I want to pursue my dream of becoming a teacher. I’d love some feedback and advice on my situation

Discussion in 'General Education' started by BulldogLover77, Mar 28, 2019.

  1. BulldogLover77

    BulldogLover77 New Member

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    Mar 28, 2019

    First, a little background on myself:

    In 2011, I graduated from college with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. I pursued this degree in spite of multiple career assessments that suggested my best career fit (by far) was education. I always loved the idea of becoming a teacher but didn’t pursue it. Why then, you may ask, did I pursue a career in business? Two main reasons:
    1. I was a coward and went with the “safe” career choice
    2. My father felt a career in business would be the most sensible career choice (see above)
    Since graduating I’ve done well in the business world, even making a six figure salary before I was 30. The problem, however, is that I absolutely HATE my job.

    I hate how impersonal it is.
    I hate how mundane it is.
    I hate how utterly unfulfilling it is on a spiritual level.
    (Now might be a good time to mention I’m a bleeding heart INFJ)

    Now, let’s fast forward to today:

    I’m at a point where I can no longer be productive or effective in my job. I just don’t care anymore.

    I’m single and have saved up a substantial amount of money over the past few years. I also don't have a spouse or children. If I’m going to make a career change this is the time to do it. Therefore, I’ve decided to resign from my job and pursue a career in education.

    I understand how hard it is to be a teacher - my mother is one. I’ve heard all the horror stories: Difficult parents, unruly students, bad administration etc. I know the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. However, I also know this:
    • I’ll never have a better time in my life to pursue a career in teaching (I have a financial cushion and no dependents)
    • Changing the life of even one student is worth the negatives
    • If it doesn’t work out then at least I tried. I won’t have to spend the next fifty years of my life thinking “what if?”
    Here are my goals:
    • I’d like to be a single subject teacher in any grade between 6 and 12.
    • Subjects I’d like to teach include (but are not limited to): Grammar, English Comp, Political Studies, World History and US History.
    Here are my questions for the forum:
    • Considering my only degree is a bachelors in Business Admin, what other degrees or certifications would I most likely need to become a single subject teacher? For example: If I want to be a history teacher, do I have to get a bachelor’s degree in history first?
    • Are there any programs that combine teacher certifications with specific subjects? Example: Teacher certification focusing on World History.
    • Would a Masters Degree in Education be worth pursuing at this stage?
    • Any other advice or things I haven’t considered?
    I truly appreciate any feedback.

    Thanks!
     
    NinaAdata likes this.
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  3. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    Mar 28, 2019

    Ever consider teaching business at the college level?
     
  4. BulldogLover77

    BulldogLover77 New Member

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    Mar 28, 2019

    I did but don't want to for the following reasons:
    • Teaching college classes in general holds little appeal to me. It's just a totally different ball game in my opinion. The students are adults in college, whereas I want to be a part of helping them mature to adulthood.
    • Business as a subject holds no appeal to me. I want to teach a subject I'm passionate about.
     
  5. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    You would have to get a degree in the subject you want to teach then take education classes and get certified. It sounds like you'd want to go for Social Studies certification so I guess you would have to get a degree in History but it's best to check with the education department in your state to see what you need.
     
  6. JimG

    JimG Comrade

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    Mar 28, 2019

    I do not think you will need another degree. There are alternative certaification routes available for people who have a non-education degree. Unfortunately, the details vary by state, so it may be hard to get specific logistical details here.

    I would try to find info about alternative certification from your state’s education department and maybe even try to call so you can speak to somebody directly.

    I would also recommend reaching out to a local principal to see if you could set up a meeting to discuss your scenario and what your goals are.
     
  7. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    Mar 28, 2019

    Do you need another degree? No, but you do need the undergrad credits specified by your state DOE. In NJ, you would need the equivalent of a major - 30 credits, about half upper level courses, laid out in a logical sequence. That would allow you to apply for a K-12 certificate in that content area. You would then need to pass the state required teacher assessment exam. In NJ, that would be a Praxis Exam. To teach the content in grades 5-8, you would only need 15 credits in the content, no specification as to lower or upper level coursework, no logical sequence necessary, since it isn't a major. Of course, there is a Praxis Exam to be passed.

    I would suggest ELA over History, simply because SS or History applicants face very stiff competion - it is a saturated market.

    I wouldn't get a Master's in Education before I became a certificated teacher if there was a way to go alternate route without the grad degree. The reason is that you may want to get a grad degree, but perhaps not in your content, but rather in a subject matter that you haven't even considered yet. As a teacher, many/most districts offer some form of tuition reimbursement. If you can go to school on someone else's dime, why wouldn't you? The master's degree alone will not necessarily make you more likely to obtain a teaching job.

    Your first order of business should be to find out how you can acquire a teaching certificate as an alternate route candidate. If you need more content credits, they can/should be undergrad, and may be attainable through the passing of CLEP exams. Lots to consider, but it starts by knowing the requirements for your state.
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2019
  8. Guitart

    Guitart Companion

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    Mar 28, 2019

    There was no shortcut to certification for me. Regardless of my BA in an art related major with 30+ credits in content, I still had to go back to school for 4 semesters and pass all the state required tests. Maybe not the same fun as 20 years prior when college was more like "Animal House", but It was the most satisfying 4 semesters of my life. The reward was I no longer had to work in a career that I hated.
     
