Possible to be a teacher with AS?

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ker08
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05 Apr 2013, 4:48 pm

I'm debating about switching career paths as I'm not happy with the one I'm on. I make very good money, I'm just miserable. My perfect career would be as a historian/genealogist, but that seems highly unlikely to give me enough to keep myself afloat. I'm considering becoming a middle school/high school math teacher, could also teach physics and/or astronomy.

Is anyone on here a teacher with AS or know a teacher with AS? I admittedly don't do great with social interactions, but I believe I can teach effectively without that quality since being a teacher does not require being friends with your students and I can manage acquaintances well. Am I kidding myself with this?

If it matters, I'd like to work in Pennsylvania, central or west. I'm in Maryland/DC area now and absolutely hate it. Admittedly that's 3/4's of the reason why I want to leave.



bombergal
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05 Apr 2013, 9:49 pm

Hello I have Asperger's and am an elementary music teacher, going up to grade 6. I don't want to do any other position in the teaching realm as I love to hear children play recorder, sing, and play barred instruments. I also love it when children love music and are practising recorder in the hallways or on their way home (that means I have reached them). What I don't like about the job is the difficulty communicating with other staff around my age. I have been at that school for 3 years and I can count on one hand how many true friends I have that are around my age. I do it for the children and to see them grow year after year and I love music as well.



WrongWay
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08 Apr 2013, 11:08 am

Do you have any experience in teaching? If so then that will give you an idea of whether you're suited to it. If not then try to get some to try out (I know some friends who teach on a temporary basis). Recently I've also been thinking about going into teaching and I plan to try it out for a while first and see how it goes.


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NEtikiman
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08 Apr 2013, 8:18 pm

I'm a therapist and it seems to work out okay... I do well with my clients (particularly Aspies :0) ), but I do have a hard time understanding office politics and getting along with colleagues (like, not argumentative or anything... just hard to connect).
It's like you said: you don't have to worry about being the kids' friends. As long as you can reach them, you'll do fine (it's easiest if you're passionate and excited about your subject)!
Regardless, ask yourself if you can keep on being unhappy with your career. Is the money worth it? If both those answers are, "no," then you know you want to make a change!



namaste
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10 Apr 2013, 3:13 am

I am trained as a pre primary teacher. I enjoyed teaching but the politics in schools is aggressive as compared to office
the reason being schools are predominantly female population
whereas office is mix of male and female
the politics gets harsh in school

i have been thrown out of couple of schools just because of politics
and also the students in higher classes are unruly
they actually bully you and disrupt the class if you cant control them

I work now with a NGO i find it easier to teach the underprivilaged kids here
here also the politics is there but not to that extend


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Pandanus
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14 Apr 2013, 5:15 pm

I've taught and trained overseas of over 4 years. So, yes, it's possible. (I'm awaiting ASD diagnosis.)
As you said, you're their teacher, not their friend.
A lot of teachers hate the prescriptive elements of their work e.g. making detailed class plans, following a set syllabus, marking work. I find those things enjoyable. It's not about spontanous organisation, it's about good planning and contengency (backup) planning. I like steaming through a big pile of marking, entering the scores and seeing what's happening to students grades over time, and coaching them for their external exam.
Things like not being able to filter out sounds is very useful in a classroom of children cos you know if the group at the back as on task or not.
Obviously not all children want to be in class. It's be much more difficult to teach those children with Asperger's, as it's about understanding what makes them tick, being a 'cool' teacher etc.
I couldn't teach children in my own country, but teaching children from a different culture was relatively easy and enjoyable.
In some schools you can hide out to do your marking or teaching-related reading in the 'quiet' room, or the library, so minimise interactions with colleagues.
Plus the holidays are long!



whiterat
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15 Apr 2013, 2:32 am

I teach and I have something like AS. It helps if you have a student who happens to be on the same part of the spectrum as yourself as you can understand him/her a bit better than your NT colleagues. :)



vk2goh
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15 Apr 2013, 3:06 am

Im studying to become a secondary school math teacher

Don't you guys have special ed schools in the USA/Canda/England ?

