Becoming a high school teacher after law school**?

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bigmnstyle
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Re: Becoming a high school teacher after law school**?

Postby bigmnstyle » Tue Aug 21, 2012 1:10 pm

Appreciate all the comments. I understand I am ignorant of how the whole teaching aspect actually works. That ignorance brought me some good information though. Like I said, this has crossed my mind and I am glad I posted it. I will continue to do research, and some of my closest friends are teachers (and a family member of mine is the principal at the school district I went to), so I do have plenty of people to talk to and connections into a district. So far, they all love it. My passion is actually baseball and teaching high school political science or history while being a baseball coach sounds like a great job; I understand all the points made. I am looking at a lot of fields that discharge debt after 10 years because overall, I think the quality of life in those jobs will all be much better than the 70+ hour lawyer jobs not making big law money.

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RSterling
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Re: Becoming a high school teacher after law school**?

Postby RSterling » Tue Aug 21, 2012 1:19 pm

In addition to everything above, you're nuts if you think teaching is a 40 hr/week job. First off, you're unlikely to make anywhere near 6 figures teaching unless you have a Phd + several years of teaching experience (7-10+) even at a private school. I have a handful of friends who are teachers and they all put in 60 hr weeks typically especially in the first 5 years or so when you don't know what the hell you're doing and have to continue to revise lesson plans.

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Mike12188
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Re: Becoming a high school teacher after law school**?

Postby Mike12188 » Tue Aug 21, 2012 1:35 pm

If you're "working" more than 45-50 hrs a week and/or more than 9 months a year, you're doing it wrong. This is a dumb idea regardless, but the people with teaching experience in this thread are ridiculous.

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IAFG
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Re: Becoming a high school teacher after law school**?

Postby IAFG » Tue Aug 21, 2012 1:36 pm

Mike12188 wrote:If you're "working" more than 45-50 hrs a week and/or more than 9 months a year, you're doing it wrong. This is a dumb idea regardless, but the people with teaching experience in this thread are ridiculous.

I've worked in 2 school districts and can count on one hand the teachers who regularly worked more than 40 hours a week. And they weren't even the best ones.

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Icculus
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Re: Becoming a high school teacher after law school**?

Postby Icculus » Tue Aug 21, 2012 1:52 pm

IAFG wrote:
Mike12188 wrote:If you're "working" more than 45-50 hrs a week and/or more than 9 months a year, you're doing it wrong. This is a dumb idea regardless, but the people with teaching experience in this thread are ridiculous.

I've worked in 2 school districts and can count on one hand the teachers who regularly worked more than 40 hours a week. And they weren't even the best ones.


How long had they been working. Generally the first two-three years most teachers I know worked over 40 hours because they had no lesson plans, assignments, etc, and needed to start from scratch. Once you have an established set of materials that work the hours become easier, though any good teacher should still be revising, changing lessons based on student need, etc. Also math and science teachers tend to have to work less because their grading tends to be easier. A math test can be corrected much faster than an essay test in social studies.

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IAFG
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Re: Becoming a high school teacher after law school**?

Postby IAFG » Tue Aug 21, 2012 1:56 pm

Icculus wrote:
IAFG wrote:
Mike12188 wrote:If you're "working" more than 45-50 hrs a week and/or more than 9 months a year, you're doing it wrong. This is a dumb idea regardless, but the people with teaching experience in this thread are ridiculous.

I've worked in 2 school districts and can count on one hand the teachers who regularly worked more than 40 hours a week. And they weren't even the best ones.


How long had they been working. Generally the first two-three years most teachers I know worked over 40 hours because they had no lesson plans, assignments, etc, and needed to start from scratch. Once you have an established set of materials that work the hours become easier, though any good teacher should still be revising, changing lessons based on student need, etc. Also math and science teachers tend to have to work less because their grading tends to be easier. A math test can be corrected much faster than an essay test in social studies.

I saw teachers at every stage of their careers (obviously?)

You're right though, that brand-new teachers have to put in more time, which is almost certainly where the "teachers work long hours" flame on TLS comes from; it's an echo chamber of TFAers who were exclusively in their first 2 years.

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El_Gallo
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Re: Becoming a high school teacher after law school**?

