Friday, August 29, 2008

I've decided to become a teacher

Anyone who knows me has heard my many rants about wanting to become a teacher -- ad nauseum. A few days ago -- in one of those epiphanic moments usually reserved for badly written made-for-TV movies, I finally decided I was done talking about it, and thinking about it, and talking about thinking about it, and thinking about thinking about it.

I decided to become a teacher.

I won't go into my entire story (at least not right now), for sake of brevity -- but in short, I'm 33 and have been in the IT industry (i.e. I play with computers in a corporate environment all day) for 11+ years and I am going to toss that all aside and pursue a career as a high school English teacher in the Bronx.

This past Tuesday, I applied to the NYC Teaching Fellows (NYCTF) program. This program is one of the various "alternative" routes to teaching in New York City. It has a fast-track training program for new teachers, subsidizes a huge chunk of the cost of your Masters degree (which is required to teach in NYC), and they do a host of other things to boot. I applied for the 2009 school year -- which would have my training start in June of '09, and teaching beginning the fall of '09.

This is not a done deal, of course. Even if I get accepted to the program, I've given myself at least half a year (until March or April) to actually pull the chord on the whole computer career thing.

Standing between me and the classroom are three main issues:

  1. I have to get accepted to the NYCTF program
  2. I have to do my own research (and soul searching, of course) and make sure I really, in fact want to do this, and want to do it via the NYCTF program
  3. I have to make sure that, financially speaking, this whole thing is even possible. There's a mortgage to pay, you know.
I'll be blogging about each of these 3 issues individually.

Oh, why the blog?? -- Hell, I'm realistic about this, I might have an anti-epiphany two months from now and drop the whole idea, who knows. But I thought it would be interesting to have a place to record my thoughts as I weave my way through this ridiculous little adventure.

That's all for now.

Wish me luck.

4 comments:

jose said...

This should be good.

Lauren Limón said...

Congrats on the beginning of two of the most intense years of your life. I was a Cohort 12 TF. A word of experience: Even once you're accepted there are at least 5 more hoops they don't tell you about including, but not limited to: two state certification exams, an FBI background check, completion of TF homework, an intense summer training program at your college, intense summer teaching at a school, and potential competency exams at your college. All of these lead to collective approval by your FA (Fellow Advisor) and his/her peers. Oh, and then you have to find a job on your own. It certainly sounds like you're on the right track, but I wanted to let you know...to let any newbies know! I was shocked when I left my career and homestate, signed a lease in the Bronx, moved across the country, and found out that I still wasn't officially hired. I wish you the best and look forward to tracking your progress.

Anonymous said...

Do you get paid during the NYCTF process? I was thinking about becoming a teacher, but I need to make at least $400 a week just to survive. Another problem is that I am 47 years old and it might be too late to become a teacher, especially if I will have work in the worst schools in the metropolitan area.

I have over 12 years of Computer networking experience and a BS in computer science, but I have not had an interview for 6 years. I have had dead end jobs and now work for FedEx, but the company is going down hill fast and will not match the pay or security of being a teacher. Any advice will be appreciated.

Bronx2020 said...

It depends what you mean by "the NYCTF process" -- that first summer, you don't get paid (though there is a small summer stipend, which varies each year). However, starting that first September, you are paid as a NYC school teacher, with all the same benefits, rights, etc. I believe starting salary is around $45k, give or take.


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