Finding My Passion in Work

Updated on April 14, 2014
A.F. asks from Bellmore, NY
8 answers

I am a mother of two daughters; one is five and the other is six days old! My educational background is in education. I have a Bachelor's degree in elementary education and a master's degree in Reading. I taught elementary school in a rough neighborhood for over eight years in grades K, 1 and 2.

I wasn't happy as a teacher though. I didn't like who I was and was often angry and depressed. Right before I got married in 2007, I decided to give up my tenure in the city (NY) and quit my job. Then I tried a middle school which I liked but after a very temporary reading position (leave replacement) ended, I was considered a permanent substitute.

Then my husband got the job offer of a lifetime (I guess!) in Dallas, Texas. I had to quit that job and I decided to substitute until our first daughter was born. Long story short, the job only lasted a year and a half and we had to move back home to NY. I stayed home with Alyssa for two and a half years. Then I needed a change.

Up until two weeks ago, I was employed in another middle school as an aide or Paraprofessional, I worked one-on-one with a different autistic or learning disabled student. I really liked working at this school for a number of reasons. The job was so close to home and my coworkers were wonderful. As an aide, I mostly worked with women who were much older than me with grown children. And because the main requirement was a high school diploma, the pay was so low. It only really covered the daycare Alyssa has been in.

I really liked working in this school but now I have another baby. I wouldn't put a baby this young in daycare and Alyssa will go to Kindergarten in September. I need to hire someone to put her on the bus and possibly take her off the bus until I get home if I get another job.

In a year or so I think I will really want to be around adults again in a work setting. I get lonely easily and when I was home for so long, I guess I felt unproductive at times. I need a routine or schedule after awhile to have a purpose to my day. The best way for me to make good money is to go back to teaching at some point if I can get a job.

I remember spending part of the weekend or all weekend doing lesson plans before i had kids. I could just imagine having to go to the library to do plans.And now with the Common Core, teaching has definitely changed. Working in the middle school, sometimes I thought about going back to school for middle school certification to teach English. I really like to write. But I'm basing this idea on the school I was in. Who knows where I would be offered a job? Might be a rough school district.

Just trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up! Just kidding. Trying to find my passion. Side note: I used to always want to work with the deaf but thought teaching academic subjects in sign language gave me anxiety. I also have thought about being a Speech Therapist in a school but that requires a lot of schooling and focus. I'm not sure I am disciplined to follow through with the work load to do that now with kids. I really like working a school though.

Sorry this is so long. Any advice? Thank you!

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So What Happened?

Thanks everyone for your responses. I will think about your suggestions. As for my husband taking care of the girls on a regular basis, that doesn't work for us. My husband works nights and often either naps during the day. Sometimes he works nights and part of the day. Tutoring is out or I'd have to pay for child care at 3:00. But thanks for the idea.

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answers from Honolulu on

Well, being a speech therapist is a really awesome career in my opinion. That's what I do, so I'm a little impartial. But I think you have a lot of different options here.
Have you thought about teaching classes for homeschooler or tutoring? A lot of districts are relying on Speech therapy assistants and there wouldn't be much additional schooling needed. Depending on the district, many of them make close to a classroom teacher without having to make lesson plans or maintain a classroom. They also don't have to deal with parents directly as the supervising slp does that. Or you could look into being a reading specialist. Another in demand position that depending on the format doesn't require as much planning or responsibility for an entire class all day.
Good Luck

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answers from Oklahoma City on

Please consider adults.

With your masters degree you might be an excellent match for a jr college/2 year college.

All my teachers had masters and seemed very happy. Most of them worked during the day and those that worked evenings often had daytime jobs so they wanted evenings.

I think it's a good fit for you. Not a ton of hours out of school and still on the same kids schedule for semesters.

There is also the work you can do with developmental disabilities. You could learn sign language on the side for your own self. Once you're proficient in it then you may feel more comfortable using it every day. My friend who has a deaf son is an aid. She goes to every class with a young lady and interprets for her.

It's not an ideal world and many of us have to take any job we can. You have the opportunity to have just about any job you want. Finding out what the job is may take some time.

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answers from Dallas on

It sounds like you do love the education field. I am in the Dallas area and there is a shortage of Special Ed teachers.

