Hi!

Well, I was encouraged to join even though I'm a couple of years away from teaching, so here I am.  :)

I'm going back to graduate school this semester to get a Master of Arts in Teaching.  My emphasis is English at the secondary level.

There are quite a few reasons why I am going back, so here's my history for those wondering why I made this choice:

In late 2007 and early 2008, I spent two semesters in graduate school with a different emphasis: Teaching English at the Community College.  The problem with this major is I didn't realize a Ph.D was considered almost essential as a follow-up to the Master's program - I was under the impression that only four-year universities demanded instructors with a Ph.D in their field.  It was also difficult to find openings for some of the classes I needed for the program.  Given those circumstances, as well as the expenses involved, I decided to leave in 2008 and see what jobs were available to me with just my B.A. in English.

Some say liberal arts degrees prepare you for little outside of flipping burgers, but what I learned in 2008 and 2009 is that a B.A. actually makes you overqualified for many of those burger-flipping jobs.  Also problematic is the lack of experience recent graduates have, making them unattractive for the vast majority of employers who demand experience in employees (a Catch-22, if you will - the college degree makes you overqualified, and your young age makes you inexperienced!).

Despite many application failures, though, I did secure two jobs, neither of which worked out long-term.  My first job was a receptionist position at a busy psychological center.  Major lesson learned: I am an absolutely lousy multi-tasker, and lousy multi-taskers probably shouldn't go into most types of clerical work.  Being unable to keep up in a position where I never once proofread or wrote anything, I gave up two weeks into the job.  My boss was understanding and told me to look for jobs where I could make use of my writing abilities.

The second job I had was a paralegal job.  The lawyer who hired me was looking for language-oriented types, so I thought this would be a better fit.  At first, it was great: I summarized depositions all day!  I actually dealt with words!  However, after a few months, they started assigning me more classic clerical tasks, like filing, medical records ordering, and subpoena processing.  The multi-tasking increased dramatically, and once again, I couldn't keep up with what the job needed.  Instead of quitting, though, I stuck it out until they told me they had to terminate me because "I was the wrong fit."  The secretary I worked under liked me personally, but she and I once brought up Asperger's because I seemed very poor at the nonverbal tasks that were required of me the further I got into that job.

I really think teaching will be a better fit.  I also like the idea of teaching at the high school level because an expensive Ph.D is not a necessity, yet I can still teach some higher level concepts (I don't think elementary would work - I'm really spacy and abstract, which I think would spell disaster when working with kids).  A career counselor recently told me I'm too introverted and sensitive to make a good teacher at the high school level, but I don't have a problem giving presentations in front of groups, and I don't think the teens would walk all over me or make me feel too bad.  Teens can be challenging, sure, but I'd rather deal with the challenge they pose than jump back and forth between a bunch of concrete tasks that involve little to no reading and writing.

So, hopefully this is the thing that finally works out for me.  :)

Thanks for joining, Khendra. That is an interesting background. I stopped after my MS degree and found I needed a PhD to get tenure in southern (VA) community colleges. Sound familiar? A friend told me to look in NY. The NY community college system was highly ranked and did NOT require a PhD. The fit was perfect. We have lived in Kingston, NY ever since (1970-2010). The fringe benefits in NY were so much better than in the south. If you want to teach at the community college level you could consider NY. There may be other states that do not require a PhD at the community college level, I'm not sure.

I am also introverted and did not want to teach kids, not even high school. Adults at the college level worked great for me. If you teach in high schools, I advise youn to stay away from junior high/middle school. The kids at that level can be holy terrors. Lol!

[quote user="Richard Vaughn"]

Thanks for joining, Khendra. That is an interesting background. I stopped after my MS degree and found I needed a PhD to get tenure in southern (VA) community colleges. Sound familiar? A friend told me to look in NY. The NY community college system was highly ranked and did NOT require a PhD. The fit was perfect. We have lived in Kingston, NY ever since (1970-2010). The fringe benefits in NY were so much better than in the south. If you want to teach at the community college level you could consider NY. There may be other states that do not require a PhD at the community college level, I'm not sure.

I am also introverted and did not want to teach kids, not even high school. Adults at the college level worked great for me. If you teach in high schools, I advise youn to stay away from junior high/middle school. The kids at that level can be holy terrors. Lol!

[/quote]

Thanks for the reply and encouragement, Richard.

I wish MO's approach was more like NY's at the CC level.  I know some states are much more lenient; some people from other states have asked me why I didn't start teaching high school with my B.A., but the chances of doing that in MO are very slim.  The summer class I took had a bit of material on how the states differ regarding certification, and it was interesting to see how different each one is, even at the broadest of levels.

I do plan on staying away from the middle school hellions if possible.  :)  I remember my 7th grade year, and it was rough, lol.  My college is recommending I get additional certification to teach those grade levels (apparently it just takes just one additional class in the MAT program for certification there as well), but I don't want to use it if I can get away from it.  ;)

Welcome to the group Khendra!  I hope that you find what you are looking for!  Unlike you, I thoroughly enjoy teaching the young kids!  Sixth grade is as high as I will go!  Something happens to them when they become seventh graders!  Must be the hormones!!!  Glad to have you here!

Thanks, Angela.  I love the innocence of the younger ones, but they are so active that I can't keep up with them when they do things like wander off, hehe.