WRITTEN BY MICHELLE DZISIAK • 3 min

Michelle is a Marketing Specialist with a background as a classroom teacher.

How to change your career path article profile photo of student Ethan Young

Do you ever feel like you’re stuck in a career rut or on the wrong career path?

Maybe you pursued a career path, spent thousands of dollars on furthering your education, and hours developing your skillset, only to discover that the career itself doesn’t feel meaningful to you.

Perhaps you had a sense of vocation that you overlooked due to other pressures. Or, perhaps your priorities have changed over time, and you find yourself wondering what else might be out there for you.

If you can relate then this is the blog post for you! 

From a young age, Ethan Young felt a calling to become a teacher. Having to make major life and career decisions in high school, Ethan decided to pursue a career in business. However, once he entered the workforce, he felt unable to impact people’s lives in the way he truly wanted to.

Luckily for Ethan, the Teacher Certification Program (TCP) was a path that allowed him to make a career change and pursue his dreams of becoming a teacher without sacrificing years and tens of thousands of dollars, all while maintaining his full-time job.

Alternative certification programs like TCP are popular amongst career changers as they allow a much more flexible, affordable, and fast entry into the world of teaching in comparison to traditional programs.

Becoming a teacher is a rewarding career. It is not an easy career, but it allows you to impact children’s lives for the better, genuinely. Perseverance and dedication will help you get through the tough times.

Let’s dive in to hear about Ethan’s experience with Klassroom’s Teacher Certification Program and how he left his business career behind to pursue a profession in education.

1. What drew you to pursue a career in teaching? Was this a lifelong dream or a new interest?

When I was in high school, teaching was an option I was definitely considering, but my peers initially persuaded me from the path because “teachers don’t get paid a lot.”

Ultimately, I went to business school in college, but I did community service with kids during that time.

When I finally got into the business world, there seemed to be more people caring about profit than the actual humans in front of them.

So I decided to take the leap and change my career to education.

Educators have the power to make a difference in people’s lives, which I strive for.

2. Why did you decide to take an alternative route to become a licensed teacher instead of the traditional education path? 

I had already graduated college in business, so I wanted a way to pivot to an education career quickly and affordably.

Luckily, I was able to make that happen.

3. Has your alternate route to certification been manageable while juggling your other responsibilities? 

Working a full-time job and doing 15 hours of learning each week was tough.

However, the online program’s flexibility enabled me to plan a schedule that worked for me.

4. What is the most valuable thing you’ve learned so far? 

To always keep learning and never give up.

These skills are essential for teachers because there are times when we want to scream, cry, and break down.

But we need to release that tension, learn from our mistakes, and keep up the good fight.

5. Was there a teacher in your life who inspired you? If so, who was it and what impact did they have on you? 

No teacher directly contributed to my decision to become a teacher, but I certainly would not be here without the love and support from my 1st-grade teacher Mrs. Barret.

I had dyslexia, was on an IEP, and her support helped me to be able to read.

I can pass that dedication on to my students now.

6. What area of teaching are you specializing in? Why did you choose it?

I specialize in elementary teaching K-8. Right now, I am teaching 3rd grade.

I chose this specialization because it gives a variety of topics to teach, I get to know my students better since I am with them the whole year, and I love helping kids.

7. Are you currently working in a teaching capacity? If so, could you tell us a little bit about your experience teaching so far? 

I am a 3rd-grade teacher right now in Litchfield Park, Arizona. It’s about the third week now, and teaching has been a rollercoaster.

There is always a learning curve with being a first-year teacher, but the lost learning from the pandemic has made learning difficult for the students.

It will be tough to get all students back to where they need to be due to this unforeseen crisis, but it will all happen in due time.

8. What is your favorite thing about working with students and/or what is the thing that you’re most looking forward to when you are in a classroom?

My favorite thing about working with my students is that they all have their individual and lovely personalities.

Each of them brings a fantastic flavor to our class to create a decadent delicacy.

9. What advice would you give to someone who is thinking about getting certified to teach? 

Becoming a teacher is a rewarding career.

It is not an easy career, but it allows you to impact children’s lives for the better genuinely.

Perseverance and dedication will help you get through the tough times.

10. Are there any final notes, thoughts, or comments you’d like to add?

Remember, teachers have fall, winter, spring, and summer break to look forward to every year!

Thinking about how to change your career path and become a teacher?

Start your teaching career and find teaching jobs with Klassroom. Learn more about our online teacher certification program and our online teacher certification program in Arizona