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Old 02-04-2016, 09:24 PM
 
Location: Bordentown
1,707 posts, read 1,127,436 times
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Has anyone here ever quit teaching and gone to Corporate America?
What about quitting Corporate America to go into teaching?
Any regrets?
Would you mind sharing your stories / experiences doing so?
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Old 02-06-2016, 07:07 AM
 
Location: Whoville....
25,393 posts, read 30,724,367 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SageCats View Post
Has anyone here ever quit teaching and gone to Corporate America?
What about quitting Corporate America to go into teaching?
Any regrets?
Would you mind sharing your stories / experiences doing so?

I was downsized out of engineering and went into teaching. The only reason I don't regret the move is that given the timing of my move (2007) I would have most likely not found another engineering job when I was downsized out. There were just too many engineers who had been let go in the market competing for very few jobs. At least I have a job. I'd love to go back to industry. Here are my reasons.


#1) They SAY They want to raise the bar but then defined raising the bar in terms that have us doing the limbo. You don't need a subject matter expert in the room to do the limbo. While I've come to accept that I can never teach to the levels I think I should and do well teaching the level they want me to teach I feel like I'm not really accomplishing anything that the next person over couldn't do.


#2) The current attack on teacher pay and benefits is hurting the newest teachers. My district has given one step increase in 8 years, they want a pay cut this year (which will be our second since I started in the district), and they have informed us it will be several more years before they consider step increases. When you consider the pay cut we've already taken, I'm already making less than I was when I was hired in and they want more from me. I can't do this financially. I knew I'd be living off of savings my first few years but I didn't expect that the situation would be permanent. With the current glut of teachers in all subject areas I don't see this improving any time soon. We'll have to go into a real and painful shortage before districts are compelled to actually pay their teachers what they tell you you'll be paid when you hire in.


My advice is DO NOT go into teaching because you're a subject matter expert or because you love your subject (unless your subject is something like art or music). If you love working with kids, are willing to teach to ever decreasing levels and are willing to take low pay for a long time to do so go right ahead and get into teaching. I think that eventually the pay situation will be corrected somewhat (I don't think the current highest salaries will ever be seen again for teachers) and you'll be able to make a reasonable living but you need to be in position to wait them out. I am not. After 8 years of teaching I'm two years away from having to hit my IRA to meet my living expenses. If that happens I will never be able to retire. I have to find something else before then. That may be a job in industry or a second job to make ends meet. Whatever I can find. At my age the thought of working two jobs is not appealing in the slightest (I'm 57) but you do what you have to do. The district won't pay me what they promised me when they hired me so I have to figure out how to make up the shortfall. I'm hoping to find a full time job in industry that will pay my bills so I only have to work one job but at my age that will not be easy.

Last edited by Ivorytickler; 02-06-2016 at 07:24 AM..
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Old 02-06-2016, 11:51 PM
 
Location: Lynchburg, VA
92 posts, read 154,799 times
Reputation: 125
Default I went into teaching at 32

I'm now 35 and transitioning out of teaching. I'm leaving for a number of reasons.

Reason 1: I've always worked night shift. After a few years of teaching I'm tired of being tired. I go to bed between midnight and 3am and get up at 6. It's odd, but my body demands a night schedule.

Reason 2: The paperwork involved teaching SPED is ridiculous and combined with our other responsibilities it's unrealistic.

Reason 3: So many kids have zero respect for anything. It doesn't resemble school as I knew it. Maybe it's just my area?

Reason 4: Pay. The pay sucks.

Reason 5: Administration. I coteach part of the day and there have been multiple times we hit the button to notify the office we need an administrator in the room where they never show up. Thanks for nothing!

There's more, but I'll leave it at that. My wife is an RN and I'm taking pre nursing classes now. I'll be able to work nights and only work 3 days a week. Pay is also significantly more.
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Old 02-07-2016, 08:52 AM
 
Location: NJ
808 posts, read 768,430 times
Reputation: 2423
Worked as a chemist for Fortune 500 companies for 15 years. I liked the work for the most part, I enjoyed the chemistry and the discovery of new things, people were mostly nice and intelligent, working conditions were good, pay was good.

