If you're a teacher

  1. If you're a teacher could you tell me some pros and cons of it? My friend just called me and told me she was thinking of changing her major from secondary education to something else. I couldn't think of any pros or cons to tell her. She seems stuck in the middle.
     
  2. I am a teacher with a certification grades PK-3 to 8 however I've taught only at the Kindergarten level. Its not an easy job but it is very rewarding. Bonus to any teaching position is the myriad of holidays plus, winter, spring and summer hiatus.
     
  3. I'm not a teacher, but my mom has been teaching for almost 30 years. She has taught almost every grade from adults wanting to get their GEDs to high schoolers, and now she teaches dual language (English/Spanish) geography to 6th-graders. From what she has told me, the pros are definitely the hours and the holidays. She works 7a-3p, has off the regular public school system holidays as well as the vacations (spring break, summer vacation, winter break, etc.).

    The benefits are also great. She is a part of the Florida Retirement System, has health insurance at no cost (for single coverage) and is entitled to other benefits that state employees are.

    Not to mention, the job is rewarding. It is tiring - I know she is constantly on her feet. But she has told me that teaching is the only job she ever imagined doing :smile:
     
  4. well, secondary education is good, because if she wants to change later on, she will still have a degree to fall back on (math, science, english, etc.). I got my degree in elementary education and there's not much else you can do with that.

    this is my third year teaching and it really is the hardest job ever. benefits are great if you're in the public school system. hours & vacations too. but they pay isn't that great (at least down here in FL) and I don't make enough to live on my own (live with parents). I seem to go through this every day ... some days are rewarding, but others are pure hell. I have taught every grade in middle school and am now teaching prek-2nd grade computers.

    I am in the midst of getting my masters degree and am probably going to switch to something in education, but not teaching. I am a bit burned out and itching to get a place of my own. I have the utmost respect for those who can teach for 30 years.
     
  5. Truthfully???? I am a teacher & hated every minute of it, sorry not for me especially as it has become more about paperwork now than actual teaching. Only thing to recommend it for me when I was doing it was the long holidays.
     
  6. I've been a middle school teacher for 8 years now and I absolutely love it.

    PROS: (just a short list off of the top of my head)

    - getting to know the kids and watching them learn and grow
    - there is never a dull moment (I couldn't imagine a job where I would have to do the same thing each day)
    - you have the opportunity to make a difference in someone's life
    - there are so many opportunities to do things besides teach your content area (advise clubs, coach sports, etc)
    - good health benefits and pension
    - vacations (however, there is often work to be done during the breaks)
     
  7. Good for you for getting your master's! I need to get off my lazy butt :p

    Teaching is difficult, and I think many teachers experience burnout. I do wish they would pay teachers more, that seems to be the complaint I hear most from new teachers. Especially here in Palm Beach County, the salary is not even close to what can afford a home in this area, with today's housing costs, insurance, taxes, etc. It is driving a lot of teachers out of this area, which is a bad thing. We need good teachers here.

     
  8. I was a teacher but after University I went into a different career. The best part of teaching is being able to watch children learn and grow. The downfalls for me was the salary and the lack of freedom. I disliked that everything in my day was scripted by bells!
     
  9. My degree is in special ed and I've been teaching two year olds in a preschool. I love it's rewarding. but it wears you down so quickly. the prep is insane. I'm finding while I love what I do, I would love someone to just give me mundane tasks to accomplish. ie leave work at work not take it home with me every nite.
     
