Author Topic: Any public school teachers in the house?  (Read 5905 times)

FinanciallyIndependent

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Any public school teachers in the house?
« on: June 21, 2016, 03:40:04 AM »
I am FIRE and thinking of having active lifestyle, limited hours, no commute and flexibility with possibility of not working during every summer.

I am thinking of becoming Physical Education teacher for Elementary or Middle school (I have always loved playing/watching sports ..soccer, tennis etc).  I am planning to work near where I live in Houston Texas.  I also have Masters degree in Chemical Engineer and am planning to take Alternative Certification Program to become a teacher.  I would love to get your suggestions on the following:

1.  Have you enjoyed being a teacher?
2.  Any PE teacher here I can get in touch with to ask some detailed questions?
3. Do Elementary schools have dedicated PE teacher?
4.  Do these jobs in Texas have retirement pensions?  Any estimates will help as well.

Anything else that you would like to share about your experience?

Thank you in advance



11ducks

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Re: Any public school teachers in the house?
« Reply #1 on: June 21, 2016, 04:45:47 AM »
I teach high school in Australia, so no real Texas advice, but I'd be careful to check out job/employment stats in your area. Where I am, the market is massively oversaturated for primary teachers and specialist phys ed and arts teachers. Friends that have graduated with excellent grades have been unable to find positions and have had to move to less desirable areas. I chose senior Math/Science specifically because it was an area of need. If it is not an area short of teachers it may be hard to get your desired job (esp if junior Phys Ed is preferred by PE staff?). As a new teacher you may not be given preferred classes until you prove yourself capable.

Also consider what you will be teaching - is there a significant theory component (ie health education) that you also need to plan, deliver and grade? At my school, juniors only have phys ed 1x a week, which means that sport teachers can have anywhere between 15-25 separate sport classes in a week (depending on length)- which can make things like learning names tricky (and each one needs to be graded/report cards written).

For Australia, most teachers have at least two teaching areas (Phys Ed and English, or Phys Ed and Science for example), and are expected to reach across both- is this the same in Texas? Chemistry teachers are always needed in my area, would you consider teaching that instead?

mancityfan

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Re: Any public school teachers in the house?
« Reply #2 on: June 21, 2016, 04:52:36 AM »
Hi there, I am a teacher in Maryland, so I cannot help you with all your questions:


1.  Have you enjoyed being a teacher?
Very much so. The first 10-15 years flew by. I am starting to get a feeling that I am having to work at my job as time goes on, as the administrivia, political parts of the job start to wear on me. The kids are the fun part, it is the adults that pose the challenge most of the time - administration and parents.

2.  Any PE teacher here I can get in touch with to ask some detailed questions?
I teach technology.

3. Do Elementary schools have dedicated PE teacher?
May be state specific there

4.  Do these jobs in Texas have retirement pensions?  Any estimates will help as well.
Need help from a Texan

My only comment would be to caution you about any thoughts that this could possibly be an easy transition into an easy fun job. Many teachers have a pet peeve about others who say they would like to retire into teaching - with a sense that it is a step down, a vocation rather than a serious job. Throw that out of the window. You will have to work very hard. Your management skills of large groups of students will have to be on point. This is also a difficult time for many educators in terms of how they are being held accountable in their performance reviews for student progress via data. with many intangibles - students not doing HW, not attending school etc - completely out of your control. Just my two cents. Go for it, but go for it with both eyes open.

MrsPete

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Re: Any public school teachers in the house?
« Reply #3 on: June 21, 2016, 04:53:35 AM »
I'm a teacher, though I'm high school and a core subject.  Still, I have insight into your questions: 

Yes, I have enjoyed being a teacher; however, I don't enjoy everything about teaching.  I enjoy planning /presenting lessons, I enjoy my co-workers, and I enjoy working with most of the kids.  I hate grading papers, the politics in teaching (very, very real), and the ever-increasing loads of unnecessary paperwork (which helps no one and actually decreases my effectiveness in the classroom).  Aside from the early morning start time, I like my highly-predictable schedule

Teaching is a job that's in transition.  Charter schools, online education and homeschooling are growing in popularity (keep in mind, I'm high school -- you should investigate whether this is true of elementary and middle school), and the fact is that public school is something that's on the decline. 