Things I didn't like was the monotony of 9-5 work, day-in and day-out for the entire year with a measly 2 or 3 weeks vacation. What finally got me to quit was that corporate America is run by businessmen whose only goal was to turn the most profits. This was usually at the workers expense. It used to be about making good products, it is now about making more money. We would put garbage products on the shelves because marketing said we had to beat the competition, they would fire people every time their stocks went down with no regard to the people that got the company to where it was.

Corporations are run by greed and only the top few make any money. I vowed to never work for a corporation again.

I left industry and got into teaching high school chemistry, this is my fifth year. For the most part I like it. I love the actual teaching part, I enjoy making lessons, I like getting up in front of the kids and showing them how to do things, I like conducting labs. I love having the time off in the summer and holidays. I feel that I have a positive influence on the kids that want to learn, so I do get personal satisfaction in that, I want to be the teacher kids remember when they are 50.

But, education is not what it was when I was a kid in the 80's. We had respect for adults, kids today for the most part do not. You really have to love kids and have an amazing amount of patience. I will blame parents today for sucking and not doing their job, there is little discipline at home anymore, and I work in a middle-upper class district, not some inner-city school. Being a teacher is becoming less like teaching and more like babysitting.

The other problem is administrators bow to the parents at every step. Back in the day, parents would back the teachers when little Johnny got in trouble. Today it is opposite, Johnny could be selling weed in school and the parents will defend the kid and blame the school. Another problem is administrators are not the sharpest tools in the draw, most have degrees in education, which is about the easiest degree you can get. Many gym teachers and history teachers become principals. Not sure how those skills translate into managing 2000 people. They make poor decisions that waste an incredible amount of time and money. And the fact that a school board, made up of housewives and people with too much time on their hands, can make pedagogical decisions seems ludicrous, really.

But the biggest factor that would get me to leave teaching is the fact that so many kids simply don't care about learning. There is no curiosity, no work ethic, they are content in living with their parents until they die and not making a life for themselves. When I grew up, we couldn't wait to leave home, we'd rather eat mac and cheese out of a box then stay at home. Kids today are too comfortable and don't want to give up the giant plasma tv and actually work for something on their own. I find it frightening.
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Old 02-07-2016, 06:32 PM
 
Location: Sioux Falls, SD area
3,169 posts, read 4,635,377 times
Reputation: 5343
Quote:
Originally Posted by fred44 View Post
Worked as a chemist for Fortune 500 companies for 15 years. I liked the work for the most part, I enjoyed the chemistry and the discovery of new things, people were mostly nice and intelligent, working conditions were good, pay was good.

Things I didn't like was the monotony of 9-5 work, day-in and day-out for the entire year with a measly 2 or 3 weeks vacation. What finally got me to quit was that corporate America is run by businessmen whose only goal was to turn the most profits. This was usually at the workers expense. It used to be about making good products, it is now about making more money. We would put garbage products on the shelves because marketing said we had to beat the competition, they would fire people every time their stocks went down with no regard to the people that got the company to where it was.

Corporations are run by greed and only the top few make any money. I vowed to never work for a corporation again.

I left industry and got into teaching high school chemistry, this is my fifth year. For the most part I like it. I love the actual teaching part, I enjoy making lessons, I like getting up in front of the kids and showing them how to do things, I like conducting labs. I love having the time off in the summer and holidays. I feel that I have a positive influence on the kids that want to learn, so I do get personal satisfaction in that, I want to be the teacher kids remember when they are 50.

But, education is not what it was when I was a kid in the 80's. We had respect for adults, kids today for the most part do not. You really have to love kids and have an amazing amount of patience. I will blame parents today for sucking and not doing their job, there is little discipline at home anymore, and I work in a middle-upper class district, not some inner-city school. Being a teacher is becoming less like teaching and more like babysitting.

The other problem is administrators bow to the parents at every step. Back in the day, parents would back the teachers when little Johnny got in trouble. Today it is opposite, Johnny could be selling weed in school and the parents will defend the kid and blame the school. Another problem is administrators are not the sharpest tools in the draw, most have degrees in education, which is about the easiest degree you can get. Many gym teachers and history teachers become principals. Not sure how those skills translate into managing 2000 people. They make poor decisions that waste an incredible amount of time and money. And the fact that a school board, made up of housewives and people with too much time on their hands, can make pedagogical decisions seems ludicrous, really.