I am a long term substitute,, 13 yrs. My hubby and I run our profitable and very busy company from home and I still have to get my 'fix" be being in the classroom a few times a month. I don't have to deal with child care but my subbing for fun brings in about $500 a month which is my fun money.

Since you have a good relationship with the past schools where you were involved... what about talking to those teachers and guidance counselors and be a tutor. If you tutor (MANY kids need a good tutor), you set your own hours which are mainly afterschool and weekends. Your hubby might be able to watch your children while you meet your students at the library for tutoring.

A lot of the good tutors around here are present teachers looking to earn extra money, teachers on maternity leave, teachers who are being SAHM while children are small, etc.

Academic tutors around here easily get $50/hour, especially from a certified teacher.

We opted to use tutors for our daughter, now 19 and Freshman in college, as an enrichment. It was money very well spent because her tutor helped her become a great writer and it has paid off for her to graduate with honors from High School and currently holds a 4.0 on college. We still have a close relationship with her tutor and credit her for helping our daughter so much.

For what it is worth, if you love education and want to stay in it, this could be an option.

Best wishes and congratulations on your new bundle of joy!

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answers from Colorado Springs on

I'm assuming that you're just thinking this through. You know not to make any huge decisions right now. Your hormones, and thus your emotions, are still, um, in an interesting way.

So let's speak theoretically. You like to be productive. Does productivity have to mean financially productive? If it doesn't, you could look around for volunteer activity in your fields. And Dallas, being the large city is it, certainly has a need for you. You could be very productive and help change people's lives while still giving tender care to your family. Give it some thought while you're enjoying your girls. Congratulations on your new little one!

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answers from Boston on

Reading your second paragraph, I wondered what you disliked about teaching at that point. If it was the schedule, the work to do at home, the contact with administration or parents, and/or the politics, then I think you probably will find that all or these are equally or more significant now than at that time. I know that my responsibilities grew every year, and by the time I retired 5 years ago, I worked 7 days a week, 11 months of the year. No complaints. I loved my position, my children and their parents. But I'm aware that some found the schedule and expectations very stressful.

The interesting aspect of subbing or being a para-professional for short periods of time, is that you get to avoid much of that, and you get to teach those wonderful children. Of course the pay is a consideration for many, but you need to figure out if it is a consideration for you. If not then you may be very happy with a para position. All my best.

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answers from Kansas City on

If you really like writing, and are good at it, you could look into work from home freelance writing jobs. I know other moms do it, but I don't personally know how to get into it. That might be something to help you in the interim.

If you like working one on one with kids, you could try looking into tutoring.

If you really like schedules and routines, and with your teaching background, you could do a small daycare in your home. Our daughter's first daycare was a lady who had quit teaching kindergarten/special ed to move with her husband so he could go to school and she was awesome. From working with kids in a school setting, you know that it takes routine and schedules and stuff to watch kids, and you could offer preschool stuff that would be valuable. Or maybe you could look into a daycare center. I know the ones around here offer discounts for kids of moms who work there, so you could still see your kids a lot even though they were in daycare. My daughter is in 1st grade and her daycare does before and after school care, so she gets dropped off and has breakfast, and they pick her up and give her a snack and help with homework until we get off work.

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answers from Austin on

You are back in New York, right? Is your teaching certificate still valid?

What about getting your Special Education certification? You already have a background in education, and it seems that you enjoyed the work with individuals or smaller groups.

There are many facets in SPED, depending on how your school district does it. At my middle school, we have 2 self-contained classrooms for children with multiple disabilities, resource classes (Language Arts and Math, for specific students... often very small classes), a Dyslexia/Reading teacher, and many inclusion students. Sometimes the inclusion students have a para in the class for a short time. Many of these students are serviced by paraprofessionals. (I realize you said that being a para doesn't really pay enough to pay for childcare... I totally understand that.. I'm a para, and bring home very little after paying for insurance and deductions.) Right now, we have a total of 6 full-time SPED teachers and 7 paraprofessionals, I think.

Also, check into the requirements in your state about certification and getting additional certifications. In Texas, if you are currently certified, all you have to do is take the test for additional certification areas. You don't have to go to school for additional classwork if you feel you can pass the test.

Good luck!

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answers from Pittsburgh on

What about a learning center that does tutoring? You could work evenings/weekends when your husband is home, so no daycare costs. And you would get the fulfillment of working and some extra $. It wouldn't be full time, but it sounds like you might be happy with part time work.

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