Today, I’m excited to share a guest post I wrote on the new financial independence site for educators, Principal FI.
Principal FI is an educator as is his wife, and he writes for the education community about pursuing financial independence as a teacher or administrator.
Most of us see education as a profession with low pay, but Thomas Stanley found that this profession was one of the best (along with engineers) at converting their incomes into wealth. In fact, he found that educators were much better than so-called high-profile jobs like doctors and lawyers at converting their income into net worth. One of his hypotheses was that educators didn’t spend money on high-status items like cars, clothing, and housing, because no one expected them to be rich so they didn’t have to impress anyone.
I found this to be true at my old schools. The teachers I worked with tended to have frugal habits like bringing their lunches to school each day, driving older cars, and wearing everyday clothing.
So when I saw Principal FI’s Educators on FI/RE Series, I asked to tell my story. The blog features educators who are pursuing the Financial Independence, Retire Early movement, and I thought I’d add my (somewhat atypical) educator story to the blog.
Here’s the post:
Tell us about you.
Hi! I’m Laurie, a 39-year old personal finance blogger, ESL teacher, and mom of 2. My family and I decided, almost three years ago, that we wanted to move from New Hampshire to be closer to family and have more freedom to travel. So we’ve been working on doubling our net worth and transitioned to remote jobs so we could move to North Carolina and travel extensively during our summers. I blog about our imperfect journey at The Three Year Experiment.
Continue reading “Teacher on FIRE: Guest Post on Principal FI”
Several years ago, when I was 36, I was offered a job at my local elementary school. It was perfect for a lot of reasons: it was part-time, it was teaching kids English (which I had majored in in college), it was at my kids’ school, and it paid well.
The only problem with the job was that I wasn’t a teacher.
When I first left college and moved to Santiago, Chile, I taught English as a Second Language to adults for about a year and a half. But I’d never officially taught children in any capacity. So I would be completely changing careers, learning a new job from the ground up.
The Learning Curve is Painful
I don’t particularly like to be bad at stuff. I don’t think anybody does. In school, I was a good student who never really struggled with studying. I never learned the lesson that you have to be bad at something before you’re good at it. But when I started teaching, I had very little idea what I was doing.
I was thrown into teaching two students with no guidance and very little mentorship, so I didn’t know what I should be teaching them. Grammar? Vocabulary? Reading? Writing?
I reached out to other local ESL teachers and sat in on their classes to try and figure out what to do. One teacher recommended several books that I should buy for the classroom. I remember that she said to me, “if you could go through this book with your student before next year, that would lay a great foundation for him.”
The problem was, the book was a very basic vocabulary book. Surely there was something better I could be doing with my time than teaching him basic vocabulary?
I didn’t spend a ton of time teaching my student vocabulary from that book my first year, preferring instead to try and teach him how to write essays.
Continue reading “5 Lessons I Learned from Changing Careers in My 30s”