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Thread: Mid Career Switch to TEACHING. Any thoughts?

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    Senior Member Cheesecake's Avatar
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    Default Mid Career Switch to TEACHING. Any thoughts?

    Hello guys, a rather serious discussion.

    i've being contemplating a mid-career switch from a commercial photographer to an Arts teacher.

    i hold an Arts degree and am in my 30s. always wanted to teach Arts and the calling is stronger each and everyday.

    anyone who did a mid-career switch from being a professional in the workforce to be a teacher?

    can share your experience????



    thanksssssss!!!
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    Deregistered allenleonhart's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mid Career Switch to TEACHING. Any thoughts?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cheesecake View Post
    Hello guys, a rather serious discussion.

    i've being contemplating a mid-career switch from a commercial photographer to an Arts teacher.

    i hold an Arts degree and am in my 30s. always wanted to teach Arts and the calling is stronger each and everyday.

    anyone who did a mid-career switch from being a professional in the workforce to be a teacher?

    can share your experience????



    thanksssssss!!!
    so far, i only know of sec sch teachers who do that. most teaching physics one, are those engineer a few years, realised the lack of fun, and jump over. i'm not sure on ur side how it will be since its the arts, but i suggest u go check out with NIE and see if u gotta go under some teacher training regime, so as to teach u how to teach or something...

    anyone can comfirm this?

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    Senior Member Cheesecake's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mid Career Switch to TEACHING. Any thoughts?

    Quote Originally Posted by allenleonhart View Post
    so far, i only know of sec sch teachers who do that. most teaching physics one, are those engineer a few years, realised the lack of fun, and jump over. i'm not sure on ur side how it will be since its the arts, but i suggest u go check out with NIE and see if u gotta go under some teacher training regime, so as to teach u how to teach or something...

    anyone can comfirm this?
    i'm thinking of switching over and tendering my resignation next month.

    the thought of interacting with the younger generation and teaching Arts really interests me greatly, more so than doing some shoot for some ppl, co.




    yup, am going to send in my application over the weekend.



    besides the obvious pay-cut which i will have to take, otherwise, it is pretty ok! have talked to the family. supportive thus far!
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    Deregistered allenleonhart's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mid Career Switch to TEACHING. Any thoughts?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cheesecake View Post
    i'm thinking of switching over and tendering my resignation next month.

    the thought of interacting with the younger generation and teaching Arts really interests me greatly, more so than doing some shoot for some ppl, co.




    yup, am going to send in my application over the weekend.



    besides the obvious pay-cut which i will have to take, otherwise, it is pretty ok! have talked to the family. supportive thus far!
    hmm can i assume ur family all kids all grow up already? so u can semi retire

    anyways, which sch are u planning to teach? got sec sch arts, nyfa, etc.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Mid Career Switch to TEACHING. Any thoughts?

    If teaching is so good, there wont be so many people leaving the teaching profession every year. I have a friend who switched from Banking to Teaching as he finds Banking too stressful. 1 year on, last I heard is that he is switching back to Banking.

    Maybe you can ask our Clubsnap Idol about teaching before you tender? Sometimes, grass looks greener on the other side. Didnt we always hear people in CS saying how they wish to be a professional photographer? That's because they arent aware of all the requirements and s**tty things that come with the job.

    Wishing you all the best if you really decide to switch.
    Last edited by coolsigg; 3rd July 2010 at 08:22 AM.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Mid Career Switch to TEACHING. Any thoughts?

    Teaching like many other professions is a calling. It's never about the monies.
    I would suggest that you see the requirements and curriculum before you take the plunge.
    I have relatives and friends who have walked away from it cos they cannot take the regime anymore.
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    Moderator ortega's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mid Career Switch to TEACHING. Any thoughts?

    the students will be a problem
    the school management will also be a problem

    think about it, ask other teachers

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    Deregistered allenleonhart's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mid Career Switch to TEACHING. Any thoughts?

    Quote Originally Posted by ortega View Post
    the students will be a problem
    the school management will also be a problem

    think about it, ask other teachers
    so far... i am on closer ties with a few teachers, some still in the job, some left to work in places where u never imagined.

    as far as i know, sch is not a nice place to teach. for example, while u have children, like ur wife got baby, ur entitled to 2 days extra leave? (i cant remember exact numbers). one teacher from my sch took that leave, ended up next day an inquiry. apparently, according to the school, while he is entitled to his leave, the students are also entitled to his lessons. he got off cause its an official garmen policy, but it wasnt a pleasant experience as far as he recounted. anyways, a change of management, the new principal was his old boss and good pals with him, so he immediately shot from his old small fry position to new heights, even at age of 40 plus plus, where ppl in education sector usually view as no more future, very hard promote liao. this was as much as he recounted, i cannot independently verify the facts. just take it at face value bah.

