Actuarial Outpost
 
Go Back   Actuarial Outpost > Actuarial Discussion Forum > Careers - Employment
FlashChat Actuarial Discussion Preliminary Exams CAS/SOA Exams Cyberchat Around the World Suggestions


Fill in a brief DW Simpson Registration Form
to be contacted when our jobs meet your criteria.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 10-03-2007, 09:40 AM
Mr. Wonderful Mr. Wonderful is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 7
Default actuary to teacher??

Hi,

I've noticed on here many posts, some old & some more recent, concerning actuaries who are former math teachers, and even posts from current math teachers planning to become actuaries (and hence asking for advice about how to do this). I am an actuarial analyst, entry level, and when I was interviewing for positions I encountered more than one former math teacher, and there is one currently where I work. So I guess I can see why there's a shortage of math teachers!

Anyway, my girlfriend is currently student teaching to become a high school math teacher and it has gotten me to thinking I might like teaching better (I used to tutor math and was a substitute teacher and really enjoyed both). In the threads I came across, people are mostly vague about WHY they bailed on teaching (and so is my co-worker). So, my question is twofold-Why does this trend exist? And and have any of you heard of persons doing the opposite and going from actuarial work to math teaching? Thanks in advance for any comments.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 10-03-2007, 09:44 AM
Alto Reed on a Tenor Sax's Avatar
Alto Reed on a Tenor Sax Alto Reed on a Tenor Sax is offline
official Troll bane
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Favorite beer: PBR
Posts: 12,260
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Wonderful View Post
Hi,

I've noticed on here many posts, some old & some more recent, concerning actuaries who are former math teachers, and even posts from current math teachers planning to become actuaries (and hence asking for advice about how to do this). I am an actuarial analyst, entry level, and when I was interviewing for positions I encountered more than one former math teacher, and there is one currently where I work. So I guess I can see why there's a shortage of math teachers!

Anyway, my girlfriend is currently student teaching to become a high school math teacher and it has gotten me to thinking I might like teaching better (I used to tutor math and was a substitute teacher and really enjoyed both). In the threads I came across, people are mostly vague about WHY they bailed on teaching (and so is my co-worker). So, my question is twofold-Why does this trend exist? And and have any of you heard of persons doing the opposite and going from actuarial work to math teaching? Thanks in advance for any comments.
1. Better money
2. Better hours
3. Less stress
4. Less threat of death (depending on just how strict your boss is)
5. Teacher's pay is decided by the government, and based on years of experience, with NO variation based on performance, so there is little motivation to excel (other than, of course, a genuine love for your students and for teaching)

These are the biggies.

I will say that when I taught, I had more of a sense of "meaning" about what I did, if that makes sense. But to tell you the truth, with the way schools are now, and the way they are GOING to be after 5 more years of NCLB, I think that warm fuzzy feeling that what you do "means" something will get slimmer and slimmer.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 10-03-2007, 09:47 AM
Maine-iac's Avatar
Maine-iac Maine-iac is offline
Member
CAS SOA AAA
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: The Silver State
Favorite beer: Wine
Posts: 30,758
Default

You might want to PM Pseudolous (if he doesn't post in this thread) for tales of one who went from actuarial work into teaching.

The only other person I know who did it was a woman who was well established as an actuary and financially secure, and wanted to make a mid-life change to a more meaningful position. Her accumulated earnings and spousal support made this something she could do without a massive cutback in lifestyle.

Of the people I know who went the other way, from teaching to actuarial work, the general motivators were one or the other or some combination of:

- lack of financial opportunity and chance of significant advancement in the teaching realm
- frustration with motivation and disciplinary issues
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 10-03-2007, 10:01 AM
Mr. Wonderful Mr. Wonderful is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 7
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alto Reed on a Tenor Sax View Post
with the way schools are now, and the way they are GOING to be after 5 more years of NCLB, I think that warm fuzzy feeling that what you do "means" something will get slimmer and slimmer.
I haven't followed it too closely, but isn't there talk of NCLB going away? Perhaps with the next administration?
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 10-03-2007, 10:04 AM
Abused Student's Avatar
Abused Student Abused Student is offline
Member
SOA
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: The Eighth Circle of Hell
Favorite beer: Cold and lots of it
Posts: 38,806
Default

I never actually taught in the classroom other than student teaching. That was enough to turn me away. It is amazing how many schools are filled with bitter old teachers and how many political games are going on. I figured if I was going to have to deal with all of the negatives, I might as well get paid well for it.

Saying that though, I would like to teach again some day. Probably not full time. One of my former bosses was an adjunct (sp?) at the local college and would teach some of the practical sides of actuarial science. I could definitely see myself doing this in the future.

