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How did you start your career in education and training?

I am a middle school student and I took a quiz in class that told me education and training would be a good career choice for me. #school #student #graduate-school #high-school-classes #college #education #training


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Patrick’s Answer

There is plenty of time to decide what you want to do as an adult. However, one of the jobs I never thought I would have as an adult was that of a teacher. As a teen, I found myself bored in school for whatever reason. After graduation, I joined the military as a mechanic working on construction equipment. At this time leadership found I had a knack for mechanics and sent me off to teach advanced mechanics. I was really nervous my first time in front of a class but it was one of the most rewarding jobs I ever had. One I learned more about my trade (mechanics) than ever before. It was enlightening. and more importantly, the satisfaction of seeing the process click in a student is unforgettable. Ever since that point, I have taken any chance to teach.

I do want to point out there are many different pipelines to become a teacher. You should explore all the paths available. The first step I recommend is to find a topic you enjoy, learn about it, and teach it back to someone. A family member, friend, or even at a local library.

Patrick recommends the following next steps:

The first step I recommend is to find a topic you enjoy, learn about it, and teach it back to someone. A family member, friend, or even at a local library.
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Enjoy life and have passion in what you do.
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There is plenty of time to discover what you want to do.
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Have fun.
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Be a kid.
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Gloria’s Answer

Hi Donovan,

It's exciting to see that you have some skill or interest in Education and Training. I am a training professional, specifically an Instructional Design. I write web-based training programs, create instructional videos, and I create training that other people teach. Your teachers right now are probably supported by something that an instructional designer created for them.

You are the biggest component of how you want to act on that information. Do you want to educate or train people? It is often not as easy as it sounds to teach people to do something. Sometimes the people you are teaching either do not want to learn or are not ready to learn. This means that you may need to be flexible with how you teach and when. You should also think about what you want to teach. I work in a Corporate University, which is very different work than your middle school teacher or a college professor. You should explore where you want to teach - to who do you want to teach or how do you want to impact education. For example, my brother is an assistant principal. He used to be a teacher but now he in administration, supporting teachers in their jobs and making the school function better. There are so many opportunities in education that are more than standing up in front of a room and teaching.

I would say as you think about education, focus on what you would want to teach. What subjects do you like now and already teach to others? (When you help your friends understand how to do their homework, that is educating.) Are you an artist? Is your dream to just do science stuff all day long? Would you like to train in a virtual form (like video or web-based)? Educating people can be hard. You need to find a way to stay passionate about educating people by working in a subject or medium that you are really excited about. For me, what drives me to educate is that I want to help people do their job to the best of their ability. That is why I train people who work in business. I feel grateful that my work can help people earn more money or a promotion from taking it. I want them to have the best shot to be their best at work. I prefer to work in the leader-led training space, because I believe it is important to learn with other people. Virtual training, like Zoom, is challenging but still a great way to stay connected.

Good luck finding your role in Education. We need teachers for people of all ages, so consider lots of different options before you settle on one.

Gloria

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Kevin J.’s Answer

I would recommend that you start by reading about learning and education in general. There are a number of excellent books you can begin with to get some good insights and a general overview of what we know about learning and education. Here are a few recommendations:

Beginners: The Joy and Transformative Power of Lifelong Learning by Tom Vanderbilt
The Art of Learning by Josh Waitzkin
The Unschooled Mind by Howard Gardner
Begin Here by Jacques Barzun
The Schools We Need by E.D. Hirsch
Creative Schools by Ken Robinson
The End of the Rainbow: How Educating for Happiness, not Money, Would transform Our Schools by Susan Engel

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Linda’s Answer

Donovan,
The books recommended above seem a little too much for a middle school student, but I do agree that your actual "subject" in education is the student(s). One of teacher education professors taught aspiring educators that "We don't teach reading, math, or science ; we teach students. I started teaching because I wanted to share, just like I did as a 6th grader in a program with 3rd graders. Then, I enjoyed teaching people how to operate products as a customer service representative. Finally, after years of teaching, I earned a master's to work as a librarian. My learners are more motivated and are usually individuals or small groups so I can do more for each one.

Linda recommends the following next steps:

Keep talking and asking educators and trainers about their work.
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Ask a librarian to help you find age-appropriate material about teaching
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Consider if you want to serve people rather than focus on a thing.
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