memories · wn entry

Stacey’s M.M.: Teaching

I graduated from college with a B.A. in Communication and a minor in U.S. History. Even though I decided to move to NYC to work in the cosmetics industry, I secretly wanted to become a teacher. However, due to the low salaries, I decided against it, even though I loved the two years I spent teaching religious school at Adas Israel Congregation.

Even though I resisted the temptation to teach right out of college, it lingered inside of me for a couple of years. By March 2002, I was interviewing at a weekly magazine to be a beauty/fashion copywriter. The first interview went well and they wanted me to take the edit test. However, the only words out of my mouth when I told my parents the good news was, “I want to teach elementary school.”
My Dad looked at me and said, “Well, then you have to go to graduate school.”
“I know!” I said.
Two days later I obtained an application to Hunter College. By late May 2002 I found out I had been accepted into the M.S. Ed. Program in Childhood Education. I quit my job doing marketing and public relations for a hair care company in June and began working on my masters in August 2002. (I did freelance doing public relations for cosmetic companies while in grad school… so really I didn’t leave my ‘former life’ until January 2004.)

I’ve never looked back. I’ve never regretted my decision. Sometimes I wish I had listened to my heart and had gone straight into teaching after college. However, I now I realize that the experiences I had between college and teaching are what make me the unique educator that I am.

Jeb Bush once said:

Teachers make a difference, and we would serve our students better by focusing on attracting and retaining the quality teachers by raising teacher pay.

I hope that a raise in pay for educators eventually happens. However, teaching salaries will never be aligned with the kinds of money top lawyers make, I feel that if you’re in it (teaching) for the right reasons, you get paid more than any partner in a law will ever make.

Teachers believe they have a gift for giving; it drives them with the same irrepressible drive that drives others to create a work of art or a market or a building.” – A. Bartlett Giamatti

5 thoughts on “Stacey’s M.M.: Teaching

  1. I’m sure that you made the right choice switching careers. The job that you are doing teaching young people must be more rewarding than the cosmetics industry. The teacher’s retirement program that is in place in Oregon is really good. Teachers are making about the same salary when they retire as they did while working. I believe you are creating personalities that will live on and affect the lives of hundreds of thousands of people – as in the trickle down effect.

    affect – effect?? – I know with your education you can tell me if I used those words correctly. 🙂


  2. Thank you for sharing! Could you imagine going to a job that you hate day in and day out? I started on the teaching path and changed my major to psych because of a bad experience. I am so glad I ended up in education. I can’t imagine doing anything different.


  3. I agree that teachers (child care workers, home health aides …) should be paid more … but we definitely get more job satisfaction than most people. I’m happier in my job than any of my non-teaching friends.


  4. I’m glad you wrote, I never regretted the experience. Although we only know each other from the online world, I can tell that you keep your kids front and center. That makes a difference.


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