School's Out, I'm going back to Accounting and Finance

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by 99 percent, Jul 4, 2020.

  1. 99 percent

    99 percent Rookie

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    Greetings from California,

    I just spent 2 and a half years in a teacher credential program while substitute teaching. I'm credentialed in general science (middle school) Earth and space science (middle and high school) and while I was still in school, I picked up an additional PE credential (k to 12). Since mid March, I was told to stay home. I can no longer substitute teach and now I'm being told the fall will begin as distance education. I've applied to dozens of science and PE teaching positions, and no job offers. I'm thinking of going back to accounting and finance. My background is MBA/Finance. Anyone else feel they are in the same boat?
     
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  3. tuankiet153

    tuankiet153 Rookie

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    Have you taken the PPR exam? Have you passed it? Have you taken the content exam? Did you apply for standard certification? You must finish those things before applying for teaching position.
     
  4. mathteachertobe

    mathteachertobe Cohort

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    In my area of California, many middle schools want math/science core teachers, so Foundational Math would probably boost your employability. Earth science is not a very common need here, Biology, Chemistry or Physics are the primary disciplines we hire for in high school. I don't know much about the PE job market, but in my district there are more middle school PE teachers than high school ones.

    I think we may be heading into a tough job market. I was job hunting during the last recession and ended up getting many more middle school interviews than high school ones, mostly because I had both math and science endorsements. Are you getting interviews? If not, you might want to have someone read over your cover letter.

    It took me 14 interviews and maybe 40 applications to land my first full-time teaching position in 2011. In the end, I followed Alicecc's advice and emailed principals about two weeks before school was due to start. So you might want to try that in about two or three weeks. I think most admin are on break right now, but I suspect schools that reopen to in-person teaching may have some unexpected openings.
     
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  5. Pisces

    Pisces Companion

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    Yes, I'm taking a sabbatical because due to covid, I don't want to return online nor do I want to return normally with the pandemic. I was looking for a teaching job and I couldn't find much, too. I'm going to take a break from looking. Then, I'll see how 2021-2022 looks or if there are mid year openings.
     
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  6. 99 percent

    99 percent Rookie

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    In my case, I'm fully credentialed in the state of California. Single subject geoscience and single subject physical education. My science credential covers middle and high school. I've been applying for jobs for the past 2 years while subbing. Now, I can not even sub anymore because of school closures. I'm over 50 and no time to waist. I got bills to pay. I thought teaching would have been an easy way to wind down my working career. Never in million years thought I'd have a hard time finding employment. What happened to the great teacher shortage? Especially in math/science?
     
  7. mathteachertobe

    mathteachertobe Cohort

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    But you don't have a math credential, and geoscience has never been in high demand. I was also over 50 when I started my path to teaching, but I added several endorsements once I realized how tough the job market was.
     
  8. CaliforniaRPCV

    CaliforniaRPCV Companion

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    Getting a credential of any sort is time and cash intensive. It's a tough sell to convince someone that has had a successful career in something else to sink even more time and cash into the effort in times like these. And how would the timing work out with taking more tests while hiring season for 2020-21 is winding down.
     
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  9. mathteachertobe

    mathteachertobe Cohort

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    I was trying to clarify for the OP why they hadn't found a job in two years despite a teacher shortage and having a science credential. In general, middle schools want science AND math, and high schools don't want Geoscience. I agree that adding endorsements at this point may not be feasible.
     
  10. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    You've really gotta do whatever it takes to make yourself marketable. Adding more endorsements would be my advice!
     
  11. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Just wondering why someone with accounting and finance doesn't have at least a MS math credential, but I freely admit to not knowing much about the system in CA.
     
  12. RainStorm

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    99percent,

    You have made a very common mistake -- you have become credentialed in two areas that have no demand. Being credentialed in just geoscience makes you almost unemployable. Science teachers in middle and high school have to be credentialed to teach the full range of science classes to be highly sought-after. It has always been that way, and there is no sign of that changing. I'm really surprised your credentialing program didn't make you aware of this.

