AgTeach1

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I am currently a high school teacher-my credential is in agriculture, I've taught/teach animal science, ag bio, etc. I also have a Master's Degree in Agricultural Education. when I was younger I really wanted to be a vet, but under the guidance of some of my own ag teachers I was told not to major in animal science ("there are no jobs") and ("no one gets into vet school"). I pursued a career in education, and while I enjoy it, it isn't what I thought it would be. Now that I am a teacher myself, I know that is crap and I would never advise a student to not follow their passion.

Anywho, I am fairly young still (24) and would need to get some pre-reqs done before applying (Physics/O-Chem). I grew up raising livestock (dairy,sheep,swine, poultry) and have worked during some of my free time while I was in school on farms/ranches.

My first question is....1) Does my animal experience even count in the eyes of an admissions committee?
2) Would you recommend getting experience in small animals since my background is in animal agriculture?
3) Since I know I don't want to teach forever, would it be better to pursue a new job in the animal industry?

Just wanted some advice from those that have applied, are applying, have been accepted or are career changers like me!

Thanks!
 

texlaevis

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I am also a teacher, also 24, applying this cycle. I have somewhat similar experience to you-- lots of large animal experience from my "past life" (ie: college and previous) but almost nothing small animal except walking dogs/volunteering at several Humane Societies. Your old animal experience definitely will count, although you probably want to get some clinical experience as well just to balance out your application (not to mention that you want to make sure the career change will be worth it for you!)

I've found admissions people to actually be somewhat pleased with my teaching experience-- it definitely shows leadership and the ability to multitask, be efficient, be organized, etc (!!!). If you've got the "teaching thing" under control, I think I'd suggest that you just stick with that while trying to get pre-reqs and additional experience under your belt. The admissions process can be stressful and you probably don't want to be dealing with a whole new job while going through it.

Good luck!!
 

philomycus

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I too am a teacher. I have taught AP Bio at a high school and have adjuncted at the local CC for the last 6.5 yrs. At the CC, I teach zoology, Human A&P, Bio, etc.

I wanted to apply a few years back, but fell in love with teaching. Since public education in the country is going downhill (for the most part) and the kids and parents are feeling more and more "entitled" to a grade than earning it, I decided I want to leave. It's not like I never wanted to be a vet, I just got sidetracked.

My problem is obtaining vet tech hours. I can't quit teaching at the high school and adjuncting in the evening to go clean dog poop for $7.00 per hour. And with no vet experience, that's where you start.

I did get hired at a clinic back in July and I'm trying to rack up as many hours as possible and although 'poop' is still part of my responsibility, I'm doing lots of neat things too.

I applied for the 1st time this year and did not put down the reaserach hours for my MS degree down on my app. (should I have?) and didn't put dissection hours down either (again, should I have?). I applied for the first time this year and am waiting on 3 more schools. I seriously don't expect to get in this year. My GRE verbal sucks, but math and bio scores are good.

I'd probably apply one or two more years after this and hang it up. I love working with animals, but love working with people too. I'm hoping that my experience with so many people weighs positive on my app., but not holding my breath. Plus I'm old :( (32)
 
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Bill59

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1) Does my animal experience even count in the eyes of an admissions committee?

Yes, it counts as animal experience, and large animal experience is always good. But it's not veterinary experience.

2) Would you recommend getting experience in small animals since my background is in animal agriculture?

I think the most important would be some sort of veterinary experience. Small animal would be good, especially if that's what you might want to do.

Some sort of veterinary experience is not just for admissions, it's to help you know for sure if that's what you want to do.
 

agr1365

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Also, I am 27 and starting vet school in the fall. 95% of my animal experience is agriculture related (cattle/horses). There is a shortage of large animal veterinarians and at least in Kansas they are looking to put people into vet school that are going to take care of the farmers, ranchers, and other livestock producers.

Personally, I know of another veterinarian that went went thru the same thing. Got the ag ed degree, taught school for a few years, hated it and went back to vet school. I think you have a leg-up. However, you need to start looking at how you did in prerequisite courses and also make sure that you aren't missing any. Additionally, there are "expiration dates" on some required courses and you'll need to make sure yours are current.

