Have you always wanted to be a teacher? Did you play “teacher” as a child with your friends? Did you find your passion for teaching later in life? It has been hard for teachers to find work within the school system. You don't have to give up your dream of being a teacher! Today, Rachel shares her dream of being a teacher…though it didn't come quite as she expected. -Adrianne
My name is Rachel and I am a teacher. I have always dreamed of being a teacher, literally since I was about eight years old. At this time, however, I am not teaching in a public or private school, and I don’t have my own classroom with my name on the door. Let me tell you more.
I graduated in 2011 with a degree in Elementary Education. Since then, I’ve had a disheartening journey of applications and interviews as I’ve looked for a full time teaching job. I applied to anything and everything I could within an hour radius of where I lived. I spent countless hours poring over my resume and extensive questions on each application. I was up against hundreds of other applicants in my area for a very small number of open positions. It was quite challenging to stand out when I didn’t have years of teaching experience already under my belt. It never happened – I never got that call saying I got my dream job.
In the meantime, I worked in several schools as a substitute teacher and a paraprofessional, always thinking it would be temporary and I would end up teaching. It barely paid enough, especially as a para, and I knew I wanted to do more. I wasn’t going to give up my teaching dream though, because being a teacher is ingrained in me.
I decided to take matters into my own hands, get out of the school system, and try something else. Over the past few months I have started my own tutoring business, created a website and blog, and started selling teaching resources online. I also work at an online scrapbooking company in marketing, sales, and customer service. I am using my teaching skills, just not in a classroom for now. If you’re in the same situation as me, don’t give up! Here are a few things I have learned on my journey.
You don’t have to have your own classroom to be a teacher.
I see amazing teachers everywhere: a homeschool mom/dad, volunteers coming into a classroom to read or help out in any way, a substitute teacher, a paraprofessional, a student teacher, a coach, a tutor, an online educator, part time, full time, or anytime. There are so many different kinds of teachers in the world. I wholeheartedly believe that you can always teach no matter where you are.
Advantages of Tutoring:
- Tutoring is much more flexible than working in a classroom. Since I’m not tied to a school calendar, I get to set my own hours and work on things when I have time. Yes I miss those snow days, but having flexible hours makes up for it.
- Starting my own tutoring business has allowed me to learn valuable business and marketing skills that I probably wouldn’t have picked up otherwise. I’ve learned how to create a website, how to set up a blog, and various ways to promote both my tutoring and my teaching products online.
- I don’t get sick as much! When I was working in kindergarten and first grade classrooms, I was sick constantly. I had long drawn out colds that would last months. Now, with my one-on-one tutoring, I rarely get a cold.
- Tutoring gives me the opportunity to work with various grade levels. I can teach a wider range of subjects and interact with kids of different ages.
- Connecting with other tutors, teachers, and bloggers online has exposed me to a broad range of new ideas and concepts. I might not have had time to do these things while teaching in a classroom.
For now, I don’t know what exactly the future holds for me. I do know that I’m content with being able to help out kids and other teachers through my tutoring and by creating teaching resources. Maybe one day I’ll end up with my own classroom, or maybe not. No matter what happens, though, I’ll always be a teacher.