Q&A #1039

Teachers' Lounge Discussion: Changing career from engineer to teacher

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From: Chuck Wehofer

To: Teacher2Teacher Public Discussion
Date: 2007032520:25:43
Subject: Changing fFrom Engineering to Teaching

Well I was once an engineer. In fact I was an Industrial Engineer for about 20 years. I have a BS and an MSE in Industrial Engineering. I just never fit into the corporate world and got tired of the crap that goes on in the workplace. I truly enjoy the engineering work but not the corporate crap. So I left went back to school and got my teaching certificate and I am finishing up on my 5th year of teaching. I live in Arizona and at ASU they have a special teaching prep-program to help people that already have degrees and the required number of hours in your content field to become teachers. So I went and took the required education classes took the two state required teacher certification tests and I became a certified secondary-ed math teacher in the state of Arizona. At the moment I teach Pre-Calculus and AP-Statistics and at night I teach at the local community college. I truely enjoy my job and my school, my kids and my profession. For the first time I finally feel like I am succeeding at my job. In engineering I never quite had that feeling. Am I making less that what I was back in the day? Well of course! Did I know that going in? Most definetely yes, but somewhere along the line you have to realize that doing something you enjoy does make up for the pay, unless of course the pay is so low that you can't survive. I have had to change my lifestyle but not t0o badly but I am fortunate that my wife has a great job with great benifits, so that does come into play. There are lots of opportunities for people that want to change careers and become secondary-ed math teachers and there are plenty of ways to get help in doing that. Just look at the NCTM website and they will start you off. I know I will never make the same amount of money that I was making before but I do like what I do and it is nice to feel successfull and doing something that does make a difference.

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