Working while student teaching?

Discussion in 'Student & Preservice Teachers' started by socaligirl, Apr 25, 2009.

  1. socaligirl

    socaligirl Rookie

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    Apr 25, 2009

    I know there must be some people who do it, and I'm just wondering how easy/difficult it is. I don't really have the option of NOT working, and I just don't know if I will be unsuccessful because of it.

    So share your experiences! What kind of job did you have, how many hours, etc.
     
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  3. kilikena0310

    kilikena0310 Companion

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    Apr 25, 2009

    I worked while student teaching. Even though my university "strongly suggested" that we not work another job because student teaching is basically a full time job, I didn't have a choice. I had my own apartment, bills to pay, and student teaching pays nothing! I worked at a retail store every Saturday and Sunday, some evenings, and during breaks. I usually only managed to get 20 to 28 hours a week. It wasn't easy, but I did it! :)
     
  4. socaligirl

    socaligirl Rookie

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    When you were student teaching, were you pretty much finished with teaching for the day at the end of the regular school day?

    If I can be done student teaching around three or four, I can still get to my night job that begins at 5:30 and just work fewer shifts, I think. However, I'm starting to get worried that they will ask me to stay late at school, even though most people said that doesn't happen.
     
  5. kilikena0310

    kilikena0310 Companion

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    Apr 25, 2009

    I can't recall a time when I was ever asked to stay late, but there were occasions when I stayed later than usual because I was trying to get the classroom ready for the next day. I also had a weekly night class I had to attend at my university.
     
  6. cluv2teach

    cluv2teach Rookie

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    Apr 29, 2009

    I quit my job of 5 1/2 years to do my student teaching. I was a full time supervisor at a retail store and they were going to cut my pay if I went down to part time. So instead of tiring myself more for half the money I just decided to use my student loans for rent/food/etc. However, I'm also married so that helped a lot!

    I usually stayed after school quite a bit..of course it isn't required..but how can you really say no? In my first placement my teacher was in charge of "art club" after school on Wed. We were usually there until 5:30 or 6. Not to mention all of the days I had to stay over to get the classroom ready or do a bulletin board. In my second placement my teacher was over the academic team..that was usually an hour or two after school two days a week.

    I don't think your required to stay..but staying really helped me out! The teachers were very appreciative and the Principal saw it. Maybe you should try working in the beginning and see how it goes..if you find it is getting to hard then you could always quit if you needed to.
     
  7. McKennaL

    McKennaL Groupie

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    Apr 29, 2009

    All that said... yes, I still had to hold a job at the same time. Though the college insisted that their student teachers NOT have a job- they KNEW I had to work, I had a family to support- but asked me to cut back as MUCH as possible...and kept monitoring me and the cooperating teachers to see if I was keeping up with my responsibilities. (I was - and beyond - but it's tough out there...take a walk through the job seekers area. You only have ONE SHOT at your student teaching. To be an over-achiever is the bare minimum!)

    Ok, so what did i do? I worked at my local multi-plex theater shift managing the box-office on the weekends. I was there by 6pm Friday...worked until 2 am. 5pm-2am on Saturdays, and 3pmto 11 pm on Sundays...as well as working every school day off and holidays (I can still see the crowds on Hannah Montana Concert/Harry Potter opening weeks...it would make student teaching look like a vacation!). SOMETIMES I would take a night shift if they absolutely needed it (happened once a week usually). My AGREEMENT with them would be that on Sunday nights, or the weeknight I was called in, when I am by myself and the shift was slow, they agreed that i could be grading papers or doing my school work at the same time-as long as it didn't keep me from doing box office (customer service HAD to be maintained). There were some nights that the managers would come into the box and I would have pages of a supplimental booklet I wrote for a guided reading group laid out all over the place preparing to be collated. SOME managers thought it was fun to help me once in a while (like having my own teaching assistant). My kids would also help me by cutting out pieces or organizing things I gave them.

    Remember - at this time you are ALSO writing whatever student teaching papers/units and reports you have for your university AND putting together a portfolio AND applying for teaching jobs (AND-if you have a wonderful cooperating teacher-being allowed to go through their files to pick up ideas and pointers for your future classes with units that they aren't getting to while you are there-but ones that were worthy for keeping by your teachers). IT IS craziness. If I DIDN"T desperately need to have that job..my kids and I couldn't have survived..but it made it a LOT tougher! Both jobs and your university have to be on the same page. And you have to MAKE it work. Had I NOT been doing an exceptional job...my university would have INSISTED I stop working. (But you will envy those students who ONLY student teach...and when they whine about the hours and effort, you will want to wring their necks!)

    One last point...it helped me that I wasn't someone who needed or ever slept much. But OFTEN times..when those teachers left for the evening (going home to take care of their families) I took a nap on the classroom couch. 30 minutes and I was up and ready to go again. The weekends-especially after the 2 am closings... I slept late like my college kids.

    Hope this helps. It might sound scarey...but it's honest.
     
  8. socaligirl

    socaligirl Rookie

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    Apr 29, 2009

    I think my biggest fear is quitting my job to put all my effort into student teaching...and then not finding a job. What does one do if that happens?

