Q&A #1039

Teachers' Lounge Discussion: Changing career from engineer to teacher

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From: Chris LaVenture

To: Teacher2Teacher Public Discussion
Date: 2000110912:37:06
Subject: I found teaching is my calling


     I've been reading some of the messages posted here, and they
read very similar to my circumstance.   

     I've been an Engineer for 14 years now, primarily focused on
Software Development in the Aerospace Industry.  I worked for GE
Aerospace in Syracuse, NY, which was purchased by Martin Marietta,
and eventually merged to become Lockheed Martin.  I have a B.S. in
Computer Science, and an AAS in Business & Data Processing.

     Over the years, I was somewhat dissatisfied with my career.  I
did not have a feeling of fullfillment in my life.  Then, in 1995, I
taught a course in Algebra to 3 Airforce Airmen in Pirinclik, Turkey
while on Radar site for one year.  After that I knew what I needed to
do, but I also knew I needed to wait until I could afford a huge

     In 1997 I taught Engineers from Taiwain at Lockheed in Syracuse
in Data Structures, The C Programming Language, Ground Data 
Processing, and Mission Computer Simulation.  They awarded me "Best
Instructor" among 15 professional trainers.  Again, my life felt so
complete.  I began teaching, informally, personal computer operations
to novice, home users, both family and friends, adults and children.

     I enjoyed seeing "The Lightbulb Click On" with these people.
I was overwhelmed with satisfaction.

     How do I do this for a living?  How do I get a decent paying job
sharing my knowledge with students, young or old?  I am willing to 
take a sizable pay cut, but not 80%.  I can't deny my true purpose 
any longer, and I don't feel that students should be denied a mentor
who truely loves to teach them.

     Any advice?

Chris LaVenture
(315) 699-6430 (h)
(315) 456-2472 (w)

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