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How do you know if teaching is for you?

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Lately I've been pondering whether I'd like to become a teacher someday, but I'm not sure if I want to enter the field for the right reasons.


Long vacations, 8-3 workdays, and the prospect of revisiting the theoretical side of things are the drivers behind all of this.


I studied Marketing, but I've realized that marketing in the real world isn't the same as reading content out of a textbook. I was a dedicated, straight "A" student my entire life, and I think I miss the academic world.


What do I dislike about corporate America? The deadlines, the bureaucracy, the long hours. Most marketing jobs involve tasks I have the least bit interest in, such as event planning.


I love writing, which is why I've leaned towards the marketing communications domain. Very seldomly, however, do marketing jobs involve only writing.


Becoming a college professor has crossed my mind. Flexible schedules, teaching to dedicated adults as opposed to unruly kids, being able to publish research -- these are all benefits to landing this type of job.


What is it that turns me away from teaching?

I'm normally a pretty reserved guy (think introspective writer type), so the thought of having to stand up in front of a group of students for 2 hours is daunting, more so when talking about middle and high school kids.


I've heard that getting a Ph.D. is time consuming and expensive; plus, you have to be willing to relocate, which is something I'm not willing to do.


Therefore, going the high school route might seem more reasonable, but again, the thought of having to engage kids and put up with their antics is unsettling.


Life is short, so I'm definitely exploring my options.


Should I consider teaching, or should I stick to my knitting and stick to copywriter/editor/proofreading/technical writing jobs? In all honesty, I wouldn't be entering the teaching field to "make a difference" like many nobly do. I just think it's a great field if you want that work/life balance and avoid the 9-5 drudgery.


Any comments welcome, especially from teachers and/or writers.

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hey, i am a trainee teacher and i would definetly suggest (if you havn't already) to get some school experience first to see if you really like the school environment etc.


As for getting away from the 9-5 drudgery and the long holidays, thats true but it is also a very demanding job! Many jobs you leave behind you at 5pm, whereas being a teacher you often have marking/assessment/planning to do and you always see stuff out/have ideas about which you could use in your lessons etc...!


I have always wanted to be a teacher, but some ppl on my course have only recently realised theyve wanted to do it and they love it. You def have to be committed as it is very hard work, demanding but very fun!!!


But id def advise you to get some experience with the age range ur considering to see if it is for you!

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I am a teacher and love it! I love the kids, I love my subject, I love learning and that's what makes it a great job for me. I've had some student teachers, though, decide to drop out 1/2 way through their program for their own reasons (one of which being they thought the shorter day and vacations would be worth the career change and quickly realized they didn't like the job itself) I would recommend, like the above poster, that you get yourself into some schools for a full day and see what it's like. Just make sure you're not seeing "the grass is greener" side of things exclusively. It's a lot of fun and very rewarding---it's also hard work and tests skills you may not get to develop otherwise! Best wishes

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Hmmm it might be a good idea to try teaching high schoolers on some level / get a feel for education in general. Tutoring is always a good option. That way you can gage your level of comfort around the kids. I've had a lot of experience tutoring kids of all ages, and, while it was a bit uncomfortable at the beginning, I love it now. (Personally I wouldn't want to become a teacher because i would probably get bored of it after a year or two of teaching the same thing, but that's a different story...)


Point is, try things out to see if you like them before choosing them as a career. That way if it doesn't work out, no big deal. Good luck!

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What do I dislike about corporate America? The deadlines, the bureaucracy, the long hours.


Honestly, I don't think that would change all too much. You still have deadlines in the sense that lesson plans need to be made on time and punching in grades and reports and such on time as well. The bureaucracy will still be there just like any other job. It's part of any job, not just the corporate world, unless you're self-employed. You always have to deal with the BS of the higher-ups no matter what field you're in. Yeah, I suppose you would get a longer vacation, but do you even get paid during that period? What would you do to make money during that time?

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I teach and spend about 2 hours per day after work correcting papers. My weekends are full of classes I have to take to keep my credential current (you never stop really going to school if you are a teacher), and it takes me anywhere from 4 to 6 hours on Sat or Sun night to get my weekly lesson plans ready. It's tons of work and tons of stress. I love it and if you don't mind working your butt off (and forget going home at 3, good teachers stick around for a couple of hours afterwards), and constantly being evaluated at every turn, you will love it, also. Loving kids is only part of it.

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I have a professor who told us flat out that he doesn't like crowds and he isn't a very sociable person. He simply turns that part of him off when he is teaching and is very animated and personable. Outside of the classroom, he is very quiet and keeps to himself. He has quick conversations with colleagues and then heads home. He told us that even shy people can have public type jobs. He was a journalist for over a decade, doing live reporting etc... and after the first day, he was fine with it. I think you just get used to it after awhile.

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