Adult Returning to School? Becoming a Teacher?

Updated on July 19, 2010
P.G. asks from San Antonio, TX
6 answers

Hi Moms - I'm at a transition point in my life. Here's the background to my question. I have a 3.5 year old son who I've been lucky enough to be home with (as a work at home mom). He's recently started going to daycare part time, which I think is good for both of us. I've been floundering professionally for the last several years. Changed careers in the wake of Sept 11 (I was in NYC that day) - but it didn't work out; started my own business in March 08 - (son was born in April 07) - it was too much for me to deal with and closed it down. I've been working with a start-up company for the last few months but they've not quite found their footing. I'm not happy in this state of limbo and want to make a change.

I want to have a career where the schedule works reasonably well with my son's school schedule. I enjoy working with people. I want to help and contribute. I want to be creative. Both my husband and my sister (a recently retired teacher - 35 years teaching 3rd grade) think I would be really good at it. I think I could be as well. I don't need to set the world on fire, but I'd like to make a difference along the way. There are teachers that I really enjoyed, that made me feel good about being smart, made me enjoy learning, etc. I'd like to be one of those.

Can the teachers out there give me some thoughts on this change? I appreciate those who've made this mid-life career change, those who've worked in the DISD, RISD or PISD area (Dallas/Richardson/Plano).

I appreciate any info re. financial aid, etc. as well, as I already have a BA and would be returning to school to get certification. Thanks!

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answers from Dallas on

Check with the school districts to see what you need. I'm in Plano and I have subbed at the same elementary school since 2000. I could easily be there 3 + times a week but I prefer 1 day at most because we run our company from home.

Subbing is my "outlet" from the 24/7 micromanaging our company. I love it.

You might want to start as a sub to see if you love it. Secondly, they have aide jobs available as well where you are hands on with the children.

Another option is working for a Mother's Day out program.

I don't know the "rules" for getting a teaching certificate. I know with a college degree you can sub.

As for Financial Aid, that should be done through the place where you get your certification.

Best wishes to you! A LOT of subs have gone on to get certified for teaching. I love is very rewarding to me.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

I didn't become a teacher but I decided after my son was born to become a nurse. Going back to school was both invigorating and exhausting. I enjoyed going someplace where I got to be smart again. I enjoyed being challenged. The challenges of going back to school with a child are having less time with family and the financial burden. That being said if you have adequate childcare and a supportive partner- you CAN do it. I encourage it. On a side note there is a teacher at my son's school who decided he no longer wanted to be a banker and became a teacher. He's great. Having life experience is incredibly valuable when you start a new career. Good luck!

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answers from Reno on

If you have a lot of patience and think you might enjoy it, it may be quicker and easier to get into special ed. There are alternative certifications available in your area for special ed because it's an area that is continually short teachers..good luck:)



answers from Dallas on

What about subbing part time while your son is in daycare part time? PISD has a wonderful subbing progam!

Because you have a BA, the quickest way to get cert is through Alternative Certification Program- Texas Teachers or Region 10. You'll go through the program and take the tests you want to get cert in- EC-6 (i think they changed EC-4 through 6th grade) special ed K-12; etc... If you teach Middle or HS content specific classes, your BA needs to be in that area- math teachers need math background.

I went through Tx Teachers three years ago, it was $4000. I believe $1000 was due up front (i could be wrong!!) And the rest is paid out directly once you get hired on in a school district. There is no Fin Aid available. However, some districts require you to take add. tests- ESL- but they often give you incentive or stipend for it.

Overall, get your foot in the door the district by subbing!! It will get you aquainted with principals, teachers, and schools!!!

Good luck and God Bless



answers from Chicago on

I'm not in your state, but there is a program at my local college for already having a masters. The program is just taking the courses needed to work in the educational field you want. Maybe a college near you will have something similar so you'll be done sooner.



answers from Boston on

I'm a teacher.

I think you should start with subbing to see if you like it, as there's virtually no risk in doing that. With the economy being what it is, there are hundreds of applicants for every opening (at least around here) and many schools are laying off rather than hiring.

And I think you should think long and hard about the idea that the schedule works with your son's schedule. Yes, summers would be the same. But teachers hours are much longer than student's hours, especially at the beginning. I teach high school, but the elementary school teachers I'm friends with drop their kids off at daycare at 7am and pick them up at 5. There's just so much more than classroom time - there's set up and planning and grading and prepping and parent meetings and and and...

Anyway, not to discourage you. I've been teaching 10 years and I still love it. I know some mid-life career-change teachers who have been really happy to have made the switch. But if a large part of the appeal is the time thing, don't do it. If you would want to do it even though it would likely be a very full time job for at least the first few years, try subbing. If you like that, look into masters programs, knowing that getting hired will be hit-or-miss for a little bit.

Good luck!

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