What kind of career would you suggest to a high school student who is incredibly gifted in english?I know a high school student who is very gifted in english. Teaching as a career is very...

What kind of career would you suggest to a high school student who is incredibly gifted in english?

I know a high school student who is very gifted in english. Teaching as a career is very discouraging to her because of the problems in education today. What are some other careers that may be interesting?

Asked on by besure77

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carolkaz34 | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Adjunct Educator

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What kind of career would you suggest to a high school student who is incredibly gifted in english?

I know a high school student who is very gifted in english. Teaching as a career is very discouraging to her because of the problems in education today. What are some other careers that may be interesting?

A degree in English is one that can transfer to so many other careers; in fact, almost every other profession from business to law to even pre-med has as its base a good foundation in English. 

I would also recommend the student participate in any and all journalism courses and programs available at your school.  While writing for publication and writing an essay are markedly different, working for a publication gives students not only experience writing, but also working with others, a good business sense, and many other life skills too numerous to count.

Good luck!

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M.P. Ossa | College Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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I will be selfish: Don't give her a choice. WE NEED GIFTED people to become TEACHERS!.  Sell it to her: How many jobs do you know that guarantee you a whole summer off, holidays, federal holidays, and the likes?

I am a teacher with the Dept of Defense and the money is good (until it lasts), plus we get the option to teach around the world. Ask her that no student today in COLLEGE knows how to spell correctly, and that she would be an asset to any institution. Good teachers are everywhere, but GREAT teachers are always on demand.

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besure77 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

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How and in what way is this student gifted? Does she have an incredible ability to read, discuss, and explicate literature? Does she have a great grasp for the intricacies of the written language including the understanding of grammar? Does she have a gift for writing--fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and etc.? The areas in which she is gifted might help provide a better range of fields appropriate for her.

This student loves to read and write. She is especially gifted at writing stories. She is very creative.

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appletrees | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

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I'd also refrain from suggesting anything specific until I know what particular skills the student has. Is she gifted in expository or creative writing? Does se have an innate sensitivity to and understanding of literature? Is she a talented editor? Any of these skills would be beneficial in many jobs.

If she wants to write, she may find it hard to make a living at it at first. I'd recommend doing a job that is NOT connected to writing, editing or language, so that she can put quality time into her writing when she is not working. I have found my own writing work suffers when I am teaching English or doing proofreading, etc. I got the most creative writing done when I was working as an art model; a physical job that gave me lots of time to think. You can also do this working as a box office worker, ticket seller or security guard.

 

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amy-lepore | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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Teaching English in foreign countries is a great option...however, be sure you tell her to investigate this thoroughly before she goes.  I taught in South Korea for one year, and it was an amazing experience.  However, it would be more amazing for a male than a female simply because of the patriarchal society that defines most of Asia (and the world...) and the Middle East which were the two places that offered the most opportunity for English teachers when I was looking.  There are many restrictions put on females, including, but limited to, driving privileges, rules about traveling alone, dress code, and behavior which is considered taboo in other countries but not in the US.

 DOD schools are great and in almost every country of the world where there is an American base.  The students would most likely be American children of those employed by the military or enlisted in the military, not foreign students.

I would suggest she try writing and publishing!  What an exciting field, and the possibilities are limited.  In fact, if she likes to travel, she could write for travel magazines, National Geographic, Discovery Channel, etc. 

 

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brettd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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The world is your oyster, as English skill translates to a lot of different careers.  You can consider journalism, journal editing, publishing, online publishing, blogging (which pays well now in some positions).  The need for teachers in the public schools is great in some regions, if you're willing to relocate, or teach any age level.  The need for college level English instructors is not as great right now.  You might also consider, since you're young, teaching English in a foreign country for a while - it's a great adventure.

brettd's profile pic

brettd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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The world is your oyster, as English skill translates to a lot of different careers.  You can consider journalism, journal editing, publishing, online publishing, blogging (which pays well now in some positions).  The need for teachers in the public schools is great in some regions, if you're willing to relocate, or teach any age level.  The need for college level English instructors is not as great right now.  You might also consider, since you're young, teaching English in a foreign country for a while - it's a great adventure.

ask996's profile pic

ask996 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

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How and in what way is this student gifted? Does she have an incredible ability to read, discuss, and explicate literature? Does she have a great grasp for the intricacies of the written language including the understanding of grammar? Does she have a gift for writing--fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and etc.? The areas in which she is gifted might help provide a better range of fields appropriate for her.

clairewait's profile pic

clairewait | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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If the student is gifted in English because she is good at interpretation and analysis of text - I'd encourage her to apply to law school. There are plenty of career options for people with law degrees that include lots of reading and writing - even if the student doesn't want to actually become a lawyer.

I'm currently discouraging anyone from persuing a degree in education within the next 5 years, as getting a job right now is next to difficult.

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I would really encourage the teaching as a possible option. Although I can completely identify with your student's struggles with the education system, I think there is space for teachers to act subversively within it to either bring about change or to act within that to transcend those struggles and achieve some real good. I must admit, although being an English teacher is so frustrating sometimes, there are moments of complete joy when I see my students relate to texts that they thought were inaccessible before. These kind of experiences go beyond a price tag.

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hannahshychuk | College Teacher | (Level 2) Adjunct Educator

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As someone who will soon be receiving a Master's degree in English, I understand your student's frustration. English is a subject that is difficult to define, a quality which is both positive and negative. In my experience, people who are gifted in English generally possess a wide variety of skills, but sometimes these skills do not fit under the umbrella of one specific career. Does your student want to pursue a career right away, or is more school an option? For me, the additional time in school (for years as an undergrad, and two in graduate school) really helped me to refine particular skills and decide what I am best at and what careers may be appealing to me. I am now planning on attending law school, specializing in International Law, a field which will allow me to combine my love of reading, writing and research, as well as the skills of analysis and reasoning I developed as an English student. Even if Law is not a career that interests your student, I highly recommend more schooling before jumping into a career. This will likely help her to both develop her skills further, and to learn about what careers may be available to her. I have friends from my English program who are doing a wide variety of things, including marketing, teaching, advertising. The bottom line, I think, is that there are many opportunities available, but what career a gifted English student will succeed in and enjoy varies tremendously.

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lynn30k | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

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Try to expose her to the different types of jobs available for people who can write well. High school students tend to think of writers only as the people who can write an entire novel. Show her the different types of careers for writers--journalist, free-lance magazine writer, screen play writer, ad copywriter, instructional manual writer, editor....there are so many options.

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lrwilliams | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

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I feel that even with the problems we are currently facing in public schools that teaching is a great profession for those who have the desire to pass on their knowledge to others. If she truly is gifted in English and has any desire to be a teacher I would encourage her to try it.

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kapokkid | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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It would depend on whether she is gifted in being great in English class or if she is a great writer.  If it is the latter, there are all kinds of careers out there, but it sounds more like she is really interested in teaching...

Teaching in a foreign country is certainly an option, but there have always been problems in education and they aren't going to go away, and if someone really wants to teach, it is at least worth trying.

 

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bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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If she has the urge to travel (and especially if she speaks a foreign language), she may want to consider teaching English in a foreign country. The pay would be much higher than in the United States, and she would get to see a different part of the world. Teaching on a foreign U. S. military base would be another suggestion.

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