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Why a Career Change to Teaching May Be Right For You

by
Micah Fikes
Micah Fikes on May 15, 2018

There was a time in Texas when you could expect a lifelong job that would lead to an engraved gold watch and a nice pension. There was also a time when modern travel was by steam engine and the latest technology was a rotary dial telephone. Things do indeed change!

 

Career Change Trends

 

When it comes to jobs, according to TheBalance.com in 2018, the average person today will change jobs 10 to 15 times in their lifetime with an average being 12. 

career change to teachingIt's just not "jobs" that people are changing, it is careers. Monster.com conducted a poll in the United States, Canada and Europe and found that 49 percent were actively looking to change their careers.

Since many career-changers are looking for a new path that leads to rewarding work... a sense of pride in their career and a chance to make a difference in the world... it is not surprising that a career change to teaching is becoming common.

Ask Jeryl-Ann Asaro, who at age 44 made the leap to teaching, and told Education Week: "I know that I'm shaping the life of an adolescent child, and I'm proud to be in that role. The rewards are both internal for you, as well as external for those lucky students you teach. There is a need for excellent teachers. If it is your calling, go for it!"

One of the fears when changing careers is the ability to get a job in a new field. But, that fear is lessened in education, where the demand for teachers continues to rise. The Learning Policy Institute estimates that by 2020 about 300,000 new teachers will be needed each year in the country.

Principals in Texas are looking for career changers, as they add the dynamic of "real world" experience to their schools.

 

High Need Areas


There is the demand for new teachers, and then there is a Demand for new teachers with a capital "D".

Specifically, if you are making a career change to teaching from one of these areas you will really be in Demand:

  • STEM - Science, Technology, Engineering and Math - This is driven by the fact that jobs in America's economy are based on technological advances happening at Warp Speed.
  • Special Education - The Texas Education Agency estimates approximately one of every eight public school students needs special education services.
  • Bilingual and ESL (English as a Second Language) - The number of ESL students is even higher, according to the Dallas Morning News, with about one in five Texas students struggling with the language.
  • CTE (Career Technical Education) - This can be any career taught in high school from graphic arts to game design to animation. The U.S. Department of Education reported in 2016-17 that there were CTE teacher shortages in 34 states, including Texas.

 

How Much Can You Make

 

career change to teachingWe know you aren't a "Jerry Maguire" client screaming "Show Me The Money"! when you make a career change into teaching, but the reality is that starting salaries, especially in the major metropolitan schools districts in Texas, have risen to the $50K per year range.

Career changers can also keep in mind that many school districts participate in The Texas Retirement System of Texas, so a pension can become a reality.

And, if you are versed in one of the high demand areas mentioned above, you can achieve a more competitive starting salary.

 

How To See If It Is Right For You

 

How do you dip your big toe into the teaching waters without taking that full plunge? There are four easy ways:

  • Tutor - Many tutoring opportunities, especially online, can be done while you are still working your current job.
  • Volunteer - You don't have to give up your current gig to volunteer and you can find out if helping young people is rewarding for you.
  • Talk - Reach out to teachers in your community and social network and get the real details on an education career.
  • Substitute - Quickly discover if teaching is going to be your new calling by substituting in your local school district.

 

How To Get Your Teacher Certification In Texas

 

There are two basic paths in Texas to getting a teacher certification. 

The traditional path is a university program, but that can be expensive and takes time. This is often something career-changers have less of than new college graduates.

Fortunately, Texas makes it easy with alternative certification programs. These programs can get you into the classroom quickly and are less expensive than the university route. 

Let's face it...the tired idiom "those that can, do; those that can't, teach" is about as relevant today as the rotary telephone, because people who "can" and have done great things in their careers are now teaching and shaping the next generation of America's leaders. 

 

 texas teachers

Written by Micah Fikes

Micah is the Director of Curriculum & Technology. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in British Literature, from the University of North Texas and a Master of Arts in Teaching, from Louisiana College. In his previous career, Micah served for 14 years as a banker and bank manager. For the majority of this period, Micah managed the Downtown Fort Worth location of Frost Bank. In 2005, Micah finally surrendered to his true calling to be an educator. After a brief, but fulfilling term teaching high school English at Flower Mound High School in Lewisville ISD, Micah went to work for the family business, training teachers.

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