Postby El_Gallo » Tue Aug 21, 2012 1:59 pm

You folks are being way harsh on OP. He has a lot of debt, poor job prospects, and knows he wont enjoy practicing law. I think it is reasonable to be looking into other options even if he is a little naive on the subject of education.

OP- I am a Teach for America teacher right now. It is an alternative certification program that you should look into. Some other programs that come to mind are the Mississippi Teacher Corps and I know Brown has some masters program where you can get all your debt forgiven by working in a critical needs school district.

In my limited amount of experience, teaching is an enjoyable profession. It does have its drawbacks, but so does every job. Does school administration interest you? I don't know if that is eligible for loan forgiveness, but that may be one route you could take if you decided you didn't like being in the classroom after a couple of years.

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Icculus
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Re: Becoming a high school teacher after law school**?

Postby Icculus » Tue Aug 21, 2012 2:26 pm

IAFG wrote:
Icculus wrote:
IAFG wrote:
Mike12188 wrote:If you're "working" more than 45-50 hrs a week and/or more than 9 months a year, you're doing it wrong. This is a dumb idea regardless, but the people with teaching experience in this thread are ridiculous.

I've worked in 2 school districts and can count on one hand the teachers who regularly worked more than 40 hours a week. And they weren't even the best ones.


How long had they been working. Generally the first two-three years most teachers I know worked over 40 hours because they had no lesson plans, assignments, etc, and needed to start from scratch. Once you have an established set of materials that work the hours become easier, though any good teacher should still be revising, changing lessons based on student need, etc. Also math and science teachers tend to have to work less because their grading tends to be easier. A math test can be corrected much faster than an essay test in social studies.

I saw teachers at every stage of their careers (obviously?)

You're right though, that brand-new teachers have to put in more time, which is almost certainly where the "teachers work long hours" flame on TLS comes from; it's an echo chamber of TFAers who were exclusively in their first 2 years.


I had just meant the long vs. shore hours. I do think the long hours is overstated in terms of pure teaching (aside from the first few years) buut I wanted OP to know to get to that point would take awhile. I do know a ton of teachers who work long hours (I was one) because they have a second or third job. I used to teach SAT classes a few nights a week and teach SAT or work in RE on the weekends, plus I always had a summer job (most single income teachers do some if not all of this). I think I was more jumping on the fact that too many people think teaching is a pretty easy job they can just walk into. And like all jobs, there will be easy weeks and hard weeks. The hardest ones usually involve parent nights and parent conferences because as we all know, every one's child is a special snow flake destined for greatness.

09042014
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Re: Becoming a high school teacher after law school**?

Postby 09042014 » Tue Aug 21, 2012 2:33 pm

Icculus wrote:
IAFG wrote:
Icculus wrote:
IAFG wrote:I've worked in 2 school districts and can count on one hand the teachers who regularly worked more than 40 hours a week. And they weren't even the best ones.


How long had they been working. Generally the first two-three years most teachers I know worked over 40 hours because they had no lesson plans, assignments, etc, and needed to start from scratch. Once you have an established set of materials that work the hours become easier, though any good teacher should still be revising, changing lessons based on student need, etc. Also math and science teachers tend to have to work less because their grading tends to be easier. A math test can be corrected much faster than an essay test in social studies.

I saw teachers at every stage of their careers (obviously?)

You're right though, that brand-new teachers have to put in more time, which is almost certainly where the "teachers work long hours" flame on TLS comes from; it's an echo chamber of TFAers who were exclusively in their first 2 years.


I had just meant the long vs. shore hours. I do think the long hours is overstated in terms of pure teaching (aside from the first few years) buut I wanted OP to know to get to that point would take awhile. I do know a ton of teachers who work long hours (I was one) because they have a second or third job. I used to teach SAT classes a few nights a week and teach SAT or work in RE on the weekends, plus I always had a summer job (most single income teachers do some if not all of this). I think I was more jumping on the fact that too many people think teaching is a pretty easy job they can just walk into. And like all jobs, there will be easy weeks and hard weeks. The hardest ones usually involve parent nights and parent conferences because as we all know, every one's child is a special snow flake destined for greatness.


Counting side jobs is dumb, as is counting the 2-4 nights a year you have teacher conferences.

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Icculus
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Re: Becoming a high school teacher after law school**?

