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I was so set on becoming a teacher, and now...

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I'm having second thoughts. I could see myself being a teacher and enjoying it, but I've been hearing so many horror stories about people my parents know who have gone through all the training and are stuck jobless. Too, too many. At first I kept brushing it off, insisting I'd work abroad and come back, that I'd do whatever and be okay in the end. But it's just not that easy. My parents are paying my way through university. I plan to pay them back in the future although they insist they won't let me. I feel bad, they're not that keen on my wanting to go to teacher's college, only because they worry about job prospects, and my mom worries about the pay. I do take their thoughts into consideration since it's because of them I don't need to work unless I want to during summers; I can just focus on school. Lately I've been seeing it their way. I should have other options. But I feel like it's too late. I know I'm only twenty, but I've got a BA in English that I worked on for three years. I missed the cut off for honours by a bit but the plan was to go back for my fourth year and get honours this upcoming year, and apply to teacher's colleges. There's not a lot else I see myself doing with my life. I want to write novels, but that's something I can do on my own on the side of a stable career. I've been thinking I'd like to become a psychologist, it was like a closet dream for so long. But with a degree in English and zero science courses or experience, I don't know if it's too late. I took sciences in high school and did well in bio, sucked at chemistry and physics. I should have taken psych courses during my undergraduate but didn't.

I just feel so trapped. I shouldn't have been so dead set on becoming a teacher without preparing for other options. Is it actually too late? It really is such an awful feeling, not knowing what to do with your life. I know I'm not the only person going through this, so I'm sure someone has advice?

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Are you in the UK or the USA? Either way, I can't imagine someone with your qualifications being jobless. I think it's a coinicidence that your parents seem to know so many people who can't find jobs, since it backs up their view so handily. Maybe do your own research, ie write/email/talk to PGCE course leaders, existing teachers etc.


My only proviso (speaking as someone in the UK who works in schools where the kids are presenting problems - which tbh is most schools - would be, with your spread of interests I think I'd go for teaching younger kids rather than being an English specialist. Bear in mind I am talking about the UK - but the teachers I see who love their jobs are almost ALL in primary. Of course lots of teacheres of older kids enjoy their jobs but there is something about the level of love you get from the younger kids, and the level of satisfaction at being able to bring them along rather than dealing with older ones for whom it's too late to engage them.


Why do you think your parents are so anti..? Is it to do with money? Are their concerns for you genuine OR do they have another career in mind for you?


20 is a difficult age - my daughters both had NO idea what they were going to do, and one still doesn't! The other fell accidentally into a job that appears to be perfect for her - just as I told her she would. This is all mUCH easier with your parents' backing, but they may be fearful themselves - it's not easy watching your child wondering what to do when you can't help a lot for the first time in their life!


Just relax and TRUST YOURSELF to know it will all be okay. I began teaching at 37! You have all the time in the world.


I don't know if this will help, but having had a very varied an rather unplanned career myself due to personal circumstances preventing having A Plan, I did tell my daughters that although we can't always see the path stretching ahead, when you look back it is INCREDIBLY rare to see a year's empty gap behind you. In other words - life will unfold, just don't panic. I have been desperate to leave my ucrrent job for a few years. When I got it, my previous experiences in life (wide and varied) made me the perfect candidate, tho I didn't even know this job existed. I've had to learn to trust that this would happen again - and it has. I have found a job for which my current one has prepared me amazingly well.


You will be fine, don't panic, it ISN'T just you!!!


Be Happy. Nobody ever had 'I wish I'd worked longer hours' on their grave - smell the roses. Soon enough you will be in work and waiting for those weekends at times! Reassure your parents that you will look carefully into everything before making any decision, thank them for their opinions/info and check it all out with other sources.


Good luck! And decide for yourself - is money or mental health more important to you? Because tbh I would ALWAYS go for the job I loved over the job that paid - though in fact teaching is pretty well paid in the UK, perhaps your parents haven't realised how much things have changed?

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You're still breathing, so it's not too late. Also, consider all the experiences along the way that brought you here. Had you gone another route you might not have had those experiences and been a different person. If it makes you feel any better I'm 28 and preparing to go back to college... (pretty much starting back at square one) then to med school.


As for switching majors, I'm not a college career counselor(sp?) so I don't have the depth of knowledge to answer what credits a psych degree requires; however, I do know that a bachelor's degree will require electives and that since psychology is a "soft" science it may mean some of the liberal arts credits may transfer over. If you do change majors, you'll have to take major specific courses still, but maybe they'll cut you a break on a couple classes.


On the note of job availability, it's a roll of the die in any profession. My neighbor's sister has a PhD in Psychology actually. Guess what she does. She manages a Denny's. What is more important, is what you want from life. Do you want to be a psychologist for the money or because you're helping people? (I know this is kind of a loaded question because most people want to choose the valorous reason and I apologize) The reason I ask is because many times people end up choosing between what pays the bills and what makes them happy. While most people would like both, sometimes it's not an easy option to comeby.


If you do plan on teaching abroad what would you plan on teaching and where would you go? There are many options out there. One I was considering lately was teaching English as a second language (ESL). Some interesting bits of information I picked up include : ESL certification often requires a Bachelor's in education and even if you find a place where it doesn't, the pay for those with Bachelor's degrees is higher in many countries. I also found that if you have a Bachelor's in Education in China, it is looked upon highly and can net you some pretty good jobs. Also, if you teach ESL but have knowledge / education in different areas (science, math, etc), the pay increases with each subject you would be willing to teach. Granted, I've just been looking at China for myself so far, but there are many opportunities out there. And I'm willing to bet many of them are quite lucrative as there are many other countries which value their educators much more than we do here. (The ed system here hurts my heart to think about. It's not only how we treat kids, but especially how we treat the educators that kills me). Anyway, I've said my piece and I'll step down from the soapbox. I hioe it helps and you have a good night.

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Thank you both so much for your answers. Speranza I tried to give you rep points but I have to spread the love first

I think my parents are discouraging me not only because of the horror stories they've heard, but also sadly, because they think I'm capable of more. I myself think teaching is a great job and I can see myself happy doing it. I live in Canada, and from what I know the pay isn't the greatest, but it really doesn't bother me all that much, as long as I've got enough money to live comfortably. But lately I've been having a change of heart, I've no idea if it's my parents rubbing off on me or what. I've been thinking with psychology, I'd not only enjoy that as well but in addition the pay is better. I mean I wasn't set on teaching my whole life, it was one of a few things I could see myself doing. I just don't know if it's possible with my English degree. I was thinking of doing an extra year of university to get the courses I'd need, I don't feel that I'm ready to graduate anyway. I want to boost my GPA and stuff. I just worry the academic counselor I talk to will be suspicious about my all of a sudden being interested in psychology, but the truth is I always was a little, I just avoided it because I hated science (aside from biology) and I liked teaching too and felt it was easier.

Sorry for the ramble. Despite this probably being normal it's difficult nonetheless. It's so scary that I've no idea where I'll be in two years or how I'll get there.

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I'm a teacher who can't find a full time position. I have done substitute teaching, but even that has dried up, all the assignments are given to the teachers who have been laid off. I work at an after school clinic that pays okay, and the only reason I have that job is because I have worked there many years and am second in seniority and rank. There are about 10 teachers who would be let go before I would. I am thinking about getting another Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy. My bf is an attorney and would give me clients right away, his friends have promised me clients as well. I'm sincerely thinking about it. I love teaching, but I love working with adults just as well. A marriage counselor makes much more than a teacher, anyway.

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