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teaching as second career
Old 03-23-2008, 02:49 PM   #1
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teaching as second career

Hi,

Has anyone tried secondary school teaching as a second career? Experiences? Recommend it?

Am 51, retiring from career in university administration.

Thank you,

Piano
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After 50 you get a little less energetic
Old 03-23-2008, 11:27 PM   #2
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After 50 you get a little less energetic

Hi Piano,
I think it's great you want to be a teacher, and there is certainly a developing teacher shortage. I'm 61 years old and still teaching after 36 years, but most of my teaching has been overseas in American type international schools. I will semi-retire this year.

My suggestion to you is to perhaps do part-time teaching initially. I say that because when I was in my 20's, 30's and 40's, I could bounce around the school and have the energy to be very effective. I definitely have found less energy after 50, and it does not relate really to my physical health. It's just that the work of a teacher involves an energy level that you begin to lose when you're over 50.

This is only my opinion. I suppose if you taught one subject all day, that would be better. However, make sure the school does not overload you with 4 different preps like I have this year.

Regards,
Rob
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Old 03-24-2008, 05:42 AM   #3
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Hi,

Has anyone tried secondary school teaching as a second career? Experiences? Recommend it?

Am 51, retiring from career in university administration.

Thank you,

Piano
Good Luck.. I taught at the high school level for almost 30 years, took an early retirement a year ago, do some part time teaching now. In North Carolina, oh No Unions down here.

I am on my way to my part time teaching gig in about 45 mins. I first get to stand outside as a crossing guard for the first 35 mins, then I get to teach 3 classes then I get to be a lunch room supervisor for 40 mins then I get to eat for 20 mins then I teach 3 more classes then I get to be a crossing guard for 20 mins then must stay 50 mins for a staff meeting!!

Not a chance would I do this 5 days a week!!!!
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Old 03-24-2008, 08:58 AM   #4
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I was thinking of doing some substitute teaching after FIRE...I think you just talked me out of it...
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Old 03-24-2008, 09:02 AM   #5
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Piano, the world needs good dedicated teachers so go for it! Don't forget though that it will be much different teaching high schoolers who are a captive audience then what you are used to. What subject do you teach?
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teaching
Old 03-24-2008, 10:57 AM   #6
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teaching

I am an English major...who went on for a graduate degree in public admin.

Would likely teach English.

Thanks for the feedback.

Piano
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Old 03-24-2008, 11:06 AM   #7
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I did some subbing at the Jr. high level. I would never do it full time. In fact I would never sub again.
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Old 03-24-2008, 12:01 PM   #8
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I teach adults as my day job. I have often thought of switching to teaching kids once enough money is set aside to grow.

I work with kids in evenings coaching soccer now- working with each group has their pros and cons.
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Old 03-24-2008, 12:26 PM   #9
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I find teaching quite enjoyable for the most part. I wouldn't want to substitute, although I may have to when I take the ER option next yr to put in my 20 days/yr. I'd imagine a lot depends on where you work. Calif. is probably not a particularly good location for a beginning teacher at this time. Lots of newbies have gotten RIFed recently due to the budget "crisis". Our union negotiators have apparently managed to spend 7 months getting the management salary COLA offer of 1.5% down to 0%. That's pleasant news.
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Old 03-24-2008, 03:33 PM   #10
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Piano-

Don't forget you'll need to get certified to teach at the secondary level. This is not trivial and could involve taking a number of classes and doing student teaching.

In your field, you may need to accept a position in an area where teachers are difficult to recruit, inner city, rural area, etc. Most suburban school districts have stacks of resumes from highly qualified teachers, new or experienced looking to move from undesirable locations, seeking work.

Good luck!
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re secondary teaching
Old 03-24-2008, 05:46 PM   #11
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re secondary teaching