    I could take out loans and not work, but if I quit my job, I know that they wouldn't rehire me. I work in a place with very low turnover and lots of new applicants, so it wouldn't be the fact that I wouldn't be qualified to go back, they just wouldn't have an opening.

    I think more than the money, this is my issue and I just can't seem to figure out what to do.
     
  9. McKennaL

    McKennaL Groupie

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    Apr 29, 2009

    Well... what ACTUALLY do you SEE as your choice?

    What are you CHOOSING between?

    What IS this evening job?

    And.. would you possibly think of not student teaching?
     
  10. Kangaroo22

    Kangaroo22 Virtuoso

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    Apr 29, 2009

    When I student taught I cut my hours way down. I basically only worked Sundays and every other Saturday. This worked out fine, actually if I had worked every Saturday that would have been fine, too, but I don't think that I could have handled working weeknights.
     
  11. socaligirl

    socaligirl Rookie

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    Apr 29, 2009

    I am choosing between these two options

    1: Work during student teaching. Have less time to devote to lesson plans, classes etc. With this option I would still have a job to return to if I were unable to find a teaching position.

    2: Quit job during student teaching. Be able to put 100% into the credential program. With this option, I would HAVE to find a teaching position, or have no job to return to.

    I work in fine dining. It's a restaurant where most people end up making it their career. Over half the staff has been there since the restaurant opened ten years ago, and they will stay there for as long as they are physically able. I make more than a teacher's salary, but I don't enjoy my job and would like to do something else as a career.

    No, it's a necessary part of the credential program.
     
  12. McKennaL

    McKennaL Groupie

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    Apr 29, 2009

    ok...here goes. (This advice comes to you in a couple of forms...as a fellow teacher who did her student teaching SO recently that i can relate and REMEMBER what is expected from student teaching-as well as a teacher looking for a job in this market... but also coming as a woman who COULD be your mom-and this advice would be the same as if you were my daughter asking the same thing.)

    I imagine that you have worked very hard up to this point to get a degree in teaching...and to go out with anything but guns-a-blazing would not only be a shame-but would hurt you in the long run!

    Why did you want to be a teacher? Seriously?

    If it were just something to do...and you don't care if you end up teaching (in the long run) - then you might answer one way...but i am going to assume that you LOVE the idea of teaching! If so.. you simply MUST give student teaching your all-there is no other choice.

    now...the restuarant. The future THERE seems nice-but seriously..no matter HOW nice-there ARE other restaurants... even NICE NICE NICE restaurants. Especially if you have experience in working in the restuarant - you will be able to get another gig...even if it's not in the same restaurant that you have come to appreciate-though not enjoy. Should you someday not get a job in teaching- a restaurant job will keep you afloat...and should a teaching job NEVER come (which you are too young to think that pessimistically) you COULD make a life in a restaurant-again even if it's NOT the same one.

    NOW... i am going to assume that you have been with this restuarant for a while...if so, they KNOW you. When I have worked as a waitress in the past- I could tell you that EVERYONE knows EVERYONE'S business...so I doubt that they don't know that you have been working VERY hard at going to school for teaching- and that you are on the brink of student teaching.

    In as such-they will understand if you come to them and say... I can only do the weekends-but it IS your busiest time! And i will of course be here full-time in the summer (again-a busier time). If they say- Weeelllllllllll, I'm not sure... they they don't care for YOU-and in as such your future with them might not be secure to begin with.

    Read over my long post about my student teaching and working again. I don't care WHO you ar teaching with/for or how lax or vigorous your program is...you MUST work this hard if you want your student teaching to stand out.

    THough it was tough- I did it with working my 25-28 hours a week-plus run a home and family. YOU can do it too, IF you have the backing of your restuarant and a support system behind you.

    So...bottom line.. the teaching matters most and you only get ONE shot. Stick with the restaurant if they will deal AROUND your student teaching...if NOT...there are other avenues out there who WILL give you spending money hours on the weekends.

    Don't think negatively...work your a$$ off in student teaching and MAKE a future for yourself. Restuarants will ALWAYS be there (even if this one isn't) but teaching requires 110% attention now.

    ****

    BTW... you didn't mention that it's (working at the restaurant) something you MUST do to survive-but more that it's your fall-back insurance...right?

    In that case... I don't think there is really a choice. It's student teaching (gung-ho) and the restuarant ONLY if they can let you swing hours on the weekends as you can.


    ******

    BUT... i absolutely disagree with your comment that if you work you can't do as good of lessons for student teaching. Student Teaching MUST MUST MUST have exceptional lessons - NO ifs ands or buts! if you can't swing both then the restaurant shouldn't even be in the equation.
     
  13. socaligirl

    socaligirl Rookie

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    Apr 29, 2009

    Great point! I guess this is the deciding factor. If they can't work WITH me, then I guess the obvious decision will be to just do what's best for me and not them.
     
