Older and chasing a dream to teach~

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Teacherman17, Nov 12, 2015.

  1. Teacherman17

    Teacherman17 Rookie

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2015
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0

    Nov 12, 2015

    Hey guys...first post here. Hope I'm in the right place to post this. First a little background on me. Im 49 at the moment. When I graduated from high school a hundred years ago, my dream then was to go to college and become a teacher and a coach. I started out just fine, sen went to college to play football and get my degree. Well, needless to say, life got all in my way and I had to drop out. Ive never quit anything in my life except that.

    For the time since then, all I have thought about, through job after job is teaching and coachng. It literally has consumed my mind for years. Overtime I thought I was going to start back to school, something happened and I couldn't. Well, this time, its way different! Im going back, and I'm going to teach!

    I told you all of that to tell you this...I registered for school yesterday. I started at my local community college registration and got my classes for the Spring semester. I then went to KSU (the school i will transfer to once I get the rest of my general education classes finished) to make sure that the classes that I registered for would transfer to my major, and to try to narrow down what I wanted to teach.

    The academic advisor at KSU helped me to realize that I don't think that I want to teach the early childhood grades (Pre-K - grade 4). Im leaning toward middle grades to secondary education which will allow me to teach in the middle schools or high schools. BUT...I have now spoken with several early grade teachers who have me thinking about the early grades again. Needless to say, i am now more confused than ever about what I want to do.

    Any teachers out there that would want to lend some advice? Is teaching the high schoolers worth the headaches of dealing with the riff raft in those grades? Would I be better off in the middle schools? Would teaching the early year children be more like babysitting that teaching? I am going to go and observe some teachers for a day in each of the levels and see what they do on a regular basis, I hope.

    C'mon, and give me some of YOUR experiences...PLEASE?
     
  2.  
  3. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

    Joined:
    May 13, 2005
    Messages:
    29,807
    Likes Received:
    1,170

    Nov 12, 2015

    Observing a range of grades is a very, very good idea. I'd recommend hanging around for more than one day if you can.
     
  4. GTB4GT

    GTB4GT Cohort

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2011
    Messages:
    748
    Likes Received:
    144

    Nov 12, 2015

    second the advice already given.Spend as much time(in as many places) as you can observing.
    FWIW, I didn't start teaching until I was past 50. I only want to teach juniors and seniors. Others will say the same things about whatever age group they teach. It's purely a personal preference. As far as the headaches and/or "riff raft", you will find out they are probably fewer than what you have experienced in other jobs or careers along your path.
    congrats on pursuing your dream.
     
  5. txmomteacher2

    txmomteacher2 Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2005
    Messages:
    2,046
    Likes Received:
    165

    Nov 13, 2015

    Take the advice of the other posters either sub or observe in as many different kinds of classes as you can. But if you still dream of coaching you should probably go secondary. In the two district that I have taught at you needed to be a secondary teacher in order to coach. I would like to try my hand at coaching as well but I teach kindergarten so I wont be coaching anytime soon. So I will just be the super fan of all high school sports. Lol
     
  6. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2010
    Messages:
    4,959
    Likes Received:
    1,148

    Nov 13, 2015

    I think you can only decide what age group you want to teach. every grade level has different advantages and problems, it's up to you how much you can handle or prefer.
    I love high school. The kids are old enough to be mature and reason with them. They can handle an assignment on their own, or you can tell them they can work together and you don't have to babysit them. 9th graders are still a little too immature for my taste, but it's ok.
    But you have bigger problems, profanity, aggression, when there's a fight, there's really a fight. Some of these kids can be a handful, they can be in gangs, mixed up with the wrong crowd, dealing with drugs, etc.

    Middle school for me is too exhausting. The can be ok, but in my experience it's hard for them to sit and work together, most of the time you have to babysit them to make sure they stay on track. They don't handle downtime or transitions as well as high schoolers. They can be very moody, their hormones are jumping through the hoop. This is when a lot of problems start in their lives, and are often not noticeable (eating disorders, gang affiliation, and just emotional issues in general). I feel that high schoolers can communicate about these more.

