Career Switch to Teaching: How to Retrain as a Teacher
Education offers a rewarding, fulfilling and stable career choice. But not everyone knows they want to work in the classroom straight away. Looking for more job satisfaction? Explore our ‘Career Switch to Teaching’ guide to learn how to retrain as a teacher.
Reasons behind a career change
Career paths aren’t always straightforward. Aspirations and circumstances change in the world of work for a number of reasons, including:
- Salary – Career changers often quote salary as the number one reason for switching sectors. They may discover that the pay bracket for one role simply doesn’t compare with another.
- Flexibility – A change in life circumstances can result in a worker needing more flexibility in their role. This could be a change in hours, a different work location, or simply a new structure and way of working.
- Confidence – If you feel like you’ve lost confidence in your abilities – or feel more confident operating under a different role, a career change may be just what you need.
- Reaching the limit – High-achievers who feel like they’ve hit the ceiling in their current profession may prefer to take on a new challenge.
- New goals – It’s important to have life goals, and you may learn that your current job isn’t pushing you towards those objectives.
- Satisfaction – There’s nothing better than finishing a day at work knowing you’ve made a real difference. If your current line of employment lacks this sense of fulfilment, you may choose to look for a new job.
- Changes in the industry – Jobs, industries and companies evolve and change over time. Sometimes, the organization you joined isn’t the same as the one you now work at. If the circumstances, conditions and environment no longer match what you need, it’s probably time to move on.
- New challenges – High-achievers who feel like they’ve hit the ceiling in their current profession may prefer to take on a new challenge. This ensures you stay motivated and inspired at work.
Reasons to consider a teaching job
School teachers have flexibility, job fulfilment and new challenges almost every day. Benefits include:
- Job security
- Personal development
- The chance to mould the next generation of leaders
Wondering if you have what it takes? Read our blog, Should I Become a Teacher?”, to find out.
5 Steps to making a Career Switch to Teaching
In our experience we’ve seen people from many different backgrounds complete their teacher training with us to become Texas educators, from military personnel to fashion retail professionals.
Take a look at Anne Jenks’s story about how she switched in the middle of her career, mastered her subject area, and, ultimately, became 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.
When I was at home, I was doing coursework. Having his support made the 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, doing the work, and completing your 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 full-time job or if you will need to work while attending school. Are the tuition and other related costs (textbooks, certification programs, 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? Alternative certification programs like Teachworthy are more affordable than going back to college if you already have a degree.
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.
Look specifically at jobs advertised in the area you are interested in pursuing. See if there are more jobs in elementary or secondary school. If you go into secondary and get a single subject credential, where is the need? Teachworthy’s certification program has teaching career tools to help you stand out from the crowd.
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.”
How rewarding is a career in education?
Watch this video to see why Whitney Krammer chose to switch careers and how she’s found her new role so far…
“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 spoke to 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 exam 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, many of whom really needed a healthy adult relationship 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.”