Leaving Teaching: Options and Legacies
Pointing to a surge in teacher job losses in the region, an article in the Utica (N.Y.) Observer-Dispatch highlights alternative career options for educators. It cites the example of a 20-year teaching veteran in the area who four years ago started her own business as a district professional development consultant. Some educators, the article notes, may find that, with a little reconfiguring, they may be able to position themselves for private-industry jobs as well.
"The whole context of education has changed," says Patrice Hallock, chair of the education program at Utica College. "Our teachers who are coming out of school have a host of new skills. Teachers today need to be far more collaborative and far more flexible." Hallock also contends that, at least from a long-term perspective, the teacher job market may not be as gloomy as it at first appears, since many baby-boomer educators are expected to retire over the next several years. (Though whether all those jobs will be filled, of course, seems to be an open question ...)
On a somewhat related note, Bob Braun of the New Jersey Star-Ledger has a thoughtful column on a pair of retiring elementary teachers in Union, N.J., who for the past 10 years have been holdingat their own expensea popular before-school writing workshop at their school. With the teachers' departure, the workshopa "serious commitment of time of and effort," Braun reportswill apparently be discontinued, much to the chagrin of the school community.
The teachers say they are retiring in part because of the changing political climate surrounding public schools, which they believe may ultimately affect their pension and medical benefits. "I'll find something else," says one. "But I wanted to retire while I was still good at what I did, while I was still on top."