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Thread: career

  1. #1

    career

    ok, so i graduated last may with my b.a. in mathematics. i began that major before my injury with hopes of becoming a high school (or middle school) teacher. now the time is coming to get the ball rolling and start doing it. but part of me is scared. i know beginning teaching is scarey anyway, but i have this monkey on my back saying that the wheelchair issue is going to be a problem (all of the "kids" are taller than me for one thing).

    so anyway. can you help me kill the monkey and just tell me that i can be a fully capable teacher despite this? maybe some of you are teachers or know teachers or something. i want to be a good teacher. i want to be good for the students' sake, not for myself and i worry that my "problem" will hinder their education and that is not acceptable.

    disclaimer: no monkey will actually be harmed in this process.

  2. #2
    Don't underestimate kids nowdays. There is no reason they (or you) should consider they are not getting the best possible teacher and education just because you are in a chair. I think you have an excellent field open to you...I know math teachers are much in demand in my area. Be open and frank with the kids, call them on anything inappropriate, and find a principal who will back you up.

    I know a number of teachers who have injuries similar to yours (and higher) who teach at the junior high and high school level (business arts, math, English). Any new job is scary...but you have already been through one of the scariest things that can ever happen to someone (your SCI) and you managed to survive that...this should be a piece of cake! Good luck, and have some faith in yourself.

    (KLD)

  3. #3
    Senior Member CapnGimp's Avatar
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    I worked as a teachers aide for a bit over two years. Grades k-8 at our local church school. I worked with all grades, all subjects and was very well accepted by students and their parents. I say, from my experience, go for it and don't worry. The only difference in you and any other teacher is your chair has BIG wheels. And the upper half of the chalk board is reserved for those who are taller

  4. #4
    Congrats, Joey, on earning your degree.

    Have you started or completed your student teaching? I don't know the specifics of the program you were in at your school, but I am curious what your experience was, if you had worked with students yet?

  5. #5

    Thumbs up Go for it!

    Quote Originally Posted by JoeyMearig
    i want to be a good teacher. i want to be good for the students' sake, not for myself and i worry that my "problem" will hinder their education and that is not acceptable.
    Congratulations on graduating!
    Think back to who your best high school teacher was. Do you even remember how tall he or she was - probably not. Height, color, sex, really has little to do with how good a teacher is. Sounds to me like you've got the ability, knowledge, and desire so go for it. My son had one teacher with a sci in high school and a friend who is now teaching art from his chair.
    Around here (NJ) one needs to get certified by taking teaching courses, and then doing student teaching. Do that and you'll have more of an idea how much you like teaching and the schools will probably be fighting over you.
    Good luck,
    Carl

  6. #6
    Senior Member Aly's Avatar
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    I have worked with kids for four years (middle and high school). Sometimes I think they respect me more than some of the other people that worked with them. My only suggestion is to be honest when they ask you questions in the beginning. If they think you are uncomfortable they will feed off of that so just be you and act natural.
    www.cawvsports.org
    The trick is in what one emphasizes. We either make ourselves miserable or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same. ~ Don Juan Matus
    We are Virginia Tech… We must laugh again… No one deserves a tragedy… We are strong, and brave, and innocent, and unafraid…We are better than we think and not quit what we want to be…We are the Hokies…We will prevail, we will prevail, we will prevail. We ARE Virginia Tech! ~ Nikki Giovanni

  7. #7
    Senior Member rdf's Avatar
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    Congrats Joey. Contrary to what you said, I think being in the wheelchair will make better adults from the students you teach. It will teach them a lot about diversity, humility, etc., and the JH/HS ages are where it would be most effective.

    I just retired from my third "career," just turned 44, and I have a BS in business, MIS. I want to go to law school, but the cost is just too much.

    My second choice is teaching, and I've been wondering how to go about getting what more education is needed, considering I already have a bachelors degree in business.

    Do you need another year even with a BS degree to teach? I haven't researched it yet as I've been trying all different ways to go to law school on the cheap, but couldn't find any.

    Sorry for sidetrackin' your thread, I think you'd do the kids you teach a great service by being who you are, and you can instill in them many important qualities that an able-bodied person could not.

    Best of luck
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  8. #8
    rdf, teachers are in such demand that many areas are recruiting professionals already in their fields to teach in schools, primarily public schools. Many programs offer 'on the job/in classroom' training while the individual earns their Masters degree in education - typically 2 year programs. There are a bunch of pro/cons to these program efforts (which won't be debated here), but for those willing to make the commitment and go into it with full understanding of what many difficult challenges might exist, it may be rewarding and worthwhile experience, not only for the individual but the students as well.

  9. #9
    Senior Member rdf's Avatar
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    Thanks chick...but bummer, I thought you only had to get your teaching "credentials" and were good to go, and that these only took one year or less. I didn't know you needed a masters...two more years...don't know 'bout that, meaning if I could do it. One year, though, no problem.

    I'll research and figure it out.

    Joey, like I said, I believe you'll be a great asset to your students in many different ways.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member Aly's Avatar
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    In some places you can get a teaching certificate if you already have a degree in something else. My sis in law got paid full time with benefits for her student teaching job (already had her english undergrad) because they were/are in such need for teachers in that county.
    www.cawvsports.org
    The trick is in what one emphasizes. We either make ourselves miserable or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same. ~ Don Juan Matus
    We are Virginia Tech… We must laugh again… No one deserves a tragedy… We are strong, and brave, and innocent, and unafraid…We are better than we think and not quit what we want to be…We are the Hokies…We will prevail, we will prevail, we will prevail. We ARE Virginia Tech! ~ Nikki Giovanni

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