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Topic: Burn out and fall-back career

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Subject: Burn out and fall-back career
Date Posted: 8/2/2008 10:31 PM ET
Member Since: 6/27/2005
Posts: 810
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I'm proud that my son, who is 22 is strongly considering going into teaching.

Now, I've never taught, but I did work with disabled kids for 11 years. At that point I realized that as much as I still loved the kids and the families I was suffering from burn out.

My mom was a pre-school teacher, and I saw that happen to her as well.

I'm asking, because I'd like to know about how you deal with burnout, and if there is a back-up career that one can plan for if burnout should happen. I'd like to advise my son now. I know that it will be many, many years if burnout hits him, but I'm hoping that with a little planning and foresight now in the very earliest stages he can make a smooth transition to a second career. He is a poli-sci major at UCLA and has had a lot of expeience in non-profit organizations, especially for someone of his age. Surely that background would be helpful later on, right?

Thank you for your input!

Last Edited on: 8/2/08 10:31 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/8/2008 6:40 PM ET
Member Since: 5/13/2008
Posts: 497
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Hi Ann! (I'm Ann too).

I've worked in different aspects of education for about 15 years, with a couple of side trips to the business arena. (I'm also in LA). I think the burn-out hits different people in different ways. So much depends on where he teaches, grade level, and -- most importantly -- his support network. Does he have his certificate? Does he want to teach public or private?

On a more realistic level, I think ALL careers have some level of burnout. Almost all of my friends have made some sort of career change -- even if it's just working for themselves instead of for someone else.

I don't think you can plan for a second career or burnout. Encourage him to keep taking classes that interest him and trying new things. By the time he's "burned" on teaching, he may have discovered a whole new field that he never knew existed! Plus, that's what grad school is for.......




Date Posted: 8/9/2008 12:00 AM ET
Member Since: 11/6/2005
Posts: 642
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If he doesn't get stuck in a rut, volunteers for the meetingsand conferences no one wants to go to, gets involved with his districts professional training programs he will have a completely different life outside of his classroom that will continually energize him.  I've always been the one who said I'd do it.  Through this I've become a master inservice trainer and also teach graduate level education classes at a local college.  I also teach elementary school, so I have two totally different careers that enhance each other.  I never would have envishioned myself doing this - I was very shy - but I kept volunteering and taking courses.  Good luck to him!

Date Posted: 8/13/2008 6:50 PM ET
Member Since: 6/27/2005
Posts: 810
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Thank you both for the great advice! He doesn't have his certificate at all yet. He'll  only be  finishng up his upper div classes this year, but wants to continue at UCLA with their education program.


Date Posted: 9/22/2008 8:51 PM ET
Member Since: 2/2/2007
Posts: 16
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Don't assume that he will be burned out. Personally, I think if you are teaching with negative people it rubs off on you.  I agree that continuing his education throughout his career and applying new things to his "bag of tricks" will be very invigorating.  The best trick of all is to accept the negative with the positive.  The negatives may not be discussed in his college classrooms so it broadsides some teachers.  If he can stick it out the first few years, he will find it does get easier.  I mention that because the statistics show a high rate of teacher burnout and drop outs before year three.


Wishing him the best.

Subject: 2nd career
Date Posted: 10/1/2008 2:22 AM ET
Member Since: 2/27/2007
Posts: 11
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I think that the computer industry is the way to go .  You have to be up on it anyway, no matter what your career is, so taking additional courses in that would be to his advantage.    Nurses can have their pick of jobs also. 

Make sure he researches and checks out everything with a counselor at his college.  A lot of careers sound so good, like medical coding and billing, but what they don't tell you , is that you have to have so many years of experience before they will hire you!!!  My son made that mistake because he wouldn't listen  and now that certificate is worth nothing.  He lost 9 grand at a tech school.

Date Posted: 11/16/2008 9:18 PM ET
Member Since: 11/15/2008
Posts: 3,308
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I think if he does get burnt out a fall back career might just present itself.  I taught English right after college, and while I liked it it a lot, it was never my real passion.  I left teaching to go back to school.  Many of my friends have remained teachers and are very happy.  Other friends who started out as as teachers have gone into law, publishing, industry, museum education, sales and state government.  Teaching is a good background to have, and if it doesn't work out for him many other roads will be open depending on his other experience (which sounds very positive) and whether or not he wants to go back to school.



Last Edited on: 11/16/08 9:19 PM ET - Total times edited: 1