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    Moderator nightwolf75's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mid Career Switch to TEACHING. Any thoughts?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cheesecake View Post
    Hello guys, a rather serious discussion.

    i've being contemplating a mid-career switch from a commercial photographer to an Arts teacher.

    i hold an Arts degree and am in my 30s. always wanted to teach Arts and the calling is stronger each and everyday.

    anyone who did a mid-career switch from being a professional in the workforce to be a teacher?

    can share your experience????



    thanksssssss!!!
    since you are a Art degree holder, you will probably end up specialising in teaching O or A level art in school, provided they offer. usually not many people have Art or Music degrees. so, you stand a good chance in passing your interview.

    the good thing abt teaching Art is that you are essentially the department in school - ie, becos there are at most 1-2 art teachers, you get to set the stuff to teach and how to teach it. so, slightly less BS from the regular teachers of academic subjects who normally got all sorts of HODs breathing down their necks on how/what/where/when/why they teach the way they teach.... your class size is generally smaller too.

    the bad thing is that very very seldom schools devote resources to the teaching of Art. no surprises. so, looking at my own colleagues, they have to spend extra time justifying why the school need to give them resources. also, becos ur class size is smaller, any bad results are immediately known. very easy - 1 failure out of 350 students = 0.3%. 1 fail out of 10 = 10%.

    and yes, you will have to take a pay-cut at least for the 1st couple of years during, and immediately after NIE. to expediate MOE matching your last drawn pay (to the best they can), get your company to write a letter of employment, stating the number of years in service and last drawn GROSS pay (before CPF) including all bonuses etc. even if your company want to KPKB, insist they write or else take it up to MOM. if you dun have the letter, you are going to have a hard time getting MOE to give you the salary increment after training at NIE.

    end of the day, the level of BS in schools are not that much different from outside world. it's abt give-and-take and closing both eyes. you have to be in it for the students.
    If Life worked on auto mode then manual mode for photography would have never existed. ― Deeksha Mittal

  10. #10

    Default Re: Mid Career Switch to TEACHING. Any thoughts?

    EDIT: Apologies, I have mixed up Enhanced School Experience (two weeks in school) and Contract Teaching. Please see post #13.

    Depending on the timing of intake of trainee teachers, you might be

    1) sent to an actual school for two weeks (Enhanced School Experience) just before going into NIE (edited)
    2) sent to a actual school for Contract Teaching plus two weeks (Enhanced School Experience) just before going into NIE (edited)


    You should use the trail period to assess if teaching is your cup of tea. And depending on your negotiation skills and demands of MOE, there is a chance you can extent your contract teaching should you want more time to figure it out.

    I feel that Enhanced School Experience is a good implementation rather than shipping would-be teachers straight away into NIE as it gives a hint of what teaching is like in a real school.

    However, do keep note of its limitations are
    1) two weeks are barely enough to have a realistic taste of a teacher's load. You will spend one week shadowing and observing an experience teacher, and maybe the next week taking over some lessons.

    2) You will not be introduced to the administrative aspects of teaching, which is the main bugbear of teaching, you would need to observe keenly what it entails during your stay in the school.


    Finally, some questions for you to consider
    1) Besides Art, what other subjects can you teach? Teachers have to specialise in two subjects in NIE. Whether the school you are posted to requires you to teach two subjects depends on its needs.

    2) Have you considered specialised schools like School of the Arts?

    Wouldn't bomb you with too much now. Happy to supply more info later if you ask.
    Last edited by ahbian; 3rd July 2010 at 01:20 PM.

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    Deregistered allenleonhart's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mid Career Switch to TEACHING. Any thoughts?

    Quote Originally Posted by nightwolf75 View Post
    since you are a Art degree holder, you will probably end up specialising in teaching O or A level art in school, provided they offer. usually not many people have Art or Music degrees. so, you stand a good chance in passing your interview.

    the good thing abt teaching Art is that you are essentially the department in school - ie, becos there are at most 1-2 art teachers, you get to set the stuff to teach and how to teach it. so, slightly less BS from the regular teachers of academic subjects who normally got all sorts of HODs breathing down their necks on how/what/where/when/why they teach the way they teach.... your class size is generally smaller too.

    the bad thing is that very very seldom schools devote resources to the teaching of Art. no surprises. so, looking at my own colleagues, they have to spend extra time justifying why the school need to give them resources. also, becos ur class size is smaller, any bad results are immediately known. very easy - 1 failure out of 350 students = 0.3%. 1 fail out of 10 = 10%.