PE is a different type of class, and it tends to be taken less seriously (especially by parents) than other subjects. 

Keep in mind, too, that no teacher JUST teaches classes, and since PE teachers are considered "less busy" than other teachers, they get more than their share of these extra duties:  Expect to be assigned morning/afternoon duty supervising car rider drop-off or loading of busses.  Expect to be required to be required to earn a bus driver's license and serve as a back-up driver.  In elementary/middle school, expect to be required to attend occasional evening school activities; in high school, expect pressure to coach in addition to teaching.staff development trainings.  Don't forget after-school staff meetings, small group meetings, meetings with parents, and mandatory   Expect to keep emergency certifications (i.e., CPR) and to deal with minor emergencies frequently.  In middle school, expect to break up fights and deal with tears. 

In middle school you're very likely to be not only a PE teacher; you're likely to teach health as well.  You can check the requirements for various grades in Texas:  http://ritter.tea.state.tx.us/rules/tac/chapter116/index.html

Yes, elementary schools have dedicated PE teachers, though they are fewer in number than classroom teachers.  PE is usually looked at as a "special" (along with music, art), meaning that the classroom teacher brings the class to the gym and drops them off, leaving her with an hour of time to plan lessons.  This means you'll teach every student in the school, but infrequently; the downside is that you won't get to know the kids well. 

Yes, a Texas teacher would be eligible for a pension.  The question is, what's the vesting period.  In my state, you must put in 10 years to be eligible for a pension.  Depending upon your state, expect 6-8% of your salary to be deducted for the pension plan.  Teacher salary and benefits are public knowledge, and you can find all this information online -- including a formula that'll allow you to figure the dollar figure.

Overall, I think you're underestimating the job -- most people do.  I think you're thinking it'd be a little part-time gig for a person who doesn't need the money badly.  My suggestions: 

- Consider becoming a substitute teacher.  In my state this requires a high school diploma, no criminal record, and a three-day class at the community college.  This would give you a taste of teaching with little commitment.
- Consider becoming a coach.  This would allow you to work with kids on a seasonal basis instead of a full school year.  It doesn't pay well, but it's much less time. 
- Consider becoming a referee.  You must be certified for each individual sport, but it'd allow you to work with sports without the big time commitment of a full-time job. 


FinanciallyIndependent

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Re: Any public school teachers in the house?
« Reply #4 on: June 21, 2016, 05:24:16 AM »
I appreciate all your feedback and do understand that its not lollygagging job.  I have held engineering position full-time or more continuously for 14 years straight.  I am starting to understand that it is not just a gig but a real job with responsibility to shape future of a lot of kids.  That is why I picked PE instead of Math or Science because PE is what I truly enjoy. 

Pls more feedback from teachers is welcome.

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Re: Any public school teachers in the house?
« Reply #5 on: June 21, 2016, 06:02:14 AM »
You've gotten great advice here. In Texas, the state takes out about 7% for retirement. They also match this about 90%. I would suggest doing substitute PE teaching. Also, I'm in special ed, and there is something called adaptive PE.  This is a specialized PE teacher that goes around to different schools. An example of what you would do would be to pull kids out of a life skills class, and, along with their aides/paras, have a game of baseball in the gym, where even the kids in wheelchairs can participate. With help, any kid can hit a baseball and run to first base. It's a wonderful thing to watch how excited they get.

As far as job availability, if you are willing to go to the larger school districts with lots of inner city kids, will always find a job. Pay and benefits are all posted online. They will differ with each School District.

Best of luck to you.

aceyou

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Re: Any public school teachers in the house?
« Reply #6 on: June 21, 2016, 09:12:00 AM »
I am FIRE and thinking of having active lifestyle, limited hours, no commute and flexibility with possibility of not working during every summer.