  10. Thanks all. I'll tell her these. It sucks teachers don't have great salaries. :sad:
     
  11. I've been teaching for 11 years. A lot has changed in the teaching profession since I first began teaching and a lot of it has to do with the No Child Left Behind Act. Test scores and academics are stressed over everything else and teachers are under a tremendous pressure to get kids to pass the state tests. I used to love teaching but now I am considering leaving the profession and going into private consulting. I come from a long line of teachers, my mother is a retired teacher, my father a retired administrator and my husband left the business industry to teach. It is true that you have weekends and vactions off, however, most teachers take a lot of their work home. If you're not correcting papers, creating homework, exams, or lesson plans, you're worrying about your students. Also, I've found that a lot of the things I need to be successful at my job need to be purchased out of my own pocket, i.e. computer, printers, books, etc. Lastly, I have three college degrees, and have done all the necassary work to get to the highest paying class in the district that I work at, that along with 11 years with the same company earn me 1/3 of the salary that other professionals with my credentials/expereince, etc. earn. That's the dismal part of the job, as for the perks...well, nothing can compare with the ability that you have to change, even save a life, make a difference, to know that the future literally lies in your hands. Seeing your kids years after you've had them in your class and hearing them to say how much you've changed their life, made a difference....that makes it all worth it!!!
     
  12. This is my fourth year teaching 4th grade and it definitely has its ups and downs. I agree with a lot of what Rileygirl said in her post. The pressure to get your students to pass the state performance tests is higher than I ever imagined. I didn't think I was getting into teaching to primarily "teach the tests." So much of the school year becomes about "skilling and drilling" these poor kids and important components of a well-rounded education like exploration, discovery and hands-on learning are pushed aside. In my case for example, we had a state test in February and two more are coming up in April. Since January, I've been basically directed to ignore social studies and science in order to heavily concentrate on the testing subjects of writing, math and reading. Needless to say, I hate this part of teaching.

    At this point, I don't see myself staying in teaching until I retire. I know I'm at least giving it another year but after that, I'm just not sure.
     
  13. I agree. I left secondary school teaching because :

    1. Lack of parental support for what you do
    2. Badly brought up kids (and I was quite strict with them)
    3. Can only have hols when it's the school hols (can't just have a day off when I want - like I can now)
    4. No free evenings or weekends - all taken up with marking and prep work.
    5. The holidays were no compensation - I used to feel shattered at the end of each term - also had to work some holidays as well - going into school to do stuff, marking, prep work etc etc.
    6. Had to go on holidays in school hols at the most expensive times of the year (even though I didn't have my own children) and everywhere i went it was busy - full of families and kids (couldn't get away from them even on vacation)
    7. No breaks during the working day - often went without lunch as had to give kids detention, give them extra tuition so I often went without a drink or food. Even sometimes had to ask another teacher to look after my class just so that I could visit the toilet (or "restroom" to Americans).
    8. Trying to teach a class of kids if you're feeling mildly unwell (headache, cold etc) is a nightmare. You lose your voice within a few hours.
    9. Often had to supervise kids in the clubs at the end of school - making the day longer.
    10. Teaching and taking out kids is now a legal nightmare - in case anything goes wrong - you can end up being sued (or worse). Happened to a teacher in my school.
    11. Fed up of sorting out petty disputes between kids (and their families as wel who had outside vendettas).
    12. Constant interfering by Government - paperwork, curriculum changes, different policies. ARGH !!
    13. Having to supply the school with my own wages - e.g. buying books, pens etc

    The school I was in - everyone who could just got out of teaching. The only ones left were the ones out of college who were still bright eyed and bushy tailed and the older ones who didn't want their pensions affected by leaving the profession.
     
  14. Agree with all this. I too hated the pressure of lack of flexibility. Not like any other job where you could ask for am hour off in an emergency & even going to the toilet such a big deal!
     
  15. I have my teaching credentials and have been subbing for the past 2 years. I just decided to have a career change just because of everything Jimmychoochoos said and more! I have seen alot of my friends get jobs right away and hate it now. They're actually the ones who told me to look at other options. But alot has to do with which district/school you work at as well. The good districts/schools are MUCH harder to get a job at. I've been subbing at inner city schools and pretty good school districts and can see a big difference.

    Although I will say it was VERY rewarding, especially when you've made an impact on a child. I do have a feeling that I may want to go back when my 'kids' are older.