Teaching with the intention of leaving later?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Peregrin5, May 15, 2013.

  1. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    May 15, 2013

    Talking to a lot of teachers, it has seemed to me that the most common perspective I see is teaching as a final stop. Generally it goes like this:

    A person leaves his career and becomes a teacher.

    Or a person becomes a teacher and stays a teacher their entire career.

    Or a person becomes a teacher, finds out they hate it, and leave to do something else.

    I was wondering if anybody sees anything wrong with my current plan.

    I never went into teaching with the intention to stay in it forever. In fact, even my current plan is to leave after a few years, and get an advanced degree in engineering or physics.

    However it's not because I tried teaching and found out it's not for me. I actually like teaching, and I find that I am pretty good at it. Not perfect, but I always am trying to improve and I place great importance on good classroom management.

    More accurately, I think I need to experience some things in life before becoming a teacher again. I started very young, and while there are good teachers who start very young, I think they're probably better suited for elementary schools. A lot of my coworkers have worked in other fields before becoming a teacher and I think that experience with life really shows with them, and they're able to bring that experience into a secondary school classroom and inspire kids into pursuing different careers. Also I feel like coming back to teaching after I'm older and have had more experiences will make me a much more compelling teacher to students and a better role-model for my subject.

    So I intend to stay a few years with teaching, improve my practice as much as I can (ideally, I would like to earn a NBCT certification before I leave) so I can use these skills for other things such as tutoring or teaching in college, gain experience in a different field (meaning not teaching, but still related to my subject), and come back to teaching later in life with these new skills and when I am ready to settle back down and get more satisfaction from teaching.

    Are there issues with my plan?
     
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  3. Ms.SLS

    Ms.SLS Cohort

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    I think the only real issue is that (at least currently), teaching is a career basely soley on seniority. Meaning, you might come back as the best dang teacher in the world with wonderful experiences and insights to share, but coming in as a "new" teacher, you will be starting low on the pay scale and be un-tenured, possibly be layed off, etc etc.

    I think most people, once they've started, stay for reasons like this. Or if they leave the field, they go in to curriculum, admin, etc.
     
  4. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    When I started my teaching program 7 years ago, my plan was to be in the classroom for 5-10 years. 6 years of teaching later I have my next career lined up. I saw it as my first career. Not a forever job. I didn't like the idea of anything being a forever job. I want to experience different career fields.
     
  5. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    You have a couple of options if you like what you're doing. You can always keep working and see if your district will help with your tuition if you pursue a physics degree (the high school might want a physics teacher in a few years). If you decide to go to graduate school full-time, you'd probably be a prime candidate to be a teaching assistant, which usually means tuition waiver and a nice stipend. Schools looking for TA candidates would drool over your teaching experience and training.

    Either way, you seem like you're still in the planning stages before making that leap.
     
  6. lucybelle

    lucybelle Connoisseur

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    Nothing wrong with that at all. I've always told myself the second I start to dislike teaching, or wanting to do something else, I will quit. I don't want to be one of those teachers just hanging on for retirement. It's not necessarily my plan right now, I love teaching. But if the day comes that I want to do something else, I will.
     
  7. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    :eek: Oh my gosh. I really hope so! One of the main obstacles I've been facing is how I'm going to pay for it with all of the tuition inflated as it is. I've been setting aside money from my paycheck each month in an education fund.

    @Ms. SLS: That is certainly going to be a bummer, but I think one of the perks of going for another career is that if I do get laid off as a teacher, I will have another thing to fall back on.
     
  8. Myrisophilist

    Myrisophilist Habitué

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    May 15, 2013

    I also do not see myself as a classroom teacher forever. I want to teach abroad and eventually work for a company that designs science instruction. Vague, I know.

    I wonder if the trend for new teachers is to see teaching as one of many careers rather than a lifetime career, like it has been for many current teachers (some of whom have been at the same school for their entire careers). The reason I point this out is because some of us expressing these feelings are new-ish teachers.
     
  9. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    Many of our new teachers say they don't see themselves spending their entire career teaching, which is much different than the past. Everyone I knew came to teaching out of college and stayed until retirement bless they were women who gave it up for a few years to raise children.

    I started teaching secondary fresh out of college at 22. I finish year 20 on Friday. I've been in the same district and two different schools (high and middle).
     
  10. Reality Check

    Reality Check Habitué

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    May 16, 2013

    Staying with it as a CAREER....that's how it USED to be.

    Teach the classes, coach the athletic teams, run some other extra curriculars, become a department head or administrator, then, after 35 years, have a nice, deserved, retirement.