You will need to get some hours with a veterinarian that is for sure. You will also need at least one vet give you a recommendation. Diversity in your experiences is also good, but I don't think it is absolute.

Where are you from?
 

AgTeach1

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I am in California..would love to go to Davis (along with tons of other people, I am sure!).

So to get some more experience shadowing, will a vet really be up for just letting me come out and spend time with him/her?
 

ShelterGirl

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I'm in CA too. I personally have not tried shadowing or volunteering at a private vet clinic, but have found volunteering at animal shelters as a good way to get veterinary experience. I had to look around a little bit before I found one that would take a volunteer with little experience and train them.

Also, several zoos and aquatic centers have really good volunteer programs that get you exposure to veterinary work. Are you in Nor Cal or So Cal? If you're in Nor Cal, feel free to PM me and I can give you some suggestions for places.

Good luck!
 

McFlojoDPT

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For anyone out there wodnering this same question. I actually applied to vet school a few years ago. I grew up in the clinic working with exotics and small animals for about 9 years. I became a tech, worked some more, took the prereqs, the GRE, got a decent GPA, and failed to get in. When I asked admissions committees and other instructors in the field they told me one thing "these schools want large animal experience!!" There is definitely a lack of large animal vets out there; many are opting out to work in small animal clinics. Also, schools love to see variety, it adds to the diversity of their programs. I majored in Biology and knew others getting in with Psychology degrees! Being a teacher, or any other professional, will definitely give you an edge in my opinion, it shows you know how to work with people. I would suggest getting a few more experiences with vets in both clinical environments and otherwise. Also, if you have an opportunity to do a few hours of service (any type of service, not necessarily animal oriented) or research, that also plays a part in a committee's interest.

I say if it is truly your passion, go for it!
 

BR549

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I echo those above. I am a teacher (25) as well and at least a good ten minutes of my 30 minute interview was about my teaching experience. Let's face it, if you can handle those kids, you at least have hard work and dedication down. Not to mention interpersonal skills and time management, which I really stressed. Look at the successful applicant thread to give you an idea of what you need to do. Summer is a great time to get in some vet hours, especially since you still get that school check! You can work 40 hours a week in the summer and rack up some hours. I did that one year. Good luck!

Philomycus, you are right about public school. I always get, "Mr. Evans, why'd you give me a 50?", to which I reply, "I do not give grades. You got a 50 because you earned a 50!" No inflation here! I try my best to make them take responsibility for their own actions. Sorry for the rant!
 

nyanko

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Philomycus, you are right about public school. I always get, "Mr. Evans, why'd you give me a 50?", to which I reply, "I do not give grades. You got a 50 because you earned a 50!" No inflation here! I try my best to make them take responsibility for their own actions. Sorry for the rant!

As a TA for general bio at the university level - many of them don't act any less entitled in college! ;)

Also, I was so confused by philomycus's posting in this thread saying it was her first time applying, until I looked at the dates. :oops:
 

Badger Girl

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Yay for teachers going to vet school! I'm not a teacher myself (social worker), but I know how much work and dedication it takes to be a teacher. My dad was the principal of my high school (fun, fun!), but he taught for 25 years before getting into administration. He really enjoyed his teaching years a lot more than being a principal. My brother is a teacher and my sister is a school counselor, so I'm kind of the black sheep in my family since I didn't go into education!

Just wanted to say good luck to you guys!! :luck:
 

philomycus

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:smack: Yes, I went "What the heck !?!?!?!"

I know being a public high school teacher is probably one of the hardest things you can do. I love what I do here....but I still, more than ever, am longing to learn and want back in school more than ever.
 
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lyndaelyzoo

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I am also a high school teacher who will be applying to vet school this year. I have taught forensic science, AP biology and Honors Biology at a public high school for almost ten years, but feel that I really haven't been learning that much lately. I love teaching the forensic science course because we get to do all types of labs, from forensic entomology (studying bugs on dead bodies!!) to blood spatter analysis. However, I have always wanted to go study equine medicine and am so excited to be applying to vet school this year (and I'm 38!!!!). Its never too late to follow your dreams!! Most of the schools that I have contacted do not have a statute of limitations on their prereq courses, but I will need to get some recent vet experience (the last time I worked with a vet was about ten years ago!!). Good luck to all you teachers applying to vet school!!!!!!
Philomycus- hope to be joining you at UF soon!!!!
 

gone2dogs

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(thanks for clearing up the old thread confusion!)

