Having second thoughts about education career

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by TAPenrod87, Aug 1, 2015.

  1. TAPenrod87

    TAPenrod87 Rookie

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    Aug 1, 2015

    Hello everyone,

    I became really interested in becoming a teacher. I thought I would be good at it, I was excited by the opportunity and challenge of working in urban areas, I enjoyed my experience as an adult literacy tutor in a rough inner city, and I thought I finally had my career path figured out. I love teaching people. I do it every day as a fitness trainer and a tutor but those are adults...and they came to me voluntarily.

    So I applied to a masters of education program and I was accepted. The problem is, I'm starting to wonder if I am the type of person that can handle teenagers day in and day out. I love learning and presenting information but I have no experience in a classroom. I applied to the program and was accepted during the summer so I wasn't able to get any experience.

    I haven't turned down my acceptance yet but I'm not sure what to do. Do I go and take the first semester and see what it's like? The director of the program said I will get plenty of classroom experience right away in the program.

    The only other thing I can see myself doing is to continue working as a personal trainer. Maybe opening my own business. Money is not coming in though and we're struggling. I almost made 500 last month and my wife, though so patient and supportive, is getting concerned and burned out.

    Thanks for any advice. I really need to figure out what I'm doing.

    Thanks again
     
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  3. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

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    Aug 2, 2015

    If you are concerned about teen-agers, perhaps you could get a Master's and teach at a community college. It is hard to know if you will like something ahead of time, but I would be concerned that you are already concerned, unless it is just jitters before getting started.
     
  4. TAPenrod87

    TAPenrod87 Rookie

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    Aug 2, 2015

    Thanks for the reply Missy. When I left the interview, I was so happy and excited and I was thinking that it seemed like I had made a good choice. I told my wife about it and she promptly began to doubt my decision. My mom and my brother both immediately told me that I was foolish to consider this as a career. I was going to be broke and stressed out and so on. My mom even talked to former teachers who could tell me horror stories.

    This is what's really messing with me. I tried to go other routes. They all want me to go back and get into physical therapy school. It's driving me crazy and I appreciate you replying while I try and get this figured out. It helps a lot even to just type it out.
     
  5. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    Aug 2, 2015

    Do you have enough credits to sub? I'd recommend subbing to see how you like teenagers.
     
  6. Ted

    Ted Habitué

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    Aug 2, 2015

    Hey there, TAP,

    I'm really sorry that you're having this dilemma. First off, it seems that your support group (wife, mom, brother) are giving you the negative aspects of teaching. They aren't too far off in that there ARE challenges (especially in today's climate).

    There ARE rewards, however, as well. I think giraffe326 has a good idea of substituting to see if you might enjoy working with teenagers.

    Another possible suggestion is going to a local high school administrator and scheduling a meeting with him/her. Let them know that you're considering a career in secondary education. Perhaps they have a volunteer program that permits you to volunteer a couple of times a week in a high school. You may need to get finger prints, fill out paperwork, etc, but at least you can get your proverbial feet wet.

    You state that your concern is you have no experience in a classroom. Well, okay. There was a time I had no experience in an elementary school classroom (other than when I sat behind a SMALL desk! ;) ). I would reckon there was once a time you had no experience as a fitness instructor, too?

    I guess I liken it to: "I'm concerned that I might not like that type of vegetable," before I even sample a taste.

    Enter a high school classroom. Work in one. Visit it and help the teacher. If, after a few weeks you find that it makes you uncomfortable (for whatever reason), then go from there.

    And of course subbing is good because there's a difference between visiting/volunteering in a classroom and RUNNING it for a day. :)

    Keep us posted, please!
     
  7. Mr.Literature

    Mr.Literature Companion

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    Aug 2, 2015

    Here is the reality of working in a title 1 school with middle schoolers. And I know it was the same experience for every other teacher I interacted with. I had students many times tell me they were waiting to drop out.
    Despite being in 8th grade, many were close to having their driver's license.
    I had a couple students tell me they would just sell drugs.
    I had some tell me they didn't care and that they would just work the fields.
    After spending hours of my personal time creating lessons and presentations for the kids, they would tell me "This is stupid." Or "This is so boring. This class is so boring."
    When I would buy them treats, they would tell me, "These are cheap. When are you going to buy us the good stuff?" Mind you this was out of pocket and i would buy enough for the 70+ students I had so it wasn't cheap for me.
    I would buy "prizes" for behavior and pencils. I would find them broken on the floor minutes after giving them out.

    There were days where I would get frustrated beyond belief because I was doing everything humanly possible to get through to these kids and many times I felt like it was for nothing because they didn't care.
    To put this into context, they had gone through 2 teachers before me so I was in one of the most challenging classrooms.

    BUT, there were kids that would have genuine conversations with me. There were kids I know would go home and didn't have food. There were kids who would yell at me from across the campus to say hello. I had kids who would beg to have lunch with me. There are good moments. And at the end of the day, I do miss most of them and will continue to think of these kids.

    I didn't sugarcoat the negative because it is a reality. And even though the kids might not appreciate ANYTHING you do at the moment, they will when they reflect on what you did for them down the road. At the end of the day, even if they didn't come out of my class loving literature, I knew that they would at least come out of my class knowing they had at least 1 adult they could come to, trust, and who believed in them.
     
  8. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    Aug 2, 2015

    I started out working with adult education. I was actually in the social work program, and I was doing field work in a program for young mothers who dropped out of high school.

    I liked that so much that I dropped the social work program and went into teaching. I started out with seniors, and I really loved it. Eventually I switched to middle grades. I love it there even more. Everyone told me that middle school kids were awful, and they can be some days . . . but overall they are great kids.

    Subbing is a great way to "try on" different ages and different schools and see what you like best.
     
  9. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Aug 2, 2015

    Before I got my teaching credential, the credential program I applied to required us to have about 30 hours experience working with kids. We were expected to get this experience by simply sitting in on a classroom and maybe helping out teachers, or working in afterschool programs tutoring kids. Places like this are always looking for volunteers, and while you'll probably work for free, it's a good way to see if you'll like working with kids or not.

    I will say though, that working as a tutor and a teachers assistant was very different than actually becoming a teacher. You have a lot more responsibility; rather than just being the helper, you are the adult in charge of the room. I would recommend volunteering first to see if you enjoy working with teenagers (you might be pleasantly surprised), and if you can try out subbing. I didn't do that before I joined my program, but it would have been helpful to see what it's like being the primary adult in the room.

    I would definitely do this BEFORE you shell out money for a Master's program.
     
  10. mrbooknampa

    mrbooknampa Rookie

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    Oct 31, 2015

    what did you decide?
     
  11. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Oct 31, 2015

    The OP hasn't been on the forums since August 2
     
  12. mrbooknampa

    mrbooknampa Rookie

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    Nov 1, 2015

    Hope for the best.
     

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