I am thinking of becoming Physical Education teacher for Elementary or Middle school (I have always loved playing/watching sports ..soccer, tennis etc).  I am planning to work near where I live in Houston Texas.  I also have Masters degree in Chemical Engineer and am planning to take Alternative Certification Program to become a teacher.  I would love to get your suggestions on the following:

1.  Have you enjoyed being a teacher?
2.  Any PE teacher here I can get in touch with to ask some detailed questions?
3. Do Elementary schools have dedicated PE teacher?
4.  Do these jobs in Texas have retirement pensions?  Any estimates will help as well.

Anything else that you would like to share about your experience?

Thank you in advance

1.  Have you enjoyed being a teacher?
Mostly, yeah, it's been a good career so far.  I'm ten years in.  How about I put it like this.  If I were FI I would either quit, or I'd go to teaching half time.  Given that I'm not FI, there is no job I'd prefer to this one, and I'm happy to do it, and it's certainly fulfilling (most of the time)

2.  Any PE teacher here I can get in touch with to ask some detailed questions?
Sorry, I teach math and my wife ESL.

3. Do Elementary schools have dedicated PE teacher? 
At our school, a large one, PE teachers go from building to building...there are 8 elementary buildings in my district, so a few PE teachers service them. 

4.  Do these jobs in Texas have retirement pensions?  Any estimates will help as well.
I don't know, but how old are you?  In Michigan you have to teach 30 years to get a pension.  You are already FIRE, so even a few extra years of income should just send your SWR down so far that who cares, right????  I would look at this as a non factor. 

5.  My unsolicited thoughts:)
I'd encourage you to be a substitute teacher for a year at multiple school districts to get a feel for what teaching is/isn't.  I don't teach Math, I teach kids...lots of then...6 hours a day, 5 days a week, 30 at a time.  A love of sports won't be enough to give you satisfaction long term, you'll need to really love working with those kids, keeping their attention, monitoring their moods, communicating with their parents, making sure they are safe constantly...these are the things that will consume your every second.  Sports will often be an afterthought...I'm exaggerating a bit on this, but not that much. 

Regardless, good luck with however you choose to spend your time.  Children need great teachers and I appreciate your thought to join the profession.   


FinanciallyIndependent

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Re: Any public school teachers in the house?
« Reply #7 on: June 21, 2016, 10:31:35 AM »
You've gotten great advice here. In Texas, the state takes out about 7% for retirement. They also match this about 90%. I would suggest doing substitute PE teaching. Also, I'm in special ed, and there is something called adaptive PE.  This is a specialized PE teacher that goes around to different schools. An example of what you would do would be to pull kids out of a life skills class, and, along with their aides/paras, have a game of baseball in the gym, where even the kids in wheelchairs can participate. With help, any kid can hit a baseball and run to first base. It's a wonderful thing to watch how excited they get.

As far as job availability, if you are willing to go to the larger school districts with lots of inner city kids, will always find a job. Pay and benefits are all posted online. They will differ with each School District.

Best of luck to you.

Thank you.  How can I become substitute teacher initially?

FinanciallyIndependent

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Re: Any public school teachers in the house?
« Reply #8 on: June 21, 2016, 10:38:03 AM »
I am FIRE and thinking of having active lifestyle, limited hours, no commute and flexibility with possibility of not working during every summer.

I am thinking of becoming Physical Education teacher for Elementary or Middle school (I have always loved playing/watching sports ..soccer, tennis etc).  I am planning to work near where I live in Houston Texas.  I also have Masters degree in Chemical Engineer and am planning to take Alternative Certification Program to become a teacher.  I would love to get your suggestions on the following:

1.  Have you enjoyed being a teacher?
2.  Any PE teacher here I can get in touch with to ask some detailed questions?
3. Do Elementary schools have dedicated PE teacher?
4.  Do these jobs in Texas have retirement pensions?  Any estimates will help as well.

Anything else that you would like to share about your experience?

Thank you in advance

1.  Have you enjoyed being a teacher?
Mostly, yeah, it's been a good career so far.  I'm ten years in.  How about I put it like this.  If I were FI I would either quit, or I'd go to teaching half time.  Given that I'm not FI, there is no job I'd prefer to this one, and I'm happy to do it, and it's certainly fulfilling (most of the time)

2.  Any PE teacher here I can get in touch with to ask some detailed questions?
Sorry, I teach math and my wife ESL.

3. Do Elementary schools have dedicated PE teacher? 
At our school, a large one, PE teachers go from building to building...there are 8 elementary buildings in my district, so a few PE teachers service them. 

