Office drone to high school English teacher?
March 29, 2010 2:59 PM Subscribe
I hate my office job. I want to quit it and become a high school English teacher. Is that stupid? What would I have to do to get started if I live in NYC? What are the pros and cons of teaching high school?
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (24 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I have a pretty nice office job. I work at a marketing agency where I get decent benefits and make a nice salary. But I feel totally disconnected from my work, and I know I'm just a cog in the machine that convinces people to buy stuff they don't need. It's maddening to think that I'll devote the next 30 years of my life to something I dislike at its core.
The lure of graduate school calls to me, but I don't think I'd be very happy slaving away at a PhD in Jamesian novels just so I could teach at BFE University. I've started to wonder if I'd make a good high school English teacher instead. I had close relationships with my English teachers, who encouraged me to write critically and value literature beyond simply its means to make a high grade. My teachers were fundamental in turning me into an avid reader and thinker. I went on to graduate college with an English degree. I would love to build that sort of confidence and love of literature into a new generation of students.
I don't really care about the pay dock, or the fact that the job is lower in prestige than my current one. I know I'll teach some kids who couldn't care less about Shakespeare, and deal with parents who demand grade inflation and special treatment for their kids. My mother was a high school history teacher, so I know some of the politics and drama inherent in all schools, but I'd rather deal with that hullabaloo than write copy for the backs of cereal boxes.
Other pros: I'd hopefully get a decent maternity leave (though I'm not planning on kids for at least 7 years); I can move away from NYC at some point; I'd work stable but not ridiculous hours; I'd engage in some meaningful endeavors.
Does this sound like a good career change for a 25 year old female? What else should I take into consideration? I know the job market is bad for teachers, but I feel, perhaps quite naively, that I'm a strong candidate. How would I get started?