That'll be a good place to teach



namaste
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18 Apr 2013, 4:36 am

Pandanus wrote:
I've taught and trained overseas of over 4 years. So, yes, it's possible. (I'm awaiting ASD diagnosis.)
As you said, you're their teacher, not their friend.
A lot of teachers hate the prescriptive elements of their work e.g. making detailed class plans, following a set syllabus, marking work. I find those things enjoyable. It's not about spontanous organisation, it's about good planning and contengency (backup) planning. I like steaming through a big pile of marking, entering the scores and seeing what's happening to students grades over time, and coaching them for their external exam.
Things like not being able to filter out sounds is very useful in a classroom of children cos you know if the group at the back as on task or not.
Obviously not all children want to be in class. It's be much more difficult to teach those children with Asperger's, as it's about understanding what makes them tick, being a 'cool' teacher etc.
I couldn't teach children in my own country, but teaching children from a different culture was relatively easy and enjoyable.
In some schools you can hide out to do your marking or teaching-related reading in the 'quiet' room, or the library, so minimise interactions with colleagues.
Plus the holidays are long!

which country you are from?
and which country do you find teaching easier


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Marky9
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18 Apr 2013, 6:28 am

I have done corporate training in the past. Because I myself went through much training on how to be a trainer (and counselor), I found it tolerable. I was able to rely on role-scripts for how a trainer or counselor should behave and react; this kept me from falling into some of the social ineptness of my Aspie nature.

That said, it also meant that training sessions required a constant "overhead" of mental processing, as I not only had to focus on the subject matter, but also on managing my own cognitions and reactions. So following training session I was usually quite exhausted.

I was/am considered good at conducting training. I guess it plays well into my pedantic, "little professor" personality. But I have shied from doing it full-time just because I know it would leave me too socially exhausted to pursue any amount of social life outside of the workplace.



Gamer
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21 Aug 2014, 11:47 am

I teach algebra and geometry at a community college. The staff and students love me and I get the job done. Diagnosed with AS over a year ago.

Worst job for someone with AS, retail. You are basically customer service so you are viewed by customers as low status, unless you're in management, and they may treat you as an equal. Being in a position of low-status is stressful for anyone, and especially those who have AS in my opinion.



mattschwartz01
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29 Aug 2014, 10:57 am

ker08 wrote:
I'm debating about switching career paths as I'm not happy with the one I'm on. I make very good money, I'm just miserable. My perfect career would be as a historian/genealogist, but that seems highly unlikely to give me enough to keep myself afloat. I'm considering becoming a middle school/high school math teacher, could also teach physics and/or astronomy.

Is anyone on here a teacher with AS or know a teacher with AS? I admittedly don't do great with social interactions, but I believe I can teach effectively without that quality since being a teacher does not require being friends with your students and I can manage acquaintances well. Am I kidding myself with this?

If it matters, I'd like to work in Pennsylvania, central or west. I'm in Maryland/DC area now and absolutely hate it. Admittedly that's 3/4's of the reason why I want to leave.


I had a high school physics teacher with AS. He was open about it and because he was hyper aware of what he needed to do to learn, he was really an excellent teacher. He could teach to multiple learning styles because he knew how to teach people how to learn, not just teach the material.



kaedatiger
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10 Sep 2014, 11:39 am

I know two teachers wih AS. One teaches special ed and the other teaches grade school.



creativelyASD
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11 Sep 2014, 1:22 pm

Passion for a subject is what makes a great teacher. You will naturally get along with students who are also interested in the subject. :D



Squidcat
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12 Sep 2014, 1:02 am

I don't think I could do any job that required me to interact with high school students again.



longshoremussel
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28 Sep 2014, 7:29 pm

I have been teaching high school seniors government and economics for eight years and have taught American and Texas government at local junior colleges for the last five years. I have a reputation of being a very odd but a very good teacher. It's entirely possible for someone with AS to teach. High school and college courses are best for me because I lecture six hours a day (nine hours on Tuesdays) about my special interest, which is American government and economics. It's about the special interest, your passion will get kids engaged. I also have fantastic bosses who let me do what I need to do. I never leave my classroom except to get my lunch. I don't socialize with most teachers although I have managed to make friends with one or two other history teachers and two of our newer principals. I am a completely different person in the classroom and it's because of the material i get to teach. It's not perfect. There are problems with paperwork and dealing with parents. Open house is the worst night of the year for me because I'm meeting new people but you get through it. I use my ticks and awkwardness to my advantage. Being crazy or silly in class is a great teaching tool. I raise my voice and lower it often, and I use an unusual pitch and I get preachy about politics sometimes.

Two of my principals know I suspect that I have AS and they don't care although that happened only in the last two years. They have both backed me up in the past and I trust them. So having an understanding administration and teaching your special interest are important but it is possible to teach with Aspergers.