Wow! I didn't realize how many teachers were around here! The comments about high schoolers and grades are especially timely as I have parent-teacher conferences tomorrow night. I have a number of "honors" students failing right now because they don't do homework and then bomb their tests. I just know their parents will be in to blame me. Sigh.

Anyway, I definitely tried to play up all the skills I've gained through teaching in a public (low income/high risk) high school... but apparently the admissions folks didn't think that made up for my lack of vet experience! Or at least I assume that was their complaint... file review next month will reveal more perhaps.

I really don't have anything to add to this conversation, but I just had to chime in when I saw how many other teachers there are!
 
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No Imagination

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I have a number of "honors" students failing right now because they don't do homework and then bomb their tests. I just know their parents will be in to blame me. Sigh.

I don't mean to derail this thread, but i've heard that before, and I must know, how is that even possible. How can you show a parent what X assignments were not turned in and it be your fault? What can a parent say to you?

Man, my mom would have just beaten me.
 

philomycus

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Hey Gone2dogs!!! I have that same poster in my classroom that's in your avatar...but I do however, not have the dog :D

NoImagination- it's simple. It's becoming a sense of entitlement from the parents projected onto the kids. They feel their tax dollars pay our salaries, so they should get the grade they want, plain and simple.

I was threatened with a lawsuit 2 years ago because a kid in the IB program blantantly cheated on an assignment. I was told that the kid (a senior, mind you) didn't understand what cheating was, and that it was my job to explain it before every single assignment was turned in. What!?!?!

The enormous amount of stress I was under was unbelievable. I stood my ground, and I don't regret that, but I see why so many people give in....sometimes I can see how it's just not worth it.
 

gone2dogs

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Hey Gone2dogs!!! I have that same poster in my classroom that's in your avatar...but I do however, not have the dog :D

NoImagination- it's simple. It's becoming a sense of entitlement from the parents projected onto the kids. They feel their tax dollars pay our salaries, so they should get the grade they want, plain and simple.

I was threatened with a lawsuit 2 years ago because a kid in the IB program blantantly cheated on an assignment. I was told that the kid (a senior, mind you) didn't understand what cheating was, and that it was my job to explain it before every single assignment was turned in. What!?!?!

The enormous amount of stress I was under was unbelievable. I stood my ground, and I don't regret that, but I see why so many people give in....sometimes I can see how it's just not worth it.

Yeah, that was Flinn's safety poster last year... we buy most of our stuff from them so I got a few of those posters (they are free with every order)... I got one laminated so I can have it forever and ever!

And the best news of the night: no irate parents at conferences tonight! And as for the grades... the parents have very creative ways of blaming me for their student's poor grades, but I am too tired to go into it. Some want me to call them every day to let them know if there is homework or a test coming up. Ummm, yeah. I have plenty of time for that.
 
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BR549

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One of the counselors came up to me today, and said that so and so's mama called her and was upset that her son didn't bring home his magnet school application. Mind you, so and so is in the lowest math class and has yet to pass any of my tests (physical science). I think the highest was a 57. Anyway, she said that "the teachers don't give him the benefit of the doubt." I said, "I'll be in Vet school next year!!":laugh: It is frustrating, but it highlights the current educational system.

Georgia predicts the number of prisons it needs to build in a decade, based on 4th graders' lexile scores! I have 8th graders on a 3rd grade reading level and I am trying to teach them Newton's three laws of motion!:confused:

Sorry, had to vent!
 

fargeese

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I miss the kids sometimes, but I don't miss teaching at all. I once had a mom tell me that she told her kid that he didn't need to read in my READING class, because she didn't like to read either. She would have appreciated the irony if she could read the word.
arghhhhhhhh!
 

jemappellejane

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Hey all, I'm bumping this thread just to see if there are any current teachers applying this cycle. I am a NYS certified biology teacher and currently work in a school for students with learning disabilities. I am about 2/3 of the way through a Masters in Math/Science/Tech education. Anyone else out there??
 

jalyndani

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Huh, I thought I was all alone! Lol.

