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Azula Azula is offline
 
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Quit teaching to Join the Military? - As an Officer
Old 11-19-2018, 12:23 PM
 
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Hello all!
To put it simply, I have worked in education for 8 years in order to become a teacher. I've taught full time 4 years. However I am experiencing extreme teacher burn out & boredom, due to many factors i'm sure we all understand.
The pay and respect given are not great. In my research I've determined that the military, while risky, has excellent benefits for life, for myself and my husband. (I am a 26+ year old female).

As a holder of a bachelors degree I would qualify to get commissioned as an Officer- a person who manages the enlisted.

What i'm asking is:
Should I quit teaching all together? Or become a professor later in life?
What have you done to improve the workplace?
Are any of you ex/former military or a military spouse?

Any advice would be appreciated.

Thank you~


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kahluablast kahluablast is offline
 
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Old 11-19-2018, 03:06 PM
 
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Have you looked into what you would want to do in the military? It isn't an easy life for either the officer or the spouse. Are you looking at any of the services in particular? Different services have different types of jobs and different things that make them unique.

My dh and I were both Army officers. I would do it again and my dh wouldn't. He was active duty while our kids were young. That was tough. Having a spouse who travels a lot while kids are you is a tough job. Being away from family without that support is tough. The military community is fabulous, but every move is an adjustment.

If you are burning out after 4 years it might be time for a change. At 4 years, I finally felt like I knew what I was doing (and then had to change grade levels and start all over again.) Teaching is hard work!
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Old 11-30-2018, 08:40 PM
 
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Hi Azula. I’m former military that became a teacher. Happy to chat w you
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Considerations
Old 12-14-2018, 06:56 AM
 
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Thanks for your response!
My husband is an ex: military kid so he doesn't mind moving, and we don't have children yet so it'll be a bit easier. I am looking through Officer jobs now, am looking into language based things like translator- a high ASVAB & DLAB score is required though.

What was your experience like?
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Old 12-14-2018, 07:03 AM
 
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Hey! Sorry for the late response,
What was your military job & how did you decide to join teaching?

I still love teaching the students and seeing their progress, and seeing them flourish with my help. But the profession itself is in rough shape.

I'm still thinking out my options & have resumes sent out to other schools districts too!

I just feel like i'd like to try and get an Officer position, it would be an honor to contribute to something greater than myself. I'd be proud I made it!

So those are the two sides of the coin for me right now


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Old 03-04-2019, 09:53 PM
 
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I had to post because you sound somewhat like me 5 years ago!

I was in education and joined the military at the age cutoff (27). Teaching was my dream and passion. I had worked with children since I started my own babysitting business in high school. I did well during my student teaching in my MEd program and was told I was a natural. Unfortunately, I felt like nothing but a failure for quitting my first teaching job as a lead teacher. (let’s just say that my experience started with another teacher taking my students’ desks before school started and me having to search for random tables to use as well as zero curriculum so EVERYTHING needed to come from scratch, and getting -as the other teachers at the school said -all of the ELL with Special Needs students... I was a first year teacher without material or support.) In spite of that, I went on to be a very successful paraprofessional in a different district for two years and was always getting asked when I was going to get my own classroom. That initial experience left my confidence shattered though and I left teaching.

I had grown up in a military family and I missed those benefits as well as moving around. (I get restless staying in the same place for too long.) Also, I had always planned to at least serve in the Reserves, but I decided to go active duty.

I chose to go enlisted not officer right away because I felt like you should actually walk in the shoes of those you’re leading. (There are a lot of highly educated enlisted members these days.) You have opportunities to switch to officer too. Plus, some of the situations they put those poor junior officers in is crazy.

It was a really good decision for me. I had some adventures, traveled, and met the love of my life. I learned and did things I never could have dreamed I’d do. I chose to do a Human Resources specialty and was actually really good at it and advanced quickly. The benefits are like no other job you will ever have ...but there’s a very good reason for that. Like all jobs, there’s always “all that other stuff” The only difference is that no matter how bad the situation is (bad leadership is a huge one), YOU CANNOT SIMPLY QUIT or go to a different unit. In fact, you are under a completely different justice system than your fellow American citizens. You are under the United States Code Of Military Justice (UCMJ). You do not have the same rights.

