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    ravengurl92's Avatar
    ravengurl92 Posts: 295, Reputation: 6
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    #1

    Jul 29, 2017, 08:18 PM
    Should I be honest or just keep my mouth shut?
    When I was in preschool, I had a favorite teacher who helped me a lot when I was struggling with autism and always made me feel like I was her favorite student. I continued writing to this teacher every year since and when I decided to pursue a preschool teaching career, she could not have been more thrilled. A couple weeks ago, I had the opportunity to meet with this teacher for coffee and I told her about my experience at a preschool job I just recently quit. My boss would not let me know when I was working until the last minute and I was always told I was doing something wrong. My teacher then asked if I wanted to apply to other preschools. I don't remember exactly how I responded but I think I said something like "possibly." She then went on and on about how great I would be with children. The truth is I'm not as good with kids as she thinks I am. I struggled so much in my student teaching and two preschool jobs I've had since. I have trouble concentrating to watch 10 active preschoolers at a time and would often miss behavior issues. I also have trouble interacting with kids. For these reasons, I'm not sure I want to work in child care anymore but I didn't tell my teacher any of this. We have been emailing back and forth since we got together and she even offered to write me a letter of reference if I apply to other preschools which made me feel even more guilty. I just haven't had the heart to tell her that I'm not sure if teaching is for me and always feel guilty when she tells me how good I would be with kids. I almost feel like I'm letting her down in a way by no longer pursuing teaching. Should I be honest with her about this or keep it to myself?
    talaniman's Avatar
    talaniman Posts: 53,885, Reputation: 10852
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    #2

    Jul 29, 2017, 08:36 PM
    You should be honest so she can deal with the truth of your decision. Disappointment may be temporary, and she may be supportive and have suggestions that could be helpful. For sure you cannot go through life by keeping the truth from those that you care about and who care about you.
    Wondergirl's Avatar
    Wondergirl Posts: 37,761, Reputation: 5426
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    #3

    Jul 29, 2017, 08:36 PM
    What about working as an assistant or teacher aide in preschool? That way you would be team teaching and be able to be and have a soundingboard at the end of each day.

    What would you say are your three strengths in (preschool) teaching?

    (P.S. I was a preschool teacher for three years, team-teaching with another woman who had taught preschool for centuries.)
    teacherjenn4's Avatar
    teacherjenn4 Posts: 3,997, Reputation: 468
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    #4

    Jul 29, 2017, 08:38 PM
    I'd try another preschool before deciding it's not for you. It sounds a little disorganized at your last job. Each group of students is different. Some classes will be more difficult than others. Also, you should have some help from an assistant teacher, too. As you gain experience, you will create a classroom environment that keeps children engaged. It takes time. Give it more time before you decide it's not for you. I don't see anything about disliking children in your post. So, remember that experience will help you become a better teacher. Trust me... I was a beginning teacher and could have quit many times. It's such a rewarding career, and I'm glad I didn't give up. Can you try a different age group?
    DoulaLC's Avatar
    DoulaLC Posts: 10,488, Reputation: 1952
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    #5

    Aug 4, 2017, 02:42 PM
    Sometimes you just know whether something is for you. You can enjoy being around children, but come to realise that it isn't what you want to do as a career.

    However, if you enjoy working with children, trying another age group is a good idea. Some teachers love the little ones, while others shudder at the thought of being around children younger than ten, for example.

    Maybe try volunteering in other age groups at the preschool level, or even other grade levels. You'll know soon enough if it is a good career path for you or not.

    As for your previous teacher, be honest with her. Share what your experiences so far have been like. Maybe you can volunteer with her class, so that she can offer more hands on guidance. She'll understand whatever you decide.

    Ultimately, you'll discover what the best decision will be for you. Loving children does not automatically mean you would be a good teacher, or enjoy the profession. However, there is support available to help you become a better teacher should you choose to continue in that direction.

    If you decide on another path, you could always consider volunteering a few hours a week at a school or becoming a mentor to help children succeed. There is always a need for loving mentors.
    joypulv's Avatar
    joypulv Posts: 21,593, Reputation: 2941
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    #6

    Aug 4, 2017, 06:22 PM
    If you struggled with autism yourself, it's possible that childcare is always going to be not to your liking.
    I don't want to speak for you at all, just suggest that you might want to explore a path with more serenity and calm?
    Not sure any jobs have that, but do you have any secret wishes? Do you admire someone in a field you are wistful about?
    Wondergirl's Avatar
    Wondergirl Posts: 37,761, Reputation: 5426
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    #7

    Aug 4, 2017, 06:46 PM
    Just a suggestion -- you might want to check into working at a public or school library. In that way, you can have contact with children, but on a less structured basis than as a teacher. Many community colleges offer a certificate called Library Technician Assistant (LTA) -- maybe 12-15 months of training. Of course, the master's in library science (MLS or various other initials) is the degree necessary to be a reference librarian. These two programs, the LTA and the MLS, can be done online now, but be sure the coursework is approved by the American Library Association (ALA). And, there are a number of library jobs that are performed by staff without an LTA or MLS. My son who has Asperger's has worked at a public library for over 25 years and loves it!
    ravengurl92's Avatar
    ravengurl92 Posts: 295, Reputation: 6
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    #8

    Aug 4, 2017, 07:14 PM
    My current job is at a public library and I like it
    Wondergirl's Avatar
    Wondergirl Posts: 37,761, Reputation: 5426
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    #9

    Aug 4, 2017, 08:02 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by ravengurl92 View Post
    My current job is at a public library and I like it
    Circ? Which job? Get certification or an MLS eventually? (I went from teaching -- including preschool teaching -- to over 25 years in Libraryland. Best career decision I ever made!)
    DoulaLC's Avatar
    DoulaLC Posts: 10,488, Reputation: 1952
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    #10

    Aug 5, 2017, 04:14 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by Wondergirl View Post
    Circ? Which job? Get certification or an MLS eventually? (I went from teaching -- including preschool teaching -- to over 25 years in Libraryland. Best career decision I ever made!)
    I've followed a similar path, and wouldn't go back!
    dontknownuthin's Avatar
    dontknownuthin Posts: 2,910, Reputation: 751
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    #11

    Aug 8, 2017, 10:25 AM
    I think you should let her know the concerns you have about remaining in teaching and ask for her advice. She sounds like a caring person who knows you well and has your best interests at heart. I think she wants you to be happy and your occupation probably has little to do with her decision to be supportive.

    There are other jobs you could do related to education that may be a better fit for you. For example, I used to work for a company that sold equipment and supplies to schools. There are people who sell text books, playground equipment and so on. There are people who write and edit educational materials. Perhaps there's an allied profession that would make use of your educational experience but better play to your strengths.

    Also, know that most people change occupations multiple times in life. A few pick one profession and stick with it, but the average person has had a variety of jobs, or at least variety in what they've done in a particular market sector. Change is fine - keep learning your strengths and leverage them. And view it that way - not as "I'm bad at this" but, "I like this and that but would like to dump this other aspect of my career".

    It's a bit like dating - you may find that you really like A, B and C about someone but D and E are deal breakers. Doesn't mean the guy is terrible or that you hate him, but that you want to find a guy with A, B and C traits that are good for you, but without the other traits. Think of the experience as good but over and move to something that's a better fit for you.

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