I have decided that my ultimate goal is to be a special education teacher But I am wondering if I should take a non-education job while I go through school to get certified (M.A.T. route) or if I should keep my current education-related job for the experience, foot in the door, etc. I got hired earlier in the year as a special ed para in a middle school, but quit after two months (in order to focus more on a non-education degree that I still did not end of finishing...long story, huge regret ) Come Feb., I ended up getting hired as a kinder para and, though it was extraordinarily tough, I finished out (read: survived) the year The pay isn't great and I would need to get a second job because of my upcoming student loan repayments. I thought about quitting the para job and going into corrections (working at a jail ) for about a year/year and half in order to cash flow my education (so I won't have to take out any more loans). I am wondering how this would look to the education community when it comes time for me to look for a teacher job. Will I look uncommitted because of the job hopping? Would you just grin and bear it through another student loan in order to finish the cert program sooner? WWYD? All advice much appreciated!