    Yes, math and science together are in demand, but you are not credentialed in math at all, so that precludes you. You only have one science credential, and it is not in a high-demand area. To teach middle or high school science, you really need to be able to teach chemistry, biology, and physics. For lower levels, you need earth science, but having simply geoscience is not going to get you hired. The school isn't going to offer 6 sessions of geoscience -- they are going to offer 1 geo/earth, 2 biology, 2 physics, and 1 chemistry. You wouldn't be certified to teach those, so you wouldn't be valuable to a public school. They are going to hire someone who can teach the full range every time.

    And then there is the PE credential. Do you know how hard it is to get a job teaching PE? There is no shortage at all in PE teachers, and in most areas, it is flooded with fully certified teachers in this area competing for a very small number of positions. People who do get good PE teaching jobs hold on to them until retirement, so their are very few openings.

    It is unfortunate that your sub jobs have dried up, and that is because of the virus. The only thing I can suggest, if you want to be a full-time teacher, is to get credentialed in high-needs, low supply areas. So far, you haven't done that.

    I do wish you the best.
     
  13. 99 percent

    99 percent Rookie

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    I'm thinking the market is saturated with teachers right now. Maybe an oversupply of teachers at the moment. My feeling is a number of former Starbucks and Best Buy employees probably though they might do better in education with their degrees than out in the current job market. So they went into teaching right after the previous recession.
    Another thing, a lot of teachers have been coming here to California from other states because salaries are higher relative to their previous schools. They have experience.
    Another thing I have been told is in my area, the population of school age children has been on the decline for a few years. Fewer students leads to fewer teachers.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2020
  14. 99 percent

    99 percent Rookie

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    I agree with your comments. I'd go back and recertify if I thought it would help. But it is time consuming and expensive. I know PE jobs are hard to come by. I was even planning on using my science credential as a way into a school district, then transferring to PE when the opportunity presents itself. Right now, I can not sit at home any longer. I've got to make some money.
    And yes, I am taking a lot of heat right now from my wife and family. They do not understand why I can not get a job. We were all mistaken about the current teacher shortage.
     
  15. 99 percent

    99 percent Rookie

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  16. 99 percent

    99 percent Rookie

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    One last comment and I will shut up.

    We have a friend of the family who was credentialed about the same time that I was and she has not be hired either. She's single subject social science with good references and has had more interviews than I have.
     
  17. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    That's not a highly sought after certification either, I fear. At least in NJ I can't remember ever seeing that being needed by many schools. FWIW, I don't teach math but I can teach all of the sciences for MS, and Biology, Env. Science, and Earth Science in HS. I can also teach ELA and SS in MS, Elem. Ed. K-6, and ESL. I tested out of math in College, and I would need to take a couple of CLEP exams to have the requisite credits to add that as a cert, and the truth is that I just don't like math well enough to put in the effort.

    I just would have thought that with your background math would have been a given.
     
  18. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    I don't really have anything else to add beyond what has already been suggested, but I just can't get over this one sentence in one of your posts:
    I'm afraid that you got that part very wrong. An easy way to wind down your career probably would have been staying in your same career, perhaps at a different company or in a different role. It seems like you have fallen for rhetoric about teachers having it easy with short days, summers off, and pensions. In truth, teaching is not at all an easy career, and "wind[ind] down" is in total contrast to what most new teachers at any age experience.

    I'm also a bit stunned by this comment:
    What does this even mean? Why are you picking on people who work(ed) at Starbucks and Best Buy? Do you realize that many (probably most) educators went into education because they are passionate about it and not because they thought it would be easy or because the job market in other fields was tough? Although some may have transitioned from other fields, it likely wasn't because they saw education as a fallback career option but, instead, was because they had a calling or wanted to make a difference in the lives of children.

    I wonder, have you really given deep thought to why you want to go into teaching? If it's not because of passion or a calling, there is a good chance that that's coming through in your cover letters and interactions with potential employers. With education being as competitive as it often is, it's no wonder you'd have a difficult time finding employment without true passion coming through. If your passion isn't really there and you really are just looking for an easy way to wind down your working life, then, in all honesty, you probably are better off returning to the finance career that you are already familiar with.
     
