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After my son was school aged, I was horrified to find out that the US was lagging behind in math and science and there was a drop in US students entering STEM related fields. I don't know how I missed it. I must have had my head in a hole. I decided to quit my job and try and do something about it. I ended up being a teacher at a small rural private school. Now I can't imagine ever going back to corporate life and let me tell you why.
In the corporate world, there is always talk about defining and aligning vision, mission, strategy, purpose, etc. Things are complicated because there are so many stakeholders - customers, stockholders, employees, board members, etc. In a school, everyone knows that "educating children" is the bottomline. So whenever there is discussion over what the right thing to do is, teachers and administrators always make decisions based on what is the right thing to do for the student(s). Perfect alignment!
The way a school works is like a lot of little businesses. Teachers are the president of their classroom. The students (and their parents) are their customers. Teachers know what needs to get done by the end of the school year, they know their budget, and any other constraints. They make the decisions on how to make it happen.
Like separate little businesses, teachers collaborate not because they are told to. They collaborate because it's in the best interest of their students. One teacher will present an idea and sell it to another teacher. If it makes sense, they make it happen. It's as simple as that. No big meetings. No top down commands.
Teachers are self starters and self motivated. Nobody is standing behind them looking over their shoulders. So if you like autonomy, you'll love teaching.
If you like the challenge of a job with a lot of "moving parts", you'll love teaching. Every day holds something new - sick students, students with family issues, behavioral issues, a great new lesson plan idea you found, new opportunities, or maybe the class has that blank look on their face like they don't get what you are teaching, etc. Teachers are constantly assessing the situation and making adjustments.
I'm so glad I changed careers. If you can deal with the salary, I wholeheartedly recommend giving it a try. It's enormously rewarding.