    and yes, you will have to take a pay-cut at least for the 1st couple of years during, and immediately after NIE. to expediate MOE matching your last drawn pay (to the best they can), get your company to write a letter of employment, stating the number of years in service and last drawn GROSS pay (before CPF) including all bonuses etc. even if your company want to KPKB, insist they write or else take it up to MOM. if you dun have the letter, you are going to have a hard time getting MOE to give you the salary increment after training at NIE.

    end of the day, the level of BS in schools are not that much different from outside world. it's abt give-and-take and closing both eyes. you have to be in it for the students.

    yep. this one i agree. also, best is choose a sch near the vicinity of ur home. its tiring to travel all day, planning and u knock off quite late sometimes. shld be the same as outside work lar. but then u still gotta take care of student welfare cca lessons etc etc. CIP too. quite hectic i will say.

    i suggest u pick ur Alma mater, got higher chance. u dun have to sign up with nie initially, cause i got a teacher now teaching geog without going NIE. currently he is full timer, will be going in nie much later. i dunno how it works but if u want i can find out more for u.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Mid Career Switch to TEACHING. Any thoughts?

    Be prepared that wherever your deployment, due to a low number of students that you will likely be handling in the subject area of Art, you're likely to be teaching some other subject such as English or GP.

    At times, you may even be teaching more English or GP classes than Art classes.

    And if the school's establishment calls for it, you may not even be teaching Art. Nor English. Nor any of the two subjects that you specialized in in NIE.

    Are you prepared for situations like this? Dreams and reality present a very different side of things - unless you are entirely sure about this calling, otherwise this should also be of some consideration.
    Last edited by sequitur; 3rd July 2010 at 09:04 AM.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Mid Career Switch to TEACHING. Any thoughts?

    Lots of misconceptions being thrown around here.


    You cannot choose your school. You can apply for it, you can go for an interview with the school, and they can request for you, but eventually the final deployment decision lies with MOE. You not necessarily will be posted to a school of your choice. You will not necessarily be posted to the school nearest your home (quite impossible really, based on their deployment algorithm - you need a lot of luck). You will most likely be posted to the "next-nearest" school based on the algorithm - which can sometimes be in a totally different school zone from your home.


    The "trial period" before NIE is called Enhanced School Experience, or ESE for short. You apply to NIE, and MOE deploys you to a school. Technically, it's an "experience" and you shouldn't be doing full load. It's a one month experience, unless special circumstances arise that would result in it being longer.

    Contract teachers are untrained teachers supposed to be doing full load (teaching and duties), and the contractual period is supposed to be at least half a year. As the name implies, it's a "contract". If I'm not wrong, the deployment characteristics remain the same. You get posted by MOE.


    As for whether you should be doing contract teaching or not, it's your own choice. But bear in mind that as long as you have not completed NIE, and you are officially under MOE's pay scale, you will start off at the lowest rung of the pay scale, which is that of an untrained teacher. So there goes, you're going to have to weigh the costs and benefits yourself.
    Last edited by sequitur; 3rd July 2010 at 09:06 AM.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Mid Career Switch to TEACHING. Any thoughts?

    Quote Originally Posted by sequitur View Post
    Lots of misconceptions being thrown around here.


    You cannot choose your school. You can apply for it, you can go for an interview with the school, and they can request for you, but eventually the final deployment decision lies with MOE. You not necessarily will be posted to a school of your choice. You will not necessarily be posted to the school nearest your home (quite impossible really, based on their deployment algorithm - you need a lot of luck). You will most likely be posted to the "next-nearest" school based on the algorithm - which can sometimes be in a totally different school zone from your home.


    The "trial period" before NIE is called Enhanced School Experience, or ESE for short. You apply to NIE, and MOE deploys you to a school. Technically, it's an "experience" and you shouldn't be doing full load. It's a one month experience, unless special circumstances arise that would result in it being longer.

    Contract teachers are untrained teachers supposed to be doing full load (teaching and duties), and the contractual period is supposed to be at least half a year. As the name implies, it's a "contract". If I'm not wrong, the deployment characteristics remain the same. You get posted by MOE.


    As for whether you should be doing contract teaching or not, it's your own choice. But bear in mind that as long as you have not completed NIE, and you are officially under MOE's pay scale, you will start off at the lowest rung of the pay scale, which is that of an untrained teacher. So there goes, you're going to have to weigh the costs and benefits yourself.
    Yes, my bad. Its Enhance school Experience, not Contract Teaching. But the part where contract teachers must serve at least half a year, is that true? Cause I have heard of less.

    In my opinion, Contract Teaching is the one that gives you a better idea of the load of a teacher. I would say not to worry too much about the low pay, cause its better to figure out if its the job for you before you sign on the dotted line.
    Last edited by ahbian; 3rd July 2010 at 09:26 AM.

