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Dedalus Offline
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Teaching - February 27th 2012, 10:34 PM

I've had a sudden burst of enthusiasm about a career, after feeling like shit lately. I'm currently doing an MA in Classics and have had, and always wanted, to go on to a PhD and lecture at university level. I can only do it with a studentship (i.e. fees paid and a maintenance grant to live on). One of the universities I applied to didn't offer me a studentship and I find it hard to believe that any of the others will, which I'm waiting on.

But I've had thoughts on other possibilities, and teaching second level at school could be a possibility. I had hated school with a passion and only really began to enjoy life once I went to university. I'd always seen teaching as a horrible career given my experiences at school, and that it would admit defeat as its the easy route to take when you're in the humanities. Added to that is the fact that I had always thought it would be soul-destroying given that lecturing at university would also allow me to publish and be active in the field of my discipline, and to engage with students on a level you can't at school.

But I've been thinking. I want to live in Dublin and lecturing doesn't provide that possibility with so few jobs available, whilst teaching does. And Dublin has so many single sex schools and the schools in general wouldn't be like the one I went to. If I could teach at a girls' Convent school in south city Dublin, that would be ideal. And I shouldn't worry about publishing, because I already have an article being published in Classics, and I have another two I'm preparing - and thats before I even have my MA, and what's to stop me from continuing that if I were a second-level teacher? I could still speak at conferences like I am doing.

And teaching too would almost guarantee me a place in Dublin - at least long-term wise. And I could be involved with my old university in Dublin, because the staff (who I'm still in contact with) liked me very much and have always said I'm welcome there. And I could still run workshops in the evening and teach Ancient Greek to the undergrads in evenings like I had planned to, if I were accepted for a PhD there (which I still have to fill out the application for).

So, teaching isn't that bad is it? It won't cut off everything I want to do, and it could be rewarding, right?

I won't go into the details of why I hated school, but it felt like I wasn't being taught but just fed information in a horrible environment where everyone hated each other and people were so incredibly small-minded.

Its a good idea isn't it, as a back up plan?
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Re: Teaching - February 27th 2012, 10:56 PM

That's a great back-up plan. It's really good to see that you've thought this through and weighed the pros and cons of teaching. If you think it'll be a good fit for you, then go for it. Good luck with whatever you choose.

wanderlust consumed her;
foreign hearts & exotic minds compelled her.
she had a gypsy soul
and a vibrant heart for the unknown.
-d. marie
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Re: Teaching - February 28th 2012, 07:18 AM

Forgive my ignorance but I've always thought there were few careers of Classics that did not involve teaching or publishing. It seems like a very good back-up plan, especially given your negative experiences in school as a motivating factor to ensures the students you teach have the greatest positive experience possible. Since you currently give conferences you have experience with presenting and explaining to an audience, which is vital for a teacher or professor.

One way you can practice teaching at a school is to explain the concepts to someone who has very little background. Currently, in one of my biomedical research courses, students give 20-25 minute long presentations about particular topics. My cousin is in her 1st year at community college studying some biology and I've found when I help her with some concepts, I have to explain it at a much simpler level, it can be surprisingly difficult and sometimes frustrating. It's just a heads-up of something you have to be good at, otherwise only the bright students may understand while the rest have a deer-in-the-headlights look.

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