The thing about switching to a full time teacher though is that you are going to have to put your time in before you get any of the good classes of students that want to be there. You are going to first be put into the classes full of students that have no desire to learn what you are teaching, don't care to figure out how it might relate to their life, and would rather push you down a set of stairs than to listen to you. You might get great feelings if you actually reach one of these kids but then you would probably get in trouble with the parent for paying too much attention to their kid or something.

Once you get FSA, go back to the college and teach a couple course for students that want to be there, want to learn what you know, and really care about what you are trying to teach them.
__________________
GAME ON!!!!!!! Let your ness show. Join the D&D fun. Started but applications still accepted


Officially assigned the role of Dictator, 9/30/09. Bow to my whims.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 10-03-2007, 10:11 AM
daaaave daaaave is offline
David Revelle
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 2,592
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Abused Student View Post
Once you get FSA, go back to the college and teach a couple course for students that want to be there, want to learn what you know, and really care about what you are trying to teach them.
In any college course that is a distribution requirement, most of the students don't want to be there either. Calculus classes are filled with people who hate math, and some upper level courses aren't much better. The only time I taught a stats class, lots of people said on the course evaluations that they were expecting the course to suck and were shocked that it was interesting.
__________________

Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 10-03-2007, 10:13 AM
DW Simpson DW Simpson is offline
Site Sponsor
Site Sponsor
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
College: Yes
Posts: 18,631
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Wonderful View Post
have any of you heard of persons doing the opposite and going from actuarial work to math teaching?
There probably are some actuary-to-teacher mentions at http://www.actuarialoutpost.com/actu...13&postcount=8

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Wonderful View Post
Why does this trend exist?
Though you may have seen these discussions, here they are again: http://www.actuarialoutpost.com/actu...3&postcount=38

Last edited by DW Simpson; 10-03-2007 at 10:18 AM..
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 10-03-2007, 10:22 AM
Abused Student's Avatar
Abused Student Abused Student is offline
Member
SOA
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: The Eighth Circle of Hell
Favorite beer: Cold and lots of it
Posts: 38,806
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by daaaave View Post
In any college course that is a distribution requirement, most of the students don't want to be there either. Calculus classes are filled with people who hate math, and some upper level courses aren't much better. The only time I taught a stats class, lots of people said on the course evaluations that they were expecting the course to suck and were shocked that it was interesting.
Oh, I didn't say that college was any better to teach at than any other level of school. If you come in as an expert to teach at the college though, you are not going to be teaching the Calc I classes, or even a basic stats class. My former boss was teaching something like how actuarial science and actuaries worked in the real world and the applicable side of it. He wasn't teaching the theory or any of that stuff that they were learning for the exams. The students were very happy to be in a class like what he was teaching, not their normal teachers, not the boring exam stuff. That is what I would suggest going back and teaching. Not an Exam 1 (or whatever it is called now) stuff.
__________________
GAME ON!!!!!!! Let your ness show. Join the D&D fun. Started but applications still accepted


Officially assigned the role of Dictator, 9/30/09. Bow to my whims.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 10-03-2007, 12:25 PM
Vorian Atreides's Avatar
Vorian Atreides Vorian Atreides is offline
Wiki/Note Contributor
CAS
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Knock Turn Alley
Studying for ACAS
College: Hard Knocks
Favorite beer: Sam Adams Cherry Wheat
Posts: 36,066
Default

I'm one of the teacher-to-actuaries. The main motivation is financial (can't support a family on just a teacher salary).

I know of one actuary-to-teacher (he's teaching at an International school in Korea). Financial issues will be one major area to seriously you should consider before making the switch.

Related to this is the ability to relate/interact with the kids. You might get along with them now since you're not a teacher, but it's a different ball game when you're "up front" with a large curricula to convey to students that don't care if they learn it or not. In fact, having the answer to "when will I use this in real life" won't be enough to be successful.

The best way I can describe the success characteristics of being a math teacher are as follows (and in this order):
  1. Parenting Skills--skills such that you command respect without fear. Key here is devoting time to the students outside of the classroom.
  2. Mathematical Skills--skills such that you know and understand the deepest interaction of mathematics, not only efficiencies but also alternative methods of doing the same calculations.
  3. "Counterexample" Skills--you need to be able to address the student's need to understand why their mode of thinking will not work, and do so from their realm of understanding.
  4. Consistent Habits--to such a point that students know what's next. Without this, you'll always be a "target."
There's a lot more, but they can be developed/discovered through the licensing process and OJT.
__________________
I find your lack of faith disturbing.

Wait until you have kids.

Freedom of speech is not a license to discourtesy
Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
teaching

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 05:34 AM.


Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
*PLEASE NOTE: Posts are not checked for accuracy, and do not
represent the views of the Actuarial Outpost or its sponsors.
Page generated in 0.25238 seconds with 7 queries