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“This topic had begun on another thread of a slightly different nature, but thought it might be a good idea for it to have its own thread..
Adventurist had asked how many people out there were teachers.. so... how many?
I just found out the other day that I am eligible to teach science at the high school level (Biology or Earth Science) up in Maine, and will be moving up there this summer. I am VERY excited about it, and look forward to starting yet another new career. I have a feeling this will be it.. I've always wanted to teach, but it never was really in my cards until now.
I'd love to hear what you other teachers like and dislike about your jobs..!”
“Good for you. We need good teachers! I don't teach, but I am married to one and I work in education. By the looks of it, we need everyone who can teach, be a teacher!”
“I taught for a very short time. I loved my classroom, the bulletin boards, all the possible seating arrangements, the smell of paper and books, the other teachers...I loved it all. But every morning it would all be interupted with those pesky students. They wrecked it all.”
“but Artex... what about the seminary?”
“LOL @ running girl!!! Yeah, I love working with kids.. but I know it's not all fun and games, and it's a lot of hard work. I'm really looking forward to the challenge.
And of course, a great bonus is, all that vacation time! :-)”
“Seminary? As in religous seminary, like priesthood? What crack you been smokin'?! :-)”
“I'm really not that cynical. My son has expressed interest in teaching and I would be thrilled if he decided to persue it. I greatly admire the folks who have spent time teaching all those "pesky students".”
“Artex, please tell me you are not going to take those poor kids deep into the woods with -10 below and make them hike 18 miles just to show them who is Boss?”
“That's how he's going to get rid of the troublesome ones...”
“Only if they act up in class, ML! :-)”
Way to go, Artex!
“And so it's finally happening. It's a good time to start your career, when I started in 1977 they were throwing teachers out windows and cutting back everywhere. To-day you can almost customise your job.
In my opinion it is a tremendous advantage to have years of experience in the 'real' world before you go into teaching. I believe this for two reasons. First, it will enrich everything you do with the kids. Many teachers go from school and university into school again. Some - not all, but some - remain quite limited. The kids see the difference and they appreciate you more. You treat them more as people and they react in kind. At least that is my experience.
Second, (excuse me for this) in my experience, teachers are even worse than farmers for their constant whining and complaining. Put some of the worst into some of the shark pens that we've had to swim in and watch them beg to come back.
I know you and I believe you are making a wise choice that you will not regret; and it will be good for a lot of kids, too.
BTW, got any dates for Couchs, etc? I'm registered for the FYAO III trip. I'll drive down and ski or snowshoe in on the Saturday, socialise like crazy with people I've been hoping to meet and back out on the Sunday.
“Artex, I begun teaching chemistry this school year, after several years working in industry. I will tell you that, without a doubt, I do more work as a teacher (for less money) than I ever did in industry. The upside is that I love teaching and did not like my previous job, so I can deal with the money. The time off goes a long way toward helping.
It is not a job for everybody, but if you think you'll like it, go for it! You can always do something else if you don't enjoy it.”
“Thanks Gremlin, very nice things that you said. My father also entered into teaching as a second career, and gave a lot of the same advice and said many of the same things you just did, so it's great to hear the reassurance.
As for the Couchs, I'll get back to you tonight, have to look at my calender and see what's up. :-)”
“Thanks Avagadro.. technically, I'd be experiencing a pay cut, but I'd actually be better off financially with teaching given the cost of living in Maine compared to where I live now (right outside NYC) and my current salary, so that's another plus! :-)”
“Avagadro, your name makes sense now. :)
I am working to get my teaching certificate and masters. I have a engineering degree, but this job just isn't what I want to do forever. I know I'll take a big pay cut, but I can't imagine myself sitting in a cube until I retire. :) I know kids whine "when will I ever use this stuff", and I can give a few real life examples.
I plan to teach math and science, just about any science except physics! I'd like to take some of my environmental/civil engineering experience and use it in my classroom.
I want kids to know that just because they're good at math and science, they shouldn't necessarily become engineers. I also want kids to know that its ok to choose one path, and then make a career change someday. I have been an engineer way too long because I was afraid I'd wasted my education and all these years working. But I havn't, it'll only add to what I can do in the future.”
“Cool, good for you, smiley girl!!! It's great to hear from other people that are on the same path as I am, good luck! :-)”
“I'll be moving too, Artex. But not for a couple years, and not out-of-state. Just headed over to west Michigan.
Good luck with the move, and teaching, and the New Mexico thing! :)”
“Good luck Artex, and be sure to join the union!
This message brought to you by the AFL-CIO.”
“LMAO @ Buddha Bear!”
“Wow, so this is really happening! Good luck Artex and I hope that we can continue to hike with you on our Mainiac trips. This is so exciting that you are actually moving there this summer. Do a photo album of the area once you find out where you are moving to.”
“Congrats Artex. Just remember some of that "summer off" time is consumed by "professional development" and "certification" activities to maintain your teaching credentials. Teachers never stop going to school, in every respect.
I did 15 years in journalism before returning for a master's and a community college teaching career. When comparing salaries of community journalism to community college, I had no trouble IMPROVING my pay, though I can't say that would be the case in every state. The Wisconsin Technical College System does pretty well by it's instructors -- but as Buddha Bear noted, join the union, because without WEA/NEA, the pay and benefits wouldn't be this good.
The point about real world experience being important in the classroom as a teacher can also be applied to being in the classroom as a grad student. Those who came straight to grad school from undergrad were more likely to whine or have unrealistic expectations of what lay ahead of them. Our system requires new instructors to have a minimum of one year of work in their field other than teaching, and those hired usually have a lot more than that.”
“I've been thinking about going into teaching also, but it looks like such a big pay cut that I can't do it until after my kids get through college.
