A tribute to a high school math teacher – Vickie Tart Burlington of Millbrook High

Being one year away from my 50th high school class reunion from Millbrook High, Raleigh, I was saddened to read the obituary of my fantastic high school Algebra II teacher Vickie Newton Tart Burlington, known back then as “Miss Tart.”

She was only 75 years old at her passing, so back when I had her in high school she may have been 25 or 26.

I have always remembered her these many years because she was wonderful in so many ways. She was smart, kind, beautiful and talented.

The obituary in the June 8th News and Observer (link) detailed her many accomplishments after she got married to Rev Hugh Burlington and left Millbrook, so I would like to share her earlier highlights.

I was a real math wonk in high school (and still am), and so naturally had a big crush my Miss Tart. Besides being a wonderful teacher, she:

• Was beautiful. I knew she was Miss Zebulon one year and I had heard she was first or second runner up in the Miss North Carolina beauty pageant.
• Was talented. She always played the piano for all the school musicals
• Had a great sense of humor. I used to draw cartoons for her that she enjoyed.
• And she was a pioneer! Back in the 1971 – 1972 school year, Miss Tart taught Millbrook High’s first computer science course. And naturally due to gender stereotypes in the early 1970s, the class had 18 boys and 1 girl.

The first computer in 1971 at Millbrook High was a little terminal where you typed your program onto ticker tape and fed it through a reader.

I was very fortunate; I went to what was considered a “poor country school” at a time when the city schools in my county got most of the funding and nice facilities (now in Wake County, North Carolina the city and county schools are merged into one), yet I had several outstanding dedicated teachers who provided me an excellent education. Just to name a few: Mrs. Pollard and Mrs. Burleson for English, Mrs. Bumgarner for World History, Mrs. McGrady for both advanced French and US History, Miss Pate for Geometry and Yearbook, Mrs. Tyner for Chemistry, Mr. Carter for Advance Math, Mrs. Efird for Biology and Coach Capps for Physics. (Yes, some coaches do teach advanced topics.) And of course the lovely Miss Tart was at the top of my list.

Effective Guide to Successfully Shift Careers

“I welcome this guest blog provided by online writer Laura Lane. She’s a new writer and contributor at contentcampfire.com, writing about career and skills development.”

Interested in shifting into a new career? As it turns out, you’re probably not alone. MetLife’s 20th Annual U.S. Employee Benefit Trends Study 2022 reported a constant decline in job satisfaction for the past 20 years. In fact, 47.4 million employees left their jobs in 2021, and only 66% of employees are actually satisfied with their current roles. This trend has been increasingly noticeable, especially after the pandemic hit the world.

Your career choice is a massive part of your life, so job satisfaction is essential. However, shifting into a new career isn’t something to take light-heartedly. There are plenty of factors to consider and steps you need to take. But don’t worry – we’ve got you covered. We’ll talk about the benefits of a career change as well as some practical tips for a successful career change journey.

The Reason Behind a Career Change

There are plenty of viable reasons why people look into changing careers. Joblist’s Midlife Career Crisis survey found that the top five reasons for a career change include:

● Better Pay – 47%
● Too Stressful – 39%
● Better Work-Life Balance – 37%
● Wanted a New Challenge – 25%
● No Longer Passionate About Field – 23%

Benefits of a Career Change

In the same Joblist survey mentioned earlier, it was reported that most people who shifted careers were happier because of the change. Along with happiness, some other mentioned benefits include:

● Happier: 77%
● More satisfied: 75%
● More fulfilled: 69%
● Less stressed: 65%

On top of these, people who shifted careers also started making more money. Respondents stated that they earned $10,800 more annually compared to their previous roles.

Steps Towards a Successful Career Change

Making your move towards a new career can be overwhelming and challenging. However, it’s all worthwhile once you’re in a position that makes you happier and more satisfied. Here are some tips to help ensure your journey’s success:

Evaluate your current job satisfaction. Start a journal about your everyday reactions and feelings towards your current job and how they affect your overall job satisfaction. Note recurring themes and events and how you feel about them. Which aspects of your current position do you like and dislike? From your own notes, you’ll be able to understand better what job satisfaction means to you. Then, you’ll be more prepared to finalize your decision and prepare for the next steps.

Self-assess your skills, strengths, and values. When you’re thinking of shifting roles, it’s essential to know your strengths and what you enjoy doing. Review your work history, and identify your successful projects and preferred activities. Through this, you can determine whether or not your current job matches your core values and skills. If not, you’ll be able to filter out the potential careers that do match them.

Check out potential job matches. Since you have narrowed down your ideal job types, it’s time to conduct extensive research on them. Compare different fields and roles that interest you. You may even lead an informational interview with people currently in your potential area of choice. This way, you can dig deeper and learn more about the roles or specializations you are considering.

Rebrand yourself. After completing these preliminary steps, it’s time to focus on your image, at least before you start applying for jobs. Put yourself under a light personal rebranding. Use resources such as resumes, cover letters, and social profiles to build your individual brand and appeal to potential employers. Look into ways to create a hybrid resume for career change, and ensure that everything aligns with your new desired goals.

Develop new skills and track your progress. Find ways to hone new skills in your present job that could pave the way for a change. Look for courses and resources that will help you better understand your new potential career. To keep yourself motivated in this process, it’s also a good idea to track your progress.

Note down your milestones as you take those little steps towards a total career change. Acknowledging the small victories along the way will greatly help you feel a better sense of accomplishment. Good luck with the switch!

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I have also developed a tool to help you evaluate your current job vs potential new positions you may be pursuing.  Link to the blog that contains the tool.