    Now it's evolved into either, "I'm just interested in keeping the chair warm in this great district that other people would kill to get into until something 'better' comes along," OR......... "I was an electrician for 25 years and a guy I know told me about this position in this great district. So, I figured, 'what the heck? I could use a second pension.' I can't stand kids or teaching and someone who is devoting their life to education would kill to get into this spot, but I'm indifferent and just using it as an end to my own means."


    :dunno:
     
  11. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    This would be my biggest concern.
     
  12. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    I started teaching when I was 23. Now that I'm 31 and have tenure and seniority, there's no way I'm leaving. Plus, I get paid well (especially for my part of CA). I'm perfectly content doing what I'm doing and I plan to continue teaching 2nd grade until I move into an admin. role (fingers crossed).

    No one (I repeat: NO ONE) leaves this district once they get in. I heard that we posted a Special Ed. position a few weeks ago and the district got over 150 applications! :dizzy:
     
  13. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    I have a feeling that it's not just in teaching. I think younger people in general have problems sticking to one career for their entire life, and want change, no matter what job it is. Though I know quite a few older folks who have changed careers once or twice or even more frequently as well.

    Rare is the person who does one thing only I think. And I think it may not even be smart to do that, placing all of your eggs into one basket.
     
  14. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    I never say never, and never say forever, either. But mostly so I don't jinx myself. The way I look at it, is that I have put in a lot of work, effort, though and a lot of money into becoming a teacher, I love it, I think I'm good at it, or at least I have the potential to become good, and I can see myself doing this for a VERY long time.
    I love the challenge, that not one day is the same as another, and I love it that our brains are continued to be worked every day. I had a job for 8 years where I felt like my brain was not used at all, it was a terrible feeling.

    In my opinion it seems like a lot of effort and time spent, knowing that you will leave in a few years. You mentioned older teachers, I don't think it's their expertise in other areas that count, it's more their life experiences in general.
     
  15. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    I completely agree. And as you stated, I think it's that I look up to teachers who have rich life experiences, especially those who have experiences outside of being a teacher. And I'd like to have some other type of background and experiences to fertilize my teaching so to speak. I too have had jobs in which it felt like my brain wasn't used at all, and I would never want to return there, but I'd like to experience more of life as a scientist or an engineer so that I have meaningful ways to guide students who may be interested in those paths, and to bring more of the real-world into the classroom.

    The great thing is that after my credential is cleared, I can essentially come back to teaching at any time afterwards, and as some others have mentioned, my teaching experience will be useful in other options as well. I love teaching, and I don't think I'll ever fully leave it, but I may find myself teaching adults in the future, or teaching at a museum or doing an after school program like the one I did in the past. I don't know, I will probably just end up back in the classroom, but I'd like to see where it takes me.
     
  16. PinkCupcake

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    Do you think teachers who have only been in a classroom don't have as rich of a life experience? Could it be possible to have both? I hope my question doesn't come across as witchy with a b because that's not my intent.
     
  17. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    I'm a new teacher (going into my 3rd year). I can't see myself doing anything else, even admin. Heck I don't even want to leave my district if it stays as great as it is now! I feel like I have a rich life. Guiding the future of our country and world is amazing. I also still have time to do other things I want to like travel, become fluent in French, learn Italian, have a family, and a whole list of other things.

    I think you should ultimately do what makes you happy. Right now teaching makes me so happy :) I feel like a sentimental fool now!
     
  18. Aussiegirl

    Aussiegirl Habitué

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    The nice thing about teaching is that I am forever learning all sorts of things because of the experiences each child brings to my room. I've learned from them, done research with/for them to understand something off the beaten track, etc.

    This is a second career and not one I'd have picked right from college - far from it. However after being laid off, bouncing around a few other jobs, I finally felt the pull to be a teacher and followed it. So glad I did!

    I agree that most younger people do not plan on being in the same job until retirement. There are many reasons why including business has changed and they no longer (generally) have a negative opinion about career changers, today's kids live more in the moment than many of us older people have. We were brought up to have commitment, stay and get benefits and a good pension, etc. Those are no longer the standards for many folks.

    I plan on staying in teaching at least until I am eligible to retire.
     
  19. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    I guess it's possible to still have rich life experiences, though they're probably not the experiences I'm thinking of. I'm thinking more of rich career experiences. By definition, working in only one job means that you won't have experience in other careers.
     
  20. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    Peregrin,
    There are many ways to have rich career experiences. I've taught or done fieldwork in rural, urban, suburban, and private schools. Each one was very different. You could also go into admin, curriculum design, teach at a university, etc...

    I really want to be the best at what I do and obviously that comes with experience, which is one of many reasons I plan to stay.

