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Seeking Advice: Not happy anymore...

Discussion in 'US – Staffroom' started by shadyleafytree, Apr 2, 2018.

  1. shadyleafytree

    shadyleafytree New commenter

    I have been teaching for about 7 years now. I started off teaching adult education classes for ESL students and I loved it, but the pay was extremely low and I just couldn't afford to teach those classes. I then moved on to teaching secondary education and I loved it at first, but in the past three years I have just started to dislike it. There are some good days, but I feel like they are few and far between. I have thought about switching schools (again) but the last two years I have done that and the feeling always comes back about second semester.

    At any rate, I often dream of having a desk job where I push papers all day because I have become so stressed with teaching it is affecting my health. My diet is terrible, my blood pressure isn't good and I have to take medication, and I have had worries as to how this will affect me in the future. Particularly, in the next year my husband and I want to have another child and we already have a preexisting condition that will complicate the birth....

    The thing is, I don't know how to get OUT of teaching. I have a M. Ed. and 7 years of experience, so I am not exactly on the lower end of the payscale and yet I'm worried that I'm only qualified for entry-level work which will be much less than I make now.

    So...any advice to help me move on?
  2. mariammalek22

    mariammalek22 New commenter

    Is there something particular you don't like about teaching?
    You could try teaching elementary or applying for a teacher coach position, which could be potentially less stressful.
    2mature likes this.
  3. DC1346

    DC1346 New commenter

    I hold dual certification as both an elementary teacher (17 years) and a high school Culinary Arts teacher (11 years). Like you I also have an M.Ed.

    I have taught in a variety of settings ... inner-city, suburban, and rural public schools, a private American corporate school in Saudi Arabia as well as an international proprietary school in Beirut, Lebanon.

    After returning stateside in 1999, I found that I couldn't readjust to teaching in the U.S. public schools, so I opted out and went to culinary school. I worked in the food service industry for a few years before returning to education in 2003 as the chef instructor of a high school Culinary Arts program. I've been back in education ever since.

    Here are some options you might want to consider:

    1) Use your Master's degree and your teaching experience to find a teaching job at a community college.

    2) Use your education and work experience to find a job as a corporate trainer.

    3) Go abroad. Working in the international schools is a lot different from working in the U.S. public schools. For one thing, most kids in the international schools are on or above grade level. Most parents are also highly supportive of how their child does in school. If you're interested in working abroad, check out the International Schools Service. There are two stateside job fairs and two virtual job fairs for the 2019-2020 school year. The first job fair will be held in November of 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. You have to be registered with the ISS to attend this fair.

    4) Identify what you don't like about teaching in the 2nd semester and fix it. Your post didn't say why you don't like the 2nd semester. I myself dislike the 1st semester. During the 1st semester I have to get students prepped to work in the kitchen. To work in the kitchen they have to pass a food safety and sanitation test. Since we're subject to random inspections by the county health inspectors, students have to then follow all safe food handling procedures.

    Some kids come into culinary thinking that they can goof off while others work but then think that they'll be able to sit down and eat. HAH!

    I've had guys claim that cleaning is "women's work" and they've refused to clean.

    I have kids who erroneously think that they don't have to use exact measurements or that everything can be mixed together and they don't bother reading the recipes.

    Most of these kids are usually gone by the end of the 1st semester and when 2nd semester starts, I usually have classes that are reasonably competent at setting up their workstations, following recipes, storing food ingredients as needed, and breaking down and cleaning their respective stations.

    I like 2nd semester a lot more than 1st ... but everyone is different and each instructional subject imparts a different flavor to the class you're teaching.

    5) You mentioned that you've changed schools. Did you change schools within a district or did you change districts? Did you move from one suburban school to another suburban school? There's a HUGE DIFFERENCE in the character of different schools. Good administrators really set the educational climate. There are also differences between large schools and smaller ones as well as inner-city, suburban, and rural settings.

    I've taught in large schools. I prefer smaller ones in rural settings, but again that's just me.

    I've also worked with many different types of administrators. I've really hated working for micro-managers. I much prefer administrators who have a hands-off approach provided they're sure that you know what you're doing.

    Since teaching can be highly personal, it's a mistake to think that any certified teacher can fit into any job for which that person is qualified. In the course of the 28 years that I've taught, I've learned that some teachers are just not good fits for some schools.

    With 7 years under your proverbial belt and employment at 2 schools, are you sure that your problem hasn't been that you haven't found a school that's a good match?

    5) Teaching involves class management. If you're sure you're tired of teaching, you could always pursue a management career in retail or the food service. Some chain restaurants like Bob Evans have a management training program. I think this program lasts about 3 months and during this time the management trainees literally work at every station in the restauarant ... host/hostess, cashier, dish washer, busser, server, prep cook, line cook, shift leader, and manager.
    dharmabhum1960 likes this.

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