How did you know you wanted to be a teacher?

Discussion in 'General Education Archives' started by educatingme, Feb 8, 2007.

  1. educatingme

    educatingme Companion

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    Feb 8, 2007

    A childhood dream or an adult decision? How/when did you know you wanted to be a teacher? How/when did you know what type/grade students you wanted to teach?
     
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  3. teacherkasey

    teacherkasey Cohort

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    For me, I made the decision that I wanted to become a teacher when I was in Kindergarten. I loved my Kindergarten teacher, Miss Miller. In my eyes she was the greatest thing since sliced bread:angel: . And even when I did something wrong and she would dish out the consequences for my actions, I still loved her. She made learning so enjoyable. She was my inspiration.

    In high school I thought for a week that maybe I wanted to try architecture so I took a class. Well, I found out that wasn't for me and luckily I needed to have my class schedule changed because I was in the jazz band. That happened to be during the same period as my architecture class so I got out of that one real fast. My high school band teacher had been my band teacher in elementary school. While I was afraid of him in elementary school, I grew to love and appreciate him in high school. He saw the potential in me, and other students too, and encouraged me to work to my full potential. He didn't force me, or anyone else, he was more inspiring and encouragng than anything. Mr. Garton made me remember that passion I had for wanting to educate others, to help them realize their full potential, and bring them to that:angel: .

    So I guess after all that typng, the answer is that I was lucky enough to have teachers that inspired me and I wanted to be able to do for others what they had done for me.
     
  4. Mr. Windchill

    Mr. Windchill Rookie

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    There was no defining moment for me. There is just something within my character, my soul, etc. that causes me to teach/mentor with anything I do. After playing golf for years, I started instructing a few others, after earning my private pilot certificate I've mentored student pilots chasing the dream, etc.
     
  5. leighbball

    leighbball Virtuoso

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    It was a childhood dream for me. When I was 4, my mom died of cancer. So on my days off from preschool, my father, also a teacher, used to sneak me into his middle school art classroom. I'd boss his middle schoolers around and I knew then that I wanted to be a teacher!

    As I got older, I played school and "taught" my stepmom when she was dating my dad. I even mailed real progress reports to her parents' house!

    Now in my 4th year of teaching I can't imagine doing anything else with me life. Sure, there were fleeting moments in college when topics in my other major (psychology) sounded appealing, but I don't think forensic psychology would've compared to my love for teaching:)
     
  6. Mrs. B.

    Mrs. B. Rookie

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    I never had a "moment" but I have always wanted to work with children ever since I was 5 years old. In my neighborhood there were a lot of stay at home moms and all the neighborhood kids came to my house in the summer. We had so much fun.
    There was one girl who came over everyday at 7:30am and didn't leave until my dad came home from work at 5pm. Her hair was always a mess and my mom bought her a comb and would do it for her in the mornings. (At first she would send her home and tell her to brush her hair and come back-at a more decent hour-but she would come back looking the same 15 minutes later.) She ate breakfast and lunch with us everyday, too. Long story short, she was a very neglected little girl that my mom and I were very close to. I remember I came home from school one day and my mom was crying. She looked startled that I had "caught" her. She explained to me that my friend was moving away-out of the state. I asked her why she was crying and she replied, "who's going to take care of her now?" It was a moment that I can never forget. I often thought about going into social work, but I talked to some people in that field and I knew that I would never cut it because I would just be too emotional when dealing with some of those tense situations. I wanted to do what my mom did for my friend, just be there for them. I wanted to nurture them, encourage them,teach them, and love them. Then I took a class about children and grieving. The teacher told us that children have their view of the world formed by the time they are 6 years old. That had a huge impact on me. I knew then that I wanted to work with preschool children. I love what I do and even though it hurts when people say you're a glorified babysitter because you're not a "real" teacher in a school, I have never regretted my decision. Pre-K is awesome!
     
  7. srh

    srh Devotee

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    Feb 8, 2007

    I think I just "grew" into it. I taught or assisted teachers with little ones in children's ministries from my teenage years and went on to do such things as directing Vacation Bible School, etc. In college I minored in Preschool Ed, but didn't go into the field. It was during my career with federal probation that I started traveling and training officers (grammar/writing skills), and I realized how much I enjoyed prepping for those sessions and "being up front" while finding creative ways to teach old (and sometimes boring) stuff. Good thing I like prepping, 'cause now I teach Kindergarten, the home of "prep work." I only wish I'd had this much patience while raising my own kids, who are now in their 20's. :-D (I'm in my second year of teaching.)
     
