"Many teaching skills can translate and become the building blocks of a new career," maintains Karen Selsor of Alexandria, a career counselor with the Re-Entry Women's Employment Center in Annandale.
"Information-gathering and referral skills, interpersonal relating skills, and program development are three areas in which teachers are very strong. Add to these the special knowledge they have within their subject areas, and there is certainly career-change potential."
Selsor teaches a regularly scheduled workshop--"Translate Teaching Into a New Career"--at the Re-Entry Women's Employment Center, Annandale, at which she stresses "the other places to teach": among them, adult-education classes, community colleges and private industry.
"The problem with getting out of teaching is that most teachers are rather sheltered from the opportunities that exist in the business world," says Edward Kaminski of College Park, who teaches an adult-education class, "Career Change Strategies for Educators," at the University of Maryland.
"They don't know how to identify the skills that could apply to other fields. I try to show them they have a lot to offer.
"Educators who attend my class," says Kaminski, who left his job as a science teacher to go into sales and marketing, "are looking for new directions, and a chance to apply their skills to other worlds of work.
"Many of them feel they are not recognized for their achievements, that they are not being compensated at an adequate level. Add to this the difficulties of coping with changed attitudes towards authority today, and the amount of paperwork involved in teaching, and you come up with a lot of frustration.
"Teachers are adept problem-solvers," says Kaminski, "and the need for problem-solvers in business today is great. They have good analytical skills, know how to deal with people and are comfortable making presentations in front of a group.
"Employers also appreciate the tenacity and assertiveness required to leave the known and take on the unknown."