{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "If you could do it again, would you still become a teacher in today’s climate not just Covid but the whole attack economically and socially. If you yes , Would you choose teach the same thing that you teach now? If No what would you do for a living?", "post_id": "610be85796a314001c9999c3", "reply_count": 129, "vote_count": 9, "bowl_id": "5c751b9f2f6b98001bc666f8", "bowl_name": "Teachers" }

If you could do it again, would you still become a teacher in today’s climate not just Covid but the whole attack economically and socially. If you yes , Would you choose teach the same thing that you teach now? If No what would you do for a living?

likehelpful
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In all honesty I would have to say no. It started out an extremely demanding profession but has only gotten more so as the years have progressed. One goes into the profession with the best of intentions. Sadly it becomes evident over the years that the reason you became a teacher becomes a very small slice of the pie in front of you. It gets frustrating after a time. That and the energy required for this profession left me very little gas in the tank for my own children when I would get home at night. They would ask me for help on their homework, for instance and I felt like I was gonna snap. They didn’t deserve that. They didn’t get the best of me, they got what was left of me. Financially it was also a struggle. Oh yes, I know we don’t do it for the money. I’ve heard all the great cliches this profession has to offer. But the reality is I became jaded when I first discovered I needed a second job to make ends meet because we had more month than money. Didn’t I go to college for 5 years? Why was I having to work two jobs to survive? (I’m talking basics here, not lavish vacations). “Doing it for the kids,” only goes so far, and then you have to start thinking about your own family and the sacrifices they have to make in order for you to be a teacher. I’m old now, so it doesn’t make much difference. I like working with children, they were never the issue. It’s all the peripheral demands and lack of respect in general this profession receives that wore me down over the years. I’d never do it again. Sorry. That was probably more than you asked for. 😂

likesmart

Absolutely

Also a CTE instructor here, I worked in manufacturing (supervisor to plant manager) for 10 years before going into teaching. My last year end bonus was 1.5 times greater than my first year teacher salary, so it wasn’t for the money! Ha! I switched because I wanted the world to be a better place having me in it. I didn’t feel I was achieving that in manufacturing. I do feel that in education. I went to a couple graduation parties this spring where “Mom” gave me an almost uncomfortably long hug saying thank YOU over and over. “My son loved your classes and would probably not have graduated except he wanted to come to your class each day. Sure students can be a pain…either making you old or keeping you young, (I think it’s the latter). But it is very rewarding knowing that when class reunions come and/or when my life is over, there will be many former students who will be reminiscing (or possibly imitating) me and my sayings…OSHA! Safety glasses ON, etc and I will have made a difference. The 8 preps/semester I consistently teach each semester are preferable to teaching one class multiple times. And I’ve learned most teachers don’t truly appreciate us in CTE unless they have a project they need completed!

upliftinglike

Yes, CTE framed. I began in industry as well - marketing/research. Students appreciate and are intrigued with authentic learning that connects to the larger world: Relevance. (How the manufactured product and processes that follow happen). Not sure if I would repeat all given current events. The interesting piece is that decades ago we discussed the upcoming transformations (digitalization-globalization) to include PublicEd.

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No. When I started teaching 39 years ago it was an awesome profession. Parents were supportive and teachers weren’t constantly looking over their shoulders in fear that something would happen. Kids were respectful and ready to learn. I have one more year. If I could do it again, I would have done computer programming (the only kind of computer major around back then). My daughter is an IT supervisor for a grocery chain-she doesn’t program, but she troubleshoots all their different problems. She loves her job and 11 years out of college she makes 15 thousand dollars more than I do after 39 years teaching.

likehelpful

I agree completely!!!1

likesmart

Well, considering I went from being a law enforcement officer amd loss prevention manager to education…I am beginning g to feel that there are no “safe” and “appreciated” professions that are left…that don’t involve money, knowing people, or playing politics left out there.

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While I have enjoyed my career, especially the early years before state testing became the only priority, I would have made a different decision if I had realized that I would not be supported by administration and that testing would become the focus of everything that we do. Teachers are now blamed for every aspect of what goes wrong in our society and for any student’s failure. We are expected to give our time, money and life’s blood without limits and without decent compensation and with a big smile on our faces. There is no joy in Mudville! I think last year’s COVID school year created massive burnout in education as it has also done in healthcare. I could have retired this year. I am not ready for another school year, but I will return this fall and maybe one more to get that average salary up and finish out a decent retirement so I can move on. Then I will go find something else that I can enjoy while also helping people in some way. I always enjoyed the study of law and history. A political science professor begged me to go to law school but I had my mind set on teaching. I don’t know what I will do yet but I’m excited to have a new opportunity to make a difference.

likesmart

I agree completely! Well said!

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I have loved teaching math and especially love the connection with kids. However, math teachers have way too much on their plates compared to other subject teachers. Only exception are special Ed teachers, you couldn't pay me double my salary to take that on. With math, forget about coming in or leaving on time due to constant extra help. Admin is on top of you for SAT scores where all subject areas focus on preparing students for the English sections, only math teachers focus on math section. If I could go back, I'd teach science since the entire dept pretty much has just one prep and only four classes due to a lab period. I've had up to five preps in one year. I've considered leaving teaching, especially after this ridiculous year teaching both f2f and virtual at the same time, but mostly since education has changed in the last few years. I am not able to teach the way I want to teach or assign my students anything outside of what my coworkers assign, everything must be common between the course. It's heartbreaking to say that I just don't have it in me to give it my all anymore and that isn't fair to my students.

likesmart

No disrespect to teachers who do such a great job. I value their commitment. But after 21 years as a teacher, I left the profession, pre-covid, and the only way I’d ever go back is to be in a desperate situation in which I couldn’t support myself in any other way. I’ve been disrespected, bullied by admin., students, and their parents for too long. I got my fill. If districts keep abusing teachers, getting classrooms covered is going to be impossible.

