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Almost finished a teaching degree...
Yet don't know if I want to be a teacher

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16 replies to this topic

#1 sheamus

Posted 27 January 2013 - 08:54 PM

Hi everyone original.gif

I am looking for any similar experiences or ideas on what to do.

I have realised that I am not looking forward to becoming a teacher. I started this degree because I worked in child care and I thought it would be a natural progression to what I was already good at. I am in 3rd year and have done two practicums. Both times I obtained really positive feedback from my supervising teachers and university supervisors. The kids were fantastic students and I was well supported in all areas.

However, if I am brutally honest I found a lot of it draining and for most of the pracs I was acting like it was enjoyable when in actual fact  I couldn't wait for it to be over. I don't think I am cut out to be a teacher sad.gif . I really respect every child's right to be nurtured and educated by a passionate professional and I know that's what I want for my children. I just really lack the passion and while I am going very well academically and on all my pracs, my heart just isn't in it.

I do want to finish- but I am very confused about what I can do with a primary degree apart from becoming a primary teacher. I have booked a session with the uni careers advisor next week so they can offer me extra guidance. But right now I am feeling lost about it all. I think it's important I have a plan rather than falling into a job I don't want to do and negatively impacting others.  

Has anyone changed their career choice at the end of the degree? Has it ever worked out well?

Edited by Omega_particle, 27 January 2013 - 08:57 PM.

#2 CupOfCoffee

Posted 27 January 2013 - 09:01 PM

I was one subject (final prac) from finishing my graduate in education.  I did not finish it because teaching was not the career for me.  

I love kids and I value eduction, turns out that I don't love teaching.

I have never looked back and wished I had become a teacher (but I have built a career in a field that suits me).

#3 ~~~~!eternity!~~~~

Posted 27 January 2013 - 09:03 PM

I was like you and opted out of my teaching degree 6 months early with a BA. I have pretty much regretted it ever since because even though I didn't want to go into the classroom I have used the skills in heaps of roles since and it would have been nice to finish.

Some options you may not have considered:
- TAFE teaching
- Teach for RTOs
- Uni lecturing
- Learning and development staff member in an organisation

#4 sheamus

Posted 27 January 2013 - 09:05 PM

Hi cup of coffee - that is fantastic to hear that you found a more suitable career. Did you find that your study helped you in getting the job you have now? Do you wish you had cut your losses and left earlier?

#5 ~~~~!eternity!~~~~

Posted 27 January 2013 - 09:06 PM

Just wanted to add- finish the degree, you are so close and you never know when you might wish you did later in life, even if just to pick up casual days if your world goes pear shaped some time in the future.

#6 axiomae

Posted 27 January 2013 - 09:07 PM

If you enjoy child care - how about running a kindy program? They require an education degree but are run in a child care setting - could be a nice middle ground perhaps?

ETA: I'd finish. Casual teaching is great money and always a wonderful thing to have to fall back on, even if it isn't your primary career goal.

Edited by axiomae, 27 January 2013 - 09:08 PM.

#7 sheamus

Posted 27 January 2013 - 09:10 PM

Hi eternity- I'm sorry to hear you had regrets about leaving early. Can you go back and finish the last few subjects? I think your experience is similar to how I would feel if I left now. They are choices I have considered- especially the causual teacher option. However, we want to get a home loan and me being in permernant work is a necessary part of that.

#8 jm3

Posted 27 January 2013 - 09:11 PM

I felt exactly the same as you OP when I was at that point in my degree.  I did well.  I got good feedback.  I pretty much pretended I was loving it but I wasn't.  I couldn't wait for the pracs to be over.
I finished the degree with a ten week placement.

Now... I really do love it.  It is so different being in the classroom without the pressures of the academic pressure and the constant supervision of pracs.  Hang in there original.gif

#9 CupOfCoffee

Posted 27 January 2013 - 09:14 PM

QUOTE (Omega_particle @ 27/01/2013, 09:05 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Hi cup of coffee - that is fantastic to hear that you found a more suitable career. Did you find that your study helped you in getting the job you have now? Do you wish you had cut your losses and left earlier?

I am glad I did as much as I did.  I don't think I wasted time doing it, even though I was so close to finishing and don't work in the field.  I think that everything I have done, takes me to where I am now (so if I had finished earlier, things might have been different) and I use what I learnt as a parent and generally.  

(I work in a policy type area, so having done uni from different faculties has been awesome for me (my undergrad was in a completely different area again).

#10 littleboysmum

Posted 27 January 2013 - 09:15 PM

Just to let you know, teaching pracs are HARD work and not always indicative of what it's like to have your own class. Your own class is totally different. I am, however, glad you have recognised the truth if teaching is not for you. All kids deserve a teacher who is truly passionate about their job. Teaching is not always the easiest of jobs, but then again, anything that is truly worthwhile is never easy. Good luck in whatever you decide to do!