Postby Icculus » Tue Aug 21, 2012 2:37 pm

Desert Fox wrote:
Icculus wrote:Counting side jobs is dumb, as is counting the 2-4 nights a year you have teacher conferences.


you're dumb....BURN

And did you not read the first part of my post? I agree, I was just mentioning what I'm sure happens quite regularly, I did not mean to imply that it is the same as saying teachers work long hours. Jeez.

09042014
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Re: Becoming a high school teacher after law school**?

Postby 09042014 » Tue Aug 21, 2012 2:48 pm

Icculus wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:
Icculus wrote:Counting side jobs is dumb, as is counting the 2-4 nights a year you have teacher conferences.


you're dumb....BURN

And did you not read the first part of my post? I agree, I was just mentioning what I'm sure happens quite regularly, I did not mean to imply that it is the same as saying teachers work long hours. Jeez.


IF you can work side jobs, you don't have a demanding job.

Teachers are the worst college grads, lazy and entitled.

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Icculus
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Re: Becoming a high school teacher after law school**?

Postby Icculus » Tue Aug 21, 2012 3:01 pm

Desert Fox wrote:
Icculus wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:
Icculus wrote:Counting side jobs is dumb, as is counting the 2-4 nights a year you have teacher conferences.


you're dumb....BURN

And did you not read the first part of my post? I agree, I was just mentioning what I'm sure happens quite regularly, I did not mean to imply that it is the same as saying teachers work long hours. Jeez.


IF you can work side jobs, you don't have a demanding job.

Teachers are the worst college grads, lazy and entitled.


Ouch. I am neither of these things. Demanding is not necessarily about hours worked, by the way, nor is it about the ability to work a second job. People who get into teaching for the wrong reason can be lazy and entitled but it's a bit much to say this applies across the board, no? I also think this does not apply to most young teachers but does apply to those who have been institutionalized in teaching and have never had any experience outside the classroom. Especially older teachers who have tenure. There were people I worked with who had been teaching 25 years and were really just running out the clock until they could collect their full pension. Those are the teachers who are lazy and entitled. And they are the minority.

Edit: While I think teachers often times are portrayed incorrectly, I am also not one to advocate for paying teachers six figures. $50K/year + all the vacation time + guaranteed pension is pretty good for the profession. I just think people don't realize what actually goes into the profession and how hard good teachers actually work. (though I also think that there are very few excellent teachers out there because people end up in the profession for the wrong reasons.)

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IAFG
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Re: Becoming a high school teacher after law school**?

Postby IAFG » Tue Aug 21, 2012 3:58 pm

I believe you that you're neither lazy nor entitled. But you're also not a teacher.

sidhesadie
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Re: Becoming a high school teacher after law school**?

Postby sidhesadie » Tue Aug 21, 2012 4:03 pm

I just would point out regarding the public service loan forgiveness, it's a pretty big assumption (and not very wise given the state of the economy) to count on 10 years of public employment. How many teachers who got laid off in the last 5 years were counting on that? If you get laid off a public school teaching job and take private employment, that private employed time doesn't count for your 10 years. Keep that in mind.

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mattviphky
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Re: Becoming a high school teacher after law school**?

Postby mattviphky » Tue Aug 21, 2012 4:14 pm

cinephile wrote:Private schools are terrible, low pay and low job security.

Look into alternative certification programs. Do not take on more debt! There are other ways to get certified and some of these programs even pay for you to get your masters during the evenings/Saturdays.

Also, if you're 28 or older I think you're too old for the Coast Guard.


Private schools (well, parochial schools), pay FAR less than public. Plus, you are basically contractual, and they review whether or not to keep you on a yearly basis. While you have to be pretty inept to be let go, many things can happen to a school's budget, and they would have no choice. Further, no tenure. You could be there for 15 years and still get the boot. Also, if you get burnt out, there is no lateraling into some sort of admin gig. So if you can do public, then go for it. A lot of private school teachers seem to either have a real passion for their religion, happen to be married to a breadwinner, or are just biding their time waiting for a public school to call them back. Having said all that, the environment in a private school is much more familial, and the students are generally more respectful.
Btw, don't do it unless you know you want it. You WILL work more than 40 hours a week...unless you're an extremely care-free teacher.
I don't know how hiring for this stuff works with a JD, can you not take a test in order to teach, or work for a community college?
also, I there was a JD who was a criminal justice prof at my undergrad. Whether or not she had a PhD to go with it, I don't know.

