5 Steps to Switching Careers
5 Steps to Switching Careers to become a Texas Teacher
In our experience we’ve seen people from many different backgrounds train with us to become Texas teachers. From military personnel entering the profession to fashion retail professionals (watch Whitney’s video below) training, we’ve had a wide variety of students.
We’ve had some great discussions about how best to switch careers, but here take a look at Anne Jenks’s story from switching in the middle of her career and, ultimately, becoming the principal of McKinna Elementary School in Oxnard, California.
“When I was in my early forties, I decided to change professions and go into teaching. I was volunteering for Project Literacy US and teaching a fifteen-year-old boy who had dropped out of school to read. It was so rewarding that I decided to go back to school and get my teaching credential. This turned out to be one of the best decisions of my life. I am going into my 25th year as an educator, and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it.
If you are thinking of becoming a teacher and making a career change, I would advise the following:
- Ask yourself why you want to teach. If it’s because you want a nine-month work year peppered with holiday vacation time, don’t do it. You will work far more than the nine months many people seem to think that teachers work. This frequently includes nights, weekends and holidays. The only real valid reason to go into teaching is that you want to make a difference in the lives of your students. The need is great, and students deserve teachers who are fully committed to helping them achieve and reach their potential.
- Consult with your family members, especially if you are married and have young children. When I went into teaching, my children were seven and nine. Since I continued to work, I went to school at night. This meant that my husband had to assume a lot more responsibility with cooking, cleaning, laundry and childcare. Even when I was at home, I was doing coursework. Having his support made my pursuit of my second career possible. Without it, I couldn’t have done it. Even if you don’t have children, you will be spending many hours taking classes and doing the work that goes along with them as well as student teaching. It’s really important to discuss this ahead of time.
- Do some financial planning. Figure out if you are able to quit your job or if you will need to work while attending school. Are the tuition and other related costs (textbooks, travel expenses, materials and supplies) manageable or will you need to take out a loan? Ask yourself how much debt you are willing to incur. Will you take a cut in salary when you begin to teach?
- Find out what the job prospects are in your area. How many teaching positions are being advertised by school districts in your area? Are you willing to relocate to find a job? Even though there are teacher shortages in many districts now, this isn’t true across the board. Also, look specifically at jobs advertised in the area you are interested in pursuing. See if there are more jobs in elementary or secondary. If you go into secondary and get a single subject credential, where is the need?
- Explore the various colleges and universities in your area to see what their programs offer. The college I attended had an Adult Degree Program that allowed me to take courses at night. The entire program, including student teaching took less than two years. Some programs may offer distance learning opportunities that allow for more flexible scheduling.
Once you have considered all of the above, make your decision. If you decide to go forward, good luck and welcome to the best job in the world.”
Watch this video to see why Whitney Krammer chose to switch careers and how rewarding she’s found it:
“I earned my bachelor’s degree in Fashion Design. I’m creative and really love people, especially children. I worked in fashion retail for a few years, but felt I wasn’t really making the kind of impact on people’s lives I wanted. I always had a desire to give back, to serve in some way. I heard about becoming a Texas teacher through Teachworthy from a friend of mine. When I visited with the Teachworthy Team, they were so encouraging and helpful. They convinced me that I had what it takes to be a world-changer by becoming a teacher.
“I was nervous at first about passing the content exams, learning how to manage a classroom, finding a teaching position and passing the PPR (Professional Pedagogy and Responsibilities Exam required of all Alternative Certified Teachers).
“Teachworthy walked with me through the entire process. The instruction was engaging and practical. The job search was much easier than I expected. I was very prepared for my first day with kids and my Field Supervisor was always available to support me. She would check in with me often and visited my classroom frequently. Her feedback was encouraging and helpful.
“I also aced the PPR once I finished the Teachworthy Training.
“Switching careers to teaching has been very rewarding. I’ve had the opportunity to influence and encourage young students that many really need a healthy adult relationship with in their lives.
“I strongly recommend Teachworthy if you are considering changing careers to teaching. Their family will welcome you in and help you become a great teacher.”