  8. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    I honestly always wanted to have a career working w/ children, but never actually a teacher. I became a sub the next month after getting my BA and just continued from there to get two credentials & my MA. But I don't think teaching is my true passion, in fact, these days, I question rather to be a teacher at all.
     
  9. Zanadu

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    The desire to teach came later for me. In college I was always the one to help my nephews with their homework. My parents thought I'd be a good teacher but I had a fear of getting in front of people, regardless of age. When I started working my favorite part was training others. I liked my job but there were certain areas which dissatified me. My church was desperate for Sunday school teachers and I decided to try it out. I started with preschool and didn't like that too much. I changed to a higher grade level(3-5) and found myself looking forward to Sunday. I had thought of changing careers and now find teaching very appealing. I still get scared before stepping into a class but it no longer sends me into a panic attack.
     
  10. ellen_a

    ellen_a Groupie

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    There are days, very frequently lately, when I realize that I still haven't made the decision to be a teacher. Maybe someday I will.
     
  11. srh

    srh Devotee

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    Feb 9, 2007

    smcneely: That's great! And if it makes you feel any better, I have always loved being in front (call me "ham"), but I still on occasion get nervous before a class...I think for me it is on the days I realize the sheer responsibility in having all these kids' educational careers in my hands. Well, don't mean to be so dramatic, but in Kinder, you DO feel like you're getting them on the road. And it needs to be a good experience!!
     
  12. bbean10

    bbean10 New Member

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    Feb 9, 2007

    I decided to become a special educator the summer before my junior year of college. I never had a thought in my mind that I would become an educator. The summer before my junior year I was working at a day care facility where there were some children with disabilities. I quickly began to notice that the teachers were more or less ignoring these children. Then I heard comments that those children couldn't do what the others were doing or they just don't understand, so instead they would just ignore them. I then began to pay attention to these children and realized that they do understand and want to be a part of everything.
    I began talking with one of the families of a child with Down Syndrome and they allowed me to be a part of the Early Intervention process with their child. After working closely with this child over the summer (who was pretty much non-verbal at this time), she said my name. I could not believe the progress she had made and the impact that I was having in her life as well. I went back to school in the fall and declared my major. I am so happy with the choice that I made. I have now been teaching for 6 years and I still keep in contact with the family that started me down this path!
     
  13. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Feb 9, 2007

    I started teaching a rowdy class of invisible students at four years of age. The desire never left me.

    Deciding what level to teach was most difficult. I finally broke it down like this: I love young children but I understood that years of snotty noses would do me in. I am intimidated by high school students. Middle school students need someone to care. I care. I teach sixth grade and adore it.
     
  14. Miss W

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    I kind of grew into it too. In high school I was teaching BTC to kinders and 1st graders (BTC is like Sunday School at night). I ended up taking classes that the teachers didn't show up as well.
    As I went through Jr. High and High School I would say to myself "I would never be like that teacher," or "I agree with that." I officially decided I wanted to be a music teacher my senior year of high school. I started off college being just a BME degree seeker. Near the end of my sophomore year I developed a tonal disability. Basically I can't tell the difference between a couple notes in the upper register. Not where it will make a difference teaching, just where I would struggle in one of the advanced class. Anyway, over the summer I decided to pursue my BSE as well in early childhood. If I taught music, I would want to teach at the high school level.
    I'm teaching 2nd grade right now, and am very happy to be where I am. 2nd graders are very independent, but still loving.
     
  15. Joyride

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    For me, it was an adult decision.... BUT, the more that I look back on it, the more I involved myself in working with kids in every way. I went to 4-H baby-sitting training, I volunteered with kids at homeless shelters and with the younger grades at my grammar school when I was an 8th grader... although I tried a few other things on the way to this career, it was obviously always there.
     
  16. Mrs_B

    Mrs_B Comrade

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    Feb 10, 2007

    When I was maybe 10? my grandmother (a teacher) gave us some old desks and worksheets. We set up a school down in my basement and I was ALWAYS the teacher to my sister and her two friends. I know I taught them how to add and subtract and take partial credit for how well my sister did in school :)

    The big moment though was in a HS math class. My golf coach was the teacher and a nice guy but not an exciting teacher. The student behind me did not understand the concept so my teacher explained it again. Still the student didn't understand so the teacher explained it yet again but using the EXACT same words, diagrams, etc. Of course, the student still didn't get it. I don't know what came over me because I was kind of shy back then, maybe because I knew the teacher well, but I KNEW I could explain it in a different way the student would understand so I turned around and launched into my version with the whole class and the teacher waiting. EUREKA, the student understood my explanation. I knew then that I had a talent for teaching.