But the biggest factor that would get me to leave teaching is the fact that so many kids simply don't care about learning. There is no curiosity, no work ethic, they are content in living with their parents until they die and not making a life for themselves. When I grew up, we couldn't wait to leave home, we'd rather eat mac and cheese out of a box then stay at home. Kids today are too comfortable and don't want to give up the giant plasma tv and actually work for something on their own. I find it frightening.

Great post. Most all of what you said I hear from my son who's finishing his 9th year of teaching. I never thought that I'd see this, but he's seriously thinking of getting out of teaching basically for the reasons you just stated. With his expertise being in math and computers, I'm sure that the pay would be better. The big negative is that he hates any thought of working in a cubicle (somewhat limiting his job possibilities) and would dearly miss coaching football.
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Old 02-07-2016, 09:53 PM
 
Location: Bordentown
1,707 posts, read 1,127,436 times
Reputation: 2533
Thank you, everyone, for your responses. I guess I should have been a bit clearer... I used to be a teacher. I taught middle and high school science for 14 years. I became seriously burnt out. I changed careers and moved away from where I used to teach. I live and work in the SF Bay Area and I never thought I'd say this but... I miss teaching. Corporate America is very boring. I guess I forgot all about the negative aspects of teaching (lack of motivation, paperwork, ridiculous BS from administrators...) and all of this seems like a haze. I miss working with teenagers and trying to inspire them.
I have been giving some consideration to returning to teach. My job is planning on relocating me to the midwest - either the Detroit area or Chicago - and I was thinking of working for another 2 or 3 years and then going back into the classroom. I'd have to get certified in MI or IL (depending where I end up).
I don't know if I should do it or not. I am afraid that field of k-12 education has gotten worse since I left the classroom years ago. We didn't have smart phones then or social media. I guess a lot has changed.
Maybe it's a mid life crisis... I feel that I want to contribute to society and return to the classroom. I am bored with my job now and I don't feel I'm contributing much to better the world by sitting in a cubicle 8 hours a day.
Not sure if that makes sense.
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Old 02-08-2016, 09:57 AM
 
Location: The Windy City
5,300 posts, read 3,298,118 times
Reputation: 4509
I'm in my late 20s and have been teaching in the public school system for a few years. I taught college before this. Like someone else said, DO NOT teach K-12 if you love your subject area. I love French and German and am invested in teaching the languages, but do not really care for children and their plethora of behavior problems that should have been taken care of at home.

I am in the process of seeking a career in higher education again.
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Old 02-09-2016, 12:20 PM
 
2,231 posts, read 1,686,923 times
Reputation: 3678
Quote:
Originally Posted by fred44 View Post
What finally got me to quit was that corporate America is run by businessmen whose only goal was to turn the most profits. This was usually at the workers expense. It used to be about making good products, it is now about making more money.
Unfortunately, change the part about "making good products" to "making good students" and the same can be said about Education these days.

Education in America has become a business, which is why it will never change for the better or improve in our lifetimes.
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Old 02-09-2016, 02:00 PM
 
109 posts, read 118,269 times
Reputation: 144
Quote:
Originally Posted by SageCats View Post
Thank you, everyone, for your responses. I guess I should have been a bit clearer... I used to be a teacher. I taught middle and high school science for 14 years. I became seriously burnt out. I changed careers and moved away from where I used to teach. I live and work in the SF Bay Area and I never thought I'd say this but... I miss teaching. Corporate America is very boring. I guess I forgot all about the negative aspects of teaching (lack of motivation, paperwork, ridiculous BS from administrators...) and all of this seems like a haze. I miss working with teenagers and trying to inspire them.
I have been giving some consideration to returning to teach. My job is planning on relocating me to the midwest - either the Detroit area or Chicago - and I was thinking of working for another 2 or 3 years and then going back into the classroom. I'd have to get certified in MI or IL (depending where I end up).
I don't know if I should do it or not. I am afraid that field of k-12 education has gotten worse since I left the classroom years ago. We didn't have smart phones then or social media. I guess a lot has changed.
Maybe it's a mid life crisis... I feel that I want to contribute to society and return to the classroom. I am bored with my job now and I don't feel I'm contributing much to better the world by sitting in a cubicle 8 hours a day.
Not sure if that makes sense.
I am not sure how long you have been out of teaching but in the past 10 years it has changed dramatically. I would seriously talk to several teachers before returning... paperwork was ridiculously 10 years ago, now it is just insurmountable. Also, much more pressure on teachers today compared to 10 years ago.
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