Big career changes: where do we go from here?

2007-07-10 23:34:00

Now that I'd decided to become a teacher, it left me with even more questions (duh). Which subject would I teach? At what kind of school? What kind of education do I need? Where do I study? How will this fit in with my job? Will I even be able to keep my job? OMG, will we be able to pay our mortgage and still have food on the table?! ONOZ!

Stuff like that.

Well... I quickly decided that I'd like to teach english or math at a high school level. I can wax lyrically about both subjects and both fields offer me with loads of new stuff to learn and explore.

So... How do you go from having a completely unrelated job, to being a teacher? Here's how... (mind you, all of this applies to the Netherlands).

You start out with two options:

1. You take up a part-time or full-time college education. (deeltijd or voltijd in dutch).

2. You take up a part-time teaching position and follow additional classes to become a real teacher.

This second option is called zij-instroom in dutch and really is only an option if your ambitions lie in teaching the same field you worked in. So for example, I could get a zij-instroom position teaching Comp Sci at high schools, whereas a biologist could start teaching Biology. Zij-instroom however requires you to have real and provable experience in said field, including the degrees that come with it. You will also need to take an entrance exam because they won't let just everybody start teaching. Should you be accepted for zij-instroom, then you'll get a two-year teaching permit, which is directly connected to a contract between you and the school in question.

Anywho... What with zij-instroom not being an option for my two chosen fields (I have neither a degree, nor work experience in english or math) I have to opt for the longer path. Getting into a full-time education (voltijd) really isn't an option for me anymore: I wouldn't have any income, I'd be bored stiff and I'd be in a class full of eighteen year olds. Which automatically guides me towards a part-time education.

Luckily every college in the Netherlands offers deeltijd educations for professionals looking for a career switch, or an upgrade to their knowledge. The Hogeschool Utrecht offers teachers educations that are actually reputable and it's close to my home as well! Now all that remains is to convince my employer to let me work either three or four days a week. *gulp* tags: , , ,

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