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.


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 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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