Not sure if I want to work in Early Childhood Ed or Elementary Ed

Discussion in 'General Education' started by TeacherCuriousExplore, Aug 8, 2018 at 8:41 PM.

  1. TeacherCuriousExplore

    TeacherCuriousExplore Cohort

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    Aug 8, 2018 at 8:41 PM

    I have been working in Early Childhood Ed since I graduated high school. I am certified in the area and enjoy working with 3-5-year-olds. I am currently pursuing a MEd from GCU as well obtaining teacher certs in K-5. I am stuck in a limbo because I love ECE but it sucks with pay and is a major burn out. Public schools and most private schools are very professional. Teachers have bonuses, benefits, paid time off during the summer months, room for growth, and teacher collaboration. In small private preschools, there is a failure of funding, teachers who are sometimes not educated, and no one takes the job seriously. Then there are some preschools that are just right and funded perfectly, but these are often corporate preschools or government-funded preschools. Despite the negatives of ECE I enjoy it! I also enjoy Elementary Ed, but just like ECE it also has, it's problems as well. Such bureaucracy, paperwork, and not getting support from principals or school board officials. Which should I choose? I was thinking that maybe I can go back and forth. If I get tired of Elem Ed then I will go to ECE or vice versa. Anyone here ever had this issue?
     
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  3. svassillion

    svassillion Companion

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    Aug 8, 2018 at 9:39 PM

    I went to school for ECE and only afterwards while subbing did I realize I enjoyed elementary as well. I ended up getting both licenses then went where the job market lead me which was public kindergarten (ECE is preK-2 in my state, 1-6 is elementary). I'm going into my 5th year and still enjoying the young ones, but I figure if that ever changes I can just ask for a grade change if I maintain the license.
     
  4. TeacherCuriousExplore

    TeacherCuriousExplore Cohort

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    Aug 8, 2018 at 9:42 PM

    I am currently subbing but haven't started yet. I hope that I enjoy it
     
  5. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Phenom

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    Aug 8, 2018 at 9:53 PM

    My DH and I both work in public schools. Two different districts. 50 years experience between the two of us. Yes, we have benefits. We do not have bonuses or any paid time off in the summer. The money we get in the summer isn’t pay for days we are off. It is money we already worked for that was withheld until June. Room for growth is true, but typically only with advanced degrees. The top jobs here require two masters degrees. Collaboration can be a positive . . . or a negative, depending on your collaborating people.

    I’m not an fan of younger kids in general, so can’t speak on choosing between those. Our head start program is part of the public schools here, and there aren’t any private schools. For awhile our preschool, head start, and kindergarten were all in the same building. It was good for a mix of early childhood and public school.
     
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  6. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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    Aug 9, 2018 at 10:02 AM

    In NY it's B-2 and 1-6... most people graduate with both as part of the program. I only have 1-6 and truthfully I don't even need the 1-2. However, it's more marketable / expected I guess to have the B-6 certification in my area and I guess districts won't really touch you without it just in case. Where I sub the teachers were telling me "Oh there will be a kinder opening next year, you should apply,'' I said, "I don't have the license and don't really want it.''
    :toofunny:
    Most teachers look at me like I'm deranged when I say "I really don't want to teach the little kids.'' Sorry, but it's the truth. Your heart has to really be in it to do that. That said, I'm a huge advocate for getting as many certs as you can that way you always have a job. I was talking with friends yesterday and he was telling me how a Spanish teacher lost her job because they cut Spanish, but since she had a business cert they moved her and will give her tenure in that area.
    Ugh.
     
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  7. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Aug 10, 2018 at 6:05 AM

    Delete
     
  8. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Aug 10, 2018 at 6:09 AM

    “Teachers have bonuses, benefits, paid time off during the summer months, room for growth, and teacher collaboration.”

    I don’t know of anyone who gets bonuses. Paychecks in summer is not paid time off-rather it is the contracted salary spread over twelve months instead of ten.

    ‘Going back and forth’ between ECE and elementary could mean constantly restarting tenure track and could affect your pension.
     
  9. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    Aug 10, 2018 at 6:49 AM

    I think this is different for different people. Some people like to stay in one grade forever. For me personally, it's the tenth year of teaching, and I'm now in my third grade level after three years as a special education teacher. You have to know yourself and what will work for you. You might find that you end up in a particular spot and love it, and you might find yourself under a wandering star.
     
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  10. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Connoisseur

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    Aug 10, 2018 at 12:32 PM

    I think they mean bonuses from: 1) stipends for having advanced degrees, 2) signing contracts for hard-to-fill positions, and 3) monies awarded by the state in some instances for schools and/or school districts doing really well on standardized tests.

    At my private school, we get Christmas bonuses and performance-based bonuses. To demonstrate, we get $1,000 before Christmas Break to “help with the holiday expenses” and anywhere from $1,000-$3,000 over the summer in July depending on how well our students do on state and AP tests. I love it because I never have to pay for Christmas gifts myself and I get a little extra spending money for the summer. It’s a beautiful thing!
     
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  11. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Devotee

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    Aug 10, 2018 at 12:46 PM

    That sounds nice, but it doesn't seem fair to teacher who don't teach tested subjects or tested courses.
     
