No, not teaching English, that is my weak spot as it will remain my second language.
Currently I work in IT and I have a good job, but I kept a part time job (also IT) in a small local high school.
Because of my degree in animation I was asked by the principal to teach the students computer graphics as an activity on some days. It worked so well that the principal remembered that in the old country my college prep years were on Social Studies and I had shown already plenty of knowledge in history getting an A in one of my last college classes in the US.
So the principal surprised me one day by telling me that the school had paid for the cost for me to take the history test for the Arizona Educator Proficiency Assessment.
Now the embarrassing part, I was scared that I was not going to do good because I barely had time to prepare, in fact I had to concentrate more in the IT job that got me health insurance and better pay (Over time was requested at the IT place close to the test date and I needed a little bit of money then) so I only had one day to really prepare.
Did not need it, I got 100% correct bars in almost all subjects, the only weak part was the essay one (Stupid location of a first settlement!) and still I got a passing grade on it.
So then the principal decided it was time to prepare and even start teaching history.
Good that it is still a part time position, otherwise I would be dead of exhaustion before the weekend got here, but nevertheless there is still more do do before I become a full time teacher, if I decide to follow the path.
As I have seen even in the dope (and there is a thread on the risks involved in the pit) teaching is on many occasions a very stressful job. So far it looks good, although I’m getting a reputation of being too strict. So, any other teachers out there with advise, words of encouragement or discouragement?
I hope Kyla, **glee **and Guinastasia show up. Kyla and **glee **are teachers in Europe IIRC and Guinastasia (for the history threads) get some of the blame for encouraging me.
Strict is good. Too strict is even better. Over the years, I’ve learned that relaxing my classroom rules once in awhile works very well as a reward. I am naturally dour and soft-spoken, anyway. Besides that, I’ll soon be 63, and while friendly, I don’t make any attempt to be friends with students. Civility and respect are what I strive for.
The good: In some ways, our lot has improved in the last couple of decades. It’s harder for schools to find teachers, so it pays better and jobs are easier to come by.
Baked into the deal is the vacation: I never have to worry about getting Christmas off etc., and of course there’s summer vacation. And we build up sick days and many districts have a sick day bank so that even if you’re laid up for six months, you have security.
The bad: History is a core subject and therefore you’re likely to be on the hotseat for the infamous state testing.
There’s no real pay for experience. The difference between the starting salary and mine works out to less than a $500/year raise (what they do, periodically, is shift the entire scale up). Health benefits have been dwindling lately.
Worse, the teacher retirement systems are pretty suspect à la Social Security: will it really be there if/when I retire?
The ugly: well, you’ve already visited the Pit. You’ll definitely want to join any union that’s offered.
Periodically I think I should do something else. But I don’t know…it’s nice having the autonomy to do what you want, having some fun with the kids instead of sitting through a load of deadly dull meetings.
I have considered going back to the same College I graduated, but this time to teach. My idea is that I have to keep open my options and I do take into account these good points.
I was sweating before, but after I passed the state capacity test I do not worry now.
This is why I have not quit my regular job. [small hijack] not having universal health insurance then prevents me from preparing even more detailed class plans as I have still to work at a different place. The teaching job is still part time and there is no benefits yet, but then I wonder why people opposed to UHC always ignore how feudalistic the system of having health care being offered by the employer and not the state is to the worker in the sense of not really offering the freedom to get or develop the job you want in many occasions. [/small hijack]
As soon as I get in a college or university I will check the union.
As for fun, and as I trained as an animator, I have wondered if on a break I should show the students the Animaniacs Magellan song:
And then with a straight face say, there will be a quiz on this tomorrow!
You really need to look at economics and that is it.
You are teaching part time and it’s fun because you can quit anytime you want. IT is having issues too but the fact is if you like teaching, you will like it if you know you can quit anytime.
You could also volunteer to teach people and that would be more rewarding to help older people who need skills for better jobs.
Nothing’s worse than quitting a good paying job to take another and finding you hate the new job. The simple fact that you’re asking this question means that you don’t really want to be a teacher. Stick to part time or go into volunteering, I get a hell of a lot more satisfaction in volunteering.
I think you’re sitting in the catbird seat and should teach for awhile to see if it grows on you. I bet it will. You seem to enjoy history; you might also enjoy educating. Is there any way (besides the cartoons) that you can bring your areas of expertise together? Or make some cartoons for instructional purposes…
It is economics also why I’m doing both and liking them so far.
Plus the money I get at the teaching position is very little, I’m virtually volunteering. (And getting some teaching experience to then teach either IT, Animation or History at a more prestigious place).
Hmm. If you’re willing to show the Animaniacs to your class and talk about pirates in a History class, then I can already tell you that you are way better than any History teacher I had in high school!
I say give it time, and if it turns out to not be for you, then at least you have something else to fall back on. And at least you’ll have tried, which is more than most people can say about things they sometimes wish they had done!