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Is anyone really happy teaching?
Old 09-11-2010, 11:08 AM
 
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Many of the posts on this bored talk of exhausted teachers that work 60+ hrs per week, work all throught their weekends, and don't really enjoy their job. I am the Director of a preschool program and am about to take an accelerated teacher licensure program to be certified to teach secondary math. These boards are scaring me! Everyone seems so unhappy with teaching. I understand how thankless the education field can be, and the stress that comes from dealing with policies and unhappy parents, but I am happy in my current career. I am mainly looking to become a teacher to have more time for my family, NOT LESS, and for the awesome health benefits that our state provides to public school reachers! Does anyone here actually get home within an hour of school ending and have time on the weekends for their family? I understand that grading papers and lesson planning will regularly be a part of my evening wind-down activities, but is teaching really everything that you eat, breath and sleep????


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Old 09-11-2010, 11:26 AM
 
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Yes, I love my job as a middle school teacher, even after 25 years. Best wishes.
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Yes and No
Old 09-11-2010, 11:43 AM
 
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Yes, I love my job, and wouldn't want to spend my days doing anything else. I love being with young children all day- I think they keep me young at heart! And no, most days I do not get home within an hour of school ending. I do have a life outside of school, but don't look towards teaching as a means of having more family time. It ain't gonna happen! You will get more vacation time (summers are unpaid) but the days you work will most likely be long ones. I'm in at 7:15 and struggle to leave before 5:00. (Kids are in from 8:15-3:00.) And I am mostly working, not socializing. I probably do more than I have to, but that's what my kids deserve. So, choose to become a teacher for the right reasons- to make a difference, not to have more free time.
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Old 09-11-2010, 11:44 AM
 
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the best thing about these boards, is, yes, everyone loves what they do. They choose to put time and energy into it, and do it the best they can. Yes, I have time for other things, but it's what you make it too. There are weekends that I don't touch school work, there are other weekends that I don't do much else. And there are nights that are one extreme or the other as well.

Good luck!
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Old 09-12-2010, 07:30 PM
 
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I am a retired teacher. I taught for 34 yrs. When I retired I could only claim 26 yrs b/c I taught in a catholic school in NY. The state would not give me full credit. I retired with only 60% of my salary certainly not a enough to live on. I too loved teaching but I realized I had enough. My teaching job required me to work long hrs with little materials. We were expected to volunteer all the time for school functions which kept me away from my family. It didn't matter whether we had children. Our students need us but so do our families.
When I left I knew I could find another job b/c I see myself still vital to the work force. I am 56 yrs old but I look an act like I am 40. I miss teaching. However, if I had to do it all over again I would select another career.
Why am I saying this? Think hard about your decision. Loving & teaching children has always been my passion. But making a good salary is important too as well as being happy. You must love your job or you will spend your time thinking why did I choose teaching.
Good luck with your decision.


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Old 09-13-2010, 01:55 PM
 
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I justed started 4 years ago and I love it. I also enjoy working the long hours. I am 46 years old, but act about 30. The great part is the students; the negative is the paper work!!

good luck!
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Sooo glad you brought this up!
Old 09-13-2010, 02:06 PM
 
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I am a career changer and have not been able to GET a job for 2 years now - frustrating, yes! I went ahead and got a Masters in Early Childhood Education, because I'm not one to sit around doing nothing.

Well, then I found PT and although I love it, it scares the heck out of me reading all of the boards (especially the VENT - must stay off of that one, but am addicted)! The part that scares me the most is all the in-fighting amongst the teachers and all the pettiness. I did not go into this field so I could have daily flashbacks of high school!

Anyone have positive comments on teams and colleagues and working relationships with these people? Please?!!!
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I have been teaching SpEd for 6 years now
Old 09-13-2010, 03:37 PM
 
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I worked in Social Work/Child abuse and Neglect for 10 years. Then I subbed some while I took some years off and started this job at 40.

