy with the profession. The extra money at my age would be great but its hard for me to make a decision. I truthfully dont know what to do.
     
  9. horned_Frog89

    horned_Frog89 Companion

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    Yes - there are teachers that are unhappy. That doesn't mean you have to be.

    Do you have to accept the job now, or withing a specific time frame? Maybe you could get some help from teachers on this forum for making your days shorter. I've gotten a lot of help and support the few weeks I've been here. You could try to better manage your work schedule until the end of this semester and see how it goes.

    If teaching does make you happy, then I wouldn't risk losing a job that you love for one that you're unsure about. No, you probably won't make as much money as you would out in the industry... but that's just one of the factors you'll have to consider.

    This is a decision you have to make on your own - you have to do what will make you happy.
     
  10. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    Sep 9, 2013

    There is no amount of money that could make me leave teaching. If I wanted a better paying job I could have chosen not to be a teacher in the first place. Schools need teachers who love their kids and their jobs! Understand that you may not always have the 'dream class'!

    Only you can truly make this decision. If you are spending 10-12 hours prepping every day you aren't working efficiently. Do you have grade level / subject partners you can prep with? A more experienced teacher to mentor you? Not every lesson needs to be fancy dancy razzle dazzle. Make sure you are being realistic with your expectations.

    Good luck in whatever you decide!
     
  11. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Sep 9, 2013

    I found it's easier to sit down and plan for the whole week at once, than to sit down each night and plan for the next day.
    Each night you have to get your mind into the right set, figure out where you left off, what you want to do, etc, and you might actually spend 1 whole hour every night, each time.
    If you sit down for the whole week's plan, once you get into it, you just keep going, and you might plan 5 day's worth of work in 2 hours, or even less. Then you might have to readjust some things here and there (you got further, or got stuck, or have to reteach something) but that could take as little as 5-10 minutes.
    Try that. It works.

    Grading: a lot of things can be graded for completion, not correctness. I grade classwork for completion. I don't look at every single thing they wrote if it's all there, or if their warm up is correct. If it's there, I'm happy. Sometimes I look for specifics, but not that often.
    You can also have the kids grade some of their own work, or each others.
    Last week when all my classes took a quiz (it was multiple choice) 2 girls helped me grade and I gave them each a small bag of chips. They graded almost all the work, and they saved me 2 hours of work.
    You can have students switch their work (of course not tests) and grade it, or just have them check things off.
     
  12. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    The first year is tough...you invested time and money into getting your degree...is it really worth it because it's hard right now? It does get easier. Were you thinking of finishing out your current year or just quitting now?

    35K and no benefits? I wouldn't jump at that.
     
  13. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

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    Sep 9, 2013

    My :2cents: - those 2 years are going to fly by. You will NEED a job with health benefits. Would you be expecting this job at your friend's business to only be a short term thing - 2 years at most?

    If money is a big concern, have you considered eventually moving to public school? You would likely be making more than $31k a year depending on what area of the country you're in. However, your work load would likely increase, as would management issues.

    It really doesn't matter if every teacher you talk to is unhappy with the profession - it matters if YOU are unhappy with it. Where do you see yourself in a few years?
     
  14. kab164

    kab164 Companion

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    Sep 9, 2013

    I wouldn't do it. After two years you won't have insurance and coming from someone who spent $900 a month for less than great coverage, insurance is a huge factor to consider. You are putting in Too much time and will burn out if you don't cut back. When you teach there is always something more to do, but a tired out or sick teacher is no good for anyone.
    There is only one first year and it does get easier. If you have money invested in your education, it would be a shame to give it up. You also won't be getting summers off and 35,000 for 12 mos isn't that much money. Maybe your friend would let you work in the summers and then you could experience both!
     
  15. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

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    I thought about this after I posted and came back to check - I see you are 24. Unless you JUST turned 24, that means you have less than 2 years on your parents' insurance. The day you turn 26, it's gone. Just something to think about. I am only 3 years older than you are, but let me tell you - a job with benefits is near necessity. Independent insurance is VERY expensive and covers very little.
     
  16. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    :yeahthat:
     
  17. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Sep 10, 2013

    I LOVE teaching. It's the career I was born to be a part of. I love it, and I'm good at it. It would take a monumental, life changing event to make me leave this career.

    Sure, I've had tough days, and a killer year or two since 1980. But on the whole?? I'm staying.

    I agree with others... you're spending WAY too much time prepping. Find ways to streamlne your prep so you can enjoy this amazing opportunity.

    From the "three preps" I imagine you teach secondary. Speak to others in your department about help with the prep. We hired a new math teacher last week, then pretty much bombarded him with help. He has tons of resources-- everything from a few years worth of review sheets from one teacher to my homework list from last year. People are more than happy to help if you only ask.

    You knew going in that you would sometimes be bringing work home. Teaching isn't a 9-3 kind of a job. But it sounds as though you really need some strategies on streamlining your workload.

    What subject do you teach?


    Anyway, you've spent so many years in school preparing for your career... and then managed to score a job in a very competitive market. Don't you owe it to yourself to see what kind of a teacher you could have been?

    Your best friend will still be there if and when you decide that you've given it a real shot, and decided that teaching isn't for you.
     
  18. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

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    Sep 10, 2013

    I'm not sure I could ever walk away from the classroom. Like Alice wrote, I was born to teach.

    There is no way I'd do it for that salary and no benefits.

    I have 4 preps. I plan a week at a time and only spend time during the week tweaking those plans. I plan on Sundays.

    If you are the only one in your dept, Google is your friend. There are tons of ideas online.
     

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