  9. tchr4vr

    tchr4vr Companion

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    Mar 29, 2019

    If you are considering teaching English, be aware that English Comp and Grammar are not separate classes. English is language arts, with reading, writing and some grammar (many districts teach very little grammar). You may be able to get provisional, depending on what credits you took. Your best bet would be to send your transcripts to your local DOE and ask for an evaluation. There is generally a fee, but they will tell you what you need specifically. Praxis I will be a definite, and Praxis II in your content will be required as well. You can sign up and take those anytime, even before you're evaluated. I would wait for a Master's, and if you do choose to get one, I would go for one in content--it will open higher-level courses, such as Dual Enrollment that will allow you more choice in what you do in the classroom. Good luck!
     
  10. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    In my state the DOE charges to evaluate your transcripts. I think it w3as $100 last time I requested it done.
     
  11. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    The bottom line is that whatever the DOE charges to evaluate transcripts is irrelevant in the big picture. OP "has saved a substantial amount of money" from the business career. What OP does need to know is that most DOE's only want to receive transcripts directly for the university, unopened, whether for evaluation or verification. With that said, nothing is done with the snap of your fingers. Contact DOE and find out what they need. Order transcripts and wait for them to arrive, get them to the DOE and wait for the evaluation. You could just start taking teacher assessments in some states, but not all, so you wait. Each wait is a stop sign with a certain amount of time lost as someone else does their job. It may very well affect what you need to do next, especially if it includes going back to school for more course work, or acquiring credits by passing CLEP exams. I'm all for a career change for OP, but nothing happens quickly in these next steps.

    The more informed OP is about what the DOE needs and does in his state, the smoother the process, and the more likely things will be done where important deadlines won't be missed. This is, after all, the business of education.
     
  12. Tulipteacher

    Tulipteacher Companion

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    Mar 30, 2019

    I recommend that you sit down with your mom and really talk to her about this. Does she see your personality fitting into teaching? She knows you and how you handle stress and she knows teaching.

    Next, arrange to observe the grade levels and subjects you're interested in. Don't just observe honors classes. Observe the range, because as a new teacher you won't start with those plum classes. And don't just observe one day. Observe a lot of teachers, a lot of days. Teens and school have changed dramatically in the last decade. Your mom may have contacts and be able to help set this up.if not, contact the schools directly or human resources. We get college kids observing all the time as part of class requirements.

    In my state, you could teach high school business classes as lateral entry. It's an area of shortage. You'd take classes and get certified as you teach, and then you could become certified in other areas.
     
  13. Pisces

    Pisces Rookie

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    Mar 31, 2019

    @BulldogLover77 I'm guessing you're in California (based on saying "single subject")? If so, contact the education department of your nearest CSU school and ask them about how to obtain your credential. When I lived there, I worked with several career changers and they obtained their credential through a CSU school (CSU East Bay, SJSU, etc.)
    It never hurts to start by contacting your nearest University and asking.
     
  14. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    I was a business major when I graduated college in 1983. After a few years of working in several different jobs and being a stay at home mom for several more, I went back and got my MS,Ed, graduating in 97. It was definitely the right choice for me. Good luck to you
     
    futuremathsprof likes this.
  15. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    "Single subject" is a term in use in states other than California. If BulldogLover77 were in California, I'd recommend paying a visit to the local county office of education; there might be some local equivalent with live people who can squint at one's transcript and give informal feedback. Alternatively, it might be worthwhile to pay a visit to the school of education at Bulldog's alma mater - alumni status can be helpful - to see what guidance can be gleaned there. I know that universities in my end of California employ credential analysts part of whose job is exactly this.
     
  16. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    You seem to want to teach so you can change lives. How so? What are you going to do to change those lives? Change them from what to what? Whose lives? Do they need you to change their lives for them? How receptive do you think they'll be to you trying to change their norm? What tools do you have to make the changes?

    Think hard about your motives and expected outcomes. Frankly, while you may consider yourself a success if you change just one child's life, your boss will not renew your contract if you don't manage to teach the rest of your students in the process. You have to have a desire to learn the craft of teaching - the planning, the juggling, the correspondence, the record-keeping, the creating, the assessing, the everything that makes up teaching.

    Might I suggest your consider social work instead?
     
  17. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    Do you know if your local school districts hire uncertified subs? That way you will be able to get a taste of what being in a school is like since you really don't know anything about teaching or school environments yet due to your last profession. It would be a shame for you to start taking education classes then find out it's really NOT for you.
     
  18. NinaAdata

    NinaAdata New Member

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    Apr 2, 2019

    Hi!
    I can really relate to what your feeling.
    I can say that this went through my mind a few years ago.
    Right know I am an online tutor who teached in a Primary school and has a bachelor degree.
    If you really want it you can achieve it, just believe in yourself and go for it!
    Nina
     

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