Call me crazy, but I want to be a teacher

Call me crazy… well, I’m not typing it again, so read the subject.

People think I’m nuts and act like I’m throwing my life away, but I really honestly want to be a teacher. Specifically, I want to be a high school world history teacher, and I’d like to learn sign language on the side. Possibly, I could teach world history to deaf kids!

I want to be a teacher for several reasons.

  1. I had some excelent teachers at Lincoln High, specifically my 11th and 12th grade English teacher. For him, teaching english was secondary to teaching his students how to think for themselves and to believe in themselves. Of course, he always managed to work in the english (which was mainly interpreting literature) and make it interesting.
    Another great teacher was my 11th grade History teacher, who treated all students with dignity. She was also a damn good teacher, and as a 20 year veteran teacher, was sick of all the crap from the administration.
    My 12th grade sociology teacher actually referred to the administration as the “Gestapo”… he was reprimanded for making “Hail Fuhrer” signs in a faculty meeting.

  2. When I have a family, I want to have time to spend on them too… I want to be able to spend the summers and christmas breaks with them, the way my mom (an elementary school teacher) did with me. She was home all summer, and used to take us on trips to the beach and to nearby springs all the time.

  3. Most importantly, I love history, and according to those around me, I am a great storyteller. I want to try to develop this talent and use it to foster interest in history among young minds. At the very least, I want to help them learn to think critically and open their minds.

I don’t think you’re crazy.

My dad will retire this May, with 30 years of teaching behind him. He’s been at the same school, in the same room, since it opened it’s doors. My mom is also a teacher. She teaches right down the hall from my dad, and always has.

They’d probably warn you that it’s so different now then when they first started, but they truly love what they do. I hope you find that same love for teaching as well.

I, too, want to be a teacher. For me the reasons are (seemingly) simpler.

  1. I love kids. I love them. I don’t know how to explain this except to say that I have this innate love for kids. I prefer them, in many ways, to adults.

  2. I love teaching. I’ve been tutoring since I was in grade school. I’ve taught everywhere from five years old to 50+. I have a skill in this area that seems to transcend age, and I figure the most important time of a person’s life, education-wise, is when that person is young.

  3. I love teaching kids. Of all the age groups I’ve met, they are the people who have the most innate, strong desire to learn. Sometimes it can even be annoying, true, but that doesn’t happen too often with me.

  4. This country needs teachers. The people I’ve talked to about being a teacher have been more than incredibly enthusiastic about a guy wanting to be a teacher. It was rather refreshing. That’s cool. I figure I want to do something positive and people around me want me to, too.

  5. I’d do it for free. Granted my bills were paid and such, I’d gladly teach for absolutely no money. I’ve done it before; I’d do it again.

muffinman, I feel your pain. I too want to be a teacher, I’m not sure what I want to teach yet but my counselor either wants to kill me or send me to a shrink. I go to the California Academy of Mathematics and Science you see, and everyone thinks that becoming a teacher would just be a horrible waste of my time at CAMS and that my life would be pointless. However, I love to teach people, I feel so wonderful when this look of comprehension suddenly comes over a kid’s face and they can tell me that they get it, that they understand. I love it, and I can see myself doing it for a very long time, but I’m not too sure of myself now because of what everyone tries to tell me. Including my family that keeps telling me I should be a doctor or an engineer. Good Luck


Well, if you want to be called “crazy”, just email an admin–they’re the ones who change screennames. :smiley:

I don’t see what that has to do with being a teacher, though. (I suppose it might help keep your students awake.) IMHO, there’s no nobler calling than that of a truly good teacher. I, for one, will salute you for it–there are never enough good teachers to go around.

Be warned, though, that if you become a history teacher, you’ll likely have to choose between fighting the administration constantly, or caving in and handing out the predigested, factoid-laden pap that most schools seem to like. I didn’t get a decent, honest history class until I hit college. If you’re willing to fight that battle, you may have the potential to be a truly great teacher. History is one of the most fertile grounds for making young minds grow, and all too often I’ve seen it buried under loads of sterile memorization and poisonous lies.