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    Deregistered allenleonhart's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mid Career Switch to TEACHING. Any thoughts?

    Quote Originally Posted by sequitur View Post
    Lots of misconceptions being thrown around here.


    You cannot choose your school. You can apply for it, you can go for an interview with the school, and they can request for you, but eventually the final deployment decision lies with MOE. You not necessarily will be posted to a school of your choice. You will not necessarily be posted to the school nearest your home (quite impossible really, based on their deployment algorithm - you need a lot of luck). You will most likely be posted to the "next-nearest" school based on the algorithm - which can sometimes be in a totally different school zone from your home.


    The "trial period" before NIE is called Enhanced School Experience, or ESE for short. You apply to NIE, and MOE deploys you to a school. Technically, it's an "experience" and you shouldn't be doing full load. It's a one month experience, unless special circumstances arise that would result in it being longer.

    Contract teachers are untrained teachers supposed to be doing full load (teaching and duties), and the contractual period is supposed to be at least half a year. As the name implies, it's a "contract". If I'm not wrong, the deployment characteristics remain the same. You get posted by MOE.


    As for whether you should be doing contract teaching or not, it's your own choice. But bear in mind that as long as you have not completed NIE, and you are officially under MOE's pay scale, you will start off at the lowest rung of the pay scale, which is that of an untrained teacher. So there goes, you're going to have to weigh the costs and benefits yourself.
    what happens if ur signing up as a relief and then move on to be contract teacher? chances are higher u stay witht he sch u are already at?

  16. #16

    Default Re: Mid Career Switch to TEACHING. Any thoughts?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cheesecake View Post
    Hello guys, a rather serious discussion.

    i've being contemplating a mid-career switch from a commercial photographer to an Arts teacher.

    i hold an Arts degree and am in my 30s. always wanted to teach Arts and the calling is stronger each and everyday.

    anyone who did a mid-career switch from being a professional in the workforce to be a teacher?

    can share your experience????

    thanksssssss!!!

    Teach in the polys. My suggestion. Apply for communications since you are Arts.
    Two of my friends, one engineer and one translator at an audit firm (arts), switched to teaching (sec sch). Came out after two years. Now the engineer is working happily at Nidec and the arts fella is happily driving his black RX8 after taking over his father's western eatery shop in Bedok.

    Know what is your strength. Teaching is a 'people technology'. If you can have a way with kids and teens, it should be okay. Besides teaching there are lots and lots of "duties". It is not just teaching. No joke.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Mid Career Switch to TEACHING. Any thoughts?

    There are quite a number of teachers in CS ... Maybe you want to try to chat with them to find out what the "real" teaching environment is all about before switching over. Different teachers may have different experience depending on the school and your "Number 1" ... so it is a good idea to get a broad spectrum feedback from these existing teachers.

    Basically, it is a passion to go into teaching and the common conculsion is alwyas "if not for the students ... i would have quit already."

    Having an art degree may not necessary mean that you will end up teaching art ... it is a base to start. Most of the specialised art teachers in the AEP programme have fine art degrees and have substantial knowledge in art history ... I am not sure what degree you are holding at the moment. From what I understand, the AEP programme has been implemented in Singapore for some years already (in secondary and junior colleges) and the teaching community in the field is quite close knit.

    Finding one of these teachers to talk to them may give you a better idea of how to get in there or the daily work or the career path and advancement.
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    Senior Member Sion's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mid Career Switch to TEACHING. Any thoughts?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cheesecake View Post
    Hello guys, a rather serious discussion.

    i've being contemplating a mid-career switch from a commercial photographer to an Arts teacher.

    i hold an Arts degree and am in my 30s. always wanted to teach Arts and the calling is stronger each and everyday.

    anyone who did a mid-career switch from being a professional in the workforce to be a teacher?

    can share your experience????



    thanksssssss!!!
    Everyone's situation is unique.

    I say listen to what your heart tells you.

    Wishing you the best of luck.

  19. #19
    Senior Member ovaltinemilo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mid Career Switch to TEACHING. Any thoughts?

    If it's a longing in you to teach...why not?
    but do consider the amount of patience you need to handle students...
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  20. #20
    ClubSNAP Idol Adam Goi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mid Career Switch to TEACHING. Any thoughts?

    Hi, so you're thinking of mainstream schools, i.e. pri/sec/jc or tertiary institutions such as the poly? The audience will be very different ... and AFAIK, at least for the primary schools we are looking for more expert Art and music teachers to up our standard of teaching and learning in these areas so I suppose, other things remaining constant, you'll have a pretty good chance getting a placement. As for the pay, rest assured your prior working experience will be factored in and once you've been emplaced, you definitely won't be starting with a fresh grad's pay ...

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