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kristala
05-23-2016, 05:51 PM
Let's go with some background first:

I studied Elementary Education and graduated with my teaching certificate in hand. For two years, I was a substitute teacher where I did anything and everything: from Pre-K to juvenile detention students (specifically helping a girl at a lower level). I landed a mini-contract job at a middle school, which was stressful to say the least but I survived it. I could not survive my next mini-contract, a high school reading teacher job. I screwed up, made a slip of one curse word (not the F-bomb), and lost my job. I ended up on probation from teaching for a whole year. This sent me in a downward spiral of depression, not wanting to work, and wanting my dream job of being an English Professor. Last year, I graduated from with my master in English and Creative Writing. Where do I work now? At the retail giant of Walmart, where I know I have to get out because of not only my career but the uncertainty of retail's future itself.

So what is your advice or tips for me? Here is what I have done so far:

1) Paperwork complete for three counties in my state including reference forms
2) Established contact with my master's program career center, who is looking helping me establish a network
3) Completed various applications for any job I qualify for
4) Attended one job fair, slated to attend a different one for a different county
5) Trying to acquire another letter of reference but having a hard time doing so because I don't want to a- annoy my former supervisors any further and b) I'm a shy person who doesn't know a lot people
6) Gathering information to renew my certificate and attend a conference to become more relevant

Note I am contemplating substitute teaching again to gain my network and reputation back. I guess I need not just advice but also a pep talk because I still enter my depressed mode once in a while, especially when I get those outright rejections with no phone call whatsoever. Wish me luck.

LastVanguard
05-23-2016, 07:02 PM
Since I'm a computer systems engineer, I'll try and stick with what helped change my career in ways that (I'm hoping) are applicable to your career path.

Networking with other people in your career path is HUGELY important. Half of the jobs I've got in my life were obtained solely because of my contact network, and because while I'm ridiculously shy around people I don't know too well, I try to make friends with everyone in some way over time. Because of that, I tend to stay in contact with most of the people I've worked with/for over the last few years, and it's opened up a lot of opportunities for me. I'd recommend starting down that road yourself. I know it's hard for shy people, but most things in life ARE hard. In some regard, we've all got to go through "hell" before we get to "heaven".

Another thing that worked for me was looking at a lot of my more senior classmates who DIDN'T get jobs straight out of college, and sat back to truly ask myself: "Let's take some time, and see if I can figure out what they did wrong so that I don't make the same mistake as they did." After doing some digging, I found several denominators that they all had in common:

1. They assumed they'd get a job the moment they got their degree. Most people in the America of today will attest this doesn't actually happen often. Don't let it get you down.
2. They didn't strive. I had the highest GPA of my graduation class at 3.8 - I'm still stunned to this day that that was the case.
3. They didn't work towards their goals outside of college classes. I volunteered countless hours outside of school in my career path beforehand, and it made a huge difference.
4. Industry certifications. Most people think they don't make as much of an impact - try working for the U.S. government where they require at least five. If you've got them and others don't, you're immediately their top candidate.
5. Your work ethic. Too many people today bear a mentality of "my employer's paying me for my time" as opposed to "my employer's paying me to do a job, and do it well". Sometimes I had to put in long hours to be proud of "signing my name" on a project, but it REALLY pays off to be a hard worker.

Don't get discouraged! I'm guessing you've still got a lot of your life ahead of you, and you've got plenty of time to get things sorted out. When you've got that dream job of yours a few years down the road, you'll likely look back at this point in your life and laugh at the current situation. :)

Chin up. Chest out. You can do this.


*EDIT* I'll also mention that I was once fired from a job because a co-worker left her computer unlocked, and I sent a mock email out to a few people from her account talking about ****. Don't let it get you down - we all make mistakes.

Dudette09
05-23-2016, 10:50 PM
Hi Kristala! Firstly, I'm not in the same field as yours...let's establish that first. Secondly, I'm not sure if I can help or at least be of a positive force to you but I'll give it my best and lastly, here it goes. :)

Every career has a minor or major fallback. It happens, my dear. In every career of an individual, there will come a time where one person believes he lost his chance to have a firm ground in his chosen career. One tiny error could ruin months or even years of hard work...I believe we will all face that. However, please bear in mind, that it doesn't matter how the damage affected your life...but rather, how you'd overcome this obstacle and pursue your passion.

I strongly believe teaching is your passion. It's the career you want to pursue otherwise you won't study for years to attain your degree or even take necessary steps in order to stand up again. My advice would be: focus on your path. Take a moment to sulk, cry, be hurt but NEVER EVER stay there. Depression can sometimes help if ONLY DEALT WITH TEMPORARILY. After that, work on getting your feet back up. It doesn't matter how long it will take to get there again but what's important is, you know your goals and you're working hard to achieve it.

Having a job out of your original career might be helpful or not, depending on you. Some people who tried to land a different job, because of its availability, failed to return to their original path. It all depends on you. If you believe that teaching is the profession you want to stick to, I suggest you stay on its path. Rejections are, like, in our lives every single day. It happens to everyone. If I may suggest as well, these companies or schools are not meant for you. Somewhere along the way, you'd eventually find an institution that will not only be your first step out of your current situation but will also be the ground for your new learning..and stuff. :)

I hope I made sense, haha. I tried to be as generic as possible. I hope everything will eventually turn out better for you. Cheer up. A minor setback should never define you and be determined not to let it halter your path to achieve your goals.

purpledrank
05-26-2016, 01:47 AM
I don't have much to offer as far as advice towards forwarding your chances of becoming an english professor; however I certainly hope you get the job. Retail is a cheap business, filled with sighs and passive aggression. It's a good starting position, but to actually make retail a career....... I hope it's worth all the crap you gotta deal with.

As far as depression goes, all I can say is to hope for the best, but very much expect the worst. Hope that you'll get the job, but expect to be turned down.

Risse
08-09-2016, 07:31 AM
I don't think I can give much advice on where to work and all that but I have an idea how hard it is becoming a Teacher. I am in a family of teachers...My twin sister is one and I can see how she has strived so hard to reach for her goals. She studied a Master's degree program and is working on her dissertation for her doctor's degree...(im not bragging tho just thought it'd inspire you... that is if teaching is your passion.)

There's one thing I can tell you though..You should work on being shy...All professions especially yours needs a lot of confidence.. You face people everyday from children to parents..And confidence is one of the keys to success...

Anyway if you wanted to have a pep talk with me..feel free..I wish you good luck and success..Ganbatte ne! ^_^