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Am I hurting my teaching career by taking years off before returning?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

I graduated college with Special Education in 2009 and did substitute teaching in school districts. I never have done any contracted teaching and now here I am a broke SAHM with a toddler and expecting another in February. I always planned to be home with my child(ren) as long as I can (at least 3 years) but I'm also worried that I'm a ticking time bomb what with my old recommendation letters and huge gap in teaching experience. Not to mention the conditional scholarship I need to eventually pay back for Special Education (in addition to $20K of federal loans)...

 

Do you think I'm hurting my chances of landing a job by not returning to work as soon as possible after baby #2 arrives? Any advice from others in this same situation, teachers or not?

post #2 of 13

My DH stayed home with our daughter for 3 yrs, and now he's having a lot of difficulty finding a job, and I do attribute some of it to being out of the work force for so long.  Just our experience.
 

post #3 of 13
I've been home 15 years and I'm just now re-entering as a sub. There's a lot of out of work teachers out there ahead of me who would probably snag a full time job before me. But I'm confident, competent and likeable.. so keep your fingers crossed that I can get my own classroom next year.
post #4 of 13

I would just say that if there is any field that is amenable to re-entry moms, it is teaching (and nursing)!! Of course it is hard to get back in, but it is totally doable! One teacher mom (in special ed) I know had taken time out to be with her little girl. Well, her DH lost his job about 3 years ago, is still out of work, but she was back to work within a matter of weeks (and this was mid-semester). There is always a need for special ed teachers. Of course, your local area may have different needs, but near a large city, there is definitely work.

post #5 of 13

I was out 7 years (RN) before getting wooed for a job that I was not applying for, as a supervisor even which I had never done before. 

post #6 of 13

I've left and re-entered teaching several times. Not so much for kids, but once to hike the Appalachian Trail and once because I was just sick of it. I am certified as a K-12 special ed, K-12 Reading Specialist and 7-12 Secondary Math, and have never had a problem getting a job when I wanted one (and I always landed contract work.). 

 

Keep up with continuing ed credits (in my state there are even some online classes you can take for free). Take on some private tutoring clients now - it's only a few hours a week and I've gotten some glowing recommendations from parents. Stay in touch with any references you want to maintain. Even if it's been a few years, they might still be happy to vouch for your performance at the time, as long as they remember you. I just send emails to them periodically to check in with what they're doing. I also redo my resume all the time so the gaps aren't so obvious.

 

Right now, I volunteer with my neighborhood association, and a lot of the stuff I do for that is good resume fodder. Just keep doing something - anything - outside of your SAHM duties and your resume won't look out of date.

post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 

That's great advice about filling in gaps! I'll be sure to figure out a schedule to do so. I'm just worried now because I'm due to have baby #2 in a few weeks and I'll have a toddler too. Ugh, I wish I had done this way before! But thanks, that's such great help!
 

post #8 of 13

FWIW, my DH was home for 8 years, the last three of which he studied for & got his master's and teaching certificate (with an ESL endorsement). He was hired permanently while doing student teaching, although it's not at the school where he student-taught. Once in, he serves as union rep & also did national board certification to boost his resume as a newer teacher, hoping that any layoffs that come would pass him by. They have so far.

 

Other friends who took time off have had different experiences. One of them took more than a year of sub positions until getting a classroom, while the other one got back in pretty much right away. I think volunteering in the school (her kids attend) helped her get a job there.

 

Best of luck to you with baby #2's birth!
 

post #9 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by LaotianMama View Post

That's great advice about filling in gaps! I'll be sure to figure out a schedule to do so. I'm just worried now because I'm due to have baby #2 in a few weeks and I'll have a toddler too. Ugh, I wish I had done this way before! But thanks, that's such great help!
 

 

The easiest way to fill in gaps when you have small children is to find something that also involves them. Organizing a toddler playgroup, parent resource centre and drop-in group, homeschooling co-op......  Most of these will be unpaid volunteer positions but hey, what counts is demonstrating some activity during these years.  

post #10 of 13
I took off 3 years and got back in easily. I do think subbing would help and might even be nice for ya every once in awhile if you have a sitter. Some subs at our school just say what days they would sub, even if it is just a couple. I didn't sub at all though and got a job in a district where I did my student teacher over 6 years prior. I wouldn't worry. When you are ready to get back into it, start looking for teaching jobs in your area and do a great interview!!
post #11 of 13

I was out for five years and just re-entered this year.  I subbed last year and got a job pretty easy this time.  

post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by granolamommie View Post

I was out for five years and just re-entered this year.  I subbed last year and got a job pretty easy this time.  
I am going to sub this coming school year! Bébé will be 6 months and ill only be inputting availability of day a week so it won't be so bad. smile.gif
post #13 of 13

Congrats!  That sounds like a really good arrangement.  Best of luck to you. 

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