<salutes our other would-be teachers as well>

Babe, you’d be an awesome teacher. You have a way with words, and more importantly, a way with people. God forbid I ever have kids, you’d be my first choice for their teacher.
And you want to talk about throwing your life away? At least you’re doing something you believe in. It’s a lot more than I can say right now. And probably more than those who are giving you a hard time can say either. Go with your heart Steven…9 out of 10 times, you won’t be wrong.

I have the greatest respect for GOOD teachers. I studied education when I was in college and during the student teaching, decided it was not for me. I realized that it takes a very special person to be a good teacher, and that there are also a lot of bad teachers out there.

You sound like you have the right attitude to be a good teacher. I wish you the very best and congratulate you for selecting a profession where you will have the most on our future generations.

What’s so crazy about wanting to teach? Well, apart from not being a profession known for its millionaires, that being the standard gauge of a worthy profession, right??

Eons ago, I wanted to teach, but at that time in my county, there were more teachers than jobs, so I went into the Navy instead, but that’s another story. I did get the opportunity to teach College Algebra in a local junior college, and I loved it! After I retire - 9 years from now - I may well have a go at teaching… but I digress…

I applaud you and wish you the best. If any career is critical to our future, it must be education. Life thrown away?? I think not…

::Former teacher enters the room::

Yep, seven years of High School Science! (Chemistry and Physics on all levels - from basic to AP)

First, let me say that anyone who wants to be a teacher is super in my book. It’s like any job, some days are the absolutely super and some days make you want to resign and do something else. I truly loved interacting with 11th and 12th graders. They are incredibly neat people.

I don’t need to tell you the bad parts of teaching, but I’ll share my experience a bit. I taught/worked 7.5 hours a day, 190 days a year (contract). Of course, students came 180 days and I had a 48 minute planning period and a 30 minute lunch. Evenings and weekends were spend on work related activities - grading, planning, etc. I spent about 3-5 hours during the week and about 5 on the weekends (more if I was grading labs or projects).

Granted, I am very social and quite disorganized. I spent most of my planning period talking with other teachers and not grading, planning, getting things ready, unless I had to. However, this is not laziness, in that at some point during the day you NEED adult interactions. Had I been more disciplined I probably could have cut down on the work at home. (I could have cut down on the grading time if I had given Multiple Choice tests without essays and “fill-in-the-blank” lab write-ups, but I’m morally opposed to this.)

The pay was not great, but it didn’t suck. I started at $24,900 and left right before I was about to make $35,000 with a master’s degree. In the DC area, however, one can not raise a family on these wages and Mrs. Spritle and I wished to have children and have her work part time. Financially improbable on a teacher’s salary.

I worked summers. Not too much time off there.

I prayed for snow days.

The amount of politics in the classroom is almost unfathomable to the outsider. However, it’s quite easy to work in such a way that you are not bothered by the administration or politics. (I mean “bothered” in a more passive sense.) Sure I was measured by the AP scores my students earned on the test, but I never would have dreamed of “suggesting” that students not take take the test to keep my numbers up. Further, I refused to get involved in the petty inter-personal stuff between administration and other teachers. It’s tough not to since your teacher compatriots are in the same boat as you are, but it’s somewhat necessary.

I quit teaching to take a job closer to my home, that offered a much higher salary and allowed me the time to spend with Mrs. Spritle. When Baby Spritle was born, Mrs. Spritle was able to take 5 1/2 months off from work and now works 3 days a week. I digress, but I want you to know that I seft teaching not because of disillusionment, but because of “familial obligations”.

I loved teaching. I miss teaching and I miss the children.

I get an “ooky” feeling every June when school lets out and every September when it starts back up.