    As for age group, I wanted to teach Jr. High because I had such a hard time socially/emotionally. I am proud to say I know I made a difference in a lot of kids lives for 8 years. Now I am in a different place in my life and want to teach elem. age again.
     
  17. ms.jansen

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    I was one who always knew. My mom always kept a book of our report cards and this survey thing we filled out every year starting in kindergarten. It asked all sorts of questions like favorite subject, best friends, etc. Every year except 5th grade I wrote teacher for what I wanted to be! (My aunt died of cancer that year, so I wanted to be a doctor and find a cure.) I remember helping teachers after school with grading spelling tests and putting up bulletin boards starting in 1st grade. My first teaching experience was in high school when I started a park district class to teach 4th and 5th graders Spanish. I was in 6th grade when I decided to teach middle school math - I had an AMAZING teacher! Actually, I had great teachers my whole life and that is why I love all subjects and grades. I can't imagine not going to school every day.
     
  18. Miss Kirby

    Miss Kirby Fanatic

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    I loved school. I'd play school all the time... by myself... make pretend spelling tests and grade them and make pretend report cards for my imaginary kids. I loved helping out with kids younger than me. It was something I always knew I wanted to do... except when I was in high school I considered going into journalism. I took a class and also got involved in yearbook. I loved it but it just didn't feel like the right fit for me. I first thought I wanted to teach preschool, then when I worked in a day care preschool I got tired of the babysitting aspect of it, and I decided apon kindergarten when I started teaching a religious education kindergarten class. In college my freshman year I started an internship where I tutored in a second grade classroom. Right when I walked into the classroom I knew it was the thing for me. I fell in love with second grade (even though I thought they were so "old" because I was used to preschoolers and kindergarteners). I was lucky enough to teach second grade last year, but now this year I'm in first... and next year there is a chance I will teach kinder! I seem to keep going down.. maybe I'll end up where I started in preschool. :)
     
  19. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Feb 10, 2007

    My Story Begins in Adulthood

    :) I knew my A.A. paralegal studies wasn't for me so I easily followed hubbie around the country happily raising babies. Meanwhile, I kept in touch with a disability vocational counselor who always asked what I would study if I ever went back to college. I love many things so my lists of interests always changed. He startled me, 6 yrs later, claiming that teaching was the only constant in my lists. I wasn't aware of it as a passion. I don't know if what he said was true, but it created a spark and got me moving. During a brief stay (9 mo) in my hometown, he asked if I was wanted to shadow a deaf ed. teacher if he set it up.

    :wow: In a single day, this teacher, quietened many fears. I wondered if, "I couldn't handle my own kids w/o giving into frustration, how could I handle a class full?" She insisted that raising our own children IS different. I worried because I didn't naturally gravitate toward other people's kids, though I am always nice and compassionate towards them. She shared how investing time in children, along with a personality to be naturally caring to them (even without a lovefest), will tug my heart strings and bonds will develop. I was reassured by her story as a career changer and sharing how college was better the 2nd time due to stronger dedication and exerience. In awe, I watched as she skillfully cared for students on multiple academic levels. I registered for college (after 6 yrs of, "not right now.").

    Sometimes I think maybe my life has been preparing me.
    :love:In mamma school, I've learned stuff not taught in real school.
    :love:Moving around taught me that life is never constant (neither is teaching) so take opportunities as I they come.
    :love:Skills from jobs as an office manager and secretary hopefully prepared me to systematically tackle the famed endless paperwork.
    :love:Always being available to help people with anything under the sun cultivated a drive care for people and to make things happen.
    :love:My own education, with the lack of resources (no IEP), instilled an appreciation for education and coping/survivor skills.
    :love:My love of research helps me find creative lessons/resources.
    :love:My love of law paves the way for my interest in disability reform (my truest passion) because that happens one person and one situation at a time.
    :love:Using disabilty laws for my own situations develops a strong desire to help anyone, including my students, struggling with disability related issues.

    P.S. Without a M.A., I can't teach yet. My first job, after my B.A., was in social work. Uhoh! I like that too! Mrs. B., I discovered that being in a position to help, I was able to listen to stories I didn't think I could stomach. Bbean, Early Childhood Intervention was on my list at one time too. Currently, I'm an Aide (and college student). I've learned so much under my teacher. I love it! :D
     
  20. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

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    For me it was all my wonderful history teachers from 6th-12th grade; they really showed me what it meant to love teching and fostered a love for history in me. I now teach history today because of them.
     
