T.A. asks from Wakefield, MA on November 08, 2008
Career Change to Education
I was wondering if there were many Mom's out there that have made a career change after working in the corporate world for 20 years and gone back to school and became a teacher? I'm considering the change to do something I'm very interested in and also getting the benefit of being able to be there for my children as they are going through school and having time with them in the summers.
1 mom found this helpful
So What Happened?™
Thank you all for your great responses. It was very helpful to read through so many words of wisdom from everyone. I have considered nursing as another option as well. However I think I do need to do some more digging to determine what direction is really best for me, personally, emotionally and passionately. I completely am aware of how many extra hours are spent by teachers outside the classroom. I am still amazed at how much teachers do. I appreciate your feedback and if I come to any decisions in the near future, I'll be letting everyone know. If I make the change, I"ll be looking for more advice for sure! Thanks again. T.
D.N. answers from Hartford on November 09, 2008
I find teaching to be very rewarding as well, but I do have to tell anyone thinking of becoming a teacher that teacher's jobs are painted by society as being much easier than they are. It is a very demanding job and requires a lot more time after school. If you love kids and love the idea of teaching it is a dream job, but it is still a ton of work!
D.M. answers from Providence on November 09, 2008
Hi T....I am actually a teacher considering a career change when I am ready to go back to work. Now, I do not want you to change your mind but I just want you to see the other side before you start taking classes.
Teaching is a very demanding job. It is not a 9-3 job, you always have to take school home with you, planning, correcting, etc. And the money is not great to say the least and teachers in this area are not high in demand so the salary won't be raising anytime soon.
However if you really have you heart set on teaching I did love it (before my own children). You do get holidays and summers off...BUT have you considered nursing? That is a career VERY high in demand and is even more flexible than teaching (plus you can make a ton more money). If you work in a hospital setting you could work perdeum and work as little as 8 hours every 2 weeks and just add hours when ever you want and whenever you don't like on a school field trip day or parent teacher conference, or in the summer...you don't!
Just thoughts...my mind is racing for a career change in a few years too! I hope you find your passion. Remember you don't work a day in your life if you love what you do, right?
C.L. answers from Hartford on November 09, 2008
I went to law school in my 30s with one son, and had my secon while in law school.
It is a decision I have never regretted, and my oldest always told me how proud he was of me for going to school. Did he like it when I had to study for the bar? Not one bit, but I made it up to him and I have never been happier.
I say - GO FOR IT! You will be one of the best teacher's out there I'm sure because you will bring a world of experience and patience.
L.Z. answers from Boston on November 09, 2008
Hi T.! I am a grade 5 teacher and I always have been, so I never made a change from anything else, but I can tell you the benefits of being a teacher and having kids. You are right about the schedule and the summers... it is great to be able to leave the "office" at 3:30 and not be viewed as leaving early, but, the trade-off is that we start a lot earlier in the morning than many businesses and there is basically no flexibility with that. In other words, when the kids get there, you have to be there, even if you wanted to run a couple of errands or something! It also depends what level you teach. My husband teaches high school and is in the car by 6:30 a.m. daily since they start a lot earlier. The summers are wonderful - no two ways about it. I would never deny that we are lucky for that. But again, education is full of trade-offs, and people who don't teach don't understand that teachers AND kids need that summer to recharge and refresh. Teaching is VERY mentally and physically tiring, and having done it for 11 years I can say that without time away from the rigid structure of the classroom, I would not be effective for new classes every year!
The only real drawback I feel as I work and have a very young family is that you can't just leave the job at the job with teaching... you really do take it home with you, whether it's grading papers, thinking about a student, answering parent emails, etc. I make a conscious effort daily to leave at a reasonable hour and leave the work on my desk so I can spend time with my OWN kids. It can be tough (my gradebook is sitting here in front of me, waiting for grades to be averaged for report cards!). I do love it though and I wish you luck as you ponder this exciting change!! Let me know if you have any questions or if you are going to pursue elementary education and need any tips!
L.R. answers from Boston on November 09, 2008
I can't say that I've worked in the corporate world, but I've been a high school and middle school teacher for about five years. Recently, after my son was born, I changed over to teaching college students. In any teaching profession, the hours are great for family. However, the drawbacks are your never ending prep work and correcting on weekends. Also, discipline in schools these days is a huge issue.
I can only make you aware of the pros and cons. If you're really interested in teaching, it can be very rewarding and they desperately need good teachers out there...good luck!
C.M. answers from Boston on November 10, 2008
I second Millie's response! Be sure to get in there and observe before making any commitments. I was a high school department chair before leaving to be a SAHM. The quick teacher ed. programs leave out a very critical component--classroom management. We would have people start in Sept. and quit 2 weeks in because they couldn't believe the amount of management and non-teaching involved in the profession. One guy couldn't believe that the kids didn't sit there with their feet still, hands folded, listening to him with rapt attention. I think he lasted 2 weeks, if that.
L.B. answers from Boston on November 09, 2008
Like the below, I am a teacher and have always been one.
Someone mentioned 9-3:30 and being able to leave.....
The other side also needs to mention that you will be required to stay for meetings sometimes til 4, you do get a lot of sick time, but unfortunately you tend to have to use them for when your kids are sick... if you are out taking them to much, it is frowned upon believe it or not.
As a teacher, we are also required to be there on duty some evenings during the year for open house, parent teacher conferences, special occaisions (we just did a family night and sad for me, a single mom, it was on the last day of my child's soccer program).
Summers are great to have off with your children. A lot of us take courses in the summer to keep certification current. It is better to take courses over the summer than during the school year when so much more is going on.
Good luck to you in your school work.
M.H. answers from Springfield on November 09, 2008
Although teaching is a very noble profession- one for which I have the highest respect for- I would do yourself the favor of doing some 'observation' work for the grade/area that you are interested in before you matriculate in such a strenuous and demanding degree.
I went to a college that is noted for the teaching academia and it was part of their program. I only wish I hadn't been through a year of that major before I decided (by doing the observations) that it wasn't for me!
J.S. answers from Boston on November 09, 2008
Another thing to consider if you happen to live and plan to work in Massachusetts. Teachers do not put into Social Security. Instead, they put into a teachers retirement system, contributions are mandatory (currently 11% pretax income). It is illegal to pull from both a state pension plan and SS. You will have to either give up your SS benefits or the pension. Not exactly an incentive to change careers, although there are probably other incentives that may make up for that.
And, as many already noted, outside of summer vacation, there is little time-benefit to becoming a teacher. Friends of mine consider teaching a "part-time" job, but the 12 hour days I put in for 7 years before becoming a SAHM say otherwise. If I could go back and do it again, I would have become a nurse, physicians assistant, or doctor. Especially nursing would have a flexible schedule. Definitely not something teachers have.