    Elementary is just a no for me. They're too young, too tiny, my personality doesn't work with that. And within K-6th there's so much difference. My friends has taught all grades, but mostly 2nd and 3rd. I remember once she said her 3rd graders could understand and appreciate a little joking sarcasm, but 2nd graders just wouldn't get it.
     
  7. K-5_teacherguy

    K-5_teacherguy Companion

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2014
    Messages:
    192
    Likes Received:
    41

    Nov 13, 2015

    I teach 5th grade and really enjoy it. I can be myself around them which is nice. They can be immature at times, but I feel like high schoolers would be too.
     
  8. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2001
    Messages:
    24,959
    Likes Received:
    2,115

    Nov 13, 2015

    You won't coach as an elementary teacher. Maybe middle school?
     
  9. Teacherman17

    Teacherman17 Rookie

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2015
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0

    Nov 13, 2015

    Thank you guys...I have seen a few people say I can't coach high school without teaching High School, but I am in Ga and here, all you need is a teaching certificate to coach. Any grade. I can teach pre-K in Ga, and can be a high school coach. This, I have verified. In fact, one of the coaches on our local high school staff, teaches and has taught, at the elementary school here for 15 years.

    I think Im gonna lean towards middle to high school. I just don't think I will have the patience for the little ones. I am not going to make ANY decision until I go and observe SEVERAL days at each level. I just have to KNOW when I go into it, that I am going to be comfortable with what I'm doing. As an older student, I don't have the luxury of trying it AFTER getting my degree and then finding out that I don't like it. I cant change my career choice again after this. I think observing several days at each level, and at different grades, will help me to make up my mind. I just think is the smart thing to do.
     
  10. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2003
    Messages:
    6,809
    Likes Received:
    190

    Nov 15, 2015

    Like the others talk to some teachers...go in and observe. I know when I was in college I volunteered a couple hours a week in one classroom... I knew I wanted to work with younger students.
     
  11. Special-t

    Special-t Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2008
    Messages:
    2,019
    Likes Received:
    19

    Nov 15, 2015

    I started older too. I love teaching high school. Have you thought about special ed? The job market is usually good and a more mature teacher sometimes handles the unique stressors well. A few of our sped teachers also coach. Its awesome because it breaks down walls of stereotypes for the students when sped teachers coach.
     
  12. Teacherman17

    Teacherman17 Rookie

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2015
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0

    Nov 15, 2015

    I actually HAVE thought about Special Ed. I have a friend in another state who is a principal and she told me the exact same thing that you did.
     
  13. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2005
    Messages:
    5,280
    Likes Received:
    748

    Nov 15, 2015

    We have an elementary teacher who coaches two high school sports. It's not an ideal situation but it seems to be working.
     
  14. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2013
    Messages:
    4,307
    Likes Received:
    887

    Nov 15, 2015

    One thing I'll say... if you have a teaching position, it will never be anything like babysitting, regardless of how old the kids are.

    There's no real way for somebody else to tell you what you'll enjoy. Me personally, I could never, ever teach middle school, and I'd probably be pretty cruddy teaching any grades between 7 and 11.
     
  15. Teacherman17

    Teacherman17 Rookie

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2015
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0

    Nov 17, 2015

    Here we go...this is what I'm looking for. Can you give me reasons WHY you don't think you could teach 7-12?
     
  16. PatTm

    PatTm Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2015
    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    1

    Nov 20, 2015

    Observe at a lot of places whether through school, volunteering, etc. I just don't mean levels I mean different schools (public vs private) type of community (urban vs suburban vs small town) school size (that ones self explanatory).

    I had one good community service experience that turned me onto teaching and I wanted to recreate that experience (middle-school, large amount of students, mixed community, team teaching). Ended up somewhere completely different after a few different jobs and my current job is a great fit.