  21. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    This would make an awesome cover letter! This is real stuff, and very heartfelt. Sometimes, I feel like I am all over the place, and reading this has put things in perspective. Everything we do has meaning and purpose... sometimes it takes us longer to get to our dream destination.

    I have my MS in Sped, but also have a desire to maybe get another degree in Social Work, since that is what I'm doing now, except without the degree. Disability law is so interesting to me too.

    See , I told you I was all over the place.:D
     
  22. Mable

    Mable Enthusiast

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    Feb 10, 2007

    I knew when I was 5. I had an old school desk I put into my radio flyer and I pulled it around various locations in the yard and sat in it. I had an envelope full of papers that I used to pretend with.

    Then, after we got into a larger house, I had a school room in the basement- with a teacher's desk, student desks (2), chalkboard and students (my stuffed animals).

    I had teachers who inspired me to be different than they were to me. Teachers whom I did not agree with and so I wanted to be different than them with my own students. I wanted to challenge all my students- not just the "high" ones. I wanted to let all of my students I liked and respected them. And so, here I am..12 years into the game and absolutely lovin' it.
     
  23. educatingme

    educatingme Companion

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    Feb 11, 2007

    I'm loving your stories. They're inspiring, encouraging and enlightening. I hope to be able to share my own someday!
     
  24. srh

    srh Devotee

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    TeachingAssistant--You already HAVE a story! You are in the field of education...we all started somewhere just like that! But what made you choose to be where you are right now? THERE'S your story! :-D
     
  25. educatingme

    educatingme Companion

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    Oh, yes, of course...but, I want the REAL teacher story!!:)
     
  26. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    ellen_a, if you don't mind my asking, if you haven't made the decision to be a teacher, what are you studying in grad school? Is it something nonrelated to education?

    I'm in a similar boat as you. I got my MA in June 2006 in special ed & two credentials, but this June, I'm resigning after one year of teaching special ed. It just didn't work out & I don't want to really try teaching general ed. I want a job out of the classroom, but what else can a person with only a year of teaching experience do? I'm seriously considering getting my Ph.D., while the circumstances in my life are good (still young, single, no kids, supportive, encouraging parents).
     
  27. ellen_a

    ellen_a Groupie

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    I'm meant to be getting a MS in SPED in one calendar year--if I stay put, I should have it by August of this year.
    My undergrad is in education as well (Elementary and Special Education)--I left undergrad with my degree and a lot of uncertainty.
    I taught SPED for a year and actually loved it, then did a year of not-for-profit SPED work and actually liked that quite a bit too.
    Then came this MS and the realization that I probably never want to teach again.
    I'm not sure that I'll stick it out to finish this degree.

    Good luck with whatever you decide to pursue.
    I understand lots of your thoughts.
    :D
     
  28. teach123

    teach123 Cohort

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    I knew I wanted to be a teacher when I was in first grade. I had a wonderful first grade teacher and the desire to teach has never left me. I also would play school to empty desks and make up worksheet to correct.I went to a small private school and when I was in high school, I would sub for the elementary teachers when they were sick. I was always involved with the kids at church. When I was in college, I knew I wanted to teach second grade. It has always been my favorite. I have taught preschool, kindergarten, and third grade and subbed in all the elementary grades. I taught second grade for 6 years after I graduated from college, then took off to raise my kids. Now I have been a LTS in second grade for 4 years. I am hoping that someday soon I can have my own classroom again. I can't imagine doing anything else.
     
  29. stephenpe

    stephenpe Connoisseur

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    Feb 12, 2007

    I loved sports but wasnt good enough to make a living in
    Prof. sports so I thought PE would be the next best thing.
    I had a 4th/5th grade teacher that needed a cigarette
    about 10 each morning so she let me tutor the class during her break.
    Then in 7th grade I had a PE teacher who was the best
    teacher I had ever had. He taught us every sport I could
    imagine. I knew by then I would be a PE teacher.
    And have been for almost 30 years.
     
  30. puff5655

    puff5655 Cohort

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    When I was really little I decided I wanted to teach Kindergarten. Then in high school I decided that teaching was the only thing I WOULD NEVER do after seeing my aunt looking for a job for so many years and not being able to find one (teaching jobs are sparse here).

    So I decided to be a veterinarian.. went into pre-vet Biology. After freshman year I decided I hated Biology, and changed to Early Childhood Education just because I wanted ANYTHING but Biology. The second I went to my first Field Experience in a Pre-k room I knew I loved it.

