Saturday, June 9, 2007

A Teacher on the move!

What is every teacher's worst nightmare? No- not "you know who" in your class but rather moving in the middle of the year! What a nightmare! I had to move from Florida to South Carolina right after Christmas break. I only had a few weeks to prepare myself, my classes, and my co-workers. This was one of the hardest things I ever had to do- other than child birth. You know- it is hard enough to have to prepare for a 1 day substitute. Try having to wrap up projects half started, testing, grades, units, writing contests. These are things that most don't appreciate. For many, a move is just a move. Time to start over- Not for a teacher!

This is where my story begins...

Wait, let me tell you a little about where I am now- and then we can talk about the "how I got there" story.

Right now I am a Educator turned Realtor in Columbia, SC. For some, this seems like a huge jump. For me, it was an easy transition- from educating youth to educating adults. You can change the course content but the delivery method is the same- Teaching! I really love what I do. I love seeing the "Aha's" when the right home is found, or when my clients really understand the process of investing. There are so many teachable moments in Real Estate! I love that!


Angela said...

This is so strange!! After 20 years in the classroom-I have just resigned to become a real estate agent. It is exciting but alittle scary-I take the class in July and hopefully get my license. How was the transition for you? Please contact at Thanks-Angela

Angela said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Farrah said...

I cannot say that I changed my profesion, however I took a long way to get to where I am today. I did my undergrad, finished in 1999 with a BA in English, wanted to be a teacher but overwhelmed at the idea of having to go back to finish a certification. I worked in management in a restaurant, and then in an office for the years that I completed my teaching certification and MA in teaching. Meanwhile, I faced the dismal job prospects in Michigan. After I completed my program, I tried for two years to get a teaching job. Then, I was getting married.

My husband and I got married last July, went on our honeymoon the next day, and upon our return 10 days later, I packed up the following morning to drive (without my husnand) to South Carolina to take a teaching job. My husband could not relocate with his job for another month, so I spent the first month of our marriage in a new state, within a new culture, teaching 8th graders in a place I had never even visited.

We ended up bying a home an hour where my school was located, and for this entire last year I commuted the 500 miles a week to school. I left the house at 6am and often didn't arrive home again until 6pm. Next year, I have decided to change schools to a high school in a place where it is closer and I am very optomistic.

I have no plans at this time to leave my profession- as I am thrilled to be finally teaching. But it was a rough, rough start with a new place, no family or friends and a new marriage. Today we don't regret our decision one iota and believe it has made us stronger as a couple.

Good luck to you--


jared said...

give me a comparable example of an "aha" in real estate, just curious

krysten said...

One "Aha" I've gotten was: when I educate first time home buyers- they have no idea the magnitude of their decision to buy a home. When their reaction grows from scared to death to confidence in their actions- to me that's an "Aha"!

Chris said...

I actually transitioned into education. My undergrad degree is in Accounting. I worked 6 years in public accounting, but found that it did not provide a sense of accomplishment. I was simply going to a mundane and boring job every day. I found myself volunteering more and more in youth programs - mentoring elementary students, advising youth groups at the YMCA and finally teaching youth Bible Study classes at my church. Finally, I remembered one of the things my dad told me when I was still in high school, "Find the one thing that you love to do so much, you will do it for free. Then, find a way to get paid for it." Teaching and working with youth is that one thing for me. Now I am transitioning from the classroom into an administrative role, but that is a very different move. - Chris

Anonymous said...

I really don't see what the problem seems to be. I have been a teacher for 19 years, and I have had to make several career moves in my profession. One just does the best they can do and pray it is enough. Why do you find this to be such a problem? Are you whining, or is it sour grapes?? Be glad you found a job in South Carolina. By the way why aren't you teaching? I would have thought with your qualifications, it would have been simple. I do not understand the need of your blog. Don't bother all of us(teachers) with your nonsense. We are busy preparing for a new school year.

Melissa said...

I also did not exactly "change" my profession, however, I created my dream in education. I taught the visual arts for 7 years in the public school system. After teaching at Ashley River Creative Arts Elementary, in Charleston, SC, I developed my own program called Wee Little Arts, LLC. I have taught WLA's for the last 6 years and teach about 280 students locally. I also license my program to people/schools in other states. You can check out WLA @

Melissa Bradshaw, Founder
Wee Little Arts, LLC

Anonymous said...

