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Old 04-28-2011, 10:36 AM
10 posts, read 19,847 times
Reputation: 15


Hello everyone!

I live in the Nashville area and I'm considering a career change to teaching. I'm not ready just yet to jump into everything as I'm still doing all of my research about the teaching industry. I do intend on substituting first for a while to make sure that it would be a good fit for me. My background is in computers (not science, but business). I have a Bachelors degree from MTSU in Computer Info Systems w/ a minor in Business. I think I would greatly enjoy teaching elementary grade students, but then I wonder if I would be more successful finding a job teaching computers to middle/high school students. Since I can't teach English, Science, or Math, and I don't think I'm cut out for Special Ed, I'm not sure what's left! If I were to move forward with this career change I know I would enroll in a master's program somewhere, but not sure what specific focus I should be choosing. Therefore, I have several questions for all of the teachers out there working in the school system.

* Is there ever a need for a computer teacher? Basically, would I have a very hard time landing one of these positions?

* Do computer teachers only exist at the middle/high school level? Do they have their own classroom or just live in a computer lab where students come to them throughout the day?

* What do these computer teachers actually teach? I called the Board of Education w/ some questions and the lady mentioned a computer business education class. What is that exactly?

* I've read that ELL teachers are in high demand. Is this true?

* Does an ELL teacher need a special background or would my background be sufficient to join a master's program w/ an emphasis in ELL?

* How do the ELL teachers in Davidson (and surrounding counties) operate? Do they have a classroom of their own where students come to them all day? Do they travel to many schools all day to teach students? Do they teach English language only or other subjects as well?

* As for a master's program, what do you all recommend? Lipscomb has a few programs that only last up to 18 months and you only attend school once a week and the occassional weekend (as I understand it). Once you've completed the program then you've received your masters and you're eligible to teach. I know there are alternate routes to getting licensed, but I was told by the Board of Ed lady that I wouldn't qualify for the Governor's Fellows because my background is not in any of their high need subjects.

* Do you know of a lot of teachers that were hired off the street on a transitional license and then sought their degree? I'm wondering if I could potentially do the same w/ a computer position.

* How about the Nashville Teaching Fellows program? Do you see a lot of teachers getting hired from that program?

I'm sure I have many more questions, but I'll stop here. I've written too much as it is. I thank everyone in advance for taking the time to read through my post and hopefully replying back w/ some answers

Thank you kindly.
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Old 04-28-2011, 12:35 PM
Location: Brentwood, Tennessee
35,748 posts, read 34,386,000 times
Reputation: 66807
Do you like kids? or do you just want a career change? Because honestly the teaching profession is a lot like service work. I mean much of the time you have to have a heart for serving others because it is such a difficult job that you have to really WANT to do it.

Having said that, I have taught in middle and high schools in Nashville and Williamson counties, and I think the best thing for you would be to sub for a while to see if you like being in the classroom. If you're interested, you should start the application process NOW for this fall because it takes a while to get into the system and there is fingerprinting involved in Williamson County, which also takes a while to certify.

As for "computer teachers," in Williamson County elementary schools, for example, those positions are like contract or supplemental positions that are paid about $8K to $9K for the year. They also are subject to budget cuts. In the higher grades they are full-time positions, usually in a lab. Schools today do have technology integrated into the classroom much the way we use it at home or in business, but they still teach "computer class" the same way they used to teach typing, as a separate class. The positions are competitive.

I think Metro Nashville is beginning to require ELL certification for all teachers since there is such a need. Someone correct me if I'm wrong about this.

Look into subbing so that you can see if you like the classroom situation. It also will allow you to talk firsthand with other teachers and principals and get their advice on life as a teacher these days as well as your next step.
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Old 04-29-2011, 06:51 AM
763 posts, read 1,470,226 times
Reputation: 455
I agree that subbing 1st will be the best choice for you to do because you will get an on hand experience of what teaching is really like.
Computer teachers- Elementary- on that level any certification can teach computers in Metro so if the school offers it is usually a tenure teacher teaching it so it may be hard to obtain a position on that level.
Middle School- at this level it becomes more of an elective, its own seperate class, and again if the school has it, however it is usually one per school and they tend to hold on to the positions.
High School- with your back ground in business you have a better chance at the high school level. Most computer courses are combined with business education or enginerring. Therefore, you would be required to teach business courses or enginerring, probally more than just basic computer. Metro has done away with most, if not all basic keyboarding classes.
ELL- you do not have to have a background in ELL or anything specific to get a Masters/certification in it. It is one of the only fields, along with Special Ed. that you don't have to have undergrad course work.
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Old 05-02-2011, 07:58 AM
10 posts, read 19,847 times
Reputation: 15
Thank you for the responses! Anyone else want to chime in? I've emailed a few teachers that I actually know and they won't respond to me. I'm not sure why. One of my 'research methods' was to speak talk to some teachers about teaching, etc, but I'm having a hard time finding anyone that wants to talk to me about it all. Hence the forum posting here

I will say that I'm not considering teaching just for something else to do. I have always thought I'd love to be a teacher, but I made other choices along the way. In high school I did community service with a 2nd grade class room and enjoyed it, however that was a while ago and I don't remember all the details. My first major in college was Elem Education, but I changed it for a more financially profitable career...computers. Over the years I became burnt out and everytime I considered something else I always thought back on teaching.

So, that's my background with my desire to teach. Anyone else want to share their thoughts????
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Old 05-04-2011, 01:54 PM
6,882 posts, read 7,426,588 times
Reputation: 6833
I could not provide you with any information about teaching in Nashville, but if you wanted to discuss what it is like to make a career change into teaching, you are welcome to PM me.
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