I get to school at 7:45 and usually leave between 5 and 6 pm at least 3 days a week. BUT most days, I can leave earlier if I want to or NEED to--it just couldn't happen everyday--I have some flexibility in which days those are. I don't make a lot of money since I only have a Bachelor's degree [and have little desire to go back to school.]

Nonetheless, I love my job and my kids. It is not easy but I really like my school, my job, my admins and even my parents.

I do get tired and I vent--just like all of us on some boards--but I vent so I can deal with it and move on. It can be frustrating as well. But you are going to have that with any job that involves other people...

As far as you working less hours, it kinda depends on the hours you work now--you never mentioned that part. You should also look very carefully at the healthcare plan...
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for the awesome health benefits that our state provides to public school [t]eachers!
It may or may not be what you expect. Here in MO anyway, teachers are technically employed by the District/BOE. Our District and Board choose out health plans and coverage. Some years are better than others. Right now, ours look pretty good on paper but actually kind of stinks because the deductibles are sky high and the "coverage" actually covers very little. So, double check your facts. Maybe even talk to someone who has the same or similar health issues you do.

Good luck.
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Teaching as a career
Old 09-23-2010, 06:31 AM
 
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Well I've been teaching for 13 years. I started right out of college and I am now 35. I stumbled onto this posting by googling "2nd career for teachers". . SO maybe that sums my position. It is a thankless job. Long hours and little room to advance. I work for LAUSD and after 13 years at the age of 35 I find myself at the top of the pay scale. No matter how hard I work or how little I work I can't make anymore money. While money is not everything it is motivation and a sign of appreciation. I work at a high school where there is rampid drug use, vulgarity, and disrespect. Parents have completely lost control of their children. I am burned out. It's sad actually because I have just received my National Board teaching certification. However I can no longer tolerate the verbal abuse lack of parenting and the impersonal way that the school districts perceive and treat their employees. Having said all of that if you like to work hard and receive no appreciation for your efforts then teaching is the career for you. Perhaps you are one of the few who need no extrinsic rewards or affirmation. If this is the case teaching is the career for you. If not... keep looking.
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Sorry, but
Old 09-23-2010, 09:24 AM
 
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I have to piggyback on to your post. Also, it has become extremely dangerous in certain places. I teach in the inner-city. Teachers are hit and kicked almost daily. I've been teaching for 14 years and I have had guns and knives in my classroom two different times. Yet, the students received nothing but a couple of days of suspension. When I complained, they said "Well, they didn't threaten or hurt anyone." WTF!!!! And this was in the 3rd and 4th grade!! My step-nephew's mom had her back broken by a student when she was on yard duty. This was in junior high.
I would NOT advise anyone to go into teaching today. The so called perks (more time off that other professions) are not worth it for the amount of work you have to do and the abuse you have to take. Also, I foresee in the near future, that teachers will not be needed. Classrooms of the future will have video streaming lessons. And those who can afford it, will move their kids to private schools or some sort of private tutoring. Schools are just too dangerous and disorderly due to administrations doing nothing. Their mantra is "Keep suspension rates down at all costs." You can see how much they helped that dad in Florida when those bullies were taunting his daughter and throwing condoms on her.
Granted, during my career I've only worked at school sites in the inner-city, but I hear these stories from all over the country.
Find another way to make a difference in society. I wish I had.


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Old 09-23-2010, 09:42 AM
 
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I love what I do I couldn't imagine doing anything different!
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I love my job.
Old 09-24-2010, 02:50 PM
 
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Yes, I get frustrated sometimes and burnt out, but I love my job! I taught middle school for five years before switching to elementary (1st). I can say from experience that you don't have as much of the busy work at home or at school when you teach middle school/high school. I work SO much harder and SO many more hours at my new position. I wouldn't change it for anything though. Even with all of the long hours, parent drama, misbehaving kids, etc.; I still love my job. Don't switch to have more time with family. It won't happen. I work from 7:15 until around 4:30 every day and I ALWAYS bring work home. I just have to leave when my carpool buddies leave (we live 40 min. away) and they get sick of waiting on me (high school teacher and librarian). My husband is the high school teacher and I work on school stuff all night while he plays computer games. Not that I'm jealous (insert sarcasm here)! He also doesn't understand why I go in on weekends or spend so much of my own money on my class. I think that you will probably have more time if you are going to be teaching high school.