I'm a Texas certified agricultural science teacher with a Masters in ag education. I decided to follow my vet school dream after student teaching last spring and not being able to find a teaching job. Literally, I applied at over 30 different schools and only interviewed at 4. Obviously i wasnt offered any of those positions. A first year female teacher in Ag science in Texas is not looked favorably upon, unless she wants to teach floral design. Which I most certainly did not want to do. I realized I would rather work for $10/hour at the rural clinic I'd loved and been at for three years and take my last three prerequisites than settle for a profession that made me depressed every day.
 

jemappellejane

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I also have had a hard time finding a job. I applied to a million places in NY state and in CA. nothing. Right now, I am certified, but am working as a TA. It's a job, and I love the kids, and I have benefits, but I am not doing what I want to be doing. If I don't get in this cycle, I'm going to apply again, but try to finish my masters too. Have you been accepted anywhere? Are you planning to continue teaching if you don't get in?
 
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jalyndani

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I've been accepted to Ross already and I'm waiting to hear from TAMU, Mississippi State, and Western U in Pomona. I was determined NOT to return to the teaching field. I just couldn't see myself waking up every morning and happily skipping off to work as a teacher in today's public school system. I found that the majority of the students were lazy, wanted everything spoon-fed to them, and didn't want to hold themselves accountable for anything. I worked my ***** off in high school & college to earn what I have and I'm not about to help our country's teenagers get lazier. (The parents didn't give a crap or help out either.)

Not to say that the veterinary profession is perfect; I see what my bosses go through every day with difficult clients and "moody" patients (lol), but it's a hell of a lot more appealing to me than what I saw in public school.
 

jsp132

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I've been accepted to Ross already and I'm waiting to hear from TAMU, Mississippi State, and Western U in Pomona. I was determined NOT to return to the teaching field. I just couldn't see myself waking up every morning and happily skipping off to work as a teacher in today's public school system. I found that the majority of the students were lazy, wanted everything spoon-fed to them, and didn't want to hold themselves accountable for anything. I worked my ***** off in high school & college to earn what I have and I'm not about to help our country's teenagers get lazier. (The parents didn't give a crap or help out either.)

Not to say that the veterinary profession is perfect; I see what my bosses go through every day with difficult clients and "moody" patients (lol), but it's a hell of a lot more appealing to me than what I saw in public school.

sad isn't it

being an older student myself and being surrounded by much younger people at the university, it's really shocking, i'm guessing it's just the whole culture of not doing much work either

people in my organic lecture are laughing saying they failed etc.........i was talking with my professor about it during an office visit and he pretty much says it's endemic

it's not more strict like in other countries which are beating out our younger generation

people slack off and don't care it seems even when they get to uni :( teaching has to be especially hard now adays, when you put in all that effort for what?
 

Trematode

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I volunteer with girls ages 9-11 and I agree that it can be frustrating. Most of the girls yap away despite being yelled at to be quiet and whenever you give them a serious task to complete, they goof off. They also sit there and whine when you give them a job to do. It is not like I can send them to "time-out" when they are being ridiculous because the organization I was wish believes in "positive discipline" which never actually works. I can only imagine how stressful it is dealing with a group of people like that ever day. I was in high school not too long ago and it did not seem that bad. I do notice a huge change from when I was 9-11. It is FRIGHTENING. I was warned by other volunteers and mothers to be very afraid, haha. There are a few good eggs... but of the 21 girls I am responsible for, there are 4 that are respectful to their leaders. The spread was the same when I volunteered last year in a different area.

I just wanted to comment on my "shocking" experience and that it exists, even when you choose to volunteer your time.

Best of luck all. :D.
 

Minnerbelle

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I do notice a huge change from when I was 9-11. It is FRIGHTENING.

When you were 9-11years old, you were contemplating the behavior of your peers as would be seen through the eyes of an objective adult observer? Geesh, what kind of kid were you? I was busy worrying about who my bestest bestest bestest best friend was vs. who was my bestest bestest best friend. I was plenty disruptive in class back then (chit chatting with my said bestest friends), but I think I grew up into a pretty decent and normal adult :rolleyes:.
 

