I am 85% certain I want to be a teacher
November 9, 2010 9:56 AM Subscribe
I've been seriously considering becoming a high school math teacher. I have some experience teaching in a classroom, and lots of experience tutoring. What I'd like to know now - before I jump into an alternative degree program - is what it's actually like being
a teacher day in and day out. If I'm not going to be able to hack it, I'd rather know now.
posted by Gori Girl to Work & Money (30 answers total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
- Energy Levels - What's it like being on your feet all day? Talking for most of the day? As an introvert, am I going to be wiped out by the end of the day, everyday? Does it get easier?
- Bureaucracy - How bad are the school politics? Teaching to the test? Union issues? Is blogging under my own, googleable name (nothing I'd be ashamed of my grandma seeing) going to be a problem? Do schools have strict dress codes or other policies for their teachers?
- Classroom Management - All of my teaching/tutoring experience has been with students who were there by choice, or at least their parents' choice. What's it really like working with students who don't want to be there and are completely unmotivated? As a short, young woman, am I going to have difficulty with discipline? (I've been fine in the past, but still...)
- Life/Work Balance - I know teachers work a lot more hours than commonly perceived. How does this vary from 1st year to 2nd year to 5th year to 10th year (etc)? What's it like only being able to take vacations and travel when the schools are out? How much time does working with kids outside of the classroom (clubs, etc) and school evening events suck up? I'm thinking about have children of my own in a couple of years - how manageable is that, really?
Anything else I should know or be asking to really get an idea of what it's like to be a teacher? Any blogs or books I should read? I really want to go in with my eyes wide open, if I decide to make this jump.
Special snowflake details: I currently have a cushy office job working with excel all day. Good boss, great coworkers, 55 to 60 hour workweeks, 70k pay. Overall, not too bad for a 25 year old in this economy - except that I hate, hate, hate the work and dread coming into the office every day. My teaching experience includes TAing a college class and teaching SAT and PSAT math classes over a summer. I've tutored math forever, all ages. I don't have a math degree, but have taken a lot of college math courses, and have a master in economics. Right now I'm open to public or private school teaching (but would love to not take *too* much of a pay cut), and it'd have to be in the SF Bay Area, preferably South Bay. I'm aware that the job market sucks for teachers, but I'm hoping that teaching math (and econ if there's demand) + being willing to work in lower-income schools will let me find a job. Feel free to burst that bubble if I'm wrong.