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I think I want to be a teacher.

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by Tommygunn, Oct 23, 2010.


  1. Tommygunn

    Tommygunn

    Nov 8, 2008
    Houston, Tx
    Never gave it much thought before. But I decided since I'm in HS now I'd give it some thought. I came up with teacher. Not sure what subject I'd teach though. I mean as much as I'd love to only play bass for a living (not even be famous), chances are its not going to happen.

    So I'd like to hear from teachers here and their comments etc etc.

    Thanks
     
  2. Do you consider yourself excellent at dealing with all manner of douchebags? If not, can you see yourself acquiring that skill? Because as a teacher, that might as well be your job at any grade level.
     
  3. Tommygunn

    Tommygunn

    Nov 8, 2008
    Houston, Tx
    As being a couple months into school and seeing as I haven't beat the **** out of any of the numerous douches at my school, I think I handle them pretty well.
     
  4. Unrepresented

    Unrepresented Something Borderline Offensive

    Jul 1, 2006
    San Diego, CA
    Yup.

    It seems to me that lots of people go into teaching because they love to learn, or love to be taught, but few go into teaching because they're good at organizing and motivating children and teenagers, which seems like the real skill involved.
     
  5. Haha, well at least you meet the minimum requirements! Like Unrepresented said though, gone are the days of teaching out of a love of education. Now you have to be a child psychologist, organizer, motivator, dictator, friend, and the kitchen sink just to get by without having someone, be it the students or administration, jump down your throat. It takes a special kind of person to be a good educator. If you haven't noticed, they are in truly short supply.

    Personally, I would discourage most people from being any kind of teacher below college-level without a Master's or PhD. If the teaching profession as a whole is like it is around where I live, either of those two degrees make you damn near untouchable by the higher ups even if you suck :p. And if you hate it you can move to another teaching gig pretty easily. I've seen teachers struggle with only a bachelors.
     
  6. Kwesi, any idea the degree required to be a college professor?
     
  7. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    In the sciences: PhD plus post-doctoral research experience, a killer publication record, and a strong proposal for your own research program.
     
  8. I knew most of this (everything besides the publication record) but since fdeck said it I'm just gonna quote it :p. I've known quite a few teachers at the high school level with PhDs why they would choose that over a being a college professor is their business but I do advocate having a Master's or PhD simply because it commands better pay, a better position, and beter job security just incase you do hate it. My point is you don't want to stop at the minimum requirements to be a high school teacher because it's becoming increasingly difficult to get away from the career if it turns out that you don't like it as much as you though you would.
     
  9. .... kill me.
     
  10. Tommygunn

    Tommygunn

    Nov 8, 2008
    Houston, Tx
    With all the flack you give me.... not a bad idea ;)
     
  11. Seems like a lot of work and money for an annual salary of $70,720.
     
  12. I got almost to my teaching degree. But at the time I was going to finish it and get a job as a teacher, the whole teacher-school idea blew up with the serious dumbing-down of the whole California school system. Teachers should NOT have unions I believe.

    But - I wanted to be an English Lit teacher, secondary level.

    However, in retrospect it was a better choice to go into service industries and hydraulics (don't ask - it's complicated) because some of my kids were in the SoCal school machine and the teachers weren't even accredited or degree'd.

    My youngest daughter's English and homeroom teacher was a Mortuary Science dropout from some matchbook cover university mill and couldn't even write a complete sentence with a verb and a subject in it.

    If you become a teacher - and that's not going to be easy unless someone actually dies and leaves your name written on the chalkboard, you won't even be considered with the present economy.

    There are university-level teaching PhD's standing in line at Home Depot looking for handyman or temporary gardening jobs.

    The old saying: Those who can - do, those who can't - teach - doesn't hold water any more.

    These days it's: Those who can - can't, Those who can't - don't eat either.
     
  13. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    It can be much higher than that. Most major research universities have dozens of professors earning well into the six figures. Those salaries are a matter of public record, and many states publish them online.

    A starting tenure-track salary isn't lavish, but it's typically a 9 month salary, and a professor with a research grant can pay themselves a summer salary out of that grant. On top of that, professors are free to earn consulting income, and even to start their own businesses. If they are running research programs with massive outside funding, they can justify demanding higher salaries.

    Another thing is that the alternative to earning $70,720 could be to earn more, but it could also be to earn a lot less. An advanced degree is not necessarily a meal ticket.