I am retiring at the end of this year at age 55 after spending a combined about 28 years as a teacher. I started out subbing when I was in my 20's, and frankly I loved it. I then taught part time -- a combination of adults and older teens -- in Germany -- I called it survival German, and I loved that too. Once my own kids were school age I went back to subbing and worked it as a full time job, and it depended on what state I was in and what type of district as to how much I liked it. (My husband's career had us moving a lot -- something hard to do as a teacher.) But overall I did. I taught for the past 18 years full time, half in a Catholic high school and the other half in a public high school. Boy, has the education game changed!! I think part of it is that I am over 50 and really do feel the physical strain whereas when I was younger it didn't really phase me. Most of the problem today, though, is lack of control over what you can really do in the classroom and the general state of "education" across the country. It seems now that, no matter how good you are or how passionately you approach what you do, someone else (always an authority!) wants you to do it differently. Things like group work (never worked well for me) and having to state things a certain way or being careful not to say other things just drive me nuts. I know what works for me and at this point I just do what I want, but as a new teacher no way could you do that. Plus kids today just look at school as something to get through -- there are always those top kids who keep you sane, but the great majority now do barely enough to get by and can't understand why you expect them to work and learn something. Parents focus far too much on grades for scholarships, and in the end the whole thing just doesn't work any more. I tell my own students to make sure when they have kids that they teach their kids everything they themselves didn't learn -- don't wait for the school system!! I teach upperclassmen who have no knowledge of basic English grammar, and their math skills are worse than those of the average fifth grader back in the 60's. Depressing? You bet -- and it won't get better until we as a country just scrap what we have now and start over, going back to many of the old methods that really worked. I know I sound like Methuselah, but I am on the front lines every day and still marvel at the number of kids who come to school without pens and paper but they ALL have their phones and ipods. The bureaucrats have removed all real authority from teachers and make us feel like we are wrong when kids misbehave and/or don't learn. As a second career? Some do it and do it well, but I would NOT recommend it in these times!! Getting "certified" is another thing -- everyone talks about the teacher shortage, but it only exists in the places no one wants to go. In good school districts, competition is fierce. The entire certification process is a nightmare even for young folks -- even worse for older ones. Enough said and then some....
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Old 03-24-2008, 07:42 PM   #12
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I am retiring at the end of this year at age 55 after spending a combined about 28 years as a teacher. I started out subbing when I was in my 20's, and frankly I loved it. I then taught part time -- a combination of adults and older teens -- in Germany -- I called it survival German, and I loved that too. Once my own kids were school age I went back to subbing and worked it as a full time job, and it depended on what state I was in and what type of district as to how much I liked it. (My husband's career had us moving a lot -- something hard to do as a teacher.) But overall I did. I taught for the past 18 years full time, half in a Catholic high school and the other half in a public high school. Boy, has the education game changed!! I think part of it is that I am over 50 and really do feel the physical strain whereas when I was younger it didn't really phase me. Most of the problem today, though, is lack of control over what you can really do in the classroom and the general state of "education" across the country. It seems now that, no matter how good you are or how passionately you approach what you do, someone else (always an authority!) wants you to do it differently. Things like group work (never worked well for me) and having to state things a certain way or being careful not to say other things just drive me nuts. I know what works for me and at this point I just do what I want, but as a new teacher no way could you do that. Plus kids today just look at school as something to get through -- there are always those top kids who keep you sane, but the great majority now do barely enough to get by and can't understand why you expect them to work and learn something. Parents focus far too much on grades for scholarships, and in the end the whole thing just doesn't work any more. I tell my own students to make sure when they have kids that they teach their kids everything they themselves didn't learn -- don't wait for the school system!! I teach upperclassmen who have no knowledge of basic English grammar, and their math skills are worse than those of the average fifth grader back in the 60's. Depressing? You bet -- and it won't get better until we as a country just scrap what we have now and start over, going back to many of the old methods that really worked. I know I sound like Methuselah, but I am on the front lines every day and still marvel at the number of kids who come to school without pens and paper but they ALL have their phones and ipods. The bureaucrats have removed all real authority from teachers and make us feel like we are wrong when kids misbehave and/or don't learn. As a second career? Some do it and do it well, but I would NOT recommend it in these times!! Getting "certified" is another thing -- everyone talks about the teacher shortage, but it only exists in the places no one wants to go. In good school districts, competition is fierce. The entire certification process is a nightmare even for young folks -- even worse for older ones. Enough said and then some....
I could not agree more with your post.

I would never start out teaching as a new teacher today!

Right now I am just cruising through a part time teaching situation. I cover the excess classes at 3 different schools. They pay me as a certified teacher 60% of the 30th step on the salary guide, so it works financially.
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Old 03-24-2008, 07:58 PM   #13
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I am an English major...who went on for a graduate degree in public admin.

Would likely teach English.

Thanks for the feedback.

Piano
Good lord! Teaching English at HS level is a grueling, thankless job! Think of all those horrid essays you'll be reading on your weekends.
Unless you can get a cushy gig at an elite private or magnet school with college bound AP takers, your brain will be mush after one year. Even so, it's a job for young people, not the retired, IMHO.
As a former English teacher at a middle school for smart kids, I say, NO,NO,NO!
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Part-time teaching is a real possibility
Old 03-24-2008, 11:04 PM   #14
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Part-time teaching is a real possibility

I look forward after my overseas teaching career in international schools to teaching part-time. I am a physics/chemistry teacher, where there ia shortage. Also, physics tends to attract the better students. My dream job is to teach a couple classes a day, and do lesson plaiing at perhaps Starbucks. I really do agree with Dean about being over 50 and just not having that energy level.

This year is particularly grueling. I'm teaching 4 different sciences. It's a bit much.

Regards,
Rob
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Old 03-25-2008, 04:40 AM   #15
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Subbing: Low pay, little respect, fall guy when something goes wrong (no union, tenure= expendable).

Today's certification standards: If you have a Bachelor's already, expect a minimum of 30 semester hours of additional course work. Most courses required in sequence. High cumulative GPA required. No grandfather clause. If you screwed up freshman year in 1971, the GPA is, as is. Unless you want to take the courses over.

Might as well apply to law school.

My experience, YMMV
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Old 03-25-2008, 08:05 AM   #16
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Well, I've been subbing almost twice weekly since the Christmas break. And I have found that I really enjoy teaching HS and ES. I try to avoid that MS gig if at all possible. I have 2 BS's and can't see any reason to go back to school for a certificate just to chain myself into another daily "2-10".

Since pay isn't really the issue for me I find myself choosing where to work more on the basis of the kids in the district. Love working Montgomery, Montoursville is ok but not a first choice, and Williamsport is to be avoided.

JMHO, but if I were you I'd try the sub thing for a year first and see if you REALLY want to bother getting certified. And then, if it's something you REALLY want to do, forget the naysayers who despise second careers and go for what makes YOU happy.

Good luck.
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Old 03-25-2008, 08:18 AM   #17
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I actually thought about teaching low level college courses.... until I found out the pay level... about a 60% cut in pay....

SO, I will continue with my other career (whenever I get my new job) and just retire earlier in about 6 years...

Bless all the ones who can actually spend a lifetime teaching such as my sister...
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