  14. Beverly

    Beverly Comrade

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    Apr 30, 2009

    I always got to the school at least an hour before the students and stayed at least an hour after they left. Because our classes switched for Math and my CT didn't want to pass out the workbooks, I'd have to pull materials from them ahead of time. I'd have to make copies of whatever else we were using, and just organizing all that takes time. Specials went by in a flash, and many times, the schedule got suddenly rearranged, so you can't always count on prepping something in the morning for the afternoon. Unfortunately, my CT also had a complex behavior management system that required me to fill out a lot of paperwork. There were meetings at least once a week either before or after school.

    I do feel like if I hadn't had a weekend job and if I hadn't had such a long commute (in winter in the country....with schools that refused to close during a blizzard.. lol), I could have done a lot more to "WOW" the principals now, while I'm searching for jobs. And it's more important than ever to stand out with all the competition facing us.
     
  15. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Apr 30, 2009

    Wow..McKennal saved me the bother of writing a really long post :D. Thanks :lol:

    All kidding aside, one of my staff members at the college just completed her student teaching. Of course, since we are an institute of higher learning, we are very reasonable when it comes to current employees' efforts at higher education. We bent over backwards to accomodate this person so she could still get her hours and be able to pay the bills, and also do her ST at the same time. We would not, however, have been able to do anything for her if she didn't talk to her immediate supervisor (not me in this case). The key here is communication. If this restaraunt cares anything about you, they'll do whatever they need to do in order to keep you at least partially employed while you complete your education.
     
  16. HiFlyer

    HiFlyer Rookie

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    May 3, 2009

    SoCaliGirl, well done for asking the questions! It shows that you care about the outcomes of your choices, and you aren't going in blind.

    My initial response to your questions was to say "Of course you can't work while you're student teaching - it's a full-time job!" But McKennal forced me to reconsider, from the perspective one who had to make ends meet while still fulfilling responsibilities as a student teacher.

    I've seen student teachers fall apart on their pracs, because they tried to do too much and couldn't keep up. They got sick, depressed, tired, couldn't cope, and eventually failed or quit the prac. You will need to make sure that doesn't happen. If you care about keeping your current job AND becoming a teacher one day, then find ways to do both during the practicum. Monitor how you are going and adjust as you go, and keep in touch with someone you trust who can tell you if you're overdoing it. And ask your teacher supervisor /mentor in your classroom how you are going, to make sure you aren't falling behind. With the right determination you can do it! All the best - it sounds like you're going to succeed and become a great teacher!
     
  17. socaligirl

    socaligirl Rookie

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    May 4, 2009

    After reading all of the advice in this thread and attending a credential meeting, I have realized that not only would it be advisable to not work during student teaching...but now I don't WANT to work.

    I talked it over with my bf tonight and we decided that I will take out student loans in order to pay for tuition AND not work during that time. We both think it's more important to put 100% of my focus on school instead of having to cram everything in before and after work.
     
  18. Pisces_Fish

    Pisces_Fish Fanatic

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    May 4, 2009

    That's what I did, I think you made the right decision. :)
     
  19. HiFlyer

    HiFlyer Rookie

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    May 4, 2009

    Great decision. You will be able to put so much more effort and creativity into your teaching. All the best with your ST!
     
  20. AMB

    AMB Rookie

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    May 9, 2009

    I think you made a wise decision!

    I knew a few people in my student teaching class last spring that worked a various amount of hours. (One even had two very young kids, worked, and student taught all at once.) I do firmly believe you CAN do anything you put your mind to, but wow, that might be one very miserable journey.

    I don't want to scare you, but my student teaching experience was the WORST time of my life. My CT told the students on my first day there "see ya in May!" and that was pretty much the extent of her help. She came to school late often, left as soon as the final bell rang (some days even before that!), and spent the time I was teaching walking the hallways getting her workout for the day in. To get any advice at all, I had to pretty much corner her. AND, she left me with work to grade for classes of hers I wasn't even teaching!

    Apparently this is not the norm, but it happens. I was in a position where I wanted a job at this school and she was the dept. chair, so there was no way I could complain. (I did get an A, a good letter of recommendation from her, and a fantastic letter of recommendation from my supervisor who saw some of these shenanigans but had no idea how bad it was.) This year the school had multiple openings (last year they had none) and I didn't even get an interview for one of them because the central office never passed my application on and the principal couldn't/wouldn't interview people that they didn't pass along. I'm pretty bitter about that, obviously! My point is, you never know if you'll get a CT like mine, or a fabulous CT. And you just can never tell how the job thing will pan out either.

    I think someone also already said this but I'll reiterate again:

    -You won't just be student teaching, you will be job hunting (which is another full time job by itself!)
    -You will be required to do assignments for your student teaching class and sometimes even meet (our professor was awesome and limited our classes to just 4 over the semester, but we also had to participate in daily online forums.)
    -Most universities require either a portfolio or capstone project. This is a PITA and a huge waste of time in my experience, but it is what it is.
    -Grading and planning lessons takes a lot more time than I realized. And my mom has been teaching for 27 years, so I thought I had a pretty good idea of the workload, but I had no idea. I was still finishing up grading stuff even after my student teaching time was up!

    The good news is that my first year teaching has been a dream compared to student teaching!

    Hopefully I didn't just completely terrify you, but I thought I'd chime in to give you a perspective from the "worst case scenario."
     

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