I need a game plan

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you’ll know that research is not my intended career path – outreach and education is. Ever since I started my post-doc, I’ve been feeling like I’m back on the wrong path again…or at least moving away from my intended path.

I need a plan to get back on track in seeking out a career in education and outreach.

I am:
– heading up a steering committee for the observatory project I hope to get off the ground.
– attending weekly outreach meetings to keep myself in the loop.
– keeping in contact with a PI that might be granted funding for an outreach program (including a full-time position).
– keeping an eye out for any job postings that might be of interest.

and I can:
– volunteer for more outreach events, just to get my “fix”.
– put together some applications for funding the observatory program (this is already in the works, but I could do more).

I’ve also been looking into…perhaps…doing more schooling. By this I mean either doing a year of teacher’s college so I could teach K-12, or do a masters in education. However, the deadlines for both of these programs have passed for a September 2010 start, so I wouldn’t be able to apply for another year. Something to think about though.

Any other ideas?


Comments on: "I need a game plan" (5)

  1. Anonymous said:

    Although this may seem a little out of left field and may not line up 100% with your goals for outreach and education… have you thought about asking for any volunteer work you might be able to do through your university's liaison office?

    Liaison offices will usually jump all over anyone (especially those with an advanced degree) to do outreach-type events with highschoolers for recruitment of learners. Just thinking that might be a really good network to explore and it really opens up your marketability when you start trying to run your own program. Either way, Liaison is usually a really good partner to have on your side – they might even use your observatory program as a kick-off point for some of their recruitment drives.


  2. Great idea, Anon! I never thought about that! Thanks.


  3. I don't know if you are part of any professional associations, but I've been involved in some outreach events through the Women in Engineering society and Canadian Society of Chemical Engineering, and I've seen outreach type job position through these groups too.

    I'm pretty sure I also want to get into education/outreach and I've considered the idea of doing a master's of Ed after I finish my Phd. I know a couple of people with M.Eds teaching in higher education/doing curriculum deveopment/etc, which sound like very appealing jobs to me but I'm unsure how critical an education degree is for those types of positions.


  4. Liz – yes, I am a part of the Canadian Astronomical Society, which has an outreach component. That's a great idea to search for jobs through those types of groups!

    As for the M.Ed – I've been finding that a degree can definitely get you in the door easier. I mean, I have tons of outreach experience, but a school board (for example) won't even look at me because of my Physics degrees. I think it all depends what jobs you're applying to and who they are with.

    At first doing another degree sounded really awful, but it's growing on me! Please keep me posted on what you decide to do!


  5. Liz's comment remdinded me of WISDOM, but you may have already done stuff for them?

    About teacher's college, I am highly biased on that one 🙂 But, I think it's a worthwhile experience even though finding a job is super difficult in this area right now. You are very right about the extra doors that it can open – the company I work for (and others like Sylvan, Oxford Learning, etc.) only hires people with at least a B. Ed.

    An M. Ed. sounds great, but I'm not sure if you can get certified by the OCT with that instead of a B. Ed. It would be worth looking into if you are interested in certification at some point.


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