Life after Teaching?
December 30, 2013 10:33 AM   Subscribe

I have surpassed the statistical average and have taught (Mathematics) in NYC public schools for over 10 years. I have an MA in Psychology and a need for a change. Any suggestions Mefites?

I currently live in NYC but am also qualified to work in Canada and the UK.
posted by bquarters to Work & Money (16 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
What is it that you want to change? Do you not like teaching anymore? Do you not like math anymore? Do you not like being in New York anymore?
posted by Etrigan at 10:35 AM on December 30, 2013

What kind of change are we talking about?

The "Maybe I should get an M.Ed. and move up into administration" change?

The "I'm sick of urban life, I'm getting a job in Nebraska" change?

The "I've had enough algebra, let's see if we can't transition into social studies" change?

The "I'm sick of teaching, what about health care careers" change?

Or the "Liquidate your life savings and move to Madagascar because the mob is after you" change?

It makes a difference.
posted by valkyryn at 10:40 AM on December 30, 2013 [3 favorites]

I would prefer to switch into a more one-on-one Psychology-based job and cannot stay in NYC if my salary drops significantly. I kept it broad because I'm not that creative and any obvious solutions have run through my head already. Ideally I would like to run off to France, attend cooking school and write a book about it, but Kathleen Flinn and a few others have beat me to it!

Unfortunately, as a teacher in a very expensive city I don't have the giant savings required to fully "go and find myself". But a quieter, more intellectual, contemplative job would be nice!
posted by bquarters at 10:50 AM on December 30, 2013

But a quieter, more intellectual, contemplative job would be nice!

Given that you've only got a BA and your only professional experience is teaching, the only way you're likely to be able to do anything but what you're already doing is to get some kind of additional education. That means quitting your job with its attendant salary unless you can find a way for your current employer to pay for it. The only way of making that happen is to get the district to pay for you to get an advanced degree with the view of moving from teaching into admin. Maybe school counseling.

I'd suggest trying to transition into a private school, but private schools (1) don't always pay better, and (2) the ones that do tend to like their teachers to have advanced degrees. With the current state of the higher academic market, they can get people with Ph.D.s to teach high school, so there's no reason for them not to do that.
posted by valkyryn at 10:59 AM on December 30, 2013

How about a parenting coach? You might be able to get started on it while you work a couple more years and quit when you have enough clients.
posted by dawkins_7 at 11:15 AM on December 30, 2013

I don't agree with @valkyryn. The job market for people with bachelor's degrees in mathematics is quite good. However, you will be looking at entry level jobs.

Are educational administration or counseling options for you?
posted by OrangeDisk at 11:27 AM on December 30, 2013

It ain't France, but move to Montreal and become a math tutor for rich Anglos in Westmount (if you can make it in NYC you can make it anywhere). In your spare time attend that cooking school or whatever.

If you have an MA in Psychology, how much work would it to be to become an accredited counsellor?

I think the key thing to consider is that all change is incremental, so you need to think of a bridge to get to where you want to go (math tutoring?)
posted by KokuRyu at 11:31 AM on December 30, 2013 [2 favorites]

Have you tried simply going to and plugging in the words "master's psychology" in the keyword field and your desired location in the location field? I've started doing that and discovered a host of jobs for which I was qualified that I never even contemplated. Worth a try.
posted by nubianinthedesert at 11:34 AM on December 30, 2013 [1 favorite]

OP said s/he has an MA in Psych.

One option, brush up on experimental design and stats and go looking for "data science" jobs. Given that it is a growing (if overhyped) area, you might be able to trade on your teaching experience as well by doing training/consulting for a firm that offers such services.

I don't know if the quality of your work-life will be better, but it should pay better than k-12 teaching.
posted by Good Brain at 11:36 AM on December 30, 2013 [1 favorite]

With your MA in Psychology, is it possible to do some Social Work courses and become an LCSW? If so, you can do what my Dad did and go into Family Advocacy with the Federal Government.

Here's are three openings in Okinawa. The pay looks messed up, but it isn't. You'll get full benefits, and a housing allowance, utilities paid, commissary and PX privilages, buy gas on post, etc. My parents did this for 10 years as a "semi-retirement" gig. They lived off post in Japan and Germany, were able to travel extensively all over the world and retired on a full pension.

Once you're in the Federal System, you're eligible for all kinds of crazy perks. You can transfer around to different places, they pack your stuff and transport it (be careful, they will wrap and pack the pets if you don't watch!) You get to attend professional conferences on the government dime, and you meet some really neat folks. Also, if you go in at a GS-9 or above, you're allowed officer privilages, and access to the officer's cllub.

Or perhaps there's an opening in a place you might like to live (Lexington, KY or Prescott, AZ.)

Getting licensed will help you get great jobs.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 11:53 AM on December 30, 2013 [4 favorites]

OMG! I just found this amazing Federal Government job!

School Psychologist, in Puerto Rico.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 11:58 AM on December 30, 2013 [1 favorite]

Given that you've only got a BA

OP states they have an MA in Psychology, and if they have been teaching in NYC public schools for 10 years, they have a master's in Education.

Salary is right around $80,000 for a ten-month work year, given the OP's education and seniority.
posted by mlis at 12:02 PM on December 30, 2013 [1 favorite]

Definitely seconding school psychologist or social worker type stuff: by far it's your quickest way out.

You may find you'll get more contemplative time just by leaving NYC, by the way. I'm not sure there are all that many jobs in education that are more high-strung than teaching in the NYC public schools. School psychologist in a smaller midwestern city - heck, even in suburban Connecticut - would probably be a massively slower pace.
posted by SMPA at 12:20 PM on December 30, 2013

Have you considered trying our teaching at the college level. I bet there are small colleges that would drool at your experience. Also, from what my college professor friends tell me, teaching incoming Freshmen is half psychology anyway.
posted by BearClaw6 at 12:40 PM on December 30, 2013

I just want to say, you're amazing.
posted by amodelcitizen at 4:32 PM on December 30, 2013 [2 favorites]

If you're willing to teach a few more years, you can get a psychoanalyst license in 4 years. I got mine while teaching math in a college (in nyc)
posted by Obscure Reference at 4:34 PM on December 30, 2013 [1 favorite]

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