4.  Do these jobs in Texas have retirement pensions?  Any estimates will help as well.
I don't know, but how old are you?  In Michigan you have to teach 30 years to get a pension.  You are already FIRE, so even a few extra years of income should just send your SWR down so far that who cares, right????  I would look at this as a non factor. 

5.  My unsolicited thoughts:)
I'd encourage you to be a substitute teacher for a year at multiple school districts to get a feel for what teaching is/isn't.  I don't teach Math, I teach kids...lots of then...6 hours a day, 5 days a week, 30 at a time.  A love of sports won't be enough to give you satisfaction long term, you'll need to really love working with those kids, keeping their attention, monitoring their moods, communicating with their parents, making sure they are safe constantly...these are the things that will consume your every second.  Sports will often be an afterthought...I'm exaggerating a bit on this, but not that much. 

Regardless, good luck with however you choose to spend your time.  Children need great teachers and I appreciate your thought to join the profession.

Thank you all for invaluable inputs.  Gives me a lot to think about.

NV Teacher

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Re: Any public school teachers in the house?
« Reply #9 on: June 21, 2016, 07:37:45 PM »
1.  Have you enjoyed being a teacher?

I love it.  It's better now than when I started teaching in 1989. 


2.  Any PE teacher here I can get in touch with to ask some detailed questions?

Sorry,  I'm a reading intervention teacher.


3. Do Elementary schools have dedicated PE teacher?

Ours does.  He works with every class twice a week for 50 min./day.
He has a full time aide that works with him.
In order to fit everyone in he takes double classes, so he has 50-70 kids at a time for the PE classes.


4.  Do these jobs in Texas have retirement pensions?  Any estimates will help as well.

I'm sure they do, but you would have to check with the state and districts for specifics.


Anything else that you would like to share about your experience?

It's lots more work than you could ever imagine. 
There are students that have such crappy lives that your heart breaks for them everyday.
Education has changed dramatically over the last 10 years for everyone. 
For me it's been the best job in the world and I can't wait to go back to school in August.

MoneyCat

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Re: Any public school teachers in the house?
« Reply #10 on: June 21, 2016, 10:33:43 PM »
I am a teacher and have been so for 11 years now. Nobody in their right mind would go into teaching at this point in American history. Public schools are in the process of being privatized and with that salaries are dropping, contributions to benefits are increasing (further decreasing pay), duties have exploded exponentially, stress levels are off the charts, physical danger has increased to really frightening levels (including violence I have personally experienced plus the neverending active shooter drills), and pensions are all about to be outlawed. In addition, absolutely nobody respects a teacher. They want you to do the job for free and they think you are only doing the job because you are a loser who can't make money in a "real job". Screw teaching. Tell them that if they want some recent college graduate with a business degree to do the job in their gap year before they get their MBA, then by all means they should do so. Meanwhile, you should get a degree in STEM.

SewingmyStache

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Re: Any public school teachers in the house?
« Reply #11 on: June 22, 2016, 12:13:01 AM »
My husband is a retired teacher and my sister is a teacher who got alternative certification, both in Texas.  My sister was a computer program with a minor in math.  She decided to which to switch to teaching to have more time to be a mom.  The alternative certification is an alternative to taking the education classes in college and doing student teaching.  You must still have the qualifications in your subject, so I think that you would need to teach STEM classes.  Also some school districts are only interested in alternative certification for STEM and ESL teachers, since there are shortages of those.

The Texas teacher retirement system (TRS) is in lieu of social security, so teachers do not pay into social security but instead pay into TRS.  There are limits regarding collecting from both systems. 

