View Full Version : Any teachers in the house?
08-04-2011, 01:46 PM
My wife is now considering a career change and is considering teaching. She has a bachelor's in Atmospheric Science, and would like to teach math or science at the junior high/high school level. We do have friends who are teachers who like their jobs, and we do know the process which she needs to go through, however - she's a member of another forum which has a teaching subforum. She posed her question, and there was so much negativity it has her second guessing.
Most of the responders had all been teaching for 15+ years, and most all would not've gone into the profession if they "knew then what they know now." They cited politics, the "no child left behind" act, incompetant administrators and overly demanding parents, etc. They were also saying there's little demand for teachers, even in math and science...
Does anyone regret becoming a teacher? I read through a couple old threads, and it seems the responses were pretty posititve, although there may be more college professors than jr high/high school teachers here...
08-04-2011, 02:08 PM
I am 10 years in and have mixed feelings. I teach 8th grade American History but an also elementary and high school certified. Let me be clear, I love my job and am not sure what else I would do because I have wanted that career since I was 10.
But it is not about summers off and snow days. Education is being dismantled and destroyed in America. I cannot believe how little value is placed on it and cannot even imagine what it will be in another 10 years.
I would advise your wife to strongly think about her rationale for being a teacher and seeing if she's in it for the right reasons. If so, it is a rewarding career. But the stress of the job would probably come as a surprise to people who think we are glorified babysitters or believe all the rhetoric in the news about our educational system.
08-04-2011, 02:17 PM
It's an honorable profession, but you have to approach it that way yourself, or else all of the negatives and distractions you will hear about will overcome that sense of honor.
You have to believe that the future matters, and you have to believe in "giving back" to others (esp. the students, of course), even though you yourself may not live to see the results or get any kind of recognition for these things.
You have to believe in the powers and benefits of the intellect and reason, and you have to believe that knowledge bears fruits, for individuals and for society as a whole.
Now: your assignment for tomorrow is to contrast this with at least three other professions where the only motive is making money or acquiring power.
08-04-2011, 02:29 PM
I don't like you people.
I'm in high school....some words of advice....If you wanna become a teacher, PLEASE remember not to get overly mad about little things. One punctuation error (not mine) sent my english teacher into a tirade last year....now I have her class in a few weeks...:worried
08-04-2011, 02:35 PM
The little things separate the good from the average. Average gets you a set of steak knives and a dinner at Arbys. If you want to ride in the limo, make the effort. I see it every day in my professional life. The clear thinker will win and score big. Each activity, its all about organizing multiple complex environments and simplifying the complex.
08-04-2011, 02:52 PM
my wife eaerned a BS and MS in Materials Science Engineering and worked that career for ~7 years until we started our family - she wanted to be a SAHM and did so for ~10 or so years ... during that time, she decided she wanted to become a special ed teacher .. so she took the classes at night and slogged through the ridiculous bureaucracy and dead ends of wrong, contradictory, or 'unknown' information, she got her certification and was even certified to teach 2nd-ary math given how many math courses an engineer with a MS degree takes .. she tried elementary for a few years and had some 'ok' co workers but a LOT of dolts ... decided to try middle school and got assigned to coteach math at a 'troubled' school ... her administrators were terrible and made the bad situation worse -her co teachers were attrocious .... her special ed students were comingled with the 'low track' students ... she saw students with terrible behviour problems not dealt with and allowed to ruin the educational experience for the other students ... despite it all, she helped many of her students make solid progress ... during the 09-10 school year, the school, as a whole, did not make AYP for NCLB purposes so she was threatened repeatedly the next year with being fired ... they were giving her more work than a 'gen ed' teacher ON TOP OF her special ed casework and LESS in-school planning time than a typical gen ed teacher ... against the backdrop of this hostility, she endured but with a heavy toll against her emotional health ... they MADE AYP this past year but administration promised MORE work and hardship for the spec ed teachers in the year to come ... she put in for a transfer out of special ed and ended up at our successful neighborhood middle school teaching GT kids math only and expects to be much happier
her personal motto is 'to be as good a teacher as i would want for my own kids' ... she has had WAY more colleagues that she would NOT want our kids to have as teachers ... there have been popular press reports abouthow the overwhelming majority of teachers come from thebottom 20% of grauduating classes ... she had days when she thought even that was generaous estimate ... and then when you look at which teacehrs go into administration, it is even more pathetic ...
teachiing aint for sissys - my hats off to the good ones .. but the bad ones should be ashamed of themselves
i hope the OPs wife has eyes wide open as she embarks on this
i wish her the best of luck
08-04-2011, 03:20 PM
Many public school systems suck. Have your wife find one of the better ones. Those are usually the school systems with the better pay, because that is where the good teachers work. If you're in some school no one cares about, then you are going to be working with teachers who cannot work anywhere else.
Do not fall for that hero bs. You do a lot better if you are not out to save the world. A professional approach to education, rather than a personal one, is better for the kids.
Wanting to give the education you would want your kids to have is certainly well intentioned. It means that she will do her best, but what that education will actually look like is anyones guess. Effective teachers combine the zeal with preparation and academic rigor.
Some people work themselves into the ground. Good teaching is hard work, and it will drain you. Make sure to pace yourself and enjoy your time off.
She might want to look into private schools. Some of them suck too, but many are outstanding and incompetance is not acceptable.
In a good situation teaching is a good way to live. In a bad situation it will make you old fast.
08-04-2011, 03:24 PM
I work for a school system and see the day to day life of teachers and know many of them well. I work for a great school system so most of the teachers are great and just about all of them are good people too. Ive never seen a group of people care more about anything than they do, collectively, about doing right for the kids they teach. Its a shame to always have to hear people disparaging teachers and the work they do.
If your wife has a real passion for teaching then the answer is "yes". If she wants to do it for any other reason my advice would be not to do it. If you have a passion for teaching you will love it, it will make you happy for the most part and you will not regret it. The one single thing I see among all the great teachers and administrators is that they all have a passion for the field. They all have ups and downs, but the great teachers are all passionate about what they do and the subjects they teach.
08-04-2011, 03:38 PM
I'll be starting my 22nd year in education (16 as a teacher; 6 as a counselor), this fall. I've been blessed to have had some unique and interesting jobs (including being a professional athlete). Being an educator has been both the most difficult and the most rewarding.
Teaching is not a "job", it's a career. Educators are the lowest paid professionals, given the amount of education required. Public education, in particular, has had a target on it's back, for years. The climate has intensified with the shift in our nation's political climate (NCLB is only a small part of that) and with the change in family values and structure.
In order to be a successful teacher, you must have a passion for what you teach. More than that, you must have an altruistic, idealistic nature; especially, as pertains to the students.
Teaching isn't about a traditional work day. Teachers grade student work and contact parents, outside the school day (and their contract hours). In most places, the school year runs from September to June. "Summers off" are, often, spent taking graduate level courses, in order to maintain or advance your credential. "Job security" is tenuous, as we are government employees, paid by tax dollars.
I can't recommend a career in education, highly enough. It's important work. At the same time, my recommendation comes with caveats. Your wife needs to do her research. Math, science, and special ed (my hat's off to them, in particular, as they are required to both teach and case manage their students) are, typically, in demand (especially, females in science and math). There are many variables that impact the quality of one's experience (the national/state/community political climate, school district, the school board, the school, the administrator, the staff, the students, and the parents, in particular).
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