Oh man...what might I get myself into?

Discussion in 'New Teachers' started by hemster, Mar 11, 2008.

  1. hemster

    hemster Rookie

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    Mar 11, 2008

    I just found this board and was reading through it a bit. I have an interview set up next week for teaching middle school science. It would be my first teaching job. Does anybody here like teaching? It looks like a lot of doom and gloom type posts.

    For the past 8 years, I have been a professional wildlife biologist at an environmental consulting firm. While I see a lot of great endgangered species and ecosystems, my job is ultimaltey to help my developer clients get rid of the issues (legally) and develop the land. I originally got into the environmental field to make a difference..not save to polar bears, just make a small difference and get a feeling personal satisfaction when I go home. My current job gives me nothing to personally enjoy.

    I taught at an environmental education center years ago and enjoyed it. My wife has been a teacher for a few years, and has her moments of loving it and hating it. I know it is a very hard and stressful job, but it can be very rewarding.

    I am excited about making a potential career change, and a bit nervous as well.

    Are there any other people who made a career jump into teaching that are happy/unhappy with their choice?
     
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  3. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Mar 11, 2008

    First, welcome to AtoZ, hemster!

    This time of year is trying for a lot of teachers which might account for the type of posts that you're reading. It'll be different in May and towards the beginning of the year. Some of it might have to deal with the type of administration and support the teacher gets. A supportive staff always makes teaching better!

    My sister received her bachelors degree in Pre-med. She's now a 2nd grade teacher and loves it! A lot of people on this board are career changers and they'll be able to give you their own opinions. I changed my major while still in school to education.
     
  4. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Mar 11, 2008



    I'm not sure which post you've been reading around here. My observations are that teachers on this board are excited to teach, eager to make a difference, and trying to learn about and adopt best teaching practices so that their students can succeed. I'm sure there are plenty of vent-y posts, but I do think the the overwhelming majority of teachers here are positive and inspirational.

    I always planned to be a teacher, but I became a little side-tracked due to a poor job market in my hometown. I took a job at a psychiatric hospital for children and adolescents while I was waiting for a position to open up.

    I think I learned a lot in my time outside the education world, and I've brought much of that knowledge to the classroom. For me it was a very beneficial experience, and I am glad that it worked out the way it did.
     
  5. hemster

    hemster Rookie

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    Mar 11, 2008


    I just noticed a lot of posts just on the first page of the New Teachers forums. I didnt mean anything bad...just an observation.

    I know teaching can be a very stressful job. I deal with lawyers and County Commisioners on a daily basis, and my wife is usually stessed out more from work than I am. I also know many teachers who love their job and who are very eager to inspire their students. That's the biggest reason I am looking to make the career change. I am very excited about my interview and hope all goes well.
     
  6. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    I love teaching! I took 10 years off to stay at home when my kids were younger, and have been "back at it" for about 8 years. Sure there are days that are stressful and days that I just feel like walking out the front door and never coming back, but I honestly can't imagine doing anything else. Being a teacher is more fulfilling than I ever imagined--it is all-consuming, but I learn something new every day.
     
  7. Maryhf

    Maryhf Connoisseur

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    Mar 11, 2008

    I too have noticed a lot of negative posts. Sometimes this can be a sounding board for teachers - especially at this time of year - and for inexperienced teachers. The advice can be wonderful here! I teach middle school science and it sounds like your experience would be perfect for this age level. I am concerned that without experience or formal training that you'll feel as discouraged as some of the new teachers who have posted their frustrations. Teaching middle schoolers is the most rewarding thing I've ever done but some days it is also extremely frustrating. Please be sure they have a good mentor program to help you through the transition. Good luck!
     
  8. Ms. Tas

    Ms. Tas Rookie

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    Mar 11, 2008

    hemster
    I changed my major while in undergrad. I knew teaching was going to be rewarding however I couldn't have began to imagine it was going to be this rewarding. I love it! Even when I have stressful days and there will be stressful days, you'll still be so happy. Good luck with your transition and welcome!
     