  19. CaliforniaRPCV

    CaliforniaRPCV Companion

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    Burn out is pretty common in every career. I would venture to say teaching might look like an attractive alternative after 30 or so years in accounting and finance. "Easy" might mean "I've got a degree and it isn't such a long haul to switch to this as far as getting qualified".

    I don't think the OP is picking on Starbucks and Best Buy people. If I made such a comment, I would be pointing out that a four year degree isn't as much a qualification as it used to be. The person that is serving you your coffee or helping you pick out a tv may well have a degree in astrophysics. From astrophysics to math teacher, not such a long haul. From astrophysics to information tech could be a longer one. That wasn't the case not so long ago.
     
  20. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    I understand that... I just don't understand the implication that people working at Starbucks or Best Buy are only working there because they can't find a job in a professional field. Plenty of people with and without degrees work at those places because they want to, for a variety of reasons, and not because they are not qualified for something "better" or because the job market is too saturated.
     
  21. CaliforniaRPCV

    CaliforniaRPCV Companion

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    All work is honorable. And "better" is a measure that changes drastically from person to person. But there are few people that are going to put in the time, effort, and money getting a degree in astrophysics to work at Starbucks. And I am NOT being sarcastic here. I am being literal. Underemployment is nowhere near uncommon.
     
  22. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Astrophysics is a bit of an extreme example. You're probably right about that one. And, yes, underemployment is common. But there are people with degrees in other fields and people without degrees who have made a conscious decision to work at Starbucks, for one reason or another. I say this as a person who had a bachelors degree and chose to work at Starbucks before becoming a teacher. And I was not working there because I couldn't find another, more professional job. I was working there because it suited my lifestyle and met my needs at the time. Many of the people who I worked with were working there for similar reasons.
     
  23. CaliforniaRPCV

    CaliforniaRPCV Companion

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    Astrophysics is not an extreme example. I chose that particular one because that was an example that impressed me from an NPR podcast I listened to once. A person with a B.S. in astrophysics was reported to have spent years on short term jobs making about $25,000 a year. He then got a teaching credential, a career, and a decent income. I wish I could include a link, but I was not able to find it. It was likely a Planet Money podcast.

    The point being that there aren't too many jobs advertised that specify B.S. in astrophysics. That kind of job requires more along the lines of a phd. And even then, there aren't too many. Yes, it used to be that degree would impress people and you could get a job in, say, programming (math/physics... that would be me several decades ago). But that isn't the case anymore. People that choose a subject in college because they have a passion for that subject can come out ill-prepared for the job market. Still, there are a few fairly well paying jobs that have a base requirement of a bachelor's that provide a path to a decent career. One of those is teaching. And, luckily, a passion for the subject can make that path good for teacher and student.

    I don't know if the OP is describing a thing that actually happened in large numbers. But it does happen.
     
  24. CaliforniaRPCV

    CaliforniaRPCV Companion

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    Um, sorry. I think you were agreeing with me there and I took it the wrong way.
     
  25. tuankiet153

    tuankiet153 Rookie

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    I don't know much about California teaching certifications. But in Texas, it is quite simple and easy to land a job as a teacher. Teaching positions are always highly sought-after in Texas. You don't need to have a background in specific subject. Suppose you want to be a math teacher, you must qualify 3 following:
    1. Hold a bachelor degree (no matter your major is)
    2. Pass the state's content exam (quite easy). There are so many kinds of exams like Math 4-8, Math 7-12, Core subjects 4-8 (many teachers choose this because they have more chance for being hired), Generalist 4-8...
    Then you apply for internship as a classroom teacher with full salary for a year. Within the year of internship, you must:
    3. Pass the PPR exam (quite tricky) to change your intern cert to standard cert before your internship expires to renew your contract for the following year. All exams are limited up to 5 attempts.
    In my school, I know that a lot of teachers who don't have a math background but they still teach math. Their majors are philosophy, sociology, psycology, environment science, Theater, Music, Finance, Business...This absolutely surprises me a lot but that is the way Texas does and we need to respect.
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2020
  26. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Yes, I was agreeing with you. I believe that there are people who fall into the category of what you've described, particularly when it comes to highly skilled areas, such as astrophysics. I'm thinking more along the lines of people who have degrees in the soft or social sciences or artistic areas, who have decided to work outside of their degree area for a reason other than no available opportunities in their field. Starbucks is one example of a place they may choose to work, but there are many others (and I'll add that Starbucks is a good choice, as they provide benefits to those that work just over half time, at a minimum of 21 hours per week - or at least they did when I worked there many years ago). People may choose a job like this because it suits their family-work life balance and income/benefits needs, or because it allows them to also work in a flexible artistic field, or because they are going to school for an advanced degree, or because they hate the career field they chose as an undergrad and want out of it, or because they like talking to people, or because working in a job that many people see as "lesser" is actually in line with their degree area, or because any number of personal reasons. It sounded to me like the OP was suggesting that the only reason a person would choose to work at Starbucks was because they couldn't find something "better", and I'm disagreeing with that notion.