    At age 49 you might no more about what will work for you than I did at 22, but I've seen so many examples (myself and countless others) where teachers have taken a job with expectations that didn't meet the job. For example my last job was at a second chance urban charter school for middle school students in danger of dropping out. I don't have a problem with conflict and consider class management one of my strengths. Yet at this school I was burnt out in 2 years ready to do anything but teaching. I saw many people like me at this school who just weren't happy, but there were other teachers who thrived on the craziness. They were great for that school, I loved working with them, and they remain close friends of mine. I couldn't force myself to view that job through the same prism. I tried, but that just caused more frustration as I felt like a bad teacher. I wasn't a bad teacher, it was a bad fit.

    Even observations might not give you a complete understanding of where you'd be happiest but its a great start. If you land the perfect job after finishing your certification, you're in the lucky minority. If the jobs not perfect or a good fit that's typical for a lot of new teachers. However, if you've got a full understanding of where you want to end up it will make a less ideal position tolerable as you know its a stepping stone to a specific job. Wish I had the same insight when I first started
     
  17. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2014
    Messages:
    11,346
    Likes Received:
    2,829

    Nov 20, 2015

    Just an observation. . . elementary schools decry the lack of male role models, but at the same time tend to choose the female candidates. Especially under 5th you will mostly find women EXCEPT as some specials. I think it is the mothering thing, but hey, I could be wrong. I LOVED middle school, and always thought that is where I would end up, but I am in SPED in HS. I love working in my content area, but I know that I would enjoy MS, but that isn't where the job is. Sadly, a late start can put you at a disadvantage in hiring, but if you are a good coach, that can be an equalizer. Good luck - it is never too late to grab hold of a dream, but sometimes the reality is just a little different than what it would have been if you were now nearing retirement instead of thinking about student teaching. That is not meant to discourage, but inform.
     
  18. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2013
    Messages:
    4,307
    Likes Received:
    887

    Nov 21, 2015

    1) I don't have the management skills to handle older students. It requires very different management styles to deal with older students than younger. I have the skillset to work with younger students. I could work with college students. But middle and high schoolers? No

    2) I don't have the patience or tolerance to deal with students who don't want to be there. With the younger students, even the ones that "hate school," they still want to please the teacher.

    3) Truthfully... middle and high school was a tough time in my life, and teaching middle/high school would bring back too many memories that are best forgotten.
     
  19. Bibliophile

    Bibliophile Companion

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2015
    Messages:
    180
    Likes Received:
    77

    Nov 21, 2015

    I teach kinder, and before that I had many years in pre-k and I never found myself babysitting-though I had to occasionally tell the parents that I wanst here to be there babysitter. But only occasionally. If your a teacher then you teach and you don't baby sit. You create your class expectations, lessons and the feel of it and it's only babysitting if you let it be. When I was student teaching I was terrified when I was placed in 5th grade since what I thought I would like was kindergarten--2nd only and all of my experience was pre-k. Well I was shocked that I loved 5th grade. I still had fun with my students and I connected with them and I still got creative and outside the box with my lessons, my students learned and I felt excited about teaching even if it looked really different from what you'd see in my kinder class last week. Then I started working after school and tutoring with 7th- 8th graders and again I thought this wasn't gonna work since their soooo.... Pubescent. I don't enjoy this age group when I have to sit by them at the movies but in an academic setting where you have authority and create an environment based on mutual respect and high expectations these kids can surprise you. If I hadn't really needed the money I never would have worked with 13 year olds. I actually really enjoyed this too and my to my surprise I think I'd say today that I could enjoy teaching any grade where I had the freedom to be creative and innovative in my teaching and feel like I made a difference with students by being able to teach to the best of my ability.
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. Ima Teacher,
  2. miss-m
Total: 404 (members: 4, guests: 377, robots: 23)
test