High School Teaching as a Profession ?

Discussion in 'The Club House' started by JW357, Oct 18, 2013.

  1. JW357

    JW357 New Member

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    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.
     
  2. MisterMcCool

    MisterMcCool Well-Known Member Supporter

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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.
     

  3. sbeezy

    sbeezy New Member

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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.
     
  4. JW357

    JW357 New Member

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    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?

    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.
     
  5. MisterMcCool

    MisterMcCool Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Three years to tenure. Twenty to pension. In Alabama.
     
  6. JW357

    JW357 New Member

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    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...)
     
  7. MisterMcCool

    MisterMcCool Well-Known Member Supporter

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    We also have open carry, concealed permits, and only two seasons (summer and January!)
     
  8. rn-cindy

    rn-cindy Active Member

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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..
     
  9. JW357

    JW357 New Member

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    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?
     
  10. JW357

    JW357 New Member

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    For all the non-bold, it sounds a lot like the military.
    For the bold, it sounds BETTER than the military.

    :D
     
  11. MisterMcCool

    MisterMcCool Well-Known Member Supporter

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    None forward. :(
     
  12. JW357

    JW357 New Member

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    Fix it for ya.
     
  13. towboater

    towboater Active Member

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    Smaller (out in the country) schools would probably still be ok to teach at. I don't recommend Chicago or Detroit. :D
    If I was gonna teach, I'd teach elementary school.
     
  14. hawkguy

    hawkguy Well-Known Member

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    not a teacher, but two very good friends are teachers. i have another who got the degree, got to student teaching, and promptly changed career course for construction. :p my other friends seem to really like teaching for the most part, although like many jobs, there is a lot of bs.

    in texas, you need a bachleor's degree and you need to pass certification tests for your your subjects. it is strongly encouraged at most schools to have a degree in what you teach.

    CC in schools isn't common in texas, it is decided school to school i believe. haven't heard of many on board with this.

    teachers make a decent, middle class living here. if the pay isn't enough...some teachers add to it with summer school or another summer job.
    there are advantages for family life.

    pay raises are slow and steady from my understanding. bout the only promotion is principal really....and that is a job i DOUBT you'd want.

    to my understanding, there is no teacher union in texas.

    hope it helps a bit.:confused:
     
  15. sbeezy

    sbeezy New Member

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    If you can get AP or honors classes that would be your best bet. I don't know how that works as far as getting to choose or if you have to have a certain amount of time in to get it. I was always in honors classes so I had less knuckleheads in my classes, but there were still some.

    I think there is a lot you can get away with as long as its not physical contact or personal belittling of students. I can tell you if I had any teachers who had been in the Marine Corps I would have made sure I didn't piss them off. Not that I had that problem anyway, but there is a certain respect that inherently comes with It i think.

    And I really don't know what wiggle room you have on curriculum. It's sad because there is a lot of stuff they really don't teach. Almost everything I know about US history (which is still probably lacking) I learned on my own. US history in high school is a joke. And as far as politics, I don't recall if there were even any political classes offered, an if they were I'd be afraid of what might be taught. Skewed to the left no doubt, as I'm in western Washington state.
     
  16. nitestalker

    nitestalker New Member

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    Why waste valuable years and dollars to achieve a poor occupation? Teachers belong to and support the most left wing anti-gun Union in the Nation.
    Teachers colleges are nothing more than Federally subsidized "Deploma Mills". The education you buy there is a low valued certificate in the jobs market.
    Get a degree in an Engineering field. The energy industry always has needs and jobs any where in the world. The income from these degrees will provide a good living. You will not have to support left wing causes. :(
     
  17. JW357

    JW357 New Member

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    I appreciate the response. I refuse to get a degree in "education." If a state requires I have a Bachelors in Education or Teaching in order to teach in their state, I will not live there if this will be my chosen career path. I will have a degree in my chosen teaching field - either History or Government, or both.

    I am also hesitant to support a union. If its true that Texas doesn't even have a teacher's union, I'm inclined to go there.

    Engineering is not for me. Not by a long stretch. I am terrible at math and all sciences, just about. I can do them if I really buckle down and work my a*s off, but I don't even enjoy them. Trust me, sometimes I wish I did, because I know how much money engineers can make.

    Teaching is something that appeals to me because I know there are a lot of bad teachers and text books out there, supplying bad information to kids. They are doing them a disservice. For example, there was a thread here a couple weeks ago about how the history text book was talking about how the 2nd Amendment guarantees the right of MILITIA'S to bear arms. It blatantly misconstrued it.

    I like the idea of teaching. I already talked about it a bit in one of my responses to sbeezy above.

    I realize the pay isn't the best, but neither is enlisted military pay. Nor LEO pay. Even the military retirement system is bogus. Spend 20 years in, and only get 50% of your most recent and highest paycheck over a three year consecutive period? Garbage compared to members of Congress. I am soon going to be making plans to provide for my own retirement. Besides, I plan on opening a successful gun store someday and raking in the cash that way. ;P
     
  18. cottontop

    cottontop Guest

    JW, I was a public school teacher in Florida for 22 years and had several years before that as a substitute. Don't believe the bs that says you have to support various (liberal) causes. I had many teacher friends who were staunch right wing conservatives and supported only causes they wanted. Florida does not require union membership, but I highly recommend it. If for nothing else, just the representation and protection is worth it. A kid can accuse you of anything. Once accused, you may be in for a lot of trouble. Your union will then go to bat for you individually. Union membership is good insurance to have. In Florida, you don't need a teaching degree, just a B.A. or B.S. will work. You will have to pass a teacher's test and have some pedigogical insights, so a teaching degree would be worth it.

    Also, you should read my book, "Of Children and Unicorns," by Joe Robert (my pen name). The book is about my many experiences with students and other teachers over my 22 years of teaching and the insights I have gained that helped to develop my current beliefs on education in general. It is available through most on line book sellers and through amazon.com.

    However, because you may be going into the teaching profession, I will arrange for you to have an autographed copy at no charge. This is the least I can do to help a fellow teacher get off to a good start. BTW, there is nothing political in it. Just pm me your name and address and I'll get a copy off to you.
    cottontop
     
  19. JW357

    JW357 New Member

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    That's very kind of you, CT. I may take you up on that. Its always good reading people's stories and points of view.

    I understand what you're saying about the Unions. And I'm not going to get into it, as I honestly am not familiar enough with them to really have much of an opinion. It makes sense to have "insurance" for something like that, though. Would tenure work adequately? At least I couldn't lose my job if I said something out of line, and had tenure, correct?

    Thank you for the information about Florida. I am trying to get as many different points of view as I can.
     
  20. orangello

    orangello New Member

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    Not sure about high school, but when I taught night classes at the community college it was great. I mean, it was enough fun that I probably would do it for free. The last class I taught was a Friday night class to let a group I taught accounting principles I to finish principles II with the same instructor. I drove 5 hours back there every friday from my new place for a semester to teach that last class.

    I plan to make a return to teaching in the future.