As for the health care....I wish I lived in your state. In addition to working at one of the lowest paid corporations in the state, our medical coverage is mediocre and we have NO vision and NO dental! Our worthless governor would like us to buy into a state plan and have even crappier coverage. Anyway...sorry to vent, guess your post just got me going.
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Yea I do
Old 11-13-2010, 06:14 AM
 
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I teach in Japan and yea the kids are weird, perverted and energetic but they have a true desire to learn. At first I was upset they kept asking me to make more homework for them and making the class more challenging but I understood they just wanted to learn more.

I do not have kids with special needs as they go to a special school. I do not have real bad kids (compared to what I have read on here). It makes me put things into perspective which is good for me.

The kids have great pride in their classroom and everyone in the school cleans the school after lunch (sweeping, mopping, scrubbing toilets...etc). It is a we mindset here and it shows in the classroom too.

At the end of class each kid says thank you sensai. If I get a hug it makes my month as Japanese people do NOT hug each other. Also my title of sensai is respected here and it ranks up there with doctor.

They start education early here and I also teach a 2 and 3 year old class (bilingual education class) as here the parents start education classes as early as 6 months old. It is not easy teaching 2 years olds!!! ha ha ha.

My start time varies (8am or 9am). My teaching day does not end till 7pm. I get home between 8 to 9pm. Some days I do not get home till 10pm (if it is a LONG commute)

I work either a Saturday or Sunday each week (I do get a Friday or Monday off though). The school year is about 240 days long. I am also responsible for developing the kids personally and teaching values and have pretty much free reign for discipline. The parents will rarely complain about how you discipline a kid.

I also have to make home visits during the year which is being invited to dinner sometimes at the students house. Most kids do the serving of the food and pouring of drinks.

Salary - the school reimburses my transportation costs (train) and I get 3 bonuses a year. I do not worry about health care as it is socialized medicine here (medical, dental and vision) and I love the health care system here. I also get a cost of living adjustment each year.

Yea I have gripes here but I guess the pros outweigh the cons.
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Old 11-13-2010, 09:34 AM
 
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I changed careers several years ago to become a teacher. This is my 4th year teaching, and I mostly love it. Things I could do without: excessive paperwork, lots of extra after-hours duties, parents who believe their child over you, kid germs, and union/district/state/federal policies that make no sense. But I love: my students (most of them), collaborating with awesome colleagues, finding better ways to teach, and challenging myself.

I know I teach in an okay school (more suburban than urban, only 50% free/reduced, a small core of involved parents, etc) that doesn't have some of the problems mentioned by other posters.

It was the right choice for me. Follow your heart - passion helps a lot on those tough days.
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Old 11-20-2010, 12:13 PM
 
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It's the framework of this particular job.

1. Unlike a small office, you work with directly with a large number of people...teachers, administrators, parents, and children. Therefore you have to deal with all sorts of personalities and demands. Think about just the sheer number of people you work with intimately in a school setting.

2. You work for the public. Therefore, you have to put up with comments from the public because they feel that they are your boss.

3. You are expected to be completely successful in meeting everyone's needs... everyone that I mentioned above, plus the state's legislature, governor, department of education, president, secretary of education, and media personalities. And they all have an opinion on how to educate and expect you to do it their way.

So your love of kids has to be so strong that it overrides all that I've said. It does for me. Add in that I love learning about things, and I've got a perfect match for a job that can be overwhelmingly demanding.