The first year my sister taught there were two other alternative certification teachers.  The other two went back to their previous careers.

esq

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Re: Any public school teachers in the house?
« Reply #12 on: June 22, 2016, 07:08:41 AM »
You've gotten great advice here. In Texas, the state takes out about 7% for retirement. They also match this about 90%. I would suggest doing substitute PE teaching. Also, I'm in special ed, and there is something called adaptive PE.  This is a specialized PE teacher that goes around to different schools. An example of what you would do would be to pull kids out of a life skills class, and, along with their aides/paras, have a game of baseball in the gym, where even the kids in wheelchairs can participate. With help, any kid can hit a baseball and run to first base. It's a wonderful thing to watch how excited they get.

As far as job availability, if you are willing to go to the larger school districts with lots of inner city kids, will always find a job. Pay and benefits are all posted online. They will differ with each School District.

Best of luck to you.

Thank you.  How can I become substitute teacher initially?

Go onto the website of the school district you told me you preferred, and fill out their 3829653 page long employment application.  Be sure you have 3 good references, with phone numbers, emails and addresses. On the app, there will be a place to check that you want sub work.  In August, they should start having substitute teacher orientations.  When I first started in education, I did subbing.  There was a large pool of 900 subs (my district is about the same size as yours).  Call the sub dept @ admin and find out when the first orientation is.  Once school starts, you get up early each day and start checking the website for teachers requesting a sub.  I had business cards made ($10 from Vistaprint) and went around to the schools, introducing myself to the special ed teachers and leaving a card.  I was able to get several long-term gigs this way. Standing out is important.  I loved my subbing days - kept things interesting.  You might find you want to stay with this awhile.  Keeps the responsibility, and therefore the stress level, way down. 

New adventures - we all need them!

StarBright

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Re: Any public school teachers in the house?
« Reply #13 on: June 22, 2016, 07:56:58 AM »
I am a teacher and have been so for 11 years now. Nobody in their right mind would go into teaching at this point in American history. Public schools are in the process of being privatized and with that salaries are dropping, contributions to benefits are increasing (further decreasing pay), duties have exploded exponentially, stress levels are off the charts, physical danger has increased to really frightening levels (including violence I have personally experienced plus the neverending active shooter drills), and pensions are all about to be outlawed. In addition, absolutely nobody respects a teacher. They want you to do the job for free and they think you are only doing the job because you are a loser who can't make money in a "real job". Screw teaching. Tell them that if they want some recent college graduate with a business degree to do the job in their gap year before they get their MBA, then by all means they should do so. Meanwhile, you should get a degree in STEM.

I've been following this thread because I really want to go into teaching too and the above is my fear. My mom has been a special-ed para at a low-income elementary school for 28 years and she says the same things that you do.

MoneyCat

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Re: Any public school teachers in the house?
« Reply #14 on: June 22, 2016, 08:14:06 AM »
I am a teacher and have been so for 11 years now. Nobody in their right mind would go into teaching at this point in American history. Public schools are in the process of being privatized and with that salaries are dropping, contributions to benefits are increasing (further decreasing pay), duties have exploded exponentially, stress levels are off the charts, physical danger has increased to really frightening levels (including violence I have personally experienced plus the neverending active shooter drills), and pensions are all about to be outlawed. In addition, absolutely nobody respects a teacher. They want you to do the job for free and they think you are only doing the job because you are a loser who can't make money in a "real job". Screw teaching. Tell them that if they want some recent college graduate with a business degree to do the job in their gap year before they get their MBA, then by all means they should do so. Meanwhile, you should get a degree in STEM.

I've been following this thread because I really want to go into teaching too and the above is my fear. My mom has been a special-ed para at a low-income elementary school for 28 years and she says the same things that you do.

Instead of going into teaching, I recommend just getting some training in fixing computers. People who know how to fix computers will never be without a job in the 21st century and others will recognize your skill (even though you will have to fend off the usual suspects who want you to work for free.)


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FinanciallyIndependent

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Re: Any public school teachers in the house?
« Reply #15 on: June 25, 2016, 03:52:03 AM »
You've gotten great advice here. In Texas, the state takes out about 7% for retirement. They also match this about 90%. I would suggest doing substitute PE teaching. Also, I'm in special ed, and there is something called adaptive PE.  This is a specialized PE teacher that goes around to different schools. An example of what you would do would be to pull kids out of a life skills class, and, along with their aides/paras, have a game of baseball in the gym, where even the kids in wheelchairs can participate. With help, any kid can hit a baseball and run to first base. It's a wonderful thing to watch how excited they get.

