but I've decided that I no longer want to pursue a career in teaching.
I got into teaching because I love academics and I like kids and I want to benefit society and I have a creative personality.
But It's not happening.
I'm very good at explaining advanced maths concepts . . . to adults. I also like to spend a lot of time thinking about and talking about, and solving problems in maths. However, the adage, "You don't teach maths, you teach children," is truer then ever. I like kids but dealing so personally with discipline and personal issues and all else on 100 kids is a bit much. Goofing off with them and having a good time comes much more naturally. I enjoy maths and want to spend most of my time thinking about how to solve problems in maths, not in discipline, &c.
Time outside of work is also an issue. When I work a job then I almost always spend some time outside of work so I can do the job better. Even when I worked at a gas station, I spent my own time learning how to say some phrases in Spanish to better assist Hispanic customers. Having an obligation, however, to spend as much time as I do when I get home is killing me. When I get away from work I want to go from "Thom H_____: teacher" to "Thom H_____: person."
There are a lot of restrictions on personal freedom and expression. Of course I should dress professionally and not expound on drunken orgys. That goes for any job. Consider, however, when I class was interrupted by a tornado drill, and I threw my hands down and made a facial expression of annoyance. I really got chewed out for that.
My girlfriend has commented that ever since I began student teaching, I went from a really laid back chill person to a perpetual bundle of nerves. I have a sheet of paper taped to my wall with boxes to I can X off each week of student teaching that passes. In theory it's to keep a running idea of where I am through the semester, but from the beginning I've felt a sense of relief every time I check off a new box. I've actually broken down in tears several times in the car on my commute to the school. This took a lot of long hard thought because for several years, being a teacher in training has been a majour part of my identity.
So I'm switching my majour from maths- maths ed to maths- applied maths (requires about 1 more class actually, plus diff eq didn't transfer from my last uni so I probably need to redo that) and I'm adding a minor in computer science to make myself more hireable. I still have to finish student teaching because It's too late to drop the class. I'd like to do mathematical modeling in a scientific research type deal, possibly modeling climate change or biological systems or something.
Thursday close to midnight I made my decision. Sunday morning while discussing this in mixed company I was already basically offered an internship for a company that works with aerospace and such. I'm broker then broke so something like this would be really good. I'm also halfway hoping that I could negotiate an end to student teaching but maybe getting a C or something so I can stop driving and let the teacher take back over the class, but we'll see how that works out.