T Nation

Any Teachers Here?


#1

So it's time for me to have a second stab at the college thing.Having dropped out of economics and russian due to sporting ambition,I'm going back in September.Until recently I had pigeon holed myself into studying either law or politics and international relations.Law being because it's a solid profession,even though I couldn't see myself enjoying it,and the other one because I have interest in the two subjects.

But recently I've been thinking about doing secondary school teaching.I always shudder when I think of myself in,say,10 years,working a monotonous office job,9 to 5 every day,only being able to enjoy life at the weekend,being a slave to routine.Teaching appeals to me because:

I'm a good speaker and I'd like to work with people.
You work with different groups of people day to day and year to year.
I don't have to work long ass days and have plenty of time for other interests.
I get a ridiculous amount of holidays to do what I'd like to do in life,like travel.
I can get away with being bad,I know this from experience.
I can do it anywhere in the world really,which is highly appealing.

The things that would turn me off it are a fear of not being able to handle young people,I know I would have hated to teach me at times.Also the fact that I might absolutely hate it in the end.

So are there any teachers on here who can give me advice?How long did it take you to find your feet?Do you enjoy it?Any opinions at all would be appreciated.


#2

I don't want to warn you off, but I think teaching is a real vocation. If you really think you'd love it, do it, but if not I would never advise it to you.

I'm 19, so obviously not a teacher myself, but my mother is a teacher, my dad was a teacher, and all four of my grandparents were teachers.

My dad taught for 30 odd years and battled clinical depression throughout that time. He finally quit about 10 years ago and found something he really enjoyed. Alas, that didn't last, but that's beside the point.

Now of course teaching is not all bad, but I'm struggling to find many positives. The pay isn't great for a new teacher, the hours are long (my mom leaves 7:30am everyday, back at 5ish, lots of marking and lessson planning etc.

Of course I don't have any first hand experience, but the stories I hear from my mom about all the red tape, health and safety issues etc are enough for me to know teaching certainly wasn't for me.

I think you gotta have a certain attitude toward it, if you really want to teach kids, open their minds etc go for it. But if it's just a fallback job you want because you can't think of anything else you're asking to go down the same route my dad did.

There's my 2c, gl with your decision


#3

I'm not yet a teacher, but I've done one field experience and will be doing my second one next semester. Working with kids can be great, but the lessons (at least for a newbie like me) take a LOT of planning.

Other than that I don't know all that much yet.

What do you plan to teach?


#4

You can get away with being bad? Yeah sounds like a real passion for you.

Your post should be the first page of your resume.


#5

I'm a PE teacher. I love my job but it's tough sometimes working 60 hours a week and hearing the general public slag teachers saying they are overpaid and underworked. I've spent a lot on students who can't afford things and when I'm coaching football or track and field my hours are close to 80 per week for 13 weeks a season. So yes, we have plenty of time off but overall you more than make up for it in major unpaid overtime. So don't go in it because you get summers off. As far a rewards, there is nothing more rewarding then helping kids. Especially at the 13-16 year old age range, where you can make an impact every day.


#6

I'd teach German and English or French.Teachers are overpaid and underworked.Many teachers who taught me in school and who now are my friends agree completely,I've seen it from a student's point of view and they've seen it from a colleague's point of view.


#7

Yea, see in America, teachers are the opposite of overpaid and underworked.


#8

PM me and I'll tell you about my experiences.


#9

As you show by your own experience with previous teachers, there are plenty of teachers out there who are just phoning it in. Be a teacher because you feel a calling, not because it seems like an easy gig. I firmly believe if you are not committed to changing and shaping young minds, then you have no business in the classroom.


#10

x2


#11

Nope.


#12

I'd honestly thought about it before, but after starting college and talking to a few professors it sounds so awful in any sort of school. In middle/high school you teach the same lecture 6-8 times in a row, every single damn day, year in, year out. College isn't much different, I'm in a biology class now and I have the notes and assignments from 2 years ago and they havn't changed at all.

I suppose it would also depend on the school though. Whether or not the students want to learn or are just in a class because they have to be.


#13

Math/Physics high school teacher here.

Some of my experiences so far:

1) The hours are variable, sometimes I might get everything all set up for a friday, come in at 8, leave at 3:30. Other days I might come in at 7, leave at 6, get lots of planning and marking done. I'm wicked at managing my time, so I'm not really struggling and pulling 60 hours a week. Might pull a couple 80 hour weeks for report cards and final exam preparations.

2) If you excel at teaching, discipline problems are fairly rare. Kids will recognize that you are putting the effort in. It is when you slack off that they sense it and begin acting out. I use the golden rule, works like a charm.

3) I'm trying to get tenure (i.e. continuous employment the rest of my life), so I am effectively putting in 40 hours of teaching and around 20 hours school volunteering.

4) More often than not, I'm leaving work each day with a grin on my face, in a good mood.

5) You get a lot of autonomy compared to other professions. Nobody is coming by your cubicle to check up on you or micromanage. Likewise, you have enormous responsibility.

6) LOTS of females in your college classes. LOTS of female teacher colleagues with female friends looking for dates. :smiley:

7) I started at $54000/year with incremental $3000 raises each year for 12 years.

8) You are around people all day, if you are very social, this is nice.

9) There is a lot of demand for the hard sciences, foreign languages, and special education. Not so much for the humanities.

It is NOT a dead-end profession. If you decide to move on, you gain a lot of useful skills that employees would like, plus your brain is kept sharp if you were to go back to school later on.

Hope that helps!


#14

Really eh? Alberta sounds like a good place to teach. Ontario teachers start at $34,000 a year, plus $210 a day for any supply work done


#15

Where'd you get those numbers? Everything I've seen for Ontario teachers is starting around 46000-48000, and increase about 3000/year until you're at around 80 000 after 11 years.


#16

lol, that's more like it. You would be homeless in the GTA on 36K a year, or better off working at Earls or something, haha


#17

I knew posting in this thread would piss me off. In every job and profession there are a small few who "phone it in" but for some reason this gets brought up against teachers like it's common. Let me ask you this. If it's so easy, if teacher are overpaid and underworked, then why is there constantly a shortage of teachers???

Someone mentioned that things are good in Alberta. Teachers use to start at 40K (when I started it was $24K) but things were so bad with no one wanting to teach that they had to get rid of the first few pay scales to get people on board. Also, the poster who quoted $3K increments for 12 years is incorrect, even though he's a teacher. I'm in Calgary and you can google the contract with each school board in Alberta if you want to see.

This is my last post here; if you have a great desire to help kids go in the profession. If you think teachers are overpaid and underworked you will be disappointed and will be leaving the profession.


#18

Something like 3/5ths of teachers burn out before 5 years. Yeah, totally easy job.


#19

My bad, with a 4 year degree it is $3138 yearly increases for 10 YEARS (Calgary Public). I don't know where I got 12 from. You're right, I should know what I'm getting paid and admit to being incorrect.

If you want to make money, DO NOT go into teaching. lol


#20

lol I wouldn't necessarily say that. My high school chem teacher told me he cleared 110k a year. Plus you have summers off, granted he was there for 20 years. I'd definitely say it has it ups and downs, but isn't that every job?