ACP versus post-bac program and other advice requested (I'm in Texas)

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by Delfina, Aug 14, 2007.

  1. Delfina

    Delfina Rookie

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    Aug 14, 2007

    Hi all, would appreciate any insight you have on this...

    My husband is a teacher and convinced me to go the post-bac route, since a lot of the certification classes would also count for an M.Ed. and if you don't take them at the University they're basically lost credits. My advisors have, quite frankly, sucked and didn't tell me half of what I needed to know to begin applying for jobs. Unfortunately, I only found this forum recently or I might've been a little more aware. (You would think my husband would've been able to advise me, but it's been a while and he doesn't know all of the new NCLB rules.)

    I took the departmental qualifier and they assured me I could get a job with their probationary certificate. I thought, "Cool." and started applying. After three interviews and about a hundred applications, an HR person in one of the school districts was kind enough to tell me that I needed to take the EC-4 Generalist content exam, which I did, last week. (83 out of 100, btw, translated to a 272, just got the results back today.)

    Had another interview yesterday and already informed I didn't get the job.

    Would I be better served by enrolling in a district ACP program, rather than the post-bac program to have a better chance at jobs? How do I qualify myself, since I've passed the content exam and have the probationary cert from the school? I have an MA, so I should be considered "Highly Qualified", right? Should I put that on my cover letters? And do school districts hire those from their ACP programs, first?

    I saw the posts in regards to LTS versus Aides... and Aides get paid nothing here, I can't even afford to do that as an option, I'd rather go back into the professional world from whence I came. Also, are they considered (either) actual "classroom" experience? I have some out of classroom experience in my cert grade level and classroom experience at the college level, but both, of course, are completely discounted during interviews. I'm not really sure how to resolve that.

    I know I'm a bit rambling, but a little frustrated and tired. I've basically wasted my entire summer trying to find a job, going on interviews, and probably being passed over for positions because I didn't have all of my paperwork in order, and I didn't even know.

    Thanks in advance.
     
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  3. lisamoe13

    lisamoe13 Rookie

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    Aug 24, 2007

    I am also in Texas (Houston) and in an ACP program - and have taken the EC-4 Generalist and Special ED exams. I was told it is next to impossible to find a job in Elementary school - so Special Ed is a better route to take and there is a lot of variery in that area. BUT - I have also applied to lots of open positions and have had one interview and no job yet. I too cannot take an aid or sub position as the pay is too low and no benefits. I have a job now and plan to keep it until I get a teaching job - but it is discouraging.
     
  4. lisamoe13

    lisamoe13 Rookie

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    Aug 24, 2007

    Also - an aid or sub position does not count toward certification as you have to be a "teacher of record" to have the time in the classroom count toward getting standard certification. This is simply a way to get a foot in the door.
     
  5. Delfina

    Delfina Rookie

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    Aug 24, 2007

    Oh, you're in Houston, too?

    Okay, good to know the aide positions don't count, I simply won't bother. Both subbing and aides pay next to nothing, although my husband wants me to try out subbing so I have a chance to meet principals. Well, we'll see. I quit my regular job and took a very flexible temp position so that I could have time to do interviews and such... fortunately, the temp position looks like it'll be long-term.

    And I was told by my advisors (admittedly, they've proven to not be the best) that it'd be easier to find a job in EC-4 rather than the Social Studies Composite (8-12) route I was thinking of doing before.

    The only reason I got two of the four interviews I've had this summer is because my husband works for that particular school district. Unfortunately, my lack of TAKS experience and classroom experience (neither of which I can get without teaching) really lost me out on those jobs. Besides the fact that I didn't have my paperwork in order until a couple of weeks ago.

    I've taken to personally e-mailing principals and found that that helped get me some contact, even if not an interview. Several responded back telling me that their schools are fully staffed but they'll keep my resume on file.
     
  6. lisamoe13

    lisamoe13 Rookie

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    Aug 24, 2007

    At least with ACP the aid positions do not count - you may want to check with your program to be sure....could be different.
     
