Nursing vs. Teaching for Major - page 2

Hello, everyone! So, I am at a loss... I'm currently enrolled in a community college, and will be transfering to a four year school soon. However, I am not sure what I want my major to be- I am... Read More

  1. by   sklutman
    What things that I do not like about teaching.
    Well first there were the parents. The parents either told their kids that's school was NOT important, and that you'll never use anything you learn in school. Or the parents would miss quote studies and argue that you were a bad teacher because you weren't performing the way that they believe this study showed that you should be. And if you were to pull out the study that they're quoting to show them that this study was actually showing something very different, they would get rather upset. I've had parents come into my room very upset that their child has done poorly on a test, when they ask me why that is I tell them “well your son or daughter told me prior to the test, they had chosen not to study the night before.” And somehow it ends up being my fault that they are in unable to accomplish a decent score on the test. 1 year I had a group of parents go to the principal because of number of students had done poorly on the test. When I heard about this, I explained to my helper student what it was that we had covered in the weeks prior to the test. This particular school district allowed students to come in during their study hall to help teachers out. My helper student this year happened to be a freshman in the test that I'd given was in a junior level class. After about 10 minutes of instruction I gave her the test and she passed it with flying colors. But the principal called me down to his office to discuss this particular test. I told him that I had given it to my helper student and she got every single question correct. I also explained that this is usually the easiest test that I give all year(since I had been teaching chemistry for 10 years at this point). I also explained to him, that a student “C”student(the principal had proclaimed this student to be only a “C” student) had proclaimed that it was the easiest test he never taken. The “C” student managed to pass the test with an “A”. I explained to the principal, who used to be a social social studies teacher, the material as I had to my helper student. Then I gave him the test he looked at the test and proclaimed that it does appear to be quite simple. There was another point, were a parent had emailed me 13 times from 3:30 in the afternoon, after I had left for the day, till 8:30 the next morning. The final email was sent to both myself in the principal stating that she had been emailing me at least a dozen times and that I refused to answer any emails. I explained to the principle that at the beginning of the year he had told all the teachers that 48 hours up to a week was considered acceptable time period for returning emails to parents. He agreed with me and then proceeded to put me on an improvement plan.

    This brings me to the next topic of way I got out of teaching the principals. This particular Principal had put me on an improvement plan, which basically had me reading extra books on top of my already rigorous schedule. I had 7 prep periods to prepare for each day, most of which were upper level senior and AP classes. This put me under a great amount of stress. I had spoken to him earlier in the year about the stress I was feeling. In my 10 years of teaching I saw very few principals who were adequately trained to do their job. Most of the principals that I was under seem to be in it just for the paycheck, and only cared about looking good in front of the parents. At the end of this particular school year, I typed a 9 page letter to the school board describing all the indiscretions and things that I felt the principal fell short on.
    Next in line for the reasons that I got out of teaching is actually the entire reason that I went into teaching, the kids. When I first got into teaching there was maybe 10 in about 120 students that would complain that the class was boring. My final year of teaching there was probably at least one if not more in the classroom of 25 to 30 students that would complain that the class is boring. I often contribute this to video gaming. In one class I even had a student who would interrupt the class and ask why he wasn't able to play Halo. If I refuse to call on him I would hear from his parents that night about why I wasn't calling on him when he had that he had to ask questions about the class. In this of course brought on a vicious circle because the principal would get called in on it from time to time as well.
    The pay is yet another reason that I got out of teaching. I would often be in the classroom at 7 o'clock in the morning preparing labs. And finally leave for the day at 7 p.m. When I would go home to visit my family. I typically put in at least a 60 hour week and my work didn't end when I left the school. All this work was done on salary. You don't get paid extra for putting in extra hours which makes it hard to stay motivated. And you do not get paid for the overtime, but you are also the lowest paid college educated person in the state.
    But you get the summers off. Was often a comment that I heard when I announced that I was getting out of teaching. This to a degree is true. Very few teachers including myself actually have the summers off. Most of the teachers I know either work in the summer in order to catch up on bills or to try and get ahead so they can afford a vacation. On the summers that you are not working you're more than likely going to be picking up extra classes in order to renew your teaching certificate. And you of course you're the one that's going to be paying for those classes.
    These are just a few of the reasons that I got out of teaching. And as a side note now that I am nursing I am making more money and working fewer days a year than I did when I was teaching. And if I do spend extra days there I get paid the overtime. And when I come home I don't have to worry about work anymore, I get to actually spend time with my family.
  2. by   sklutman
    As a side note, I like people and I like science. When I was in college the first time I was debating between nursing and teaching. Now that I have done both I have met people in each field that have switched... I know more stories of teachers who have been taken out of teaching by students and their parents. One of my friends was teaching middle school math and was having a hard time keeping up with where she was supposed to be at for the year. She was doing everything the district had asked and expected her to do. One of the students was upset with her and reported to the principal that she had yelled at him and hit him with a ruler. One of his friends was questioned and verified the story. She was let go the next day. I only found out about it because the kid was temporarily enrolled in the school I was teaching at. He had been temporarily kicked out of his school for his behavior. He confessed all kinds of misdeeds to me.

    Another person I know was let go with no explanation as to why. She had taught for the school system for 11 years, never been on an improvement plan and never written up. She was called into the office and told it was her last day. The only thing she can figure out is that one of the parents was upset and went to the superintendent. It was a private catholic school. And the parents were wealthy contributors to the school. My friend had done the right thing by placing the 2 highest math students into a gifted math program that school had. The wealthy parents were upset because their child did not qualify(he would have been in the upper 2/3rds of the class).
  3. by   lostneedhelp
    Thank you for your feedback. I am glad that you found a career that works the best for you I really appreciate the honest feedback. You have made me rethink my decision about teaching. I am working at a teacher assistant now and it isn't going very well.
  4. by   Nurse acewa
    Thank you everyone for all of your feedback on this issue. To understand the pros and cons of both careers is not easy and you have made it much more clear. I would not be able to tolerate all of the injustices perpetrated by angry parents because their little Johnny did not earn something and they want it anyway not to mention the politics of dealing with parents/administrators/principals. There are politics in nursing but not so much as in teaching. Thanks again to all who posted.
  5. by   Celeste1011
    I have an Elementary Education degree...always wanted to be a nurse, but my university didn't offer a nursing degree and so I majored in Education instead (I realize now, I should have just transferrered). Anyway, I'm now 35 and back in school for my prereqs before applying to nursing school. One pro that I would consider with regard to nursing vs teaching - it is easy to work part-time and still maintain your position/status as a nurse. In other words, if you're an RN and you drop from full time to part time, you don't get demoted (for lack of a better word) to a CNA etc. This isn't true in education. If you want part-time in education, you're looking at subbing (crummy pay and almost zero respect), or possibly being a para (similar situation). You could always sub with your nursing degree (in my state, you just need 60 college credit hours completed to sub - it doesn't matter what they are in) if you want to be close to the kids once in a while.

close