Trematode

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Well, with regard to this particular organization, I wore my uniform every meeting and correctly, I did not back-talk when I was told to do anything and I listened because I did not want to get in trouble. I remember being annoying towards a junior leader we had, but that was pretty much it. Also, I do not remember anyone getting homesick and crying their eyes out until their parents came and picked them up from sleepovers and camp. I do not remember being screamed at or threatened or having activities cut short because the other girls did not want to do them. I have discussed with people who have done this for quite a few years now, and they have noticed a change in the attitude of the kids and the attitude of the parents. She calls it "the entitlement" age.

I may have went off on a tangent there. I know not everyone is going to be little angels, but when it goes from a few bad apples to 85% of the kids, it makes you wonder what it is going on and how you are going to deal with it since the attitude of discipline has changed as well.

When I was growing up, I got spanked and grounded when I acted up. :laugh:. Not only was I fairly well-behaved child, but I grew up to be relatively normal, lol. I did not act up because if I knew if it got back to my parents, I would be in BIG trouble.

I am fairly new to the great big world of volunteering with children. I was anticipating a similar spread like I had seen growing up: 80% of the kids are generally well-behaved and you have a few bad apples that you have to get after time and time again. It was shocking to see the opposite spread. I do not remember making any of my leaders hoarse because they spent too much time yelling at us to be quiet.

I briefly thought of being a teacher, but after my experiences with volunteering, I think I would find it pretty stressful.
 
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jalyndani

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Teenagers/pre-teens these days don't even blink when threatened with discipline in school. They know there's nothing we (teachers) can actually do except fail them- which most of them don't give a damn about anyway. Teachers have absolutely no power in the schools. Detention? Pfft. As if that bothers the delinquents. Then at home their parents are completely hands-off. The mentality I experienced from parents was, "As long as I don't have to deal with them, I don't care." Yeah, there are a few good kids that are respectful, hard-working, and motivated. But the rest of the bunch couldn't care less. The parents don't care, the kids don't care, and as a result, it made it really hard for ME to care. Why should I stress over lesson planning and awesome hands-on activities in Vet Tech Assisting if all the kids want to do is pass hate-notes around and play on their cell phones? Hell, the majority of the kids in my Vet Tech class were only there because the counselor told them it would be "an easy A" and because the kid liked a dog once. Ugh. So over it. I'd much rather agonize over histology and parasitology exams than try to "help" kids that don't want to improve their futures.
 

StartingoverVet

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Teenagers/pre-teens these days don't even blink when threatened with discipline in school. They know there's nothing we (teachers) can actually do except fail them- which most of them don't give a damn about anyway. Teachers have absolutely no power in the schools. Detention? Pfft. As if that bothers the delinquents. Then at home their parents are completely hands-off. The mentality I experienced from parents was, "As long as I don't have to deal with them, I don't care." Yeah, there are a few good kids that are respectful, hard-working, and motivated. But the rest of the bunch couldn't care less. The parents don't care, the kids don't care, and as a result, it made it really hard for ME to care. Why should I stress over lesson planning and awesome hands-on activities in Vet Tech Assisting if all the kids want to do is pass hate-notes around and play on their cell phones? Hell, the majority of the kids in my Vet Tech class were only there because the counselor told them it would be "an easy A" and because the kid liked a dog once. Ugh. So over it. I'd much rather agonize over histology and parasitology exams than try to "help" kids that don't want to improve their futures.
Yeah, not to be too disagreeable, because I mostly agree with your sentiment, but this isn't exactly the first generation ever to complain about today's kids. It is trite to complain, and is trite to point out that it is trite, but I couldn't resist.
 

jemappellejane

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I've had a lot of the same experiences, dealing with kids that just don't seem to give a damn. One of the hardest things about teaching is realizing that those kids are the ones that really, truly need the help. This is most often BECAUSE the parents don't give a damn. If you grow up in a home that doesn't give a damn, why should you? :confused: The only thing they have is to get the attention of those around them, whether it's good or bad. Although, I was working in a fairly low-income school at the time and this was most often the case. I don't think I could deal with working at an uppity suburban school with snotty brats. NO THANK YOU. Teaching is definitely challenging, but not always immediately rewarding. I have no regrets about diverging in my path toward vet school, because I have learned so much and have developed some awesome relationships on the way. I still think I could be happy as a teacher, but I'm doubtful that I will be as happy as I can be. :)
 

pumpkinsmom

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Hey it's good to see other teachers out there who really want to be vets!! I'm in my second year teaching high school Biology and Chemistry in CA, and I have always secretly wanted to be a vet but decided to go for it a year ago when I realized I don't like my job... When I know what I want, I become very impatient, so it's going to be really tough waiting out the rest of this school year!!

