Hundreds consider job-change to teaching

Posted January 15, 2009
Updated January 16, 2009

— People interested in moving their careers into the classroom attended a fair at Wake Technical Community College on Thursday.

Seven hundred people attended the 2009 Lateral Entry Teacher Information Fair, which discussed the requirements for getting a teaching job in Wake County schools.

Organizers said the economy played a role in the high turnout for the event. Last year’s event had about 350 people.

Wake Tech now offers a program to earn a teaching certificate in about a year.


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  • just1comment Jan 23, 2009

    To all of you who think getting certified is hard - try actually teaching ;-)! wifemomteacher is dead on - kids are hard but you can work with them - its the rest of the job (duty, curriculum, parents) that is inflexible and you have to adjust, develop a thick skin and tenacity.
    As far as "Highly Qualified" status goes you can thank "No Child Left Behind" for the difficulties there - if you don't like it I encourage you ALL to write/call our Representatives and Senators in Washington and tell them exactly why.

  • Tawny Jan 22, 2009

    Teacher 56: Wake County has a program entitled, "Bridges", that is designed specifically to mentor lateral entry teachers with no teaching experience. It is an excellent program.

    Your husband should contact individual schools that post science job positions on the WCPSS website. Also, another way to get your foot in the door is through substitute teaching.

  • teacher56 Jan 22, 2009

    To those considering lateral entry in Wake County: be careful and have another idea in the back of your mind. My husband has a Ph.D in science, is NC certified in several areas, and has been trying to get into WCPSS for 4 years! He finally spoke with one principal who laid it on the line with him and said that my husband has no public school experience and WCPSS principals have so many public school experienced applicants that they can and do overlook other candidates. They want people who know what to do and not have to mentor or waste time with helping them learn the ropes. I am fed up with WCPSS saying how there is a shortage of teacher applicants...that is a lot of baloney.

  • Citizen7265 Jan 22, 2009

    funstuffhere, we have many veterans working in the area school systems as teachers. Some are lateral entry and are following the protocol of receiving NC certification. Others realized the value of getting certified while still serving our Country, and entered with a valid certifiticate.

    There is a big difference in teaching in the military classes and teaching in the public middle and high schools. Also, Wake County has the financial resources to pick and choose their employees from the candidates that meet NC certification requirements. If you REALLY want to teach, apply to the school systems in the surrounding counties that are less wealthy, and I bet someone will give you the opportunity. But you will still have to meet the certification requirements of NC within a reasonable time frame.

  • Citizen7265 Jan 22, 2009

    gabi wrote "I left the degree program and completed the psych degree after fighting with my advisor over a lesson plan I created that integrated a full learning of a math topic instead of being a lesson that was entirely dependent on the graphing calculator to do the work for them"

    gabi, if you could not stick with the degree program because you disagreed with your advisor over a lesson plan, you made the right choice. That disagreement is nothing compared to the ones teachers have everyday with administrators over the curriculum and methods we are expected to teach. Truely good teachers feel the calling enough to put up with this and still find ways to do what is best for students in spite of conflicts. Teaching is not a shut your door and do what you want profession. You have to follow the "rules" of the current curriculum, administration, and team you work with. Great teachers accomplish this while also finding creative ways to meet the needs of their students.

  • NCTeacher Jan 19, 2009

    I just love hearing from people who say "I think being a teacher would be so much fun. You get to play with the kids, have the summers off and be done at 3 pm".

    Then the come out of the classroom at the end of the school year and run as fast as they can to any other job. You have to REALLY want to be a teacher to stay with it.

  • chargernut69 Jan 19, 2009

    wow, teaching sounds fun!

    I'll just really enjoy getting a 50% pay cut from my current engineering job! ...NOT....

  • gabi Jan 16, 2009

    funstuffhere, I'm with you. Though I haven't got the credentials you do, I hold a degree in psychology, a master's in English, and have about half a degree specifically in education (I left the degree program and completed the psych degree after fighting with my advisor over a lesson plan I created that integrated a full learning of a math topic instead of being a lesson that was entirely dependent on the graphing calculator to do the work for them) -- and in the intervening years, I have done quite a lot of work tutoring, as well as other jobs. I tried for four years to talk to someone about the lateral entry program and couldn't get anyone to even return calls. They whine about having no teachers, claim they are absolutely desperate for 'qualified' people, but they turn away those of us who ARE qualified and just missing the certification. It's insane.

  • funstuffhere Jan 16, 2009

    I am a retired Army veteran with nearly 20 years of teaching young adults and personnel development under my belt. I also have a Masters degree in Education, although I lack the Teacher Certification for NC. Twice I sent in a packet for consideration to the Wake County Public School System, both times I could barely get the time of the day from them in response. I was told I was "not highly qualified", since I did not have any classroom time in a "public school system" (even if I had the NC certification it would have been to no avail). Instead the WCPSS hires numerous out of state teachers each year to make up for their shortfalls, all the while running around like Chicken Little complaining that there are not enough teachers within the state. Perhaps its for the best, I'm not sure I could enjoy working for a system that displays such arrogance to the general public.

  • nonemeant Jan 16, 2009

    Animal lover, I taught high school for the past 7 years and am now teaching middle school. You are right on!!

    You have to be mentally and emotionally tough to stay in the classroom today. It is like a battle field with land mines.

    As I said, I didn't hear this somewhere; I live it.