Quitting the classroom to go back to school?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Pisces_Fish, Dec 6, 2015.

  1. Pisces_Fish

    Pisces_Fish Fanatic

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    Dec 6, 2015

    I have been teaching for 8 years. I LOVE aspects of my job but I also know the classroom is not where I want to retire. I have been seriously considering applying to a School Counselor M.Ed program that's 14 months long and begins in May. I would be applying for the 2106 cohort.

    I'm scared about a lot of things (loans! temporary unemployment! coursework! 700 practicum hours! etc…) but one thing that really worries me is needing to quit my job (next) May in order to begin my coursework. Will quitting a job before June hurt me in the future, or do you think principals would see this early departure as excusable? I teach on a traditional calendar so we end around June 10 each year.

    Thanks for your feedback. I am a long-time member of this site but I took a long hiatus :)
     
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  3. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    I think quitting early could end up burning bridges. If it is at all possible, you should try to "double-dip" for those last few weeks. The difference between leaving your current district on a positive note and leaving on a negative note could be the difference between having a job in September 2017 and not having a job in September 2017.
     
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  4. Pisces_Fish

    Pisces_Fish Fanatic

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    Unfortunately, double dipping is impossible. Coursework starts full-time immediately and obviously I can't be in two places at once. This is so disheartening. It's upsetting to think a time period of roughly 4 weeks may make this dream impossible :(
     
  5. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    Talk to profs. Talk to your principal. Maybe the college can find a way to help you, or maybe they could have you start with a slightly smaller course load to make it possible to start, while also fulfilling your contract. Would your principal let you take sick leave? College full time is also a very different animal from work full-time. Is there any possibility that you could take evening courses for the first session? Weekend? Morning only/afternoon only? Could they just schedule all your classes on one or two days? When I took a full-time grad school course load, all of my courses started at 4:30. I can't imagine that you're the only person going through this program with a teaching contract for this school year.
     
  6. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Dec 6, 2015

    Is there no similar program aimed at working professionals? I know several colleagues who were able to get other certifications (counseling, supervisory, library sciences, etc) while working full time.
    If not, it could be a semi-scary leap of faith, but follow your heart!:)
     
  7. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Dec 6, 2015

    I don't share the opinion of the other posters. I quit a few weeks before the end of the year a few years back. No problem...gave enough notice and my contract stated I only had to give two weeks notice. I told them I was starting a new job and everything worked out fine. They just used a sub for the last part of the year.

    I think you should go for it. Have fun!
     
  8. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    That's probably a district and/or state thing. My district could go after my certificate if I left early without release from contract, outside of a situation involving a military move. We had a teacher leave last December because her husband got a job out of state... my principal was able to blacklist her, so that she will not be eligible for rehire in our county, in any position, and also stopped the paperwork for her certificate (she had been in the process of getting a reciprocal certificate).
     
  9. jadorelafrance

    jadorelafrance Cohort

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    Wow. That's a tad harsh.
     
  10. Moogeeg

    Moogeeg Companion

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    Dec 7, 2015

    This does depend on your area, but I really don't think this is that bad. You would probably be asked in an interview, and if you had a decent reference and explanation, I don't think it would kill you at all. In addition, having a long term sub for six weeks or so at the end of the year really doesn't seem like the end of the world. In fact, the school might be able to hire your full time replacement if you give them enough notice. (I would probably let the school know by March at the latest). Of course, you risk that they may hire someone sooner and kick you out more quickly, but it depends.

    Of course, if your principal does not respond well, you will have a difficult choice to make.

    I will caution you by saying that it seems to be easier (at least in my area) for counselors to be hired if they already work in a district. I would highly recommend you have a backup plan if it takes awhile to find a counseling job. Again, this depends on your area- you might be picked up in a snap:)
     
  11. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    What type of program is this? Is it for-profit? I am so surprised that they would have a full-time program that starts before the school year is over, especially considering that most of their participants are going to be presently employed as teachers. At least in my district, most school counselors started out as classroom teachers before making the transition into counseling. Maybe that isn't how it works where you are?

    When you say that the program is full-time, what exactly do you mean? Are all the classes held during the day? Do you have the option of starting out by taking evening classes, just to get you through that first month when you are double-booked?

    After you get your school counseling degree, do you plan to return to your current district? If you resign now, especially before the year is over, will it hurt your chances of being rehired in your current district? If I left my current district in the middle of the year, barring some sort of medical event or military transfer, I don't think they'd be too keen to rehire me later on.
     
  12. teacherpippi

    teacherpippi Habitué

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    Dec 7, 2015

    What about asking for a year leave of absence from your district?
     
  13. heatherberm

    heatherberm Cohort

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    Dec 7, 2015

    I'm assuming you would have thought of this if it were an option, but does your district allow for any kind of leave of absence? We're allowed to take up to a year for continuing education if we can demonstrate that the program is such that we can't complete it while working in our current position. I'm starting a library science degree in the summer and eventually I think I'm going to have to take half a year so I can complete my practicum. That's assuming that you want to return to your current district though.

    I think, as long as it isn't going to cost you your certification, you should do it. You'd be able to give them plenty of warning and I'd think any future employers would understand the situation.
     

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