What did you have to do to be certified to teach, Artex?”
“Thanks guys! :-)
Fritz - every state is different for certification, and it of course depends on what you want to teach. To become a high school science teacher in Maine, I needed a Bachelors Degree, at least 24 credit hours in liberal arts and 36 hours of science classes. Those I had, and it wass enough to get me a temporary teaching certificate and begin teaching immediately.
Once I begin teaching, I have to take about 15 hours worth of teaching classes, and there are also three specific science classes that I still need (in addition to the 36 hours I already had). I have three years to take those classes, which should be more than ample, and after that I will have full certification.
I looked at the rules briefly for New Jersey and becoming certified there was much easier (but as you know, my goal is to leave the armpit of America).
Point being, again, every state is different. I've come across some websites during my research into the whole matter that you might find helpful. I'll email you some links tonight when I get home from work.”
“Pekka - cool! Yeah, the nice thing is that my financial situation would be improving also. Cost of living here in the NYC area is ridiculous, as you can imagine.”
“Artex, from your research, what would you guess would be a starting salary in NJ? Does it depend on what grade/subject? Do the qualifications of the teacher affect the salary?”
“I taught "Environmental Science" for a local college for a short while. I loved it, but couldn't make a living off what they paid. I'd love to do it again.”
“Fritz, there are listings on the internet that show average teacher salaries by state. If I remember correctly, New Jersey was third in the nation in terms of most pay, so that's good news if you wanted to hop across the border. I want to say it was upper 40's for yearly salary. Keep in mind though that the counties next to NYC are likely skewing that number pretty high.. so I would guess that the average would be less for more rural parts of Jersey. Also, salary is based mostly on teaching experience, so you would likely start under the average.”
“I would just mention that although getting certification in NJ is easy, getting a job is not a cinch. I have friends who have failed at it. What used to happen is that you get a two year opportunity to prove yourself, and they will drop you if they have a candidate who looks better and you have had any problems managing the class, students and/or curriculum. However, job openings are pretty frequent, so knowing some of the right people would help too. Just remember that if you get hired (in NJ), they will parade your credentials at school board meetings, teacher meetings and PTA meetings. Lack of teaching experience can be a problem in terms of being accepted in general. My friends who had trouble, could only get jobs in school districts where no one else wanted to teach. My one friend who made the transition successfully, teaches at a private academy.
Fritz, if you can teach at a local community college, that would give you the classroom experience that would help your resume a lot. In NJ western counties, teachers start at about $35K in elementary school. I'm sure that middle school and high school pays more, and there are more openings in middle school because most teachers want to avoid that age level.”
“Hmmm, maybe it's just because it was almost 30 years ago, but I've always considered my middle school teachers to have been the best and most conscientious. I guess things have changed, as usual...”
That is cool. I think choosen life changes are a good thing. New environments stimulate new thought and interest. I think you will make an excellent teacher and there will be lots of single, young women in your work environ (and no, I don't mean the students, perv!).”
“LOL @ roseymonster! Thanks man. :-)”
“Artex is moving to Maine, wahoo!
“Bitpusher, I'm not saying that the teachers that work in middle school are bad. Just that I have heard many teachers say that they had worked in middle school and would NEVER want to do it again. The ones that do stay probably really can handle it.”
“nice job Artex, now you'll be dealing with High school punks like me! ;)”
“Howitzer - it's going to be an honor and a priviledge to work with punks like you. You'll still have to do your homework though. ;-)
Twiggie - Yeah, I'm so excited! Free lobsters for everybody!”
“They must, Lyndy. Of course, it also seems like the most egregiously bad teachers I had were in middle school too, like the "science" teacher who didn't know that the sun has a name, too...”
“Free lobster?! I'm coming to your house, LOL!!!
mmmmm, and you know what's in season now - fresh shrimp!”
“Party at Artex's!!
Can we see your dining room? Pennsy showed us his .....
Hmmmmm ... are you having a yard sale on gear, since you are moving and all?”
“Mmmmmm, shrimp.. Man, I can't wait! I'll probably be moving up there in the middle of blueberry season, my favorite fruit. Maine has all the best foods. Jeez, I better up my exercise regiment when I move up there, I'm going to get fat!”
“No way, Lyndy, I'm keeping my gear! However, a yard sale to get rid of some of my crap ain't a bad idea.”
“Oh jeez, don't get me started on yard salers...”
“Bitpusher, can I interest you in an old pair of bowling shoes?”
“Not the ones who hold them, the ones who shop at them...”
“Lobster, shrimp, blueberries, sounds good. I wonder what your family is going to say when they visit you next winter. You will have to do some comic strips about the Florida relatives dealing with the Maine winter weather.”
“Seems there's always something yummy in season - maybe I'll show you some of my secret fiddleheadin' spots!
I'd have ta kill ya though...”
“Did you ever see the Seinfelf Episode when Cramer steals the lobsters because the traps are just there...”
“Hey Artex...congratulations on the career move...that's really cool to be a Teacher...I always looked up to my Teachers way when and I hope your students will look up to you with honor.
BTW....if teaching don't work out for you....you could always become a DJ....get yourself a skullcap and some gold chains....man you be a diggin a groove daddy-O....
What's the deal with Maine? Do they have reciprocity with other states for your teaching license? Is there a shortage there? What is the starting pay like?
In a few years I'll be looking to relocate from Maryland.
“JO - I'm not too sure how it works from transfering a liscense from one state to another. Somebody who has helped me with questions is Pat Julien at the Department of Education for the State of Maine. Her (his?) email is: Pat.Julien@state.me.us
Like much of the nation, Maine is experiencing a bigtime teacher shortage. Also, Maine's siutation is only expected to get worse. They particulary have a dire need for math and science teachers.”
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