#11 sheamus

Posted 27 January 2013 - 09:22 PM

QUOTE (jm3 @ 27/01/2013, 10:11 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I felt exactly the same as you OP when I was at that point in my degree.  I did well.  I got good feedback.  I pretty much pretended I was loving it but I wasn't.  I couldn't wait for the pracs to be over.
I finished the degree with a ten week placement.

Now... I really do love it.  It is so different being in the classroom without the pressures of the academic pressure and the constant supervision of pracs.  Hang in there original.gif

My gosh I feel 1000% more hopeful hearing this. Truly these are the most encouraging words. Thank you! original.gif Hearing this makes the upcoming internship seem a lot less awful. I am really embarrassed to talk about this with anyone as I have upheld this act for two years now. Just getting it out there and hearing there is hope makes me very relieved.

I was talking to MIL today and she said if you chose a job that you love, you will never work again. She loves her job as a train guard and she never feels like she goes to work. My heart sank when she told me this as I know so far teaching is something I am dreading and not loving.

I was thinking of going back to child care and actually running a centre, but was worried about the start up costs. I actually find that I'm more suited to teaching younger kids so this is a very real possibility should it be financially viable. Thank you. original.gif

Edited by Omega_particle, 27 January 2013 - 09:30 PM.

#12 MissMaya

Posted 27 January 2013 - 09:23 PM

op a teaching degree can be used for many other jobs. Teachers are very sort after in many professions for their organisation and people skills.

With a primary teachers degree you could work for many non profit organisations or big companies teaching adults/ running education programs. Or teach Drama lesson for children.

Good luck and I hope you find a career that makes you happy.

#13 blackcat20

Posted 27 January 2013 - 09:24 PM

I'm similar. I finished my DipEd in 2011 but haven't taken the step to be a full time teacher. I love interacting with students during pracs, but I find general teaching tedious and I feel like I suck at it. I do pick up a little relief teaching occasionally as the money is good, but it reinforces to me that it's not the career for me.

#14 vrx_chick

Posted 27 January 2013 - 09:32 PM


If you enjoy being with the younger children, finish your degree and then maybe see if you can do an early childhood component and / or change your major to early childhood...

Child care centres are starting to look for Early Childhood Teachers to run theri Kindergarten programs, and every centre will need at least one ECT by January 2014... They are usually full-time positions (as opposed to permanent-part time that group leaders are), often have set hours, and that way you can combine your degree with your enjoyment of the younger children..

Just a thought??

#15 lisacat

Posted 27 January 2013 - 09:43 PM

With the degree and your background in child care have you thought about working in outside school hours care, people with teaching degrees are highly sort after especially if you are in the ACT.

#16 MaeGlyn

Posted 27 January 2013 - 09:59 PM

You are at the end of your education and have been in school for 15-16 years. If you get out and start having real life experiences with teaching and meet people and other teachers, you might be surprised how much of a zing that gives your motivation.

I wouldn't call it quits until after working as a teacher for a year. The best might be ahead of you. That is my opinion.

Working with children IS exhausting, I think even people who are teachers would agree with that, but it is something they might actually thrive in when they have worked in it for a while.

I got a degree in agriculture, but at the same time I was doing a job that is not related that didn't pay as well while I was studying. I am doing the job that pays not as well at the moment. I enjoy it because it reminds me of the role models I had in my life. Who inspired you the most?

Edited by MaeGlyn, 27 January 2013 - 10:00 PM.

#17 *Finn*

Posted 27 January 2013 - 09:59 PM

I'm another who finished a teaching degree and have never taken a step towards being a full time teacher. I too worked in child care for 8 years before starting my degree. I had a horrendous internship, with a bitter burnt out teacher. The 10 weeks were so stressful and really turned me off being a teacher in a state school. My work was great and I loved the kids. But I hated all the politics from the teachers and the hostility. It was not a positive learning environment for a student. We were taught to be hands on and consistent and the teacher who was in charge was crabby and bitter she made me so tense and stressed. During week 6 she decided she couldn't handle the extra work load of having a student teacher and asked me to finish my prac somewhere else!!!!!

I was Absolutly devastated. Of course because it was towards the end of the term I had trouble finding another teacher to take me on and had to ask a friend who was a kindy teacher to take me on to finish my prac. Anyway I eventually finished, graduated with top marks but had no desire at all to seek a teaching position.

I took a director position at a child care centre for 12 months, then my husband and I bought a business which we have owned for 5 years. I am greatful I finished my degree because I hope to use my degree one day, hopefully in child safety. But I don't think I will ever work in a class room. I just don't have that passion I think is needed for it.

Edited by *Finn*, 27 January 2013 - 10:40 PM.

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