  12. Preschool0929

    Preschool0929 Cohort

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    Aug 10, 2018 at 1:01 PM

    Does your district not have public preschool/sped preschool? This is my 10th year teaching public special education preschool. I have 2 Masters, 1 in early childhood and 1 in special education and in certified in both. I teach in a P-5 Elementary School and I’m paid on the same certified teacher pay scale as everyone else. I think you need to spend some time observing in both elementary and public preschool settings to really make an informed decision. Good luck!
     
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  13. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Aug 10, 2018 at 1:05 PM

    The OP doesn’t hold certification in a hard to fill field- both ECE and elementary ed are glutted in most areas. Doubtful she’s looking for higher elementary where standardized tests come into play.
     
  14. vickilyn

    vickilyn Virtuoso

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    Aug 10, 2018 at 3:35 PM

    Pay increases for advanced degrees - yes. That's not a stipend, but an earned pay increase. Bonuses - not a chance. Paid time off for the summer - no one I know. Benefits are par for the course, but your parents chose not to provide them. They are a poor role model to compare other education jobs to. I will agree with others in pointing out that both ECE and elementary ed. are loaded with applicants for a finite number of jobs. Many who start in elementary ed. end up acquiring middle school certifications to increase the likelihood of finding a job. The other option is acquiring a certification in Teacher of Students with Disabilities, but that is more graduate school. It would afford the OP the chance to teach PreK in the public school system, and maximize pensions.

    I would like to go on record as saying that although I now work in a private school, futuremathsprof's experiences are not similar to anyone I know. I'm happy for him, but I can only dream of the "cash bonuses" that he seems to enjoy. Pay increases are earned by a set amount per year, unless you increase your value by adding more degrees or certifications. We don't have the same pay scales as public schools because we don't have unions to negotiate for us. Honestly, our pay raises are the equivalent of cost of living pay raises, and fair. Not generous to a fault, but fair. The only way I could earn a true stipend would be if I could coach a sport, direct a play, teach music after school, etc. The stipend would be for hours spent beyond the normal work day.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2018 at 3:42 PM
  15. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Connoisseur

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    Aug 10, 2018 at 5:45 PM

    Some districts in my area and in many other parts of California will give you a stipend for having a Masters and/or PhD/EdD. It specifically states “stipend” at the bottom of the teacher salary schedule.
    Teachers in public schools can get bonuses if their students do well on the AP test(s) for the class(es) they teach. In fact, I know a number of public schools that do this in CA.

    And everyone in my school gets the $1,000 Christmas bonus, regardless of what they teach. If you teach AP classes and/or a subject assessed in the state tests, then you are offered an additional bonus to incentivize you to make sure your students pass. With clarification, you get $1,000 if you beat the state average, $2,000 if you beat the state average and at least 70% of your students pass, and $3,000 if you do both of those things AND at least 90% of your students pass.

    The same thing holds true on the state tests, but you can’t double dip if you happen to teach for both. This gives almost every teacher practically a chance because my school offers over 21 AP classes and many teachers teach AP.

    My school is data driven and cares about how its students test and so it gives financial incentives to make teachers focus on the tests. It makes sense fiscally to reward those who make it happen — just like performance would be rewarded in the private sector and we do have subject-specific knowledge. That’s how a capitalist society works. And after all, I do work in a private school.
     
  16. vickilyn

    vickilyn Virtuoso

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    Aug 10, 2018 at 7:12 PM

    Well, I live in NJ, and nothing you have just said sounds like anything that I have ever heard of here. Not saying you don't get it, just saying that I wouldn't hang my hat on your description being considered the norm. In at least 5 states that I am familiar with a stipend is something that they pay for extra service, such as coaching. The additional money we are paid due to extra degrees or education simply bumps you up on the pay scale.
     
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  17. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Connoisseur

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    Aug 10, 2018 at 9:15 PM

    Interesting to see how different states do things.

    To demonstrate, here are some random teacher salary schedules in CA:

    http://www.ycusd.org/documents/Contact Us/District Administrators/Human Resources Division/Salary Schedules/Certificated/2017-18 Certificated Salary Schedule -5.7-.pdf

    https://www.petalumacityschools.org/cms/lib/CA02204883/Centricity/Domain/51/PFT 2017-18 adopted 111417.pdf

    http://www.sfusd.edu/en/assets/sfusd-staff/contract and salary schedules/18-19 salary schedule K-12 teachers.pdf

    In California, you usually get a stipend for having at least a Masters AND further right on the salary schedule.
     
  18. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    Aug 10, 2018 at 10:31 PM

    In my area preschool teaching doesn't require a degree and pays close to minimum wage, so there would be no contest for me. At a district run preschool, you can eventually get more as you gain experience, but even the top earners are still making less than a first year salaried teacher. Our preschool is public and run by our district, but the only teachers paid on the regular salary scale are the special ed staff.

    I'm also in an area that's considered to have a "teaching shortage" but there are still a lot of elementary candidates. There just aren't as many as there used to be/as many as districts would like. It would still be difficult to find an elementary job here.
     
  19. vickilyn

    vickilyn Virtuoso

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    Aug 10, 2018 at 11:53 PM

    That says it all!
     
  20. vickilyn

    vickilyn Virtuoso

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    Aug 10, 2018 at 11:55 PM

    We call it moving up the pay scale.
     
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  21. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    Aug 11, 2018 at 8:51 AM

    We get bonus/stipends for: working at a target school (hard to staff), working in a high-demand area, being at a Top Gains school (as identified by the state), and being rated highly effective on our teacher evaluation.
     

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