When I decided on my school, my family saw the decision of "he's picking between a really good music school and music career vs a pretty good engineering school and computer career." Well, they only had part of it. My other decision was to teach high school math/science (physics preferred). My father called up some of my relatives that were teachers and they talked me out of it.
Now, I like my job, don't get me wrong, but I keep going back to that decision. Deep in my heart, I really want to teach. I try to keep my job and substituting in something like doing seminars and training classes for programming and technology, but its not the same.
The major issue, though, is if I even started to change to get into teaching, it requires that I go back to school, get licensed to teach, take the piraxisII test to ensure that I'm knowledgable enough to teach math and science, and get a ton of student-teaching hours. That doesn't fit well into the schedule of a person with a salaried 40-hour job (not to mention the wife and kid).
The biggest issue of all, though, is a teachers salary. A starting teacher (without a masters or PhD) gets less than half I make currently. Now, it would of been a lot easier if I started off in a teaching career, instead of getting used to living off my current salary. Its not just me sacrificing my lifestyle, but I'd have to force my wife and my son to make sacrifices for me to change.
The best shot I have is to wait until a major education reform comes around (lets face it, folks. Teachers are highly underpaid and everyone knows it; its just that people aren't willing to pay extra taxes to solve this problem), or wait until I retire and take a teaching job as a retirement job.
I just hate driving home everyday (like a 45-90 minute commute) wishing I was in front of a classroom getting kids excited (well, trying to get kids exceited) about math and science...
I don't suppose any of you know of a teaching job open for $40-45k a year for a starting highschool math/physics teacher?
Addendum: Perhaps I'll reword this and submit it to askslashdot? Like, "How do geeks scratch a teaching-itch"? Maybe there are alternatives that allow you to teach a classroom of high school kids, and keep your job?
Also, before its suggested, I've done tutoring, but I'd prefer a classroom. I'd rather have a group of kids that can learn from one another than a straight one-on-one session.