Monday, January 4, 2010

Back to school, back to school...

When I was a kid I wanted to be something different every week. Sometimes when I think about it I am reminded of Vada from the movie My Girl. Do you remember how she wanted to be something different each summer?

Well, I was just like her and sometimes think I still am.

I have been thinking a lot about the future and what I will do with my career. I think it's evident that I love my job, but just as much as I love my job I also hate it. If that doesn't make sense to you then you probably have never had a love/hate relationship with your job.

All weekend Cy and I were discussing my options (well, I kept bringing it up) and we came to two conclusions. 1. I'm not going to be happy doing what I am doing for the rest of my life, and 2. I need to do something about it now while I'm still in my twenties. (I turn 28 soon).

You see, I know I am not going to be happy doing what I'm doing for a long time because I don't even want my boss's job. If I don't want her job that means I don't want to get promoted, which to me means I am not ambitious enough in this field. Which then leads me to ask the questions... What am I doing?

This may sound a little irrational, but trust me, I have thought about this long and hard. It's not anything recent. This past Christmas only confirmed it for me. If I stay in this job I will miss out on so much! I already miss out on a lot and it depresses me all the time. One thing that I am really not looking forward to is missing all the football games next year with Cy. He and his friends are going to every single game next year and someday I want to be able to do that with him.

Back when I lost my job in early 2009 I was going to go back to school for a Masters in Education but my boss now convinced me that taking this job would be a better move financially. She is right, but it's not necessarily making me the happiest. I hate dreading going to work and lately, that is exactly what I have been doing.

So, I would like to go back to school for education. I would love to be an elementary school teacher. When I think about what I miss most from Club Libby Lu, it's the interaction with children. I have interaction with children at my job now, but it's nothing like what it was at CLL. Nothing!

There's a couple of schools around here that offer programs for working adults, but I'm hoping I can get some advice from some of you teachers out there.

I have a BS in Apparel Merchandising/Design. Should I go on for a Masters in Education (although my prior degree has nothing to do with Education whatsoever) or should I try to get a teaching certificate? There are both programs. What I am worried about is if I get a Masters I will be less desirable to a school district because they would have to pay me more money without having any teaching experience.

That's my main concern. I am setting up an appointment at the school I'm mostly interested sometime this week, so of course I will ask her all these questions.

My gut feeling is telling me that this is the right thing to do for so many reasons.

Since I am a list person, here is my list.

1. I could see myself teaching until retirement
2. It's the perfect job for when I want to start having kids
3. Iowa has an amazing benefits and retirement program for teachers
4. It would be positive interaction with kids again
5. It would be working with kids again. Period!
6. The schedule is ahhhh-mazing!
7. It would probably be the most rewarding job I have ever held

So... that is what I have had on my mind the past couple weeks.

Have you ever gone back to school as a working adult? How did it work out? Advice?


brown eyed girl said...

I think what you're saying is a sign. My husband got his degree in psych and went to work as a psychometrician and he hated it. Hated it. So it kind of confirmed to him that he liked aspects of his job and wanted to keep that for the long run, so he went back for school psych. And now he is so happy. He comes home and has stories and loves sharing and it shows on his face.

I think that you recognize your unahppiness and are probably right if you feel it in your guts. If you went back to school for teaching, you'd get experience as a student-teacher, if that's any consolation? I'd follow your heart, there will be some sacrifices either way, but you deserve to be happy!

Do let us know what you decide!

Shannon said...

I had these same feelings around my 28th birthday. I'm still 28 btw. Anyways, this will be my 1st semester as a Grad student. I'm going back for my MBA. So, I totally understand how you're feeling and your fears.

It's a big step but you have to do what makes you happy! said...

oh my gosh I could talk to you for DAYS about this! I graduated from ISU with a degree in english/journalism. I got a job (hated it) and decided my passion was in teaching. So last spring (a year ago) I started back up at ISU in the education program, and have since transfered up here to get my masters in teaching. I LOVE IT!!! If you want to go back to ISU (which might be an easy option since you are an alum) let me know. Chuck Achter is one of the msot amazing teachers I have EVER had. I can give you his email and IM sure he would love to guide you no matter which school you choose! and I could help you with student teaching bc my friends mom is a principal at a school in urbandale and my other friends mom is a teacher at valley :)
DO IT! you wont regret it!

