Considering going into teaching, thoughts?

Casual discussion amongst spiritual friends.

Considering going into teaching, thoughts?

Postby Tex » Sat Mar 07, 2009 12:01 am

Okay, so I've pretty much had it with corporate America and am considering a career change. I want my next career to be something that makes a positive difference in the world, so I'm considering several options, including going into teaching. I already have a college degree and could get my teaching certificate within a couple of months by attending classes on Saturdays.

I would consider teaching the middle school or high school level and would love some feedback from anyone, especially Buddhists, with experience in teaching those age groups.

Also, can anyone think of any reasons that teaching might not be an ideal career for a Buddhist?
"The serene and peaceful mind is the true epitome of human achievement."-- Ajahn Chah, Living Dhamma

"To reach beyond fear and danger we must sharpen and widen our vision. We have to pierce through the deceptions that lull us into a comfortable complacency, to take a straight look down into the depths of our existence, without turning away uneasily or running after distractions." -- Bhikkhu Bodhi
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Re: Considering going into teaching, thoughts?

Postby appicchato » Sat Mar 07, 2009 1:38 am

Good for you Tex...teaching is an admirable profession...continued success to you... :thumbsup:
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Re: Considering going into teaching, thoughts?

Postby zavk » Thu Mar 12, 2009 1:09 am

Hi Tex,

I've been meaning to post a response, so here it is.

I think teaching is a wonderful vocation. What I appreciate most about teaching is not so much the content of what I'm teaching (this is not to say that it is unimportant!), but the opportunity it presents for ethical work. Every stage of the teaching process--from planning the curriculum, to teaching the class, to consultation, to grading of essays--presents ethical challenges: i.e. how one ought to present one's thoughts and actions, and, how one can encourage students to reflect on their own thoughts and action.

All the best to you if you do indeed pursue this path.

Metta,
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Re: Considering going into teaching, thoughts?

Postby DhammaDan » Thu Mar 12, 2009 4:34 am

I think it's a wonderful idea!

I'm also planning on getting certified in Art History and Japanese (maybe more) to teach High School through College. I've had the opportunity to teach 6th graders an art class about diversity and I think it went extremely well. One child went so far as to say he thought I was cool (ah, there goes my ego :tongue: ).

But I do think teaching is a very commendable career, as it really gives children (and adults) the opportunity to gain understanding and more possibility in their lives. Especially concerning how quickly you could finish your certification, I'd say go for it! Here's for the best!

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Re: Considering going into teaching, thoughts?

Postby Ben » Thu Mar 12, 2009 4:56 am

Hi Tex

Go into it with both eyes open! Having worked at a number of private schools in Australia, and having been on the perimeter of school communities as a parent and husband of someone who has worked in schools for the last fifteen years, I've seen a little bit of what goes on in the classroom and staff room. Teaching kids and adolescents is certainly a rewarding and noble profession. But it is also very hard. At one school I worked at, we had an annual staff attrition rate of 50 per cent - and that was at quite a wealthy private school.
Should you wish to pursue a career in teaching, I wish you all the very best. We need more Buddhists in schools.
Metta

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Re: Considering going into teaching, thoughts?

Postby nathan » Thu Mar 12, 2009 6:04 am

My sister teaches professionally in this country. I think most public school teachers here have one or two university degrees and at least a year or two of ed at the U level. My sister has a an ed degree with a math/french double major. She has U level piano training as well so she has been doing a lot of music classes the last couple years. She takes it really seriously. Works very long hard hours and does an outstanding job. They have a program here where she takes home 80% of her wages for four years and then takes a year off. I think she was on four continents that year. Not sure if she's doing that again. The pay is not really high but it is pretty good and she has a lot of years in now so I think she is doing very well. She is very busy with it however. She has to pull a lot of weight for an underfunded system which is probably the same story everywhere except maybe some expensive private institutions. There is usually a lot of course preparation work involved and there is a lot of ongoing training.

I think she finds it very rewarding mostly. It is a lot of work though and coworkers are often a mixed bag like any workplace. All the best with your future occupation.
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Re: Considering going into teaching, thoughts?

Postby Rui Sousa » Thu Mar 12, 2009 12:58 pm

I had a teaching experience 10 years ago, It was one of the most exciting, demanding, rewarding and pleasant experience I had.

Young adults are very competitive, and may be hard to 'gain', but once you earn their respect they show an openness to learn new things that is admirable. They might bring in their personal issues to class, and the teacher can be very helpful in advising, but most all in being a role model.

I wish you the best on your endeavour.
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Re: Considering going into teaching, thoughts?

Postby Fede » Thu Mar 12, 2009 9:20 pm

Both my parents have been professional teachers, and both have come back with tales that would make your hair curl. But equally, they have had experiences which have left profoundly satisfying memories....
A favourite quotation of my father's was the definition of teaching, or education:

"Education is the process of casting false pearls before real swine."--- Irsin Edman

You need tenacity, determination, integrity and an endless sense of humour.

I would go for it.
It will be possibly one of the best teachers YOU'LL ever have. ;)
"Samsara: The human condition's heartbreaking inability to sustain contentment." Elizabeth Gilbert, 'Eat, Pray, Love'.

Simplify: 17 into 1 WILL go: Mindfulness!

Quieta movere magna merces videbatur. (Sallust, c.86-c.35 BC)
Translation: Just to stir things up seemed a good reward in itself. ;)

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