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

Hi, 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 paycut. 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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