Frustrated paraprofessional...need advice.

Discussion in 'Paraprofessionals' started by miss_annette, Jan 2, 2012.

  1. miss_annette

    miss_annette Rookie

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    Jan 2, 2012

    Hello all! I am new to the forum. I've been a paraprofessional for almost 6 years. I work at a great school and I love my job! I work with great teachers, staff, and students. I am pretty lucky and I am grateful for my job. Throughout this time I have been taking course work towards being a teacher. I have a bachelor's degree in liberal studies with an option in art. I have passed the CBEST and I am enrolled in the multiple subject teacher credential program at Cal State Dominguez Hills.

    Here are my issues: (1) My program won't let me move on to the next phase towards my credential unless I can pass one more section of the CSET. I took Subtest 1 in November and didn't pass by 4 points. (2) Another issue is my financial situation is getting tight. My salary from my job is not cutting it. I can't always afford to register for the $96 CSET test. I basically lose a semester.

    Holidays just passed and we had 3 weeks off with no pay. My January paycheck is going to be horrid.

    I am starting to become really frustrated and it's hard to keep the hope.There are hardly any teaching jobs in the Los Angeles area anyway. I've been looking into other options and fields still in education but not teaching. I've applied to some positions at museums in their education departments.

    I don't know what to do. I love teaching and the field of education but I am financially struggling and I'd like to have a good paying job soon or at least do something and get paid for having my BA. Luckily, I'm young and still live with my parents but I do pay all my own bills (car, cell, insurance,school, books etc.) Even though I don't pay rent I'd like to be more independent; have my own place, etc.

    Any advice, opinions, or words of wisdom??
     
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  3. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Jan 2, 2012

    Even if you paid for and passed the test, would you be certified to teach without going thru student teaching and getting an Ed degree?
     
  4. miss_annette

    miss_annette Rookie

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    Most all the teaching positions I've seen in my area require a multiple subject credential.

    I've been looking into other places to uses my degree. Still related to education but non-teaching positions.
     
  5. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    I'm trying to understand...by passing these tests you'll be certified to teach multiple subjects even though you don't have an Ed degree and didn't student teach?
     
  6. miss_annette

    miss_annette Rookie

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    In order for me to teach I need to (1) Pass the CSET (2) finish my courses, and (3) student teach. Sorry if I wasn't clear :)

    My degree is in liberal studies, which is what you need to major in as an undergrad if you're planning on becoming a teacher. At least that is how it is where I went to school at.
     
  7. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Got it. Can you finish the courses before taking the test? You've still got quite a bit to do towards certification...could you pick up a part time job to help with expense while you finish everything!
     
  8. miss_annette

    miss_annette Rookie

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    Jan 3, 2012

    That's a great idea but working from 8am-2:30pm and then going to school from 4pm-10pm there really isn't time for another part time job.
     
  9. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Jan 3, 2012

    Can you take out a larger student loan or a small personal loan from your bank?
     
  10. miss_annette

    miss_annette Rookie

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    Thank you, yes I'm going to look into that.

    I was also wondering what other fields could I go into with my liberal studies degree.
     
  11. cult

    cult Rookie

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    Apr 29, 2012

    If this is your plan keep plugging. Times are hard and switching directions right now might just make it worse.

    Keep your eyes open for other, higher paying positions which might interest you. A liberal arts degree is not worth much by itself but you could probably get a higher paid secretarial position using such a degree, assuming you have great Excel and typing skills.

    You can also be creative and make extra money using eBay or other less traditional outlets.
     
  12. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Groupie

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    Please do not take out a loan to support yourself. That makes absolutely no fiscal sense. When I was thinking about law school before finalizing on being a teacher, I attended a workshop about paying for it. The one thing they tried to get people to understand is that you will either be poor while being a student or poor while being a lawyer if you take on extra debt to support yourself while in school.

    Student loans cannot be discharged through bankruptcy (nor should they be). If you take out a loan for school you need to understand you will be paying it back for 20+ years. If you take out extra money to eat out once a week, or buy more at the store, or get a nicer car you will still be paying for these meals and purchases 20 years from now.

    And don't even get me started on private loans where the interest rates would make a loan shark blush.

    Be eternally grateful that your parents don't charge you rent and live as frugally as is possible. That would be my advice to you. If you need $96 to take a test in order to achieve your dream of becoming a teacher, take a look around your room for things that may be worth $96 like a tv, stereo, iphone, laptop, etc, and sell them.
     
  13. HeatherY

    HeatherY Habitué

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    May 11, 2012

    Or get a second job. I know a teacher who works three jobs. It stinks, but if you have to.....
     
  14. ITeachSDCkids

    ITeachSDCkids Rookie

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    In California I think with a BA and passing the CSET tests you can do an internship if you are enrolled in a credential program. I did that but it was 10 years ago.
     
  15. miss_annette

    miss_annette Rookie

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    Jul 30, 2012

    Good news and updates:

    I am sticking to what I sought out to do! :) I have now passed 2 sections of the CSET! I only need to pass math and science to proceed in my school's credential program. I should be back in school by next spring.

    After being so frustrated I did some thinking and soul searching. During my frustration I applied to so many jobs thinking that with my degree and experience I could find something great. I was offered some low-paying "teacher" position. I almost considered it but after thinking about it I knew in the long run it wasn't what I wanted and I would not be happy.

    I decided to stay focused and finish my schooling. I know without that credential I can't get a solid teaching career going.

    Also, I was pink slipped from my paraprofessional job of almost 6 years. Luckily, my principal recommended to the principal of a brand new school opening in our town. I was hired on the spot! :)
     
  16. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Groupie

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    Jul 31, 2012

    Glad to hear things are going well.
     

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