I have plenty of time for my family. I arrive early and leave early. I went to my son's practices in four sports and never missed a game or match. I spent two months every year camping or traveling around the US. I knew his teachers and I was able to help him with his homework by reteaching if needed. I cooked family meals. (I don't do that as much now because I don't want to.) I make plenty of money...25 years plus a specialist degree.

For me, this has been an ideal vocation.

But I can sure vent with the best of them when I feel like it.
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Old 11-28-2010, 02:00 PM
 
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Kim-jky, I spent many years in bookkeeping and office work and then decided that I wanted a change. I have now taught middle school for 9 years, and my first response to your post is "YES I love my job!" Now, let me say that you won't get that answer from me every day. First, it all depends on where you are teaching. I am in Missouri, and in my state the health benefits are provided by the individual district and not mandated by the state. Also, in MO, we do not pay in to Social Security but to the Teacher Retirement System. It is a great retirement system, well-funded, etc., but all of that money I put into SS during my previous career? GONE due to the Windfall Elimination. Make sure your state does not have that, it can make a difference, especially if your spouse pre-deceases you and you are not eligible for his social security (luckily my hubby was a teacher so it doesn't hurt me as much.) As for family time? Well, yes and no. Yes, I work all day Sunday getting ready for the week, mostly because I try to avoid it weekday evenings. My son graduated HS last year and I was willing to spend my weekends doing school work so that I could spend my evenings going to his athletic events and such. Sure, we get summers off (about 5 weeks off if I teach summer school) but heck, I got three weeks in my previous career! The final deciding factor -- how much do you love the kids? and are you willing to put up with all the crap you've read on the boards in order to be with those kids all day trying to make a difference in at least one life? Remember, teaching is NOT just a job, it is a CAREER and you will have to make some sacrifices to make it work. As for me, I love it even if I don't particularly "like" it some days! Good luck!
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Old 01-11-2011, 09:41 AM
 
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I understand your confusion....and fear! I can only offer you advice based on my experience...so here goes.
Teaching is a noble profession that requires a lot of education, hard work, and dedication! You have to LOVE it, because it will test your commitment to it many times throughout your career. You will spend a lot of time planning lessons, grading papers, designing and administering tests, recording student results on paper AND on a computer system designated by the district. And all this is only a part of what you will be responsible for. The rest will be filled with adjusting well-laid-out curriculum plans to accommadate a myriad of school-wide special events. (Sometimes you will have time to adjust for this, but many times you won't!) Fire drills, school concerts, rallies, and conferences are only a small sampling of such "events". THEN, there are all the things you have to keep up with outside of the classroom... professional development classes/ seminars, parent/ teacher conferences, extracurricular assignments, grade-level meetings, committees... the list goes on.
Families? Who are they??? Oh yeah, they are the ones to hear all the reasons why we are so busy and therefore have no time for them.
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leaving teaching so I can have a family
Old 01-29-2011, 12:02 AM
 
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I'm one of the burned out ones. Please don't go into teachign if you think it will give you more family time. I am leaving teaching in the next few years so I can really be there for my family the way they deserve.

Ask any of us-ones who love it or hate it- the work is never done. No matter how much you do, plan, love, teach, tutor, chaperone, meet, collaborate, grade, motivate, encourage, .....the work is never finished. You could always give more and there will always be people, bosses, parents, and kids who want, and often need, truly need more of YOU. THis, unless you have incredible boundaries and sense of perspective, will equal GUILT and a sense of falling short. Your family may and will suffer if you are not careful. These needs crowd out everything.
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2nd career
Old 01-29-2011, 04:48 AM
 
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I am a second career teacher. I was in another profession for 20+ years. I LOVE teaching.
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absolutely
Old 01-29-2011, 05:19 AM
 
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After 15 years of being a nurse- moving to elementary education was the best move of my life. Couldn't be happier, even when I'm frustrated
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Old 02-02-2011, 10:55 AM
 