09042014
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Re: Becoming a high school teacher after law school**?

Postby 09042014 » Tue Aug 21, 2012 4:16 pm

Aren't most private schools still non profits.

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mattviphky
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Re: Becoming a high school teacher after law school**?

Postby mattviphky » Tue Aug 21, 2012 4:21 pm

Desert Fox wrote:Aren't most private schools still non profits.


The religious ones tend to be very non profit, in that they seriously don't even break even. Taking in 3.5k/year in tuition while spending is like 8k per pupil requires low salaries, lots of fundraising, and support from the parish. No one is going into this to get rich.

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Icculus
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Re: Becoming a high school teacher after law school**?

Postby Icculus » Tue Aug 21, 2012 6:10 pm

IAFG wrote:I believe you that you're neither lazy nor entitled. But you're also not a teacher.


Touche.

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cinephile
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Re: Becoming a high school teacher after law school**?

Postby cinephile » Wed Aug 22, 2012 9:35 am

One benefit of working at a private school can be free tuition for your kids to go there. But I'd probably wait until I had school-aged kids for that.

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jgc02a
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Re: Becoming a high school teacher after law school**?

Postby jgc02a » Wed Aug 22, 2012 10:59 am

Listen up! I have the perfect solution for you. have you ever watched breaking bad? Ok, hopefully you have. In either case, what you are going to need is an RV and some materials to make meth. Cook meth, sell it, pay your student loans off. You can do all this while teaching at school. In fact, you should try and enlist the help of some chemistry students..They will be more than willing to help you!!! You could probably pay your sl's back in a month or less if done properly! Oh and p.s. you'll need to drive the r.v. out into the desert so you don't get caught vato!

bigmnstyle
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Re: Becoming a high school teacher after law school**?

Postby bigmnstyle » Wed Aug 22, 2012 1:51 pm

Actually watching breaking bad right now. I failed to laugh at your post, however.

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jgc02a
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Re: Becoming a high school teacher after law school**?

Postby jgc02a » Wed Aug 22, 2012 5:39 pm

I could give a rats ass.
bigmnstyle wrote:Actually watching breaking bad right now. I failed to laugh at your post, however.

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worldtraveler
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Re: Becoming a high school teacher after law school**?

Postby worldtraveler » Sat Aug 25, 2012 11:54 am

Get a job teaching English at a university in Korea or China. You'd work 30 hours a week tops for about 7 months a year.

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quiver
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Re: Becoming a high school teacher after law school**?

Postby quiver » Sat Aug 25, 2012 4:34 pm

Yeah I'll co-sign everything everyone has said so far. I also want to emphasize this point again:
BaiAilian2013 wrote:Good luck getting a job as a teacher right now - in a social science of all things!
Obviously others made this same point. Putting all the stuff about actually wanting to teach aside, teaching jobs are incredibly difficult to come by, especially in the social sciences. Of course, this will vary from market to market but I have many friends who got a BA, teaching cert, and then were/are unemployed for years (most just found jobs doing something else).

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Scotusnerd
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Re: Becoming a high school teacher after law school**?

Postby Scotusnerd » Sun Aug 26, 2012 8:53 pm

Just want to chime in on the teaching being hell thing. My girlfriend has put out 40 applications in the past summer to teach English. She has a master's degree in english education and two years exp. in substitute jobs.

She got two callbacks. Neither one hired her.

I was a middle school teacher, and let me tell you, it is NOT a gravy train ride. I'm doing law, and discovering that the hours are far, far easier. I can study/socialize 12 hours a day with zero problem. I could barely do 9 as a teacher, and that summer break was the sweetest day of my life.

That, and teachers are the worst niggling little bitches you will ever meet. Stay the HELL out of the lounge, if you value your mental well-being. They will grouse about anything! You think law students and lawyers are bad? Whoo boy. You haven't lived until you've politicked with a bunch of teachers that have been around longer than the principals, don't care about the administrative BS, spend half of their class time on cell phones and will make your life a living hell if you put one foot out of line in their presence.




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