Should I enter the teaching field?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by smiley79, Feb 24, 2014.

  1. smiley79

    smiley79 Rookie

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    Feb 24, 2014

    Hi Everyone!

    I am a 34 year-old office professional who has applied to a teaching program and is considering becoming an elementary school teacher in California. I have been doing research on the internet regarding job satisfaction and it's SCARY! I love teaching and I love kids, but there are SO MANY posts from teachers urging people not to go into teaching and warning those considering the field not to at all costs. I am starting to get the impression that the vast majority of teachers hate their job. I would be most grateful to any teachers who would share their experience and advice about whether they would recommend the field to others. Thanks so much!
     
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  3. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Feb 24, 2014

    Welcome to A to Z, smiley79! Your threads have been merged: forum policy discourages multiple threads in multiple forums on the same topic at the same time by the same member, and I agree with the site owner's rationale that having the discussion in one place works better for everyone than when it's scattered. In any case, forum veterans tend to check for new posts not by going from forum to forum but by using one of the two "NEW:" links near the upper right corner of the page, where it says "Welcome, smiley79!": these bring up one or more pages of threads in which there have been new posts since the last time one signed in.

    As to whether teaching is a good profession at present, I think you'll find a wide range of answers here. Bottom line is that, as with any other job, there are aspects that are frustrating; what drives one person from the profession may be what merely irritates another.
     
  4. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    I love the teaching field when the kids are there. I can handle the teaching profession when I'm sitting in professional development if it's going to improve student learning. I despise the profession anytime I'm dealing with the garbage that doesn't involve students and student learning.

    Long story short... I both love and hate my job, but ultimately I wouldn't want to do anything else, solely because of the kids.
     
  5. smiley79

    smiley79 Rookie

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    Thank you, TeacherGroupie, for merging them and thank you for answering my question. :)
     
  6. smiley79

    smiley79 Rookie

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    Thank you, gr3teacher! I really appreciate you sharing your experience with me. :)
     
  7. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    You're welcome, smiley79. You can probably expect more answers as day shades into evening, too.
     
  8. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    I'm so tired of people telling teachers not to become teachers! Yes, there are unhappy teachers out there- but of course the unhappy people are speaking louder than the happy ones. I think as long as you're prepared for what you're getting yourself into and you truly want to do it- not because you want to hang out with kids all day (not saying you are thinking that, just that's an impression of teachers non-teachers might have) then I think you'll be fine.

    I wish I didn't have to constantly take work home, but at the same time I love making and laminating something new for the classroom I found on Pinterest.

    I wish I didn't have to feel like I'm going to live and die at the hands of state tests yet I love seeing my students make progress on their tests as we move throughout the year.

    I hate dealing with behavior problems when my admin is not supporting me or the parents are not supportive. Yet I love when I see a kid come in my classroom as a "behavior problem" and leaving as well behaved as their classmates.

    You have to see the good in the bad I guess.
     
  9. smiley79

    smiley79 Rookie

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    Thank you so much, iteachbx! I really appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts with me. :)
     
  10. missrebecca

    missrebecca Comrade

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    Feb 24, 2014

    There are two sides to every coin. I'm a new teacher, and I'm developing a love-hate relationship with this job... on the one hand, it is an amazing feeling to see students learn and to see smiles on their faces. On the other hand, you are bound to have some bad days. Days when no one listens, when you feel like you're doing something wrong, or when the demands are just too high.

    But I agree with iteachbx, the unhappy teachers are more outspoken. I know plenty of teachers who LOVE teaching. At the end of the day, it's about helping kids grow. When you see that you're making a difference, it's a great feeling.

    I'm pretty sure the unhappy/happy teachers go through the same issues, but their perspectives are different.
     
  11. smiley79

    smiley79 Rookie

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    Thank you, missrebecca. I really appreciate your feedback! :)
     
  12. PinkCupcake

    PinkCupcake Cohort

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    If you really have passion for teaching, then I say pursue it with all your heart. No it's not a perfect stress free job by any means. I couldn't imagine another career that I would be happy in besides teaching.
     
  13. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    Like any job it has issues.

    If you are ok with the pay and like teaching, then of course you should go for it.
     
  14. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    I love teaching. Like life itself, it has bad and good, and you put up with the bad to enjoy the good.
    I for one, don't seem to notice the bad parts, because I still so much appreciate the good, and the bad doesn't seem to exist.
     
  15. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

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    Hi there!

    I'm a second year elementary teacher in California. I agree with a PP that I cannot stand when people try to discourage others from teaching. If you really feel you are meant to be a teacher and you can't imagine yourself doing anything else, do it. It is a hard job and California is a hard state to do it in for many reasons (class size, budget, job market, etc etc), but it's so rewarding. I couldn't imagine doing anything else. Even on my bad days, I have to admit that I love being a teacher.