    As for the money, I didn't pay for my graduate degree. :D But in any event, it's like a career as a musician. You don't do it unless it's something that you are compelled to do. I didn't have a rational reason to pursue a PhD.

    I know quite a few professors who are successful and happy with their careers. Myself, as I was nearing the end of grad school, it didn't look like a career in basic research was going to happen for me, so I went into industry. So far I have no regrets.
     
  14. Bongolation

    Bongolation

    Nov 9, 2001
    California
    No Bogus Endorsements
    Assuming you mean something in K-12 in a government school [spit!], forget it.

    I did it and hated absolutely everything about it except the kids.

    Quit, moved on, never gave it a backward glance.

    If I had a kid, I wouldn't let him set foot in a government school.
     
  15. jmattbassplaya

    jmattbassplaya Looking for a gig around East Islip, NY!

    Jan 13, 2008
    It's exactly why many people are becoming advocates to help raise the salary of most teachers. Just to teach elementary school or middle school in most places requires you to have a masters and be working toward a doctorate. Personally, I think that's a load of bull considering the material taught at those ages, but it is what it is. Also, I think $70,720 is an over estimate. At least in Tennessee, most teachers never make above $50,000 at the grade school level.
     
  16. Tommygunn

    Tommygunn

    Nov 8, 2008
    Houston, Tx
    Actually I was thinking something from 8-12 in a private school.

    I'm not worried about money actually. I understand its tough on that budget, but I think I could manage. My mom is a teacher for public school, and she supports me and my older brother as a single mom. So I think a married teacher for a private school, could for sure get it done. Etc.
     
  17. jmattbassplaya

    jmattbassplaya Looking for a gig around East Islip, NY!

    Jan 13, 2008
    If you feel passionately about it then go for it! That said, I wouldn't be surprised if you change your mind. I wanted to be a teacher when I was in high school and was told that I had aptitude for it, but I ultimately decided that doing so wouldn't enable me to live the lifestyle I wish to live.
     
  18. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    Note that private schools tend to pay less, and of course many are religion based, if that matters to you.

    Also, online discussions about education are always complicated by the fact that every state is practically its own country. Conditions for teachers in California are wildly different than Wisconsin. I know a lot of WI teachers, and most are pretty happy. Our local public schools are good, and teachers are treated reasonably well. There is no high school in the greater Madison area that can compete with the public high schools for college prep.

    The "requirement" for a masters degree to teach K-12 is a bit of a vicious (or virtuous?) cycle. The pay scale guarantees a salary bump for an advanced degree, and teachers can use their summertime continuing education to get that degree. In turn, school districts with a lot of job applicants can be pretty selective. What it means in practical terms is that a teacher can get a job with a bachelors degree, but probably in a more remote and lower paying district.

    So the real reason to get an advanced degree is not because of some magical requirement imposed by schools, but is driven by your competitors.
     
  19. Tommygunn

    Tommygunn

    Nov 8, 2008
    Houston, Tx
    Yes I realize they pay less, but you don't have to deal with all the same bullsh*t public schools put on. I'm not religious, but I went to a private school and am currently going to a private high school. Another thing is, if I'm remembering correctly, private schools don't require a teaching certification. I bet its hard as hell to get a job without one, but I remember my spanish and math teacher last year did not have a teaching certificate.
     
  20. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    The people I know who are teachers, have occasionally had to deal with some aspects of public school administration that can really be chalked up to basic human nature, but those episodes are pretty few and far between. I would advise some caution, however, which is that every organized workplace has its share of ******* so if that's a show stopper for you, then you're going to have a difficult career. Also, the opponents of public schools are more than happy to present you with a one-sided view. Public schools need a certain "critical mass" of support from affluent parents in order to function, and in states where a large fraction of kids attend private school, support for public schools evaporates. It's possible that you live in one of those states.

    As for teaching in the private schools without a certificate, I suspect it is partly market driven. When parents are choosing schools, a few of them might consider asking: How many of your teachers are certified? Lacking the certificate would mean that you are part of a larger pool of job applicants competing for a smaller pool of jobs. One of the things you can do as you proceed through your college education is to find out where job openings are posted for teachers in your state, and look at the pedigree of the school versus what credentials they require for applying.

    Now, IIRC Texas has a program to recruit public school teachers in some subjects without certification. When I lived in TX, a friend of mine was going through that program to teach biology.
     

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