I am about to enter my 13th year in education. I spent the first 10 years in the classroom and the last two as an Assistant Principal. I found your article interesting based on the fact that I had to do almost the same thing. I originally grew up in NJ and after graduating college in the summer I decided to leave NJ and move to NC. I taught in NC for two years before returning to NJ. After teaching and coaching in NJ for eight years I had to sit back and analyze things. Over the eight years in NJ I built up a sports program into state contenders, and taught numerous amounts of children while becoming a stabilizing force at my grade level. I owned a small two bedroom home in NJ and lived there alone until I met my wife and eventually we became married. I looked at life in NJ and realized that I was teaching, coaching and working on the weekends trying to make ends meet. My wife was working and we could barely keep our heads above water. At this time I had just finished my administration degree and we decided to move down to the Deep South. Now we have a large home, my wife can stay home with my son and I can work one job. I believe that many teachers from the North East are moving based upon salaries. What teacher can afford a modest home starting at $700,000? I have also noticed that many of our strong teaching colleges are producing fewer and fewer teachers. Many young people are leaving college with $100,000 in student loans. As a teacher it will take you eons to pay them off. I truly believe that this country is at a cross-road when it comes to education. If we want the best and the brightest to enter education we need to pay them. And if we pay them they might actually stay in education and stay in the area where they started their career.

Karen said...

I am moving from PA to SC at the end of the summer where my husband and I will both start new jobs. Immediately after getting married, we moved to PA where I searched for a job for 8 months before getting into teaching. It was a tough 1st year, to say the least, and I am very excited to be moving back to where I came from. There aren't many teaching positions open in this part of PA but there are hundreds of openings in SC. I accepted a job 8 days after starting my search and I never left PA! God has carried me through this year and is pushing me right along to next year.
I seriously considered leaving the teaching profession due to my experiences during my first year. After thinking about it, though, I realized that I was going to let one rough year take away the passion I have for teaching. After considering other job opportunities and realizing that I was always thinking, "If I choose that career, I'll have some time to tutor on the side or teach a night class", it ocurred to me that my passion for teaching is here to stay. I am excited about being at a new school and about doing my job better than I did last year.

Melanie said...

I am so glad you emailed me your blog address--It brings a sense of relief to me to see that other people are going throught the same things in the field of education. It seems that in this field, if you make any sort of transition, it's "two steps forward, one step back". In a new place, you have to prove your value to everyone all over again. I have 14 years of experience and am a NBCT and I feel like I have to jump through hoops at a new school I'll be at this fall. I moved for more money and for a school closer to my home (gas prices are killing any chance of saving anything, you know?)Faith--and reading stories from those such as yourself--keep me going!!
Again, thank you for such a great blog--I will continue to read and comment.

krysten said...

You know- I was getting ready to post yesterday- thinking about some of the resistance I have met concerning this blog about teachers on the move. I get a call from guess who?... A teacher moving to Columbia from the upstate- needing to purchase a home in 30 days-before beginning the new school year- It just reminded me that teaching isn't just about educating children- it is your way of life.

Think about how you plan your life- around what is best for your classroom! This teacher needed to get into some ASAP so that she can be focused and settled! I know that can be said for anone moving to a new area- but for teachers, the difference is that when you begin a new year it is like setting up your household all over again. This repeats each and every year!

When I moved here from Florida- I had to set up our new life in Columbia and begin a new aspect of my career. I was the 3rd math teacher for the eighth graders, at the school I taught at- that year. It was only January. It was difficult enough to leave Fl just as I was chosen Teacher of the Year- but then to re-organize a class that had pushed out many others was a challenge.

Roan said...

I have worked at every level of education. Being a researcher for most of my life, as well as an administrator at the state and federal levels, I was aware of the needless paperwork and activities (professional developments) in which teachers were forced to take part.

I have always been a proponent of teachers and sympathized with their plight. However, it was not until a job was offered to me to teach at a high school, that I really saw it for myself.

I know that there are pockets of great situations for teachers around the country. I have seen them. Unfortunately, these are the exceptions and not the realities.

The lack of support from the administrators and the administrators' demeaning attitude towards teachers made me sick. Having taught at the post-secondary level most of my life, what I experienced teaching at a High School is almost impossible to put in writing.

Perhaps a comment from the principal pretty much puts in perspective what is going on: "Teachers and students are like brothers and sisters, the administrators are the parents."

I was glad to hear that comment among many others that were totally demeaning to teachers. I saw administrators yell at teachers in front of the students. I saw students threaten teachers (particularly female teachers) and nothing would get done.

When suspension of a student took place, it was a vacation. The student's absence was not counted against them and they were able to make up ALL of their work. This is not a punishment, this is a free break and the only one who is punished are the teachers who have to go back and bring the suspended student up to date.

Enough was enough and I left the K-12 environment to go back to teach in a college/university environment, where the faculty is treated as professionals (say academic freedom) and there is no district office trying to impose the latest fad that they discovered at their last convention to which they attended.

Anonymous said...

Interesting...comments were posted mostly in 2007. The situation in 2010 has changed drastically. There are definitely NOT "tons of teaching jobs". In fact, tons of teachers have been let in now unemployed. Classroom sizes have doubled and annual salary increments have been frozen. WHY IN THE WORLD a college student would go into education at this point is a mystery to me. What do you get for your efforts? A college debt and food stamps. I LOVE my students....I LOVE teaching. I do not love the current conditions under which we teachers are trying to "make a difference". It is hard to make a difference in an underfunded situation with class sizes doubled and no support from the district office.