    I think going in with both eyes open is a great thing. This forum is a good place for that. But keep in mind that, as others have said, the negative people are always going to be the loudest.

    Can you get in there and work with some kids? You may already be doing that, but I thought I'd ask! Volunteer, work in an after school program or as a TA or a sub, etc? (Although, I really can't stand subbing - it's not for everyone and is not necessarily an indicator of whether or not teaching is right for you.) Spending time working with kids is what showed me that I really needed to be a teacher. I've had awesome days and terrible days in this career, but I haven't regretted my decision to become a teacher for a single second, even on the bad days, and that is the truth.

    :)
     
  16. smiley79

    smiley79 Rookie

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    Thank you, PinkCupcake! I appreciate you taking the time to share with me. :)
     
  17. smiley79

    smiley79 Rookie

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    Thank you, Pashtun! :)
     
  18. smiley79

    smiley79 Rookie

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    Thank you, Linguist92021! :)
     
  19. AdamnJakesMommy

    AdamnJakesMommy Habitué

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    AMEN.
     
  20. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    There are some teachers who love teaching and are really glad they are teachers, and many who wish they would have taken a different job.

    Here are some things to consider:

    1. You may love teaching, but the first year will be the toughest year of your life. You will need to work a lot of extra hours just to be mediocre at it that year

    2. The years after the first will be easier and this is where you can enjoy it.

    3. The pay is easy to find out. Most districts still have salary schedules and you can see how much you make and your benefits. You and you alone need to decide if this is okay pay for you.

    4. If you have a desire to be great at teaching, it might be for you. If you want to show up and just do your job, this is not the profession for you.

    5. Volunteer in classrooms and see if it is for you. I also highly suggest trying subbing a bit before trying out teaching.

    Good luck to you. You must decide if teaching is a nightmare or a dream come true.
     
  21. smiley79

    smiley79 Rookie

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    Thank you so much, yellowdaises! It's so refreshing to hear someone who loves teaching, even though there are a plethora of factors that can make it very challenging. Thank you so much for taking the time to share your experience with me and I wish you continued happiness and satisfaction! :)
     
  22. smiley79

    smiley79 Rookie

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    Thank you, readingrules12! I really appreciate you taking the time to answer me and give me really great suggestions and expectations. Best of luck to you, too! :)
     
  23. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    I think it depends on which state you live in, and even which district you teach in. I am crazy stressed almost all the time. On Sunday morning I was at the grocery store with my husband, just enjoying the simple things in life, and being in the moment. For about one minute I forgot that I had hours of work waiting for me at home. Then reality set back in. I worked on school stuff from 11 to 10 last night. This is a typical Sunday for me.

    Today I was at school 6:30-6:30. Tomorrow we have conferences, so I will be at school 7:30-7:30. I'm hoping to be out by 5 the rest of the week, only to start all over again next week.

    I love planning instructional units, and teaching kids. It's the data, meetings, paperwork, etc. that stresses me out. I also get stressed out, because there is just no way to get everything done in 40 hours per week.

    I do like my job overall, but almost weekly I think to myself, "What else could I be doing?"
     
  24. smiley79

    smiley79 Rookie

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    Thank you, DrivingPigeon. I really appreciate you taking the time to share with me your honest thoughts about your experience in the profession. It's really nice for total strangers to take time to help me out. I wish you the best! :)
     
  25. teach1

    teach1 Companion

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    what is that saying?? if you have a good experience at a restaurant, you might tell 5 people. if you have a bad experience, you will tell whoever will listen.

    i love teaching. do i love every aspect? no. but i have yet to meet anyone who loves every aspect of their job.
     
  26. Nate

    Nate Companion

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    To be balanced, the facts are that teacher pay is declining, benefits are disappearing, workload is increasing, restrictions and regulations are increasingly nonsensical and obstructive, job security is evaporating, and teacher satisfaction on the national level has fallen 25% in the last 5 years. I love teaching, and I'm glad I've had the career I've had, but I don't know how long it will be before I'm pushed out--I teach severely impaired students, and some of the expectations for testing are really unrealistic. The world needs good teachers, but if you have the heart for teaching, there are probably other, more satisfying avenues for using that gift.
     
  27. AlexaD

    AlexaD Companion

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    Feb 25, 2014

    I'm a first year teacher and the workload is really crazy...but I couldn't imagine doing anything else. Do as much observing as you can, especially the teachers with excellent classroom management. Management has to be in place before any good teaching can begin and it takes time to perfect it.

    There are days when it can be really stressful. Things happen suddenly and you have to be able to adapt. Behavior problems and parent issues aren't fun. But when you see a kid finally get something - there's nothing like that feeling. Good luck!
     

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