Question for teachers. .


So, I’ve been currently trying to decide between getting my degree in nursing or English w/ secondary education certification. I know a few nurses, but I don’t know any teachers, so I was wondering if all the teachers out here (especially high school teachers) could give me a little “insider’s perspective” on the job. Anything you can tell me about why you love your job, what the frustrations are, things I should consider before going that route. . .
Thank you!


I’m on the other side of the country from you but still thought I might give you some food for thought. I went back to get my MS in secondary ed (mid-life career change - I want to make a difference, you know?). Anyway, long story short, if you are in liberal arts (I’m social studies) it can be extremely difficult to get that first teaching job. If you’re scient or math, not a problem. There seems to be a overabudance of liberal arts folks who go into teaching (because it’s hard to make a living doing what you love if your subject is a liberal arts one, but scientists and math whizes quality for many high paying jobs). And her in California, we’ve laid off over 14,000 teachers for the fall due to a budget shortfall. So I’m teaching as a sub (not pleasant) and may have to leave the state to get that first real teaching job. :frowning:


I’m a retired teacher in New York State. It was the greatest and most frustrating job you can imagine. It’s hard too - if you don’t think so, look at the job that the parent(s) of several children have and multiply it by 10.

When you have children who want to be there, the job is great. When you have children who want to be out on the streets and refuse to be taught, it’s frustrating. When you have parents who try to help their children learn, it’s rewarding. When you have parents who think their children are always right, and it’s your fault when they fail, then the job is a nightmare. When you have a principal who cares for the teachers the way (most) teachers care for their students, it’s heaven. When you have a principal who thinks only of him/herself and only wants you not to make waves, then pray there’s a good teachers’ union in the district.

I wouldn’t have traded it for all the money on earth.


Choosing between nursing and education leads me to assume that you have the “constitution” of a caring person who wants to help people. Teaching certainly gives you the opportunity to do that…

It really boils down to where you are teaching. As a veteran of urban schools in Northeast Ohio for 11 years, my job was very rewarding, as well as very challenging. I “burned out” of my first job because it became so hard to deal with the social setting I was in. Extremely poor students with a self imposed futility that made it very hard to reach them. It seems the money never really gets to where it is needed most.

Those types of situations can be extremely difficult to deal with.

On the other hand, when students in those types of situations become successful because of a caring teacher, you cannot imagine the wonderful feeling you get.:extrahappy:

I have since moved on to a suburban area, and as previous posters have mentioned, parental support is a huge factor. In communities that value education, support their schools, etc. good things happen for students and teachers. Unfortunately in today’s world of high stakes testing, those kind communities are getting harder to find, and teaching jobs in those areas are even harder to get. Math, science, and special education are the “high need” areas. If your interests/talents are in those areas, your chances of landing a job increase drastically.

So…(getting to the point now…:slight_smile: The world needs more wonderful caring teachers as well as nurses. My advice would be to pray and determine what God has planned for you. It worked for me…Just when I thought my purpose was to stay in a job I didn’t like to “do His work” I was blessed with a new opportunity in which I am much happier.

Good Luck and may God bless you.


There’s no way to know whether you are cut out for teaching until you do it.

I always wanted to be a teacher, and I went to college as a secondary education/math major. I taught 3 years and loved the teaching. But, because I wanted to be a good teacher I nearly killed myself with preparation and grading. Teachers who come in at 7:45 and leave at 3:45 are NOT doing a quality job. I worked 6-6 and on weekends. I was on the verge of a nervous breakdown. Plus I had weak administration and that added to the stress.

I loved the kids and I loved teaching them about math. But, that is about 25% of what teachers do. “Teaching” is about 75% beaurocratic BS. Paperwork to fill out, meetings to attend, standardized test to administer, more paperwork, and more paperwork.

I’ve been in the corporate world 20 years now-- just meant to take a short break from teaching… but then life happened. I can tell you that teaching is an awesome job but it’s the hardest job I have ever had. I tutor and I teach CCD. That’s plenty for me!


Teaching satisfaction is directly related to where you teach. It is easier to get a job in the inner city - but many of the kids do not want to be there and have no aspirations for college. Get a job at a private school and things are different.


I have been teaching for over thirty years. Teaching is the most rewarding but yet most exhausting career that there is. I burned out and had a severe nervous breakdown which kept me off work for years. I am currently teaching again, though.
I think to be a good teacher you must have passion for the job. I mean, you must have passion for teaching.
If you are interested in helping people and not necessarily an overwhelming vocation for teaching specifically, you may be better off being a nurse. Although nursing is extremely stressful, you don’t have to lug home hours of homework to grade. (Although for all I know about nursing, you do have to bring work home, I am not sure.)


Just a note from a nurse: no, you don’t have to take work home with you as a nurse. But you may end up working 16 hour days in places with mandatory overtime. It can be extremely stressful and frustrating, but also fulfilling of course. And the great thing about it is there are so many different career paths - you can go into bedside nursing, patient education, emergency room, surgical, school nurse, telephone nursing . . . it seems there are a lot more opportunities in nursing than in teaching.


Ike - It is too bad you feel this way

Teachers who come in at 7:45 and leave at 3:45 are NOT doing a quality job :eek:

I am a teacher, have been for 10 years now. I basically work from 8-4 and I do a good job. It can depend on how organized the teacher is, what kind of parental help you receive etc. Don’t scare the poster, they might be thinking all teachers work those crazy hours. Yes some do, but most of the teachers I know don’t. I find once you get a couple of years under your belt lesson planning and grading don’t take quite as long. Now there are certain times of the year when I work longer hours, such as the end of the quarter.

I love my job and cannot imagine doing anything else. The summer’s off and the other breaks throughout the year are a blessing as well.


Yep. That’s how I feel about it.

That’s your experience, it isn’t mine. You are free to disagree and give your own perspective. She should get all perspectives.

I call it as I see it. And, at the secondary level in addition to teaching duties you also have extracurricular assignments.

That depends on whether you are satisfied to teach the same lessons over and over or whether you strive to bring new things into the classroom. I agree you do gain efficiencies, but teaching isn’t static, nor are textbooks, state standards, or district requirements.

I’m glad you love your job.


I teach Kindergarten and I love my job.( previously taught 3rd and 5th grades in a parochial school.) This will be my 15th year teaching in kdgn. Yes it is a rewarding job, but it can also be very frustrating. Sometimes children have problems that parents are unwilling to admit, you have difficult parents to deal with and then there is the No Child Left Behind. Sometimes you can re-teach a particular concept and they just don’t get it or they can’t grasp it and this can be frustrating to the student, teacher and parents. It’s a great job for women, as they are home for the holidays and summers with their own children. They will need a crane to move me out of kdgn. I tell people "I’d rather put up with a “poopy pants” than a “poopy mouth” any day of the year!



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