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Switching Teaching to Social Work?


LuluShine
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Thank you for adding me. I’m 33 years old and a teacher in Ontario. I worked on cruise ships for a few years and then moved from the UK to Canada. 

I wasn’t sure what else I could do with my English degree so I became a teacher. I kind of rushed into the decision because I needed to get a study permit to stay in the country and I felt like I was limited with things I could do with my undergrad. 

I graduated from teacher’s college 7 years ago and I’m still a supply teacher. I taught full time in a private school for a few years and then got into a board. Getting full time is very difficult here and I’m tired of waiting for a full time job in the board. 

To be honest though, that’s not the reason I want to change careers. I really don’t like the job much. I love children but I find the academics so boring.. it just doesn’t interest me at all. I don’t want to be marking and planning at home either. 

I feel like I want to help children beyond academically.. like maybe being a school social worker or a therapist or child protection worker. I had a tough childhood.. I was emotionally abused and the trauma caused me to have PTSD, anxiety and depression. I eventually recovered after having some intensive therapy with DBT, and it helped me so much that I feel a calling to help people who have been through something similar. 

I’m thinking that I would like to do an MSW and transition into social work. The problem is it’s not a clear cut solution. First of all, my partner thinks I’m crazy because teachers here earn more than social workers. If I stayed in teaching the salary at the top of the pay grid is 6 figures. They also have very good benefits and amazing retirement. 

Another obstacle is that I don’t have an undergrad in social work so getting into a MSW would be hard. There are some programs where you can do a 2 year masters instead of 1 year but they are competitive and I think you need some experience in the social work field to get in. 

I would also have to do it part time because I wouldn’t be able to do it full time and go without income for that long.. so it would take longer than 2 years. It would also be expensive.. so I’m not sure if spending $20,000, losing income and spending around 3 years is worth it to persue a career that would probably be less money and worse hours.

But at the same time I really want to do it. I have a lot of years left at work and I don’t want to be miserable and unfulfilled. I don’t know anyone in the social work/counselling field that I can talk to about it and I was wondering if anyone here can give me some advice? Anyone here switch from teaching to social work or something else? Anyone in the social work field who can give me some insight? Thanks for listening! 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 1/3/2021 at 9:29 PM, LuluShine said:

Thank you for adding me. I’m 33 years old and a teacher in Ontario. I worked on cruise ships for a few years and then moved from the UK to Canada. 

I wasn’t sure what else I could do with my English degree so I became a teacher. I kind of rushed into the decision because I needed to get a study permit to stay in the country and I felt like I was limited with things I could do with my undergrad. 

I graduated from teacher’s college 7 years ago and I’m still a supply teacher. I taught full time in a private school for a few years and then got into a board. Getting full time is very difficult here and I’m tired of waiting for a full time job in the board. 

To be honest though, that’s not the reason I want to change careers. I really don’t like the job much. I love children but I find the academics so boring.. it just doesn’t interest me at all. I don’t want to be marking and planning at home either. 

I feel like I want to help children beyond academically.. like maybe being a school social worker or a therapist or child protection worker. I had a tough childhood.. I was emotionally abused and the trauma caused me to have PTSD, anxiety and depression. I eventually recovered after having some intensive therapy with DBT, and it helped me so much that I feel a calling to help people who have been through something similar. 

I’m thinking that I would like to do an MSW and transition into social work. The problem is it’s not a clear cut solution. First of all, my partner thinks I’m crazy because teachers here earn more than social workers. If I stayed in teaching the salary at the top of the pay grid is 6 figures. They also have very good benefits and amazing retirement. 

Another obstacle is that I don’t have an undergrad in social work so getting into a MSW would be hard. There are some programs where you can do a 2 year masters instead of 1 year but they are competitive and I think you need some experience in the social work field to get in. 

I would also have to do it part time because I wouldn’t be able to do it full time and go without income for that long.. so it would take longer than 2 years. It would also be expensive.. so I’m not sure if spending $20,000, losing income and spending around 3 years is worth it to persue a career that would probably be less money and worse hours.

But at the same time I really want to do it. I have a lot of years left at work and I don’t want to be miserable and unfulfilled. I don’t know anyone in the social work/counselling field that I can talk to about it and I was wondering if anyone here can give me some advice? Anyone here switch from teaching to social work or something else? Anyone in the social work field who can give me some insight? Thanks for listening! 

 

Hi! Fellow Ontarian here. You should look into the Laurier part-time online MSW. You don't need a BSW and your teaching experience may count as previous experience? I would reach out to the admissions coordinator :) Heres the program: https://online.wlu.ca/master-social-work Oh also, the Windsor MSW program is part-time but in class!

Best of luck!! 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hey! I'm also trying to transition from teaching to social work. I was an ESL teacher for about 12 years and have been attempting to make more of my psychology undergrad degree for the past few years now that I'm back in Canada. I applied to York's MSW program a couple of years ago with no success, but I'm trying again this year with Windsor's MSW for Working Professionals program (mentioned in the above reply). The classes are on Friday evenings and Saturdays every other week, and they offer classes at both their Windsor campus and the 'Peel' location in Mississauga. The program is designed for people who are currently working full time in social work (or other helping professions - which I'm guessing applies to teaching - from what I know), and one of the two tracks is open to people like us without a BSW. They are still accepting applications for fall 2021, but it's a bit unclear when the deadline is because they use a system of rolling admissions. The only catch may be that they require a social science stats and research methods course. If the program suits you other than that, there are ways to do those kinds of courses before entering the program. It is a longer-term investment as the non-BSW program is 32 months, but you'd be able to keep working full-time for the entire duration. Worth a look, perhaps. 

Good luck in your journey and all the best!!

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