I'm really curious to know if other teachers trying to apply to vet school are going to continue teaching while in the application process? I still am pretty new, and spend a lot of after-school hours working, so I'm dubious about my ability to collect hours while continuing my job next school year 2012-13. And I'm going to apply this fall 2012, but obviously that's after I have to decide whether or not I'm going to teach next year. (although I do realize I have very slim chances of getting in) Yes I'm going to get as many hours as possible this summer, but my total vet+animal hours will still be less than 500. :( I don't want to wait and teach a whole additional year, just to possibly apply in 2013 and still get rejected! But I do have to pay the bills...???
 

jemappellejane

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  1. Pre-Veterinary
Hey it's good to see other teachers out there who really want to be vets!! I'm in my second year teaching high school Biology and Chemistry in CA, and I have always secretly wanted to be a vet but decided to go for it a year ago when I realized I don't like my job... When I know what I want, I become very impatient, so it's going to be really tough waiting out the rest of this school year!!

I'm really curious to know if other teachers trying to apply to vet school are going to continue teaching while in the application process? I still am pretty new, and spend a lot of after-school hours working, so I'm dubious about my ability to collect hours while continuing my job next school year 2012-13. And I'm going to apply this fall 2012, but obviously that's after I have to decide whether or not I'm going to teach next year. (although I do realize I have very slim chances of getting in) Yes I'm going to get as many hours as possible this summer, but my total vet+animal hours will still be less than 500. :( I don't want to wait and teach a whole additional year, just to possibly apply in 2013 and still get rejected! But I do have to pay the bills...???

I applied this cycle and the last while teaching full time. However, I've been working part time and full time in a vet hospital for the past 5.5 years, so I've gained my experience over a long period of time. Right now, I work about 5 hours a week at the hospital, teach full time and take 2 online classes. My schedule is very full, but it's definitely doable! I think getting any kind of experience, regardless of the hours, is better than nothing! If you're not teaching this summer, that would be the best opportunity to log in lots of hours. Treat it as if it's a job, and work/volunteer 40 hours a week! It'll be hard, but so worth it! Good luck! :luck:
 

crazycatlady1040

New Member
Jan 18, 2015
1
0
I know this is an old thread, but I am currently a teacher seriously thinking about applying to vet school in the next cycle. I completed all but 1 of the pre-reqs when I was in undergrad because I had wanted to go to vet school when I first entered college. I changed plans and ended up working as a carnivore keeper and biologist for close to 3 years after graduating, so I have plenty of animal experience hours but will need to complete more vet hours. I went back for a masters in teaching (hoping to do zoo/conservation education), but as life would have it, I am currently working as a high school Spanish teacher (I am dual certified for Biology and Spanish). As many former educators posted above, working in the public school system is not fulfilling for me. I am 26 years old, and although I find some aspects of teaching rewarding, I keep thinking about going to vet school like I had originally planned. I truly miss working with animals, and I believe (hope!) that working as a veterinarian would fulfill me more than teaching currently does.

Questions for all of the former educators out there: Do you find vet school fulfilling? If you have since graduated from vet school, how do you like working in the veterinary profession? How do teaching and working as a veterinarian compare to one another (rigor/ stress level/ satisfaction/ fulfillment)? If you could go back, would you make the same decision? I know there is no "one-size-fits-all" answer to this question, but I am curious to hear some of your thoughts and advice! Thanks :)
 

dvmhopeful2018

LMU-CVM c/o 2018
5+ Year Member
Oct 17, 2013
203
109
Tennessee
Status (Visible)
  1. Veterinary Student
We (LMU-CVM 2018) have an ex-teacher. He has a similar background to you with the pre-reqs. He couldn't see himself teaching for the rest of his life. It is possible!
 
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