More people lean toward teaching career in struggling economy

Tammy Garrison worked for Aflac for 16 years, taught herself how to troubleshoot the computer system in benefits and payroll and was soon leading classes and seminars for other employees. Then in April 2006 she quit.

"I was making a pretty nice income," she said. "But I always wanted to teach, since the second grade. Granddaddy would come home and I'd have the chalkboard ready when he came in the door."

She started taking online classes through Troy University to earn a degree in computer science and eventually her teaching certification. She's also taken a job working in the office at Smiths Station High School, where two of her children go to school.

In August, she hopes to be leading classes again, this time teaching high school math. She hopes her experience in the corporate world will be useful in the classroom.

"I feel like one of the advantages I have is I can relate it to the real world," Garrison said. "A lot of algebra, I know why you have to know this to get into the computer field."

For Garrison, choosing teaching as her second career was fulfilling a dream. But with a struggling economy and many companies looking at cutbacks, some are considering teaching because they are looking for a more stable job.

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