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Is it hard work? Yes. Do I feel sometimes underappreciated? Yes. I believe that teaching is truly a calling. At the end of the day I truly feel as if I have made a difference. I do it for kids and I have realized that I can't reach them all, but if I have reached just one, then I have done my job. You have to make that decision for yourself. Not every situation is similar. Take a look at the district you want to work in to see if there are any problems like the ones described. Like I said I enjoy it. Hopefully you will too.
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Old 04-16-2011, 08:21 PM
 
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I LOVE my job...but as time for bed said, "I can vent with the best of them!"
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Old 12-21-2011, 05:33 AM
 
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I am a second career, first-year teacher and I love it. I, too, am addicted to The Vent and read it almost daily; it makes me feel sad for many other teachers and it also helps me appreciate my job. My team is supportive, collaborative, and fun; I can say the same about my administration. My teammates check on me frequently and send me little warm-fuzzy emails. They've shared frustrations from their first year, and remind me to come to them any time I need anything. They mean it, and they have come through in more than a few pinches. I have a couple "crazy" parents, and a few kids who push my buttons, but even on a bad day I have many, many people who have my back. I have kids who tell me I'm their favorite teacher and, just yesterday, a third grade student whispered in my ear that she hopes she's in my class next year. I love my job!

My daughters are at my school and that has pros and cons. Two major pros: they've befriended other staff kids, which has helped me develop friendships quickly with other teachers; they do their homework each day in my classroom while I work after school (after finishing they play with other staff kids). Dismissal is at 3:05 and we rarely leave before 4:30 or 5:00, but when we leave, we leave. I almost never take grading or any materials home. I do research at home after my kids have gone to bed, at least 4 times each week. But, I'm working hard to maintain a healthy work-family balance.
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Old 04-29-2012, 02:13 PM
 
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I graduated in 1998 with a Bachelors Degree in Elementary Education. I taught at inner city schools, and enjoyed the challenge. After two years, reality (administration issues) stepped in and it was not "fun" anymore. I LOVED working with students, but I HATED the BS behind the scenes. I left teaching in 2004, and started a career in corporate for almost seven (7) years. I obtained my Masters Degree in Education in 2011 with hopes of moving on to other opportunities, without being in the classroom. Due to the slow economy, I have not been able to find ANYTHING pertaining to education. I got a job interview at a minimum security prison teaching inmates! NO THANKS! They failed to disclose this fact when I applied! I would be lying if I said that I did not miss the students, time off (holidays/spring break/summer), and surprise snow days! BUT, the cons outweighed the pros, which made my decision to leave in the first place valid. Overworked, and underpaid. So unfair! I am going to patiently wait for the right opportunity for me to obtain employment in the education field without having to teach. I will be 39 years old next month, and often become depressed with the profession that I have chosen. Until something comes along, I will maintain my job as a corporate Account Supervisor. So frustrated!
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Old 06-20-2012, 05:00 AM
 
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Taught high school choir for ten years. Too much to manage, not enough time to do it. It was a lonely job. I had great students, for the most part, but never saw my family. It's over and I'm already happier. I never ever recommend teaching to my students, even those that would be good at it, because I don't want anyone to live my life.
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Old 05-26-2014, 04:42 AM
 
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I am a primary school teacher in England and I can assure you that it is exactly the same situation here. We are constantly under pressure from Ofsted, have numerous observations/ drop-ins/ planning scrutiny/ one-to-one meetings with phase leaders and the expectation to progress all of our children to the levels expected by the government is totally ridiculous. I get to school around 7.00, spend 1 1/2 hours preparing resources etc before the children arrive at 8.30. I have 50 minutes lunch break, during which I mark work. The school day end at 3.15 pm for the children. I stay until school closes at 6.00 pm.
After I get home I generally make dinner, do another 1-2 hours work and then go to bed. I have been teaching for 25 years and I can honestly say that the current situation did not exist like this when I first began my career. I am just thankful that my own children are now grown up as I know I could not do what I am being asked to do if I had young children to care for. Work/life balance? - What's that??
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