Alicia said...

If you think teaching will make you happy, then you should definitely look into that. I don't know the difference between the programs - but you know what is best for your current situation!

Lesli said...

You would be a wonderful teacher, Amber!

I think you should go back and get your teaching certificate. I am not sure you necessarily need to get your masters unless that is something that you really, really want to do for yourself.

Good luck with whatever you decide!

The Word Slinger Upstairs said...

Just get your certificate as soon as you can so you can start working. Once you know you love it, you can go back while you are teaching! You can even take days off for it here and there (I've filled in for people who did that) then you will already be investing in your retirement plan while you are going back to school! :) GOOD LUCK, don't forget to look into alternative programs. THE SINGLE BEST THING I EVER DID was to call my state's department of elementary and secondary education. At the very least, browse their website as soon as you can...

pinkflipflops said...

I would suggest getting your cert in Ed first. Also, what is the job market in Iowa for teachers? In Michigan, where I got my degree and live it is TERRIBLE. TERRIBLE TERRIBLE. DID I MENTION TERRIBLE??? The first year after we graduated NONE OF my friends from the college of ed had full-time teaching jobs in the state of Michigan. Those that moved did. I had not one interview that first year. The second year, 4 of my friends have full-time teaching jobs. 2 in public, 2 in charter schools. I once again applied like crazy and had one interview. I am doing a long term sub job which I get no retirement benefits but I do get paid pretty well. They outsourced the subbing last year. One thing you could do, is start subbing depending on your work schedule. A day here and there, lets you experience the classroom. Just make sure, about the job market and that you truly want to do it before you throw money out there. I love my job, but it is draining. Physically and emotionally. You have no idea what the five year olds I work with have for home lives. Ugh. So yeah, I would say don't jump into a masters unless you have too. It's best if you have a special focus.. Special Ed, math or science.. Early Ed.. or whatever.. history and english majors are a dime a dozen.. (I don't want to be a debbie downer..just letting you know that it isn't all roses..)

Just a Girl... said...

Just do it, don't think it over to much or you will think of a million and some reasons not too..

I returned to school as a single mama with 2 babies and it is the best thing I could ever do even though everyone thought I was nuts.I went to school during the day, worked at night and had the weekends for my kids..

Teaching is a awesome job and always room to try different things and go partime and so on..

Can't wait to hear how things go for you. :)

Crazy Shenanigans said...

I think it's great that you're thinking of going back to school! If you wanted to teach, then the fastest way would probably to get a teaching certificate. I know if you take a few certain classes then you qualify for the certificate after you pass a test.

Classy in Philadelphia said...

I've always wanted to be a teacher ever since I was little, but I'm actually not in school for education right now. It's something I think I might do later in my life. I think you should go for it!

Amber (Girl with the red hair) said...

I think you should go for it but maybe just get the teaching certificate to start out rather than jumping into the Masters!

Good luck! This is exciting for you!!!

P said...

I've thought about going back to study (teaching nursery/kindergarten appeals to me) but I just couldn't afford to, I'm too used to having a regular wage (which I can barely live on as it is). But I am in awe of anyone who has the guts to do it. So if that's what you wanna do, then I say go for it!

walkingonsunshine18 said...

I definately think you should do it. If you don't, you'll always regret that you didn't. Plus I think that teachers are amazing people and I think you're pretty neat, so it's a win win!

walkingonsunshine18 said...

I definately think you should do it. If you don't, you'll always regret that you didn't. Plus I think that teachers are amazing people and I think you're pretty neat, so it's a win win!

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

Good for you for thinking about this now - instead of waiting 5 years or so!

I agree w/ what the others have said and think the Cert is the way to go. You can always get your masters later - it will be harder for a school to hire a masters level person, esp w/out teaching experience.

Good luck!