(I still work in education; I’m in a central office in a different county. I’ve become what I used to bitch about!)

I’ve gone on long enough. Best of luck to you all.

I don’t really have anything to add (I do want to applaud you) but I just had to say “Pleased to meetcha.” I can now say that yes, indeed, I do know the muffinman.

::Current teacher steps in the fray::

I teach 7th Grade Reading at a low socioeconomic Middle School in Florida (state of the Shrub, er, Bush). Don’t get me wrong, I love my students and wouldn’t trade it for the world. However, ask yourself these questions:

  1. Can you deal with parents who think that it’s the teacher’s job to raise their children because they don’t have any idea how to do it themselves?
  2. Can you handle students who misbehave in class because they haven’t eaten or had a good night’s sleep?
  3. Can you handle disrespect from students, simply because they haven’t been taught at home?
  4. Are you willing to be a counselor to kids whose home situations are worse than a Stephen King novel and are acting out in the worst ways possible to cope?
  5. Are you comfortable with the idea that some of your students may be armed?
  6. Are you willing to deal with administration who doesn’t seem to know what in the world is going on, or cannot discipline kids because of mandates from Downtown or the State?
  7. Are you willing to teach to the idiotic state mandated tests (which imho don’t really measure learning, it’s just cookie cutter thinking), because in the future your salary may be linked to it (keep in mind some of your kids don’t eat regularly)?
  8. Are you willing to sacrifice your nights and weekends doing school work that you will not get paid for?
  9. Are you willing to hold down a summer job just to pay the mortgage?

Yes, I’ve had to deal with all of the above situations…

If you’re willing to take on these responsibilities, congratulations, you are teacher material.

muffinman I am seriously considering a switch to teaching for most of the reasons listed above. I have a degree in history, but I ended up as an accountant…mainly for the money. I didn’t think I could survive on a teacher’s salary. Now, I know I can’t, but I know that I can survive taking a second job. It won’t kill me, and I know it would make me happier to be doing something that I like rather than something I hate.

I am in the process of investigating towns and school districts, as well as alternative certification programs. It won’t happen next fall, but by the fall after that I intend to be in a classroom.

Best of luck to you!

Wait a second…do you rember all the stuff you put your high school teacher through? I’m not saying that you shouldn’t be a teacher…and as I explained in that teacher’s pay thread, I do greatly appreciate teachers, but there’s no way that i would want to be one or understand any person’s wish to be one…but hey I’m sure that whatever i turn out to be will be so boring that people will say the same thing about my job.

I think it’s one of the most wonderful occupations on the planet, beautiful in a way that I don’t think I can describe, and I too want to teach.

Another current teacher here, and unfortunately, I agree with this. If the job was just teaching kids, it would be great. But there’s a lot of BS that goes with it. And the worst part is that the BS tends to drain your energy away from the important stuff, which is teaching kids.

You’re crazy!!! :smiley:

I like teachers. I’ve always had loads of respect for them.

Hi Crazy!!

Now, with that out of the way…

One could never support a family on what teachers make here in Mississippi. Low pay, no support… Sheesh.

I would suggest not giving homework. Staying up on weekends and such grading is really your choice. It doesen’t help the students and you don’t have to do it.(even if they say you have to:D)

I considered trying education because I love kids and I have some ideas about teaching methods that might be effective. However, the pay is too low and I would hate dealing with the admins and standardized tests. :mad: I’ve considered the possibility of making some money off a career in computers, then returning to get my education degree and teaching computer science in high school.

While I’m in this thread, I would just like to thank Mr. K (math, grade 12), Mrs. K (chemistry, grade 9, 11, 12), Mrs. F (math grade 11, 12), Mr. B (biology, grade 10, 11, 12), Mrs. R (English lit, grade 12), Mrs. L (English, grade 10, 11), Mr. K (computer science, grade 9), Mr. M (history, grade 9), and mrs. Y (physics, grade 10, 11).