HELP me help a TEACHER!
December 10, 2007 3:04 PM   Subscribe

Help me help a TEACHER! I have a friend who has 25 years experience teaching French and German in a private school. She's a talented and extremely hard-working teacher, but receives little support, compensation (low-pay), and respect from the school's all male administrators. She feels very stuck-- and unable to change her situation. If she switched over to public schools, she'd likely have to start over, in terms of retirement years put in. And, like most teachers, she takes a LOT of work home-- and puts in 8-12 hours every weekend grading papers and even offering free tutoring. All of this is NOT compensated. She does it because she's diligent and loves her kids. I've been trying to convince her that her skills are VALUABLE and the PRIVATE SECTOR would love to have her language skills. AM I WRONG? Are there jobs in the corporate / non-profit / NGO fields which could use her French / German teaching / translation skills? I thank you and she'll thank you-- if we can help her get out of a dead-end job!
posted by iam2bz2p to Work & Money (9 answers total)
She should look on the Department of Education website for her state and find out exactly what she needs to become professionally certified in her state. It might be easier than she thinks, and most school districts will give her some credit for her previous teaching experience which will bump her up on the salary scale but in terms of the retirement benefits, she is probably starting out fresh. Many states have Alternative Teaching Certificate programs that are designed for career changers and people like your friend.

In terms of language, well, it depends on where you live. The hospitality industry loves bilingual people, but hospitality often doesn't pay that well and the hours can be crazy, but she might enjoy the change. Or, maybe get a real estate license. With the US dollar in the toilet, a lot of international buyers are rolling in to scoop up the foreclosure messes. She might be very successful cultivating international real estate buyers and teachers have developed all kinds of coping skills that would translate well to the real estate world.
posted by 45moore45 at 3:17 PM on December 10, 2007 [1 favorite]

This is really her business and if you're trying to convince her, the best way you could do that is by leaving her alone about the whole thing.
posted by sondrialiac at 3:34 PM on December 10, 2007

Educational Publishing and Educational Assessment companies love to hire teachers.
Classroom knowledge translates directly into corporate knowledge.
German and French won't help her to get into Alternative Assessment, but it might get her a job (contract or temporary at first) in textbook publishing.
posted by Seamus at 3:35 PM on December 10, 2007

If working for herself appeals, she could try working as a freelance translator. A translation service (documents only) I worked for was always recruiting new translators and screened them via a paid test. If she scored well she would be on her way to getting translation assignments. I am not a translator, and American Translators Association would be one starting point for exploring this idea.
posted by PY at 4:21 PM on December 10, 2007

Homeschoolers are happy to pay for foreign language instruction, either in a private or group setting.
posted by Biblio at 4:49 PM on December 10, 2007

Your question makes it sound like your friend enjoys teaching, but does not like her current school. So why would you steer her away from a profession she obviously enjoys? Have you or she actually checked into retirement benefits, salary, etc., at public schools, or a different private school? It sounds like she should identify what it is about her current job she hates (the administrators?), then change the job. Look at the want ads for foreign language instructors, and start making inquiries.
posted by jujube at 5:43 PM on December 10, 2007

Are there jobs in the corporate / non-profit / NGO fields which could use her French / German teaching / translation skills?

Software localization
is huge in my line of work. A project manager type that can handle French/German AND speak and communicate well in English (most translators are ESL types) would be a boon in my line of work.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 6:20 PM on December 10, 2007

You answered your own question: "She does it because she's diligent and loves her kids." It's not always all about the money.
posted by parkerama at 9:22 PM on December 10, 2007

Response by poster: Thanks for the suggestions. I have new areas to explore and opportunties to share.

To the critics-- (parkerama / sondrialic) --- your replies were worthless.
posted by iam2bz2p at 9:27 AM on December 11, 2007

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