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Teaching – A Good Career? Florida?

I am going to college, and considering becoming an elementary teacher. I have my foot in the door in business right now and was told I had a future there but I think I would like teaching better…

What are the Pro’s & Con’s to teaching?

Is the pay really that bad? ( I saw FL avg w/4 yr was 38,900)

Do they take the benefits out of the salary or add after?

What are the benefits like, during work and after retirement?

So many questions I know, Thank you for your time!! I dont know any Florida teachers.

Top 4 Answers

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go to the state’s website and look at the pay scale, thats an average, not the beginning salary. i believe coming out of college in florida, as i applied to about 30 schools and most of them were between 28k and 32k depending on where the school was. Its tough long hours, kids that talk back, no support from parents or communities.

But that one kid that gets it and connects or learns that one thing….. makes it alllllll worth it


You have lots of questions (good place to start 🙂

They say, and I do too, there are three good reasons to be a teacher: June, July , and August. Nothing beats that when you are single and want to travel, when you are married and want time with your kids, or the same schedule so you are home when they are there, etc… and if you start now, you can retire fairly young. Of course, you have to have a vocation (look more into it to see if you do)

Now for the cons, what beats a teacher sometimes is…the student. I wouldn’t teach in some places, would’t risk my life like some do every day. But if you choose the community, and love what you do, it can be wonderful.

I have a long history of teachers in my family, so , naturally when my moment came to decide i said NO! and went into Art and Architecture. Loved it, but then had kids. Had a looooog gap, and when in my “middle age” I had to work, I saw teaching from a different stand point, love the service (get more than what I give from those kiddos and their families), love the hours, love that I have time for my own teen.

Salary is like that almost wherever (it can be worse, not better) and deductions are after those numbers.

Yet, add up: summer is paid and free, and what other starting position gives you more? Very few. However, never choose what you’ll be doing the rest of your life, WHAT WILL DEFINE YOU, by the salary.

Say to yoursef: “Hi, I am so and so , I am a teacher”

Then go on, “Hi, I am so and so, I am a doctor”

(try a termite inspector, janitor, lawer, burger flipper, Mary Key salesperson, computer programming…) How does it feel?


Florida says it needs teachers, but it’s a pretty closed society, unless you’re some minority or teach a “special” class. Nearly half the kids are “special” here. They know it’s a good deal, because they get age-based promotions, can’t really be disciplined, and are exempt from lots of tests. The schools love ’em, because they don’t have to actually teach, and they get more money per student.

You can’t apply for a job until it’s officially posted as “open,” nor are you allowed to approach various principals even to ask what might be opening up. Fine — when the job is posted on the net and the applications open at 8a.m., you’ll find the job has already been offered to somebody, a crony of someone already in the system. Unless you’re teaching the “special” kids. That meat grinder is always available.

Oh, and when I took the qualification tests, I found you can’t take all three on the same day — they have to be taken on two different days, months apart. Then your cert is good for only two years, and you’ve already wasted a few months, and the new term’s been filled, and oh, yeah — it took the state ten months to send me the cert, after I had passed the test on the second date.

But if you’re a minority (or to a lesser extent a a young white woman) they’ll lead you by the hand through this. They just don’t want experienced teachers, because we old folks wouldn’t put up with the BS. You young-uns won’t know the difference for a few years.


Aerocentral must have gotten up on the wrong side of the bed.

Pay depends on which county you teach in (school districts are countywide), how many years experience you have, and what degree you have. Your salary is as stated in the individual district’s salary schedules. You will have income taxes, social security, medicare, and insurance (the district usually pays part of the cost) deducted from your salary. You do not contribute to the retirement plan, the district does this for you in addition to your salary. Some districts also provide term life insurance at no cost.

Our kids and parents aren’t any better or worse than in any other state. South Florida does have a large hispanic population, so there are a lot of second language learners.

When a district posts a position, there is usually a 2-week window when the principal must interview a certain number of applicants for the position. As a team leader I have sat in on numerous interviews, and experienced teachers have just as much chance of a position as new teachers. You need to send your application to the human resources department of the school district; do a web search for the different districts they follow county lines and use county names, so it is easy to locate them.

Florida has its own tests that you must pass (you can take 2 tests on one day–there are 3 tests total–one professional, one subject area, and one general knowledge). The state does not use the Praxis. If you come from an out of state public school, you take the state tests and your previous years as a teacher count towards the pay scale ladder (private school experience starts at step 0, which is the first year of teaching) . There is a 2 year temporary certificate while you are in the new teacher program then you get a regular certificate that is renewable every 5 years.

One thing that turns out of state teachers off is the cost of housing down here. Homeowner’s insurance is through the roof and property taxes are high in areas that had a housing boom the last few years. Most of the districts are still looking for teachers, but not as much as in past years. My district has been opening new schools every year and we’re working on bringing the class sizes down to the state mandated 18 for k-2.

Outside of the occasional hurricane, the weather is wonderful, especially in the winter!


5 years ago
Come to Panama City, Fl. It is not a large town, but big enough to offer a lot. There are 5 hS and quite a few jhs and elim schools

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