Laid Off Finance Manager Finds Her Calling Teaching Middle School

Danielle Coulanges left the fast pace of New York City behind to teach French in Houston and she's not looking back.


Getting laid off is never an easy pill to swallow, but for former New York City financial services manager Danielle Coulanges, it proved to be the push she needed to finally pursue a meaningful career: teaching. Coulanges used part of her severance package to go back to school and earn a teaching credential. Now Coulanges has found her calling teaching French to middle schoolers in Houston.

Coulanges is part of a hot trend of new teachers who are career changers. Like former USA Today sportswriter Steve Wieberg who recently left the paper to become a high school English teacher in Missouri, she's in her late fifties.

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Would You Change Careers to Become a Teacher?

USA Today sportswriter Steve Wieberg is now a high school English teacher.

Forget that offensive adage, "Those who can, do. Those who can't, teach." One of the most successful sportswriters of all time, 57-year-old USA Today journalist Steve Wieberg, has left his storied career behind to become a high school English teacher in the tiny 2,400-person town of Lawson, Missouri.

Did Wieberg watch Dead Poets Society one too many times and start picturing himself as the kind of creative, unorthodox teacher that encourages students to stand on desks and seize the day? Not exactly. He told the Sherman Report that he'd had enough of his grueling travel schedule and being subjected to the "whims of breaking news". He'd "lost the balance between work and life," and his experience as a substitute teacher and coaching his son's sports teams made him realize that he wanted to step into the classroom.

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