As far as job availability, if you are willing to go to the larger school districts with lots of inner city kids, will always find a job. Pay and benefits are all posted online. They will differ with each School District.

Best of luck to you.

Thank you.  How can I become substitute teacher initially?

Go onto the website of the school district you told me you preferred, and fill out their 3829653 page long employment application.  Be sure you have 3 good references, with phone numbers, emails and addresses. On the app, there will be a place to check that you want sub work.  In August, they should start having substitute teacher orientations.  When I first started in education, I did subbing.  There was a large pool of 900 subs (my district is about the same size as yours).  Call the sub dept @ admin and find out when the first orientation is.  Once school starts, you get up early each day and start checking the website for teachers requesting a sub.  I had business cards made ($10 from Vistaprint) and went around to the schools, introducing myself to the special ed teachers and leaving a card.  I was able to get several long-term gigs this way. Standing out is important.  I loved my subbing days - kept things interesting.  You might find you want to stay with this awhile.  Keeps the responsibility, and therefore the stress level, way down. 

New adventures - we all need them!

Thank you for the info.  I will apply for Physical Education Teacher Aide position in KISD and see how it goes.  Hopefully I will love what I do and then transition from Aide to teacher within a year.  Hopefully I enjoy it and so will the kids.

tobitonic

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Re: Any public school teachers in the house?
« Reply #16 on: June 25, 2016, 07:26:16 AM »
I'm a preschool teacher and love some parts of the job and don't love others. I find the parts with the kids very purposeful; there's an awful lot of nonsense that goes with the job, however. I'd only recommend going into the profession if you have a strong sense of purpose related to it; half of all teachers leave the career within the first 5 years.

Pigeon

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Re: Any public school teachers in the house?
« Reply #17 on: June 25, 2016, 07:53:35 AM »
I am a teacher and have been so for 11 years now. Nobody in their right mind would go into teaching at this point in American history. Public schools are in the process of being privatized and with that salaries are dropping, contributions to benefits are increasing (further decreasing pay), duties have exploded exponentially, stress levels are off the charts, physical danger has increased to really frightening levels (including violence I have personally experienced plus the neverending active shooter drills), and pensions are all about to be outlawed. In addition, absolutely nobody respects a teacher. They want you to do the job for free and they think you are only doing the job because you are a loser who can't make money in a "real job". Screw teaching. Tell them that if they want some recent college graduate with a business degree to do the job in their gap year before they get their MBA, then by all means they should do so. Meanwhile, you should get a degree in STEM.

I've been following this thread because I really want to go into teaching too and the above is my fear. My mom has been a special-ed para at a low-income elementary school for 28 years and she says the same things that you do.
DH and my sister are also public school teachers in different states in the north. DH teaches science, sister teaches ESL. They would both say the same things. They are evaluated on how students do on standardized testing. That includes kids with an 80 IQ who are placed in regular classes, kids who refuse to do a lick of work, kids who live in grinding poverty and who are hungry and exhausted all the time, kids who have drug addict parents, kids who have serious mental illnesses, etc.

Even decent schools have gotten violent. DH breaks up fights between large, aggressive students and has had students swing metal desks at his head. This isn't an urban school.

The pay isn't great considering the education required and he does tons of work at home. There is no support from parents or administrators. Pay and benefits that used to be attractive are being slashed. Teachers are vilified by the public and by politicians. Charter schools and alternative certification routes are putting additional downward pressure on salaries.

There is a reason why enrollment in teacher education programs has plummeted. I don't know any teachers who would recommend it as a career to a young person.
« Last Edit: June 25, 2016, 12:12:33 PM by Pigeon »

Cassie

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Re: Any public school teachers in the house?
« Reply #18 on: June 25, 2016, 11:45:39 AM »
I think working as aide is perfect to see how you like it. Subbing would also be good since you don't have to work everyday. 

