Second Career Teachers are Awesome!

Being a teacher is rewarding, and hard work, and an amazingly rewarding profession. Teachers play a hands-on part in the future. Do you know anyone who decided to become a teacher, but after having had a professional career in a different field? I have spent some time talking to individuals who are now teachers and are also in a second career. Their stories intrigue me.

I recently met a former nurse, a former soldier, a former accountant, and someone who was formerly in retail sales, but all of these people chose to change careers and become teachers. They all have individual reasons for changing careers, but it is the passion for knowledge, for teaching, and the great work ethic they bring with to teaching that I heard echoed in their stories. That is what I love.

At AIMS we are so very lucky to have a second career colleague as a member of our National Cadre of Facilitators. Donna Barton is a Florida educator who we found through our national search for workshop Facilitators in 2016. She was one of the 10 invited to join our team (out of 189 applicants). Donna’s first career lasted over two decades. But still, she had a yearning to teach. So, at a nontraditional age she went back to university life and immersed herself in a pre-service teacher education program. Success!! Donna now teaches with passion and has a zest for excellence. Donna uses AIMS math and science tasks in her classroom and knows the power of building strong content knowledge through a conceptual approach, with hands-on manipulatives for understanding. We at the AIMS Center believe she is a wonderful asset to our National Cadre of Facilitators.

Donna constantly gives back to the profession; she is involved and volunteers at the local and state levels. Once again, AIMS is lucky to have her. Teachers are their own best advocates. I hope when you hear of someone who is considering the teaching profession for a first or second career, that you will spend some time encouraging and even mentoring them. After all…  teaching is cool!

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2 Responses to Second Career Teachers are Awesome!

  1. Thank you, Deb, for acknowledging those of us who took on the job as a teacher after carrying through with a first career. I saw myself as you described Donna Barton course to become a teacher. After serving twenty years in the U.S. Navy I retired and decided to be a teacher. And yes, I was definitely was at a nontraditional age myself to become one. Because of this I felt that I was not taken seriously as I didn’t begin my teaching career right out of college. That did not deter me. What I may have lacked in experience as a seasoned teacher I still had many years of first hand life experiences that I brought into the classroom.
    I am currently going through Cohort 1 of the STEM Masters program at Fresno Pacific University. I appreciate all the courses that have broaden my STEM concepts to present in my classroom! Teaching is cool and it is a very rewarding career!

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