Am I a crazy person to want to become a teacher?
June 2, 2010 3:25 PM Subscribe
I've taken a one year leave from a grad school program in physics. I was very unhappy in grad school, and I'm now leaning towards not going back. My next best idea is to become a high-school teacher in physics and/or math in the Boston area. Am I crazy? How do I do this?
posted by anonymous to Education (13 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I'm fairly excited about the idea, and I feel like it's a very important job in which I would feel fulfilled. Also, I'm pretty happy living a frugal lifestyle, so $30-40,000 a year would be just fine with me. I've done a fair amount of volunteer tutoring, which I've enjoyed.
A few related questions:
1. Am I crazy? I've heard stories all over the map about how hard it is to become a teacher now, how there are layoffs everywhere, etc, etc. I'm currently most of the way to the lowest certification level in Massachusetts, after which point I can legally teach a class. Any ideas about what's the most sensible path for me to become a teacher in the Boston area?
2. Does anyone else have experience with this kind of switch? Care to offer me your 20/20 hindsight? Will I be haunted for the rest of my life by the loss of the admittedly great opportunity I have now to become a research scientist? I've always loved the idea of being a scientist, but it turns out there are quite a few things about it I like less in practice. Teaching sounds great to me, but it doesn't give me quite the same feeling of pride as imagining myself as a research physicist.
3. I've maintained a vague fantasy of going back to a less-intense grad school when I'm older and getting my physics Ph.D. Is this in any way realistic? Has anyone started their research career later in life?
Thanks for any input. I know a lot of this is personal, and you can't really tell me what I should do, but I really feel like I need some outside perspectives on this.