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Re: Any public school teachers in the house?
« Reply #19 on: June 25, 2016, 03:17:11 PM »
I have taught middle school English in a large urban school district for 18 years, and it is not for the faint of heart. It is not an easy job, and you need more patience and optimism than you might think you have. It's mentally and emotionally exhausting at times, and you interact with kids who may hate you simply because you're the adult, parents who may hate you simply because you're the teacher, and admins who expect miracles because they can't remember what it's like to teach. That being said, I really do love it. I am on the FIRE path not because I hate my job, but because I love my summers so much that I want that kind of freedom year-round.

To be perfectly honest, I have noticed that many, many second-career folks struggle mightily with teaching. In some cases, their expectations were off-base or they underestimated how difficult it is, and in others, they don't *really* know how to deal effectively with kids.

Like the others mentioned, I strongly suggest subbing. Sure, kids can be rude to subs (and often they are rotten), but your first year of teaching would be a little like that too, but with everything else added in: grading, IEP meetings, parent conferences, PD sessions, etc. If you do well with subbing and teachers call you frequently, you may occasionally get a long-term position, and that would give you a very good taste of the real deal. There's one sub who works frequently at my school, and subbing is his only income. He works maybe 2-3 times a week, and he has no desire to move on to "real" teaching. Can't say I blame him -- he's got a good thing going. Maybe something like that would interest you?

Janelle

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Re: Any public school teachers in the house?
« Reply #20 on: June 25, 2016, 10:52:33 PM »
I've been a public school teacher for 12 years (middle school). I've really enjoyed it, and would recommend it to someone who wants to connect with kids and has lots of patience.

Some things I might add to what's already been posted here:
Being a sub isn't really a good way to tell if you'll like the profession. It's a tougher job than being a full time teacher because you don't get to build a rapport/relationship with the students, and they can take advantage. This makes classroom management a total pain. Trying an aide position is a much better idea because responsibility for everything is on someone else and you still get to know the kids, which is really the best part of teaching (aside from summers off, obviously hehe). 

Also, if you are sold on PE, maybe consider adaptive PE (specialized PE for students with special needs). It may sound intimidating, but the schedule is usually much lighter and there are many more job openings. Don't be intimidated by the paperwork. People make that sound worse than it actually is.

Good luck with everything!

amyable

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Re: Any public school teachers in the house?
« Reply #21 on: June 26, 2016, 07:05:48 AM »
1.  Have you enjoyed being a teacher?

I taught for 7 years, and I loved it.  I have experience teaching both an elective and a core class, so I thought I'd give you some insight on that, since most of the teachers responding are core.  Teaching a core class (English in my case) is more demanding in that you have to attend lots of meetings on standardized tests, etc.--our test here in Texas is called the STAAR.  I didn't ever specifically focus on testing in my class, just generally improving critical thinking, reading and writing skills, and I always had great test scores, so I wouldn't let this stress you out if you go the core route. 

I also taught middle school art--I felt like a lot less was expected of me as far as meeting attendance, etc., but this will vary by district.  It's also faster to grade student art than 5 page essays.  I assume grading with PE will also be super, super easy.  On the flip side, kids will expect your class to be "easy" and may balk if you ask them to do actual hard work or give them a low grade on an assignment for complete lack of effort / following instructions. 

There is also less detailed planning with most elective classes.  Planning and grading take a lot of time, and they are the reason many teachers work a few hours at home every night.  As a PE teacher, you will make basically the same money as a core teacher, but you will typically have much, much less work.

3. Do Elementary schools have dedicated PE teacher?

This depends--if you want to stay in larger districts in the Houston area, I'm betting they all have their own PE teacher.  If you want to work in rural schools, they may have a single PE teacher for grades K-8.  In Texas, high school PE teachers almost always also coach a sport.  Middle school PE teachers sometimes also coach a sport.  If you decide to coach, there will be additional hours, but there is also usually a decent stipend in Texas for coaches.

4.  Do these jobs in Texas have retirement pensions?  Any estimates will help as well.

Yes, they do--the system is called TRS.  Your TRS policy will vary depending on the year you start teaching--so you may want to look up information on TRS for the year you will specifically start.

