thinking of changing careers

Discussion in 'General Education Archives' started by tif1, Jul 12, 2006.

  1. tif1

    tif1 New Member

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    Jul 12, 2006

    Hello,
    I have for years secretly wanted to change careers and become a teacher. I currently work as a pharmacist. It is great money but my heart isn't in it and I can't imagine doing this for the rest of my life. The problem is I'm 34 and feel that my chance to actually do this has passed. Does anyone have any advice or has anyone gone to teaching later in life? I'm really doing some soul searching about this and truly feel this is what I want to do. Thanks.
     
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  3. Dee452

    Dee452 Comrade

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    Jul 12, 2006

    tif1---I changed careers when I was 38. I have been teaching for 4 years and I wouldn't change back to my former career for anything. I only had to find the right niche in education. I started off in Early Childhood but now I am doing Special Education at the Elementary level.
     
  4. Mable

    Mable Enthusiast

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    Jul 12, 2006

    My husband is 34 and will be student teaching when he's 35 and probably won't be full-time until he's 36. So- try not to feel like time has passed you by. It's what's left that matters!

    P.S. the salary might be a shock though from what you earn as a pharmacist.
     
  5. MissV

    MissV Companion

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    Jul 12, 2006

    tif,
    Don't get down on yourself! I think that it's great that you want to teach:) [See, you even found a teacher forum to help you on your way to what you want!] I graduated college in '04, and though I'm relatively young, many of my classmates were in their 30s or 40s. (About 1/3 of those were parents wanting to be closer to their children.)

    When I started graduate school (in the spring because I couldn't get a job...), 90% of my classmates were 30+. Most of them were taking graduate school because they already had a degree (like you do), and were going through a certification program to be able to teach. [One of the men in the class was 84 years old, riding on a free scholarship, and had to carry around an oxygen tank...] I mean talk about getting a late start...

    Anyway, I don't see why your age should prevent you from doing something that you really want to do. I mean..come on..you're only 34:p I say go with it:)
     
  6. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    Jul 12, 2006

    tif1- I am 33 and looking to begin my teaching career. I don't feel too old. In fact, I know that my life experiences will help me out in the classroom. People such as yourself, who have had second careers often make the best teachers due to other types of skills and experiences that can be used in a classroom. I applaud your wanting to teach. I wish you the best. Go for it.

    Have you checked into a college/university yet?
     
  7. Malcolm

    Malcolm Enthusiast

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    Jul 12, 2006

    Heck, I am considerably older than all of you and just started a credential program. If you want to teach, go for it. Just make sure you are doing it because you love it. We already have more than enough teachers who are in it just for a pay check.
     
  8. srh

    srh Devotee

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    Jul 13, 2006

    HA! I love telling this story...I went back to finish my BA at age 45 and started teacher ed at 47. I just finished my first year of teaching, at 49 (in fact, I'll turn 50 the first week of school next month, my second year). And I've never felt younger.

    Is it EVER too late? Nope! In fact, you're in much better shape than I--I'll have fewer "good" years to pay off all those loans!! I've always liked a quote from Dear Abby (it's on my fridge) that goes something like, "How old will you be if you DON'T _______?" I also left a 13-year position that paid 35% more than I make now. Does it matter? Well, it's an adjustment, but like you, I could not see myself finishing out my working days behind that particular desk. So, I say...GO FOR IT!!
     
  9. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Jul 13, 2006

    tif1, it's only too late if you let yourself think it is. Given your professional background, you could teach science or math, and if there's a state in the US that wouldn't be thrilled to acquire a science or math teacher who also has some experience of the world and human nature, I will be very surprised. (You want to come to California...?)
     
  10. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    There is no such thing as "Too old!!!!!" You're 34 now: in 4 years you'll be 38, regardless of whether or not you choose to switch careers. So why not go for it???

    I bet that, with your knowledge of chemistry, you could get alternative cert to teach Chem fairly easily if that's what you're considering!

    Either way, I say go for it!!!
     
  11. tif1

    tif1 New Member

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    Jul 13, 2006

    Thanks everyone for the encouragement and advice. I'm going to start looking into some local colleges.
     
  12. Ms.Jasztal

    Ms.Jasztal Maven

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    Jul 13, 2006

    My intern teacher from two years ago was a florist for several years... and I think she started her teaching career in her late 30s or early 40s.
     
  13. Lydia

    Lydia Rookie

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    Jul 13, 2006

    tif1,

    I'm kind of in the same position you are. I'm 32 and have been an attorney for 8 years. I'm burnt out, stressed out. Recently, I was an adjunct professor and learned I like teaching. Anyway, I just took the Praxis 1 in June. I have applied to one of the only teaching certification without master's programs in my general area (for secondary education, social studies). I've met with the admissions person. According to her, all I need are passing scores to be accepted full time. I'm very excited. Granted, it's a bit daunting that I'm starting a new career but I know it's the right decision.

    BTW, in taking the Praxis I, there was a wide range of ages. They varied from early 20s to a gentleman who I guess was about 60. So, you and I are right in the middle!
     
  14. srh

    srh Devotee

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    Jul 13, 2006

    It IS daunting, Lydia! But so rewarding, especially when you really have taken a "risk," financial or otherwise, to do it. Good luck in your pursuit too!

    Just curious (you don't have to answer!)--did you feel pressured to go into law initially, or did you "fall into" it, or always want to do it? My daughter just graduated from UC Irvine, and she's contemplating a couple of areas WAY outside her degree and original intent. It's all good, though. I think that these days it is easier than ever to "check things out" and even change your mind after a few years. A career choice does not have to be a one-time thing anymore, and that's good! :-D
     
  15. Lydia

    Lydia Rookie

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    Jul 13, 2006

    srh,

    No problem. I felt no pressure to go into law. I always wanted to do it. I enjoyed it for several years. I still enjoy certain aspects of it ... but there's a lot I don't enjoy. Personally, I found certain aspects to be very draining and figured now that my student loans are paid off, life's too short to be unhappy. Since I made my decision, I've encountered a lot of people who are either in their 2nd (or more) career or know someone who has done something similar.

    Thanks for the well wishes. It's been easy to second guess myself.
     
  16. srh

    srh Devotee

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    Wow. I'm just anticipating the day when I make the last loan payment...what a relief that must be!! But I'm glad I didn't let the fact that I couldn't really "afford it" keep me back. You'll be happy and well rewarded for your decision too (but not before even more second guessing!!)
     
  17. iluv1stgrd

    iluv1stgrd Rookie

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    Jul 14, 2006

    My first year teaching happened when I was 51 years old. Yeah, it was really hard for me; but if I can do it, I know you can! It has been the most rewarding job I have ever had. I wish I had done it 20 years ago!
     
  18. 2ndTimeArnd

    2ndTimeArnd Companion

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    Jul 14, 2006

    tif1: Well, it looks like there are a lot of us career-changers out there! I went back to school at age 47, found a program that allowed me to get all my teacher ed classes at the master's level (because
    I already had a B.A.) and at an accelerated pace ... I was done with classes and student teaching in a year. I'm now in my early 50s and about to go into my 4th year of teaching and only wish I had done it sooner. If your gut (and your heart) are telling you that you're not satisfied, you need to listen! Teaching is hard, but terrifically rewarding and never-ever boring. And I'm of the firm belief that older, 2nd career teachers h ave a lot to offer in the way of maturity, life experience and flexibility. Go for it!
     

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