  9. ancientcivteach

    ancientcivteach Habitué

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    Mar 11, 2008

    Love it. Incredibly difficult, challenging job, but after 12 years I can't imagine doing anything else. There are days I can't believe they pay me to do this, and likewise, there are days when I don't believe there is enough money in the world to compensate me for what I do :)

    To steal a phrase - Its the toughest job you'll ever love.
     
  10. curious

    curious Companion

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    Mar 11, 2008

    Hemster, I'm in the middle of my student teaching semester and it is stressful at times and the lesson planning never seems to end. Sometimes I wonder if this field is for me, but then I think about those glorious summers off and keep on keeping on. (Just kidding! :lol:)

    Seriously, though, science is my favorite subject to teach. There are so many opportunities for hands-on activities and teachable moments about the environment around us. I think you'll get plenty of personal satisfaction teaching middle school science.
     
  11. Amers

    Amers Cohort

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    Mar 11, 2008

    Like some of the other posters mentioned, this is a tough time of year. State tests are going on/coming up for a lot of us, and there's a ton of pressure to perform well. Plus, this has been the winter that won't end. The kids (and teachers!) are getting spring fever. Not to mention the horrendous flu season. It's just been a rough stretch for some of us (myself included).

    There are good days and bad days. Lately, I'm having a lot of bad days, but my hope is that after a short break from school for my kids and me, we will be ready to come back and get to work for the last couple months! I can't believe the end of the year is already creeping up on us!
     
  12. sasafras1000

    sasafras1000 Rookie

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    Mar 12, 2008

    I'm a first year teacher, though this is not a career change for me - I have always wanted to teach. I was a pharmacy tech for 6 years while in high school, college, and a little after college, but I always knew teaching was what I wanted. I HATED being a pharmacy tech and I am so happy that I am a teacher and not stuck doing that. So I don't regret becoming a teacher.

    I do get stressed out a lot and have had horrible days. There have been times when I graded papers and cried because I felt like I was doing nothing for the my students. At times I also felt like I had no control over the class and they were a bunch of animals and I wondered how I would make it. Things are so much better now. I finally feel like I am in the groove and finding a balance with my kids. It is a lot of extra work though - I work 12 hours a day (okay not that much, but after planning and grading it feels like it), but I also know it's a first year thing. I look at this year as preparing for next year and the more I do now, the more I have done for next year. So to sum it up I do like teaching. I don't love it yet, but I think I will.

    On a side note Science is so fun to teach and the kids love it. At least 4th graders do because they get to do hands on activities. Also, I do think teachers are in a unique position to make positive changes. Good luck with the career change.
     
  13. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Mar 12, 2008

    I was gonna say it is that time of the year too.
     
  14. Noggin

    Noggin Rookie

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    Mar 12, 2008

    I was a career changer, too, and I've never looked back- which is saying a lot considering how honestly tough the first year teaching really is. I *thought* I had a good idea of how hard it would be and what my job would be like, but was very quickly proven wrong and given a reality check. This job has demands like no other I've ever experienced (I work so many more hours now for so much less pay than I did in the business world that it is truly laughable), BUT now I genuinely care with all my heart about my work and that makes it all worthwhile. There's much more joy than frustration once you get your bearings. :)
     
  15. hemster

    hemster Rookie

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    Mar 13, 2008

    Thanks for the replies all. At least I have the benefit of having a wife who is a teacher (who was also a career changer). I know it can be a very stressful job, and I’m sure it will surprise me when I make the leap. I currently have a job that is pretty high stress, but teaching would provide new challenges and new sources of stress.

    I just heard on the news this morning that Florida has instituted a hiring freeze for state schools. :mad: Hope this changes soon. As far as I know, my interview is still on for next week.

    I really hope I get a job in teaching. I have considered it for years, but finally got all the paper work in a couple of months ago. I am getting more and more excited (and nervous) the more I think about it.
     

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