    I LOVE being around kids, and I look forward to all my field experiences. I'm also doing work study helping out at local Kindergarten and Prek classes, and I can't get enough of it. Every spare second I have during the week.. I'm there! for example.. my wednesday schedule is that I have classes from 8-12:50 with only a half hour break to eat. Then I go to the school until 2 and my field experience until 4.
     
  31. educatingme

    educatingme Companion

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    Feb 13, 2007

    I love to hear stories like these. Motivating and inspiring!!
     
  32. fairyartfantasy

    fairyartfantasy Rookie

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    I never KNEW i wanted to be a teacher really. I had worked in a daycare with 2 year olds and hated it. So I went to college and majored in criminal justice/ Crime scene focus (AAS). I loved the 4 years of college, very interesting. When I graduated, I worked at a juvenile detention facility for 2 years. I loved the work but hated the hours, chaos, fights, stress as a detention officer and case manager. the system doesn't work for children- i was very frustrated.

    I returned to childcare 2 years ago, working in the school age program. I have enjoyed every minute of it- My only regret is that i borrowed a fortune in student loans and wasted 4 years studying something i may never use (criminal justice).

    I want to return to college and get a bachelors in education, teaching juvenile offenders and alternative education. But i cant justify borrowing MORE and MORE $$$$ to finish what i really want to do. I already work two jobs, Im 34, my son starts college in 2 years, and i think i have run out of time.

    If i could finish - i would love to teach science or history. Or life skills to help teens keep their lives straight.

    I love my school agers-- i wouldn't trade them for anything :)
     
  33. January_Violet

    January_Violet Comrade

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    Feb 16, 2007

    Ditto...

    For me, it's just a job, not necessarily something that I always WANTED to do.


     
  34. Miss W

    Miss W Phenom

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    Feb 16, 2007

    If you work for a Title I school district they will pay back part or all of your loans. It might be something to think about.
    There are also alternative degree options where you can take one or two classes a week. Or there are alternative certificate programs.
     
  35. Zrocker

    Zrocker Rookie

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    Feb 16, 2007

    LOL still need to figure out what I want to teach.

    Would have gotten a teaching degree in college; but, most of my teachers complained about their pay so I went the busisness route.

    After years of great pay I'm downshifting into subbing. But I plan to get the official degree or certificition after a few years of subbing.

    I'm actually leaning towards special ed as a former special ed student.

    Don't think I would have had the patience needed had I gone into teaching when I was younger.
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2007
  36. srh

    srh Devotee

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    Feb 16, 2007

    Zrocker--I say all the time that I have MUCH MORE patience now than when I was raising my own kids as Kinder students 20 years ago. Second career for me too; I'm in my second year. God's timing is always much better than our own!
     
  37. educatingme

    educatingme Companion

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    Feb 16, 2007

    I also work part-time at a daycare and sometimes I feel really guilty that I'm SO patient with the kids when my own kids doing the same thing ten-some years ago irritated me!
     
  38. La Profesora

    La Profesora Cohort

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    Feb 16, 2007

    I never knew I was going to be a teacher!

    I moved to a town where I knew very little about job opportunities. I have a degree in Biology and Chemistry, so I called the school district to see if I could be a sub or a secretary. when they heard I had THAT degree, they practically begged me to come in that minute! Then next day, I was handed a classroom of 150 juniors in Chemistry. No teaching degree.... nada.

    I learned to do it by pure trial and error! Pretty scary when I look back now!

    I think I did a pretty good job! 7 years later, and I am about to graduate with my Master's degree to be a principal! I guess I'm hooked!
     
  39. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Feb 16, 2007

    Thanks! If you're this close to getting your MS, don't stop now. You've come too far. That's the kind of thought I was thinking too. Teaching definitely isn't my passion, but I got into this whole world of education somehow, so I went ahead & got my MA. Now, I really want to start a Ph.D. program before this year's over. I just wish I could find a job in education (but not teaching) where teaching experience isn't really required, but I guess that's almost impossible.
     
  40. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Feb 16, 2007

    I feel the same way. Do you have enough years of teaching experience to get out of the classroom & do something else?
     
  41. January_Violet

    January_Violet Comrade

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    Feb 17, 2007

    This is where I am now. I want out of the classroom. I've been in the classroom 9 years. I have my Ed.S and Leadership Endorsement. However, don't want to put in the hours as an AP. A Literacy Coach or Tech person would be great. However, I don't kiss enough :sorry: to get those position. So now, I am pursing nursing. Maybe I can be a nurse educator or something.

     

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