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mcarmack15 mcarmack15 is offline
 
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mcarmack15
 
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Old 04-16-2017, 06:09 PM
 
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Hi there,

I am a sophomore in college and I honestly have no idea what I want to do with my life. In high school I took a few early childhood education classes and loved them! After deciding I wanted to be a teacher, my dad told me that it wasn't good enough and that I would not make enough money to support myself. He made me take Health Science classes so that in college I could major in Nursing and follow in his footsteps.

Now that I am in college, I honestly do not want to be in the medical field anymore and want to venture out. I am thinking about majoring in Education and becoming a high school teacher; I have a few concerns though.

1. Is the salary really that bad for a first-year teacher right out of college?
2. How hard is it to find a teaching position in Charlotte, NC?
3. How would I even know what subject to teach?
4. How do I know if I am right for the teaching field?

I would really appreciate any insight and tips or experience stories anyone might have. Thank you!


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lisa53 lisa53 is online now
 
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Old 04-17-2017, 02:47 AM
 
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I taught high school for 40 years, and I will try to answer your questions.

1. Is the salary really that bad for a first year teacher right out of college?

I lived below the poverty line for several years, but things are better now. Salaries vary quite a bit from place to place. In the school district where I taught in NH, a brand new teacher with a bachelor's degree earns a little over 41K. The top of the salary schedule is 78K for 17+ years of experience and Masters + 30 credits. You can often find this information on school district websites.

2. How hard is it to find a teaching position in Charlotte, NC?

I have no idea about this...and it will vary from year to year and depending on what you decide to teach. Is there a compelling reason for staying in that particular city? I moved from MI to VT for a teaching job when I was first starting out, and later moved to NH...however, bear in mind that certification is state by state, so I had to apply for a new certificate and pass the certification requirements when I moved. Teachers are needed everywhere, and some places have more demand (and better conditions and salaries) than others, so if you are able to broaden your geographic requirements, you will have more options.

3. How would I even know what subject to teach?

What is your passion? If you want to teach high school, you will need a major in your subject area as well as your education requirements. If you have already started out in health, perhaps one of the sciences would be a good option for you. Bonus: teachers with a science certification are more rare (especially chemistry and physics), so it may be easier to get a job. However I think you should choose something you love, because that will help you communicate the material better to students.

4. How do I know if I am right for the teaching field?
One way to get a sense of this is to do some informal education with kids. There are many ways to do this--try a few. You can be a camp counselor, volunteer with Scouts or 4H, help out with Sunday School, volunteer as a tutor or in an after-school program, coach a sport, work in a museum that attracts kids...You get the idea. I also know a lot of college students who substitute teach during their breaks.

Many education programs require you to observe and/or volunteer in classrooms early in your program. If that isn't true for you, see if you can find a teacher you know who will allow you to come and observe/help out for a few days.

I did not intend to become a teacher at all--I was going to be a civil engineer. I joined the Peace Corps after college, and was assigned to be a science teacher. I loved teaching so much that I continued when I returned home.

Maybe some other teachers will weigh in...but I hope this helps!
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