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I enjoy kids but the toxic environment the adults have made have spilled onto my students. Nobody cares about education and it’s always someone else’s fault or problem. Then there is trying to be a teacher and look over your shoulder at the same time. I can’t trust anyone. Who can work in any trade when you don’t trust anyone? I gave up a high paying management career to do this. MBA and all! Oops.

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You have something to go back to! I mostly agree with your statement (some parents do care about education… maybe 10-20%). Colleagues can’t always be trusted. It’s a shame.

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I am uncertain. I honestly can’t see myself doing anything else. Despite the ramifications of COVID, economic disparities and other difficulties, teaching students with special needs is for me!

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God bless you!

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I would still choose to teach. I'm in my 33rd year. I get frustrated with all of the politics involved in curricular decisions and testing these days, but I still enjoy working with the kids.

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33 is the magic number! ITM!

Yes! I’ll take my seaweed over anyone else’s lake.

likefunny

I love the way you put that!

No. I would have chosen a trade. My bf is in HVAC and is now a specialist. Easily makes 30 grand more than me and has none of the college debt.

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Trades are growing in need. I tell my kids and their friends; skip college and get a trade. Welders, machinists, plumbers are aging out with no one to replace them.

likehelpful

I teach because I like it a lot and it fits my mission statement as well as pretty much any other profession except youth ministry. But the profession is less and less attractive all the time. One of my kids wants to be a teacher and I am doing all I can to dissuade her.

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This is an interesting conversation! I explained to my kids the math and they see the day to day drudgery. We discussed it in terms of cost benefit. It will cost you X dollars to go to school to be a teacher. The starting salary is Y and the maximum you will make is about Z. Decide if it is worth it financially. There are many ways to teach without being in a classroom. My oldest is now a financial planner and has the opportunity to teach others how to make their money work for them.

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Yes…this is what I do. Warts and all!

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No. And I’m only 5 years in. Not sure how much more I will go, either.

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Get out! Retrain for something that will fill your soul!

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Absolutely not. I would go into data analysis. Which is where I am headed soon!

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Unfortunately, teaching has become toxic. No respect, freedom, or confidence from parents and admin. Thank God for those who can stay and enjoy, but it’s getting worse every year.

likehelpful

Hell no. My daughter is a sophomore in college and last year she said she wanted to be a teacher. I had to talk her out of it. It has changed so much since I started 20 years ago, and not for the better.

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When I made a career transition to teaching 9 years ago, I had been a small business owner for 8 years. I had several clients, many of them teachers, who thought I’d make a good teacher. Compared to making a living as a small business owner, K-12 education had the following advantages: 1. Guaranteed salary increases each year 2. Guaranteed 6 figure salary by 10 years 3. Guaranteed holidays and time off summers 4. Established pension after retirement I don’t regret my decision to switch to education, and I think I have it better as a CTE teacher in my district than most of the other teachers who post to this forum. In spite of all the absurdity and BS most educators have to contend with nowadays, I still see the value of teaching and I hope to retire from this career in the next 18 years, as long as the bottom doesn’t fall out. I may not be saying all this if we didn’t have a decent teachers union negotiating for us.

likesmart

I topped out in our pay scale 4 years ago. I would love to do something else, but training and starting at the bottom ring of a ladder isn't appealing at this point. I thought I would be in a two income household, but that's not how it worked out. I'm stuck. Can't even think of anything that I could do to bring in at least what I make now.

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Nope. I’d be an actuary. Much better pay, no nutty administrators, no parents. Actuaries can actually retire at 45 and enjoy life.

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I am not a teacher, but have been working with students for seven years now. I’m currently working on my teachers degree, I love my job, working with students. I love giving something of me to them, which is knowledge they can use and contribute to our community. I know there has been many changes but I would not change it for the world, if we do not like what we see, we can work together and make a difference by teaching students how to make that difference. Again it’s just me really enjoying what I do.

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I am glad to read about your passion. Please never let it die. Yes, my para is an extremely important part of "our" class and yes, too many PDs leave paras sitting in the corner waiting for and craving for knowledge. Become the best teacher you can be, but always understand that there will be roller coasters of admin walking in and off your campus. Don't stay in one district too long. Experience a few and find your niche. Trying to move after 5-7 years, you lose seniority, salary, and some districts will only accept the newer teacher. Find what works best for you and then love each day.

Absolutely. After 17 years I still love my work. I was in corporate marketing for 15 years and made lots of money but wasn’t truly happy.

likefunny

I’m also torn. I taught my own children in AP Chemistry and physics, and they have done well in college and grad school. The previous teachers were lousy. But I didn’t allow any of them to become teachers. The profession has taken a serious hit in the past ten years. My income is really low.

likehelpful

Unfortunately I didn't allow my children to become teachers, but I think after what they witnessed of me and my profession, there wasn't much need for forcing the issue!

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