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K-4 Technology Facilitator from Northfield, New Jersey

NYCTeacherCandidate, the

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NYCTeacherCandidate, the author is right, every school and district IS different, so, keep that in mind. How wide is your target school search area? Have you thought about grade levels? Have you substituted yet? These are all important things to help you narrow your search.

I made the jump from the corporate world into teaching 10 years ago. I can tell you for sure that the intrinsic rewards are incalculable. It's a good thing, too, because you'll need them to offset the (potentially, depends on the district) low pay and (very likely) high stress. Oh and you'll probably need a second income (or a working spouse) to make it financially. But know this: there is no other job on the planet where you go to work every day and your "customers" (students) will be honestly, genuinely, and effusively happy to see you. Every day.

One other bit of advice, consider volunteering at your local school(s), even if you have no hope of finding a job there. Immerse yourself in school events and culture. Interact with the kids and adults. It'll help acclimate you to the environment you one day will call your day job.

Good luck!

I'm glad to have found this

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I'm glad to have found this article.

I'm a career changer: moving from book publishing to elementary education via an initial certification program at a college where I will also earn my Master's.

Being new to NYC, I have been reading articles online about what it's like to teach here because it's been difficult for me to get a Teaching Assistant position to see it first hand (right now I'm trying to get a volunteer position so that at least I can get some experience).

I have to say, most of the articles are quite negative... To the point where I hope they are exaggerated. It can be disheartening as someone with no ties to the school system to read about how bad it apparently is to be a teacher. I worry all the time that I won't be able to "handle it" and that I'll have a degree that I can't use (not to mention all of the tests and certifications I've had to pay to get).

At the same time, I'm 29 years old, and have experience working in a very high stress low-pay industry where there were no intrinsic rewards. I keep telling myself that at least teaching will give me that.

I hope that I can find a school where the administration is supportive and where I can help my students become better people, not just pass the tests.

Community Manager at Edutopia

Yes, there are challenges,

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Yes, there are challenges, but I'd posit that there are also opportunities that exist now that maybe didn't exist 10, 20 years ago. There are exciting strategies being developed and implemented that can take classrooms and schools to a whole other level. Just look at the some of the Schools that Work, the core strategies (PBL, SEL, etc.), the research and implementation by the community. There's real innovation going on.

A lot of teachers have felt trapped in drill 'n kill, but doesn't have to be that way. Not now and certainly not in the future.

My 2 cents... what do others think?

It would be with great apprehension...

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I'd think long and hard before I worked to persuade a child to focus on teaching as a career path. Now in my tenth year, I would add that eight or nine years ago I would have felt differently. There are good points made in this article. But Randy Turner hits on some inconvenient truths. I find myself stretched rather thin. I put incredible amounts of time into designing engaging and meaningful lessons. But I also want to take care of myself, be my own person, pay my own bills, send my own kids to college, and feel proud of the work that I accomplish.

Unless a young person has the trust-fund to support this decision to enter the noble profession (let's be honest, across the country wages and compensation of educators have seen their best days come and go) and the patience and self-confidence of immeasurable volumes, entering this profession in the modern age is becoming more and more difficult.

The facts are that teachers are blamed for every one of society's ills, chastised broadly as lazy and dumb, and targeted as people who don't deserve the right to earn a professional wage. Don't underestimate the toll that those things take on the hear and soul of people.

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Elena Aguilar Transformational Leadership Coach from Oakland, California