Work and Career Changer

Updated on July 13, 2010
A.F. asks from Bellmore, NY
5 answers

Just wondering if anyone has been a teacher at one point and didn't like it so you found a different career path. I was an elementary school teacher for eight years and wasn't happy. Most of the teaching was for first and second grade.
In another state, I briefly taught fifth grade English Language Arts and Social Studies. I thought changing schools was the answer not to mention the kids were much older than what I was used to. I won't go into details about that experience except I couldn't accept the fact that I was doing more work for less pay because teachers get paid less in that state than NY. And being a regular elementary teacher, I was not prepared to have the added responsibility of a disabled student in my class without a para. To this day I feel guilty about that because I have always been interested in disabilities mainly the deaf. The disabled student was a terrific kid, I just didn't know how to stay on top of everything plus modify instruction for him.
I tend to go back and forth with the possibility of substituting for some extra money or pursuing another career entirely. I don't want to make the "wrong decision" again but I know many people change careers all the time. Thank you for the advice.

P.S. Currently I am a SAHM to a beautiful little girl.

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So What Happened?

Thanks everyone who responded. Some of you said that once you did your student teaching, you knew becoming a teacher wasn't for you. I wish I knew that then myself. My experiences during student teaching were pretty good. Then I was assigned a tough school in a tough neighborhood. There was a brief time period after I had taught the first two years where I could've changed gears. I thought I needed to keep trying and not give up though. Always wonder what "could've been" had I changed careers then.

To someone named Riley: The way you put it "The Devil You Know" syndrome ( I never heard of that but it made a lot of sense. I guess I am afraid to do something completely different because "what if" I don't like that career? However, doing the same thing all the time is only reminding me how stuck I keep myself not to mention "safe." Thank you!

More Answers



answers from Hartford on

sounds kinda like me! I went to school for 10 years (PT) to be a k-6 teacher and after student teaching I knew it was not for the kids hate the politics of it all (long story short). I am now a SAHM and dreading going back to work, even though it wont be for a long time. there are many things you can do that si related to that.....what did you like about teaching? telling me that will help: I liked the kids, teaching, helping stuff like that so I was a parent educator for a while pre baby and I ran childrens groups too so I was in touch w/ the kids. if you dont know what that is then you can email me and I can explain a bit more. maybe you can be an educational consultant for child care centers? teach in a univer.? teach people how to be teachers? these are things I have thought about. good luck! dont do something you hate, life it toooooo short!!!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Fresno on

The year after college, I did my student teaching year and decided that year was enough to last me a lifetime.

I ended up getting a job through a headhunter - as an executive assistant to a VP in a construction company. I found that I loved construction! I loved reading plans, talking with the estimators, doing job walks, visiting the site during construction... I even loved negotiating with the subcontractors after the job and then finalizing all the costs and paperwork. I talked to as many people as I could to learn more about the industry and how to do different aspects of the business. My boss and others noticed and I was promoted into positions with more and more responsibility. It was just happenstance that I fell into a career that I love and have been able to make it my own over the years.

If you think you may want to try a different career, you could try either an internship (if you have an idea of a career you might like), or try being a temp. That way you can get an idea of what you're jumping into before you have to commit to it. Just a thought!

Good luck and don't be afraid to try something new if that's what you want.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Albany on

But there are so very MANY different kind of teachers! Can you try to use your degree in a completely different area, like from grade school to high school, or vice versa, or go back to school and work on a doctorate for teaching at the college level? Or for special ed?

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answers from Seattle on

LOL... you've got the "devil you know" syndrome going on.

Let me put it this way: You know you don't like x, so rather than try y ... because you also might not like it... you'll stick with x because you already know you don't like it?

It's better (IMO) to try 5 things you don't like, to get to the 6th that you DO like... than to just stay with "yuck" because it's familiar.

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answers from Atlanta on

I taught for 4 years, and in hindsight I wish I had taken a pay cut and switched school systems, but I stayed where I was and got really burned out! I left teaching 12 years ago, and while there's a lot that I miss about it, I have to say -I've gotten paid much more for less work and a lot more respect elsewhere! You never can know for certain what other careers you'll enjoy, but I kind of fell into technical writing. I did that for years and then moved into product marketing. After taking 4 years off to have my children and be home with them a bit, I'm back as both a tech writer AND a marketing director for a company! I'm over the tech writing, but it's exciting to get into marketing and what I've felt called to do for awhile. Without knowing what your teaching field is, I don't know what else to tell you -but try! You don't have to stay in one thing forever. You can change if you don't like it! I taught high school English, so the tech writing and marketing writing wasn't that much of a stretch.

1 mom found this helpful
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