Fishing for thoughts on mid career switchers...

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Bak2Math, Aug 10, 2015.

  1. Bak2Math

    Bak2Math Rookie

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    Aug 10, 2015

    Briefly... I burned out on my first job and am looking to switch into teaching. I have thought extensively about other career options and have nixed them for one reason or another.

    Why teaching? In helping my older kids with math my wife is impressed with how I start from scratch and instead of making them 'memorize' a formula I break it down and explain why the formula is the way it is. One of my undergrad majors was math and since middle school I have always done well in it and enjoyed it. While pursuing other career options I have brushed up on my math and am taking an online calc course as a refresher and have developed a much deeper love for math than I already had.

    I realize that teaching is hard. I realize that teachers are prone to burn out too. I hope that if that happens though I will have had enough of a career in it to have been satisfied and hopefully to have made a difference. While the thought of returning to the career I had causes all types of negative emotions I am able to look back on the first few years and recall the look of relief on coworkers faces when I would arrive for a shift and my unflinching willingness to take the reigns on whatever it was they were working on at the time.

    So... moving on... I am in my early 40's and would love to hear any thoughts from people who have gone through the transition, good and bad, or the feelings of other life long teachers regarding career switchers.

    Thanks in advance
     
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  3. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    Aug 10, 2015

    I have switched careers. But not due to burnout.

    I would caution you that if you are prone to burnout, you may not want to move into teaching. That would be a lot of time, effort and cost (to get licensed) that you'd be risking.

    That being said, math is usually one subject where schools need teachers.

    One benefit to starting at a later age is that the kids tend to take you more seriously than really young teachers. They assume you've been teaching for 20 years and don't test you as much. If you do get a class, don't ruin it by telling them you're new.
     
  4. creativemonster

    creativemonster Comrade

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    Aug 10, 2015

    I started teaching late - (early 40's) but was substituting before full time career as teacher. I highly recommend subbing if it's possible where you are. Teaching isn't only about teaching something you love. It's also about sharing it with people who might never love the subject but need the skills. Do you want to spend 6 hours per day with whatever age you are thinking about? They are not little adults. Even at the college level, they are different than say, people you might choose to socialize with.
    Having said that - There is a LOT that is positive about teaching.
    If you can't sub - can you at least volunteer at a school with the age that you are thinking you want to teach?

    Also - check to see that you can afford to live on a teacher salary in the district you would work in. Some areas pay more than others, private schools pay differently as well.
     
  5. stephenpe

    stephenpe Connoisseur

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    Aug 10, 2015

    Subbing is great idea and/or volunteering for math classes. Could probably be a big cut in pay to teach.
     
  6. oldstudent

    oldstudent Comrade

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    Aug 10, 2015

    If you sub, you will earn, on average, about $20,000 annually with no benefits.

    Make sure you have other income streams or a healthy amount of savings if you plan on subbing, unless you are not the breadwinner of your family.
     
  7. Bak2Math

    Bak2Math Rookie

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    Aug 10, 2015

    Thanks for the replies. I finally got the nerve up to contact my local universities department of education and got a warm response from the dean regarding my interest. Although it's late hopefully I can enroll in a few classes to get the ball rolling while I submit a formal application for a certificate or masters (3 class difference sow why not); unless they are ultra strict about non-enrolled students taking classes this should not be an issue as the classes are not full.

    I was in a notoriously high burn out profession with a lot of stress. I realize being a teacher can be stressful and likely a stress I have not encountered before... but it can never be the same as what I dealt with on a daily basis while working long shifts with no guaranteed breaks and working equal amounts of day and night shifts with no regard for holidays. Also, if I manage it for 20 years then I'll be ready to retire and at that point will have truly been blessed to have had 2 careers where I could make a huge difference.

    I already know what I am getting into regarding pay. My wife, who worked in the same field as me, though from a different perspective, may go back to work now that our kids are older and in discussing this shift over the past year I just found out she dreads the thought of going back to the same career as well. Although she has been a stay at home mom for a few years her skill sets are much easier to translate into other careers. Plus she absolutely rocked at what she did.

    Time wise I could rush through the process in 16 months but if it takes a full 2 years I would be ok with that. I would just as soon not rush just in case I decide it's not for me.

    Regarding teaching. My previous job, in health care, had daily opportunities for me to educate all types of people on various subjects and I would be complemented on how I could explain complex topics in a simple yet big picture manner.

    Hopefully tomorrow I get the nerve up to contact the local high school and see whats what regarding shaddowing/helping and eventually subbing while I work towards licensure. I already have the name of a great math teacher there I need to contact. I was basically looking for last minute advice before I stop looking at the water and decide to put my foot it.

    Cheers
     
  8. msleep

    msleep Rookie

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    Aug 10, 2015

    I am not sure where you are in virginia, but if you are able to pass the praxis 2 mathematics content knowledge exam for certification for 6-12 grades then you should probably go to a career switcher program. They are only 6 months. They are sponsored by the virginia dept. of education and are offered at various universities and community colleges throughout the state.

    Most counties, except maybe fairfax, prince william, and loudoun are hard up for math teachers who have the high school (6-12) certification. The middle school (6 through 8) certification is a dime a dozen.
     
  9. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    Aug 11, 2015

    Just beware - universities are ALWAYS going to give a very warm welcome to people like you. Enrollment has plummeted and they need bodies in seats. Or else their jobs are cut. Never forget that universities are profit machines :)
     
  10. Bak2Math

    Bak2Math Rookie

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    Aug 11, 2015

    I am in the Richmond area and would want to end up on the west side where I live and have kids going to school. I have made an honest attempt at researching the various career switcher programs but unfortunately they do not seem to have much in the way of specific information. My next step is to get info from the local high school and get a feel for how well a career switcher program would prepare me versus the certificate/masters route as well as my perceived desirability. It seems an awful lot of administrators in the area have degrees from VCU which also happens to have a highly ranked school of education.

    Regarding the enrollment aspect. I am kinda hoping that helps me get into a few classes as a non-degree seeking student and then move on from there once I pass the various tests (VCLA and praxis) and formally apply.
     

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