    You could also do different things in the summer.
     
  21. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    I've been doing many different things during the summer. I'm actually leaving to work at a Nanoscale Lab this summer. However I feel like I still want to eventually get a Masters or a PhD in Physics. I don't really feel like I want to get a Masters in Education.
     
  22. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    Obviously there are many who leave the profession. You seem like a dedicated, good teacher so I hope you decide to stay!

    FWIW, I plan on staying with teaching but I'm planning on getting my masters in a special young adult lit program, not education.
     
  23. microbe

    microbe Comrade

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    I have the same feelings about this as well, Peregrin.

    I enjoy teaching quite a lot, but I'd like to get my PhD in a field I'm passionate about (i.e. genetic engineering) before I get completely settled. While I don't feel that you need to have a doctorate or lab experience to be a good science teacher, I think for me personally I'd need that experience to make science relate-able for the kids.

    Though who knows? Perhaps I'd want to only teach college at that point. I think it largely depends on the direction public education is heading. I'm not sure if I feel that the politicians are going to take care of teachers anymore. They seem to expect the best for nothing. :(
     
  24. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    I feel like that sometimes. When you're younger, everything is temporary, and there is always something new and exciting coming up. 2 years of middle school, 4 years of HS, 4 years of college... having a real career is the first time I've actually been faced with doing the same thing for the next 30 years!

    I go back and forth. I find all of the political stuff going on with education now is really disheartening and I truly feel that it will only get worse and never improve. I think if education was the way it used to be, I wouldn't think of leaving.

    I want to start grad school soon and I keep debating whether I should go for a different field so I have a back up...but then if I do stay in teaching I won't ever get a salary bump for having the masters if it's unrelated. I have NO interest in being an admin.
     
  25. Rainbowbird

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    I think another issue is that some people aren't so sure that our pensions are even going to be there when it is time to retire!!!! My state is not funding the teacher's retirement fund as it should be, which really makes a lot of people nervous. Teachers are also getting beat up on left right and center these days. Really it is not a career decision that you make with your head. You make it with your heart, or no one in their right mind would go into it anymore!
     
  26. PinkCupcake

    PinkCupcake Cohort

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    Gotcha. Everyone has a different path in life, and at the end of the day we must do what's right for ourselves. Do what you feel is right and fits for you. Good luck with everything.
     
  27. GeetGeet

    GeetGeet Companion

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    Um, no, this is not really the case. Nice generalization, though.
     
  28. dave1mo

    dave1mo Comrade

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    Teachers without experience in another career often seem one-dimensional and unable to share professional experiences that students who DON'T want to go into education can relate to very well.

    I use the word "often" intentionally.
     
  29. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    I am in it for the long haul. I spent a long time in school preparing to be a teacher, and I love teaching. Primarily I love the interaction with the students. I work with young students and they love school and learning, which makes it fun for me. I can´t imagine dedicating so much to a career to just walk away. That´s just me, though, and I understand others might be in a different situation and feel differently.
     
  30. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    I just heard that THREE younger teachers I worked with last year resigned with the intention of leaving teaching. The general sentiment from them was that they just couldn't handle the stress/pressure and it wasn't worth their health. I can understand that part...but I don't know how they're going to swing it financially!
     
  31. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    Lots of new teachers leave within 5 years, so I hear. Actually, I would clear more money if I worked in another field - I spend WAY too much money on my classroom and personal professional development!
     
  32. DigitalDiva25

    DigitalDiva25 Companion

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    I find teaching okay for the most part. I love the subject that I teach and I love getting up in front and instruct the stuff I am an expert in but I just don't like the teaching courses I have to take for the first three years in order to acquire a professional certificate. Its just so time consuming. During the summer, I am not really taking a vacation, since I have to complete all these online assignments. After 3 years, I heard it gets easier. If not, I am definitely going to switch career, it is still related to the subject I teach, but I am actually creating instead of teaching. My teaching contract has already been renewed, but I actually just got home from a job interview related to another career just so I can see what my chances are. :) And plus it's a good practice to go to interviews, in case this teaching job doesn't work for me.
     
  33. Ms. I

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    I see absolutely nothing wrong with teaching & not keeping it as a career for one's entire life. I posted this in the past, but in some kind of article, I remember reading years ago that the average person changes careers 7 times in their lifetime. Now, I read this years ago, so who knows what the current stat is now. I suppose just as muhc if not more.

    Life continuously changes. Yes, we're supposed to self-improve, but changing careers doesn't mean that each new career is better, just different & if we can use all our previous experiences to make ourselves perform even better in our current career, that's great!
     

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