Thank you for all the support – it was a little scary, yesterday, to publish my idea. Because it’s so tenuous.
I’m not SURE I want to teach, but I have an IDEA I want to teach. Very hard to throw that idea out into the universe when it’s not a real formulated plan.
That said, I DO need a plan if this is something I want to pursue.
The first obstacle is schooling if I want to be licensed to teach in public education. In Massachusetts the requirements for obtaining an initial license is that I complete an “Educator Preparation Program.” There are lots of flavors of this which I have spent time researching.
I could do an immersion program – teach AND do classes at the same time, which would be incredibly hard to balance as a mother.
I could do a masters program – there are many schools in the area, which have myriad options. Full time, part time, etc. I like this option; there’s a program which would ask only a weekend a month for me for a year and a half and then a student teaching assignment.
I would like to get my license to teach in the public schools. Mostly because I don’t want to limit myself to only charter or private schools.
But it requires an investment of time and money. Which I would wholeheartedly pursue if I KNEW my vocation was a teacher – that is, if it wasn’t just an idea.
I just don’t know. I need to get into a classroom and see if I like it, or see how the education system works and whether I think I can handle the specific pressure on educators.
And so I don’t think I’m in a place to move on this right now.
The way I look at it, maybe I need to substitute teach*, or volunteer at the school, or work for a non-profit in education. Or maybe I start at a private school/charter school and go from there.
I don’t think it’s a bad idea to change careers, reinvent myself, at age 40. It WOULD be a bad idea for me to do it without really KNOWING that this is something I want to do.
Really, the bottom line is that I don’t want to waste money on a degree if it’s not going to make me happy.
All careers have pros and cons. I might not like the work I am doing now, but I make good money and it’s relatively flexible. I often cannot imagine doing this for the next 10, 20 years, but I KNOW this career.
It’s possible it might be better to stay where I am right now, too.
So I will continue to research. And when Owen starts kindergarten next week, I’ll talk to his teacher about volunteering in his class, and see if the principal would be interested in me volunteering in other classrooms, too. Maybe I’ll see what’s involved with being a substitute and whether it’s something I can commit to when I don’t have an active work project.
As much as I want to MOVE on this right now, I know I need to be practical and smart and make sure I know that this is the right choice for me.
*Because, seriously. If you are a substitute teacher, you see the worst of kids. Sometimes the best. But the worst, too. If you can survive running the substitute teacher gauntlet and STILL want to teach, maybe that’s a vocation. At least, that’s what I figure.