  7. TXOSUCowgurl

    TXOSUCowgurl Rookie

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    Aug 24, 2007

    I am in Houston as well and you are better off here if you get certified in 4-8 or 8-12 in either math, science, ESL, special ed or bilingual. I have found that those are the majority of the jobs here and they are jobs you are much more likely to get opposed to any EC-4 just starting out. EC-4 generalist is VERY competitive. There seem to be way more people than jobs. You are more likely to get hired faster if you are working toward critical need areas.

    In my opinion, the job market here is becoming quite flooded with both post-bac and ACP, not to mention all the already certified working teachers, so it's becoming more and more difficult to land a job for that reason also.

    Also, ACP folks are the LAST people to get hired or at least close to the last and from what I am going through, I believe if you don't get the sub/classroom experience before you try to get a reg. teaching position, it is extremely difficult to get noticed and hired.

    I also have been told that you must be a teacher of record for the job to count towards your certification.

    I think it doesn't matter what route you go through as there are advantages and disadvantages in both post-bac and ACP. If you go to a district specific ACP program, you will most likely have a slighty easier time getting a job in that particular district, but you might have a harder time trying to get hired in another district. It really boils down to the district, their needs and your experience level.

    Just my :2cents:... Hope it helps!
     
  8. lisamoe13

    lisamoe13 Rookie

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    Aug 24, 2007

    I don't know - I think that having to be a sub or aid is a strange way to do this job - I am a librarian now and I went to library school and got a degree and then got a job as a librarian - I did not have to be a library clerk or a shelver first - I was a professional due to my getting the education - I guess it is not the same with teachers....
     
  9. TXOSUCowgurl

    TXOSUCowgurl Rookie

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    Aug 25, 2007

    You really would think that is this case.
    I agree with you 100% , especially if you have the education and passed all the required tests, etc. I feel like I should not have to settle for a sub/aide job when I basically am just a 10 month "teacher of record" away from being "officially certified", if only someone would give me a chance to become one! When you pass your content exam you become "Highly Qualified" to my understanding... Why should anyone who is "Highly Qualified" to be a "teacher of record" have to be a sub/aide?

    Every teacher I have talked to has urged me it's better to be a sub or para-professional getting experience than not to work at all... My only solace is that if you do sub, you might get lucky and land an opening that is abandoned or offered to long-term sub.


    It seems to me that there is some underlying catch/discrepancy with alternate routes of becoming a teacher in general as many people from different states who choose alternate routes of certification are having trouble as well.

    This is ridiculous! Many people have invested both time and money and it's not seeming to pay off. Even though my program has an option to do non-paid 12 week clinical teaching to satisfy certification requirements, I honestly think being a teacher of record will be more beneficial and not just financially. Not to mention since the Aug. 1st deadline has passed, I would have to wait until Nov. to start. It's also sad because I believe a number of truly passionate potential educators are missing out on making a positive impact which is something today's children are in dyer need of. :(

    Lemme get off my soapbox!!! :soapbox:
     
  10. nicegirl

    nicegirl Comrade

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    Aug 25, 2007

    I had no trouble finding a job and I am an acp student with no prior teaching experience and I live in Houston also. I was called from 7 schools in one district and I was called for interviews from 2 other neighboring districts as well. Granted, I didn't get called in May when I applied, but rather in July. I was told that the reason is that contract renewal deadlines in Texas hover around the end of June. So once positions opened up I was called for interviews. Perhaps the area of Houston has something to do with it?

    Hmm, I'm not sure, but that is my two cents! Good luck!
     
  11. lisamoe13

    lisamoe13 Rookie

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    Aug 25, 2007

    Encouraging to know - maybe it just takes time -or maybe I have just not applied to enough districts...
     
  12. Delfina

    Delfina Rookie

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    Aug 31, 2007

    With my post-bac program, I have to be a teacher of record for two years for my cert. And then I have like, 30 hours of classes to take. If I'm not a teacher of record and I do student teaching or whatever the other things are, then I have to take more hours of classes.

    Also, I've had a few interviews... I've also applied to just about every school district within easy driving distance. And I e-mailed all of the principals in a couple of districts, and whenever I see a job opening in the largest school district (Houston ISD), I usually e-mail that principal, too, if I can find their e-mail address