5.  More comments:

I loathed substitute teaching, and I loved teaching.  Being a sub is completely different because you are walking into the classroom climate someone else created (they might be an awful teacher), and you don't get a chance to really build relationships with kids.

I'm a school counselor now, and I love it--I make better money, and my day is more flexible.  It's hard in totally different ways.  Administration is also a way you could go, and after the assistant principal level, the pay is actually pretty good. 

CATman

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Re: Any public school teachers in the house?
« Reply #22 on: June 26, 2016, 08:14:25 PM »
It looks like you've got some pretty good answers so far. As a former teacher myself I can say that I decided that it wasn't for me. Too many people who have never spent a day teaching telling me what is best for the children I am trying to prepare to be lifetime learners instead of perfect test takers are the end of the year.

That being said, I think a position in coaching may be what you're looking for. The time requirement is going to be much lower and you're also going to have much less exposure to outside people sticking their hands in what you're doing. It would give you maximum time spent helping youth while minimizing having to deal with all the other responsibilities.

I knew a few gym/physical education teachers and they all wore many many hats since they are usually viewed at having less work to do in terms of lesson planning, grading, etc. They would often be coaches, before/after school coordinators and fill a variety of other roles as well.

Teaching is an awesome profession and once I've hit my FI mark I would love to go back to working with children/young adults in a more informal educational role. I really hope you find an opportunity and the fulfillment you're looking for!

TentacleFlatbread

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Re: Any public school teachers in the house?
« Reply #23 on: March 28, 2017, 08:56:15 AM »
I know this is an old post, but if you haven't already started teaching in Texas and you're trying to retire early, DON'T.  TRS does not allow it.  From MyTRS:

Normal Age Retirement

For persons who first become members or return to membership on or after September 1, 2007, the following eligibility requirements must be met to qualify for unreduced benefits at retirement (normal age retirement):

  - Age 65 with 5 or more years of service credit, or
  - Age 60 with at least 5 years of service credit and meets the Rule of 80 (combined age and years of service credit equal at least 80).

Early Age Retirement

A member may receive a reduced annuity at: age 55 with 5 or more years of service and the total age and service is less than 80, or any age below 50 with 30 or more years of service.

Persons who first become members or return to membership on or after September 1, 2007 are subject to a 5% annuity reduction for each year under age 60 if they retire before age 60 and meet the Rule of 80. Members with at least 30 years of service credit but who do not meet the Rule of 80 also have a 5% reduction for each year under age 60.

Mezzie

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Re: Any public school teachers in the house?
« Reply #24 on: March 28, 2017, 06:29:26 PM »
I love teaching. As others have pointed out, though, the politics that surround teaching can be draining and demoralizing.

I'm going to give slightly different advice: I don't recommend subbing. If you can and you don't need much money, get a job as an aide. That allows you to observe teachers as well as get a feel for how students behave in various environments. I worked with almost a dozen teachers for two years as an in-class writing tutor, moving from classroom to classroom. That experience taught me more than any teacher-training classes I took.

Psychstache

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Re: Any public school teachers in the house?
« Reply #25 on: March 28, 2017, 06:31:59 PM »
I know this is an old post, but if you haven't already started teaching in Texas and you're trying to retire early, DON'T.  TRS does not allow it.  From MyTRS:

Normal Age Retirement

For persons who first become members or return to membership on or after September 1, 2007, the following eligibility requirements must be met to qualify for unreduced benefits at retirement (normal age retirement):

  - Age 65 with 5 or more years of service credit, or
  - Age 60 with at least 5 years of service credit and meets the Rule of 80 (combined age and years of service credit equal at least 80).

Early Age Retirement

A member may receive a reduced annuity at: age 55 with 5 or more years of service and the total age and service is less than 80, or any age below 50 with 30 or more years of service.

Persons who first become members or return to membership on or after September 1, 2007 are subject to a 5% annuity reduction for each year under age 60 if they retire before age 60 and meet the Rule of 80. Members with at least 30 years of service credit but who do not meet the Rule of 80 also have a 5% reduction for each year under age 60.

That's like saying no one can retire early because Social Security doesn't allow it.