    Also, I'm disagreeing with the implication that many people chose to go into teaching because they saw it as an easy career change option rather than as something they truly had a passion for. I believe there are some people who fit in that category, but I don't believe the number is large. Those are likely the people who burn out and leave within the first five years because they got in over their heads, and they aren't the ones who are preventing the OP from finding a position. I'm suggesting to the OP that he/she do some soul-searching and make sure that teaching is something he/she is really passionate about, as that passion is both what will help him/her find the job and also succeed once in it.
     
  27. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    In California it's really not hard to get certified in other areas once you have a secondary teaching credential (middle school / high school) in any subject.
    So I would suggest to the OP to register for the CSET Algebra and Geometry, and once these are passed, he / she is certified to teach middle school math. If passes the 3rd one, I believe t's statistics / calculus or something like that, then he will be certified to teach math in high school. That's it. It's a one time investment with background in accounting it should be a piece of cake.

    Same thing goes for science, pass the tests biology, chemistry and physic, and now you are a sought after math / science teacher (with a PE credential as well). If you can coach anything even better,
     
  28. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Maybe it works that way in Texas for people in the state, but if you are out of state, wanting to go to Texas, but can't until you find a job, getting that job is very difficult. I watched my son spend 6 months trying to get a job there, and he already had standard certificates and had passed the exams -- no takers.
     
  29. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Coaching a sport is actually the only place where PE really works for you in most states. I know that NJ is overrun by PE candidates who bemoan the lack of jobs. But the coaches have no problem getting hired.
     
  30. Pisces

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    With Geoscience, you should be able to teach middle school science, which is in high demand. Or, you can try earth science but I don't know what the demand for that would be at the high school level.
    Since your background is in accounting and finance, I highly suggest you get credentialed to teach math. Take the CSET exam for math. If there's a particular district where you're interested in working, I'd contact their county office and schedule either a zoom meeting or something where they can let you know what you need to do to apply. @TeacherGroupie should have some good advice on how that works in California.
     
  31. Pisces

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    Oh dear. I replied to the OP without reading everyone's post. I totally missed what he put there and I wanted to thank you for your post.
    I have a friend who works in another state (I won't say which). She is an engineer at a large tech company and is burnt out. Since she has a PhD in a particular science area, she wants to also end her career teaching high school. She was under the impression it would be a nice and easy way to wind down, and a big perk would be "the pension".
    Well, she took a bunch of teaching / pedagogy classes and observed a few classes before COVID. Just being in the classroom with a teacher, shadowing him for some time scared my friend off. I believe she's now had a change of heart. She said she didn't realize how much teachers had to work. She also said she couldn't believe how disrespectful some students were and how they blatantly preferred to be on their phones instead of paying attention. The list of "I didn't know" or "I didn't expect" goes on and on.
    At least she realized all of this before sinking a lot of money and time into getting her credential!
     
  32. Pisces

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    Last edited: Jul 9, 2020
  33. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    There are still places with teacher shortages. We struggled to fill two science openings at our school this summer, but eventually found two people with the right certifications. We needed biology and chemistry. School starts in less than a month and my district still has over 50 positions open, just in middle and high schools. Some of them were posted as recently as this week. It seems like you have double bad luck for being in a saturated area and being in a saturated field.
     

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