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I’m choosing a career in ed tech over becoming a teacher. And that’s okay.



I couldn’t be more enthusiastic about breaking into the education industry — especially after separating from the guilt I carried for not becoming a teacher first.


Why the guilt?


I saw teaching as a valuable stepping stone that helped transitioning educators get a fuller understanding of ed tech’s impact.


How could I grow into a respected professional in the education industry without holding the title that signals an ability to take on one of America’s toughest, most notorious jobs?


After committing to a few tutoring roles in college (elementary social studies and adult English), I knew I wanted making an impact on students to work itself into a full-time career. Getting to know my students and witnessing them find their lightbulb moments — priceless.


I felt fulfilled as a tutor. I wasn’t satisfied enough to leave the gig economy and teach full-time. Here’s why.


I needed to make the classroom better by maximizing my skills

Starting a fulfilling career meant choosing a role where I could write.

Write creatively.


Write with personality.


Write to persuade.


Write, write, write.


Teachers are responsible for creating lesson plans, newsletters, emails, and more.


But while I tutored, I wasn’t involved in creating lesson plans or curriculum materials. The experience maximized my problem-solving and oral communication skills but…writing was left in the dust.


The skill that’s a core part of who I am and what I wanted to do in my career.


Working in ed tech marketing allows me to continue developing my writing, task by task. All while working in an industry where I’m serving the people who are consistently in the classroom — all without needing a teaching certificate.


I wanted to work in a business powered by social impact

Like many people who work for social impact organizations, making money for a finance company didn’t seem very purpose-driven or exciting to me.


Using business dynamics to achieve goals that could change the landscape of education did.


I didn’t feel energized at the prospect of working exclusively with students for most of my day.


Instead, I wanted to work with people of various ages and experiences that shared my enthusiasm for the education market, marketing, and writing.


Once I find this community amidst the growing sphere of ed tech, I know I’ll want to include educators and students in my thought processes, outreach, and decision-making as much as would be helpful to them.


I didn’t want to use teaching as a means to an end

No one should enter the teaching profession because they feel like they should. Take it from me, I know what that self-imposed pressure can feel like.


So much preparation goes into becoming a licensed teacher. Dedicating your time and putting yourself through rigorous training isn’t worth it if you aren’t truly passionate about the job.


If you know you won’t be in the profession for the long haul before you even step foot in a classroom, you should probably reconsider your path.


The greatest danger of a teacher that doesn’t want to be one is how their lack of interest can influence their students.


Do you want to be responsible for your lack of inspiration rubbing off on your students?


That’s a heavy question but one worth asking yourself.


Teaching is no joke. Anyone entering any profession, especially becoming an educator, should take it seriously.


Conclusion

There’s a way for people like me, who’ve decided against working in the classroom day in and day out to impact education without feeling like they’re leaving educators behind.


More and more ed tech organizations are making it a point to include teachers in their creation process and publicly acknowledge the impact working with teachers can have as they create and implement their education solutions.


Collaboration will be key.

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