While the decision to join the military was a good one, I am no longer active duty and am looking at returning to the classroom for the reasons below.

My husband and I were both active duty and have a one year old daughter. It was really hard having a family with both of us being active duty. (For example, overnight duty/or being gone for long periods of time) Also, even though I was in an office setting , it was a hostile work environment (very bad leadership and understaffed) ... most of the people in my office were in therapy it was so bad. I was not able to be my best self at home. The stress at work was leaving me very irritable at home with the two most important people in my life: my husband and my daughter. I was sooooo fortunate to be able to do a temporary separation. (I am in the Reserves and can return to my same pay grade in 6-24 months if I choose)

A big reason I want to return to the classroom is because I feel like teaching and being around children actually made me a better person. While in the military, I became a bitter and angry person because I was trapped in a bad situation with no voice and almost no way out. (Every unit is different and there are some really good ones out there, but this last one left me feeling like a prisoner.)

Another reason I want to get back into the classroom besides wanting to teach and return to being a kind human being is that I want to be on the same schedule as my daughter.

I hope this helps with your decision! Just remember , those that fight for your protection and freedom do not have the same freedom that you do! It is not just another job, but a huge commitment and you will have to make sacrifices. Also, since you are married , remember that your spouse will have to relocate and find a new job every time you move.
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Old 11-09-2020, 06:40 PM
 
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Hello,
I see that this was posted almost two years ago but I thought I would go ahead and add my thoughts. I have been a teacher for the past 14 years and I just retired from the Army National Guard. I can definitely understand why one may want to stop being a teacher and the military is a good option for changing careers. But why not do both? Keep your job as a teacher and sign up for the military. Even if you go active duty the School will have to hold you a position for five years or if you go into the guard or reserves you can work both at the same time.

Of course I can only speak about my experiences and I do understand what others have stated about their experiences on active duty but that is why I enjoyed the Guard so much. I was in more control. I started off enlisted on active duty and actually got in to some trouble and was separated (Kicked out) back in 1996, reenlisted in 2000. I would become an officer in 2007 and I retired this year so that I could go back to school for my Doctorate (which the military is paying for as well), my wife did want me to do both college and military, too much time away. When I became an officer I was able to pick my MOS as an officer, I picked the branch I wanted and when I wanted to go to my Basic Officer leader course. While I was there my unit that I was attached to received orders to deploy. I spoke to my Company Co and talked to him about having two new kids (9 months old) at home and deploying for a year after being away for school for 6 months was a long stretch to be away from my family. My Co agreed and I was transferred to another unit. I was deployed with that unit a year later but It wasn't; 18 consecutive months and that was what I was looking to avoid. I don't mind deploying but just didn't want to go for 18 months straight. Anyway, my point is that with the guard it is very user friendly or it can be depending on the leadership. And quiet frankly if you don't like what you are doing, you can do something about it. During my second deployment I had a Soldier who told me that he was going to go the get his masters when we returned at a school with ROTC and then he was going to go Active duty as a Military intelligence Officer. I told him he would not be guaranteed military intelligence with active duty and that he needed to stay in the guard. He didn't believe me, but I saw him a few years later in a store and he told me that he did what I told him to do. He stayed in the guard, our state didn't have the position but the state next to us did so he switched to that state and is now intelligence officer. My point is this, the military can be a great opportunity for anyone looking to do something different and if you want to have more control of your military career and be able to keep your family close to their home then the guard is the answer. But it is what suits you and your family which may be moving every few years. During my first deployment I became friends with a Soldier who was able become full time with the National Guard Bureau, he is a SGM now but he and his family moved every 18-24 months. So if that's what you want to do then you can do that too. Anyway, I've rambled on to much. Just know there are many options to you in the military and keep your civilian life that you can take advantage of and receive two retirements.

What did you decide to do, stay a teacher or join?
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