Santa Monica, California, USA
March 19
Education Professional
18 years in education. Elementary 1st-5th, Middle School Language Arts 6th-9th. Specializing in American History, 5th Grade. Attended Center for Civic Education, funded by congress. Texts and curriculum: We the People! and Foundations of Democracy


Editor’s Pick
OCTOBER 27, 2011 1:35AM

My Brilliant Second Career

Rate: 8 Flag

Although the economy is faltering presently, being in the field of Education has always been less than fruitful. Since becoming a teacher in 1994, I have always found the need to have a 'second career'. In the absence of one, I took several part time jobs ranging from front desk clerk to waiter. One cannot imagine how thoroughly draining it is to spend the day attempting to inspire and educate thirty kids, all coming from varying backgrounds and experiences and then going to a part time job afterwards. 

I happened to be good with the computer. Mac and PC. In fact, I happen to be good with technology in general. The things most people don't have patience for are things I know how to do, and can get paid for doing it.

Some time ago, I sold a PC to the mother of a neighbor. Along with the computer, I threw in free lessons as needed. I figured I'm a teacher, I can teach technology. After a few successful lessons, and a bit of practice, this 'student' of mature age began telling all her friends. You see, many elderly folk have very busy schedules. These schedules include games where there are more elderly folk who talk. The next thing I knew I had 5 or 6 students.

Ten years later, I'm still helping seniors navigate this ever evolving age of technology.  Sadly, I'm not currently assigned to a school. I was laid off at the end of last school year. Thanks to my 'Brilliant Second Career', I can still generate an income.

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Congratulations on being able to stop waiting tables!
Actually, I loved waiting on tables. It's funny how every job allows one to develop skills that can be used in future endeavors, or in everyday life in general. Waiting tables taught me patience in the face of adversity. Some people come in to the restaurant after being abused by their boss all day, and now they want to abuse someone. The waiter is the perfect punching bag. Waiting taught me to stay cool and calm, smile, and inspire confidence. When the client knows you will be there for them, they calm down pretty fast. This skill carried over into education. It helped me deal with crappy parents who mask their inadequacies with anger and aggression. It also helps me when teaching elderly people. Adults are the hardest to teach, as they're minds aren't as open to knew information and skills as their younger counterparts.
Excellent! I wish I could have taught my mom how to use a computer to do email, but she is neurologically impaired. Great second career. R.
I fully identify with your comment about what you learn working in the service industry and couldn't agree more with each of your points. Working as a bartender (which I loved) provided me with the best intra- and interpersonal training I've ever had, and it's a skill set that I've drawn on and applied in my work in education and business. Great piece!
This is great! You sound very resourceful, and I'm glad older people can learn navigating the online world. I've often thought that social media has their name all over it.
Yes! They haven't discovered it's value yet. You are absolutely correct.
You are providing a great service. I have a 96 year old aunt who got her first computer a few years ago. She emails, facebooks, and plays online scrabble. Computer skills keep everyone in the loop.
That's amazing, and an inspiration.
I just started's my second career after doing graphic design, where I kept getting laid off. You are right. Teachers don't make much and I pretty much work two jobs as a special ed teacher. No time for a second job.
Gorgeous.. a great contribution!!
your tag open+call could be used more
your tag open+call could be used more
My Mom could use someone like you. Great service you are providing. The greatest generation needs everyone's help in keeping up with technology. All the best, Keri Lynn.