High School Teaching as a Profession ?
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Old 10-19-2013, 02:47 AM   #1
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Default High School Teaching as a Profession ?

Ok guys, some of you know I will be getting out of the Marine Corps in a few years, and that I've thought a lot about what job (preferrably career) I will have when I get out.

I've ranged from Air Marshals, to local LEOs, to FBI, CIA, NSA, DIA, working at South West Airlines, a Pilot (that's basically out of the question at this point), opening a gun store, transferring to the Army, etc.

I will open a gun store someday. Probably not right when I get out of the Corps. Its just too risky, financially. I will wait until my kids are in college and the mortgage (wherever we're living) is paid off, or close to it.

So I thought about becoming a high school teacher. I used to want to do it anyway, when I was in High School and College. I have always been interested in History, Political Theory, Political Science, politics in general. So I was considering either American History or American Government. Maybe also a baseball coach.

So today I was thinking about maybe actually doing it. I know we have some former and maybe current teachers here. So please give me as much information as you can.

Some general questions:

Did/do you enjoy it? What is your favorite part or least favorite part?
What are the requirements for teaching in your state? (Do I need a bachelors degree in "Teaching" or some other nonsense?)
Is your state friendly to teachers CCing in school?
I have heard the pay is not fantastic, but is it "doable" in your area?
Promotion opportunities or pay raises?
Is union membership a requirement in your state?

Any other general thoughts?

Thanks friends.

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Old 10-19-2013, 02:57 AM   #2
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Over here, pay is acceptable (especially considering hours worked.)
Benefits are crummy.
Right to work states (like mine) do not require employees to join unions. I am a union man and I recommend joining.
Schools, like any other sector, will screw employees for their own gain. If tenure is achieved after three years service, expect two year contracts.
Teaching, like parenting, is its own reward. Do not expect appreciation from administrators, peers, parents, or students.
And most states reserve school property as gun free zones.

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Old 10-19-2013, 03:21 AM   #3
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I'm obviously not a teacher, but I'd just say be prepared for some sh!thead kids not caring about why you're trying to do for them.

I don't think you'd have a problem with them as far as discipline, given your military background. Lol. But kids just aren't grateful for teachers. That being said, there are a lot of teachers who just skate by on the bare minimum and don't really care if the kids are learning.

Then you have to deal with the required curriculum that you may or may not agree with.

The job itself could be rewarding though if you're good at it and feel like you're making a difference. I really lacked any good teachers all throughout high school. I think I had one who actually cared about anything.

I've considered being a teacher in the past, but I don't think I'd be good at it.

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Old 10-19-2013, 04:01 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by MisterMcCool
Over here, pay is acceptable (especially considering hours worked.) Benefits are crummy. Right to work states (like mine) do not require employees to join unions. I am a union man and I recommend joining. Schools, like any other sector, will screw employees for their own gain. If tenure is achieved after three years service, expect two year contracts. Teaching, like parenting, is its own reward. Do not expect appreciation from administrators, peers, parents, or students. And most states reserve school property as gun free zones.
Thanks for the thoughts. For point of reference, where is "over here," again?
What I fear in terms of joining the union is them basically exploiting it and pushing it too far, and costing resources and taxpayers substantially. I don't know if I want to contribute to that, if that is the case.
So tenure is given after only three years? Geeze, I thought it was like 15 or 20 or something ridiculous. Also, when you say a two year contract, is it only one year before that?
Also, generally how many years does one have to teach to be able to retire? Is it 20 years or 30 or more?

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Originally Posted by sbeezy
I'm obviously not a teacher, but I'd just say be prepared for some sh!thead kids not caring about why you're trying to do for them. I don't think you'd have a problem with them as far as discipline, given your military background. Lol. But kids just aren't grateful for teachers. That being said, there are a lot of teachers who just skate by on the bare minimum and don't really care if the kids are learning. Then you have to deal with the required curriculum that you may or may not agree with. The job itself could be rewarding though if you're good at it and feel like you're making a difference. I really lacked any good teachers all throughout high school. I think I had one who actually cared about anything. I've considered being a teacher in the past, but I don't think I'd be good at it.
You have a good point about the sh*t heads. If I can get it my own way, I will teach AP classes. Generally the kids who take AP might be a little smarter, or hard working, or at least have some sort of more positive aspect than the rest of them. I realize it isn't always the case, and maybe kids in AP classes are just full of themselves and their own "intelligence."

The discipline thing is interesting, because obviously as a Marine NCO I have a lot of tools at my disposal that I could never utilize in a classroom. Parents would crucify me and it could cost me my job. So I would have to adapt slightly. That's not really an issue, as I've adapted to things before. But it IS an interesting thing to think about.

The curriculum would be my biggest annoyance, I think. I don't really believe in teaching to a test. Rather, I believe in reading first-source documents and having discussions about the material and helping to facilitate the growth of their minds. In my opinion, that's what a good teacher IS. They shouldn't try to impart their own omniscience unto the kids. So, they are not teachers, rather they are facilitators. Its kind of a minute point, but I believe it makes all the difference. Point the kids in the right direction, and let's have a good discussion about it. Juniors and Seniors in High School, by and large (IMO), are not stupid. Many are ignorant, but by and large they have the propensity to learn and to be insightful and come to the right answer on their own. IMO, a "teacher" is only there to "facilitate" that growth. Of course, Math is a little different. I'm talking more in terms of a political theory class, or maybe even American Government.
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Old 10-19-2013, 04:13 AM   #5
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Three years to tenure. Twenty to pension. In Alabama.

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Old 10-19-2013, 04:22 AM   #6
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Three years to tenure. Twenty to pension. In Alabama.
Interesting. Thank you.

Honestly the whole tenure thing is something I had forgotten about. That might be perfect. My wife was sort of wanting me to re-enlist because of the "job security." Well, she doesn't want me to if I'm not willing to do it, but if I could get tenure, then a two year contract seems like decent job security to me. Seems like a pretty decent compromise, if you ask me (well, maybe not when you factor in the benefits I get currently versus the benefits teachers get...)
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Old 10-19-2013, 04:31 AM   #7
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We also have open carry, concealed permits, and only two seasons (summer and January!)

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Old 10-19-2013, 04:32 AM   #8
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A week off in the spring, all summer off, 2 weeks off at Christmas, all paid......Plus a cushy govt retirement...sounds like a winner..

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Old 10-19-2013, 04:32 AM   #9
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We also have open carry, concealed permits, and only two seasons (summer and January!)
Haha. I'll keep that in mind. I know most states say schools are GFZs, but I know some states have been making strides since Sandy Hook to do away with that. I have heard positive things coming out of Texas. Has Alabama taken any steps?
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Old 10-19-2013, 04:35 AM   #10
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A week off in the spring, all summer off, 2 weeks off at Christmas, all paid......Plus a cushy govt retirement...sounds like a winner..
For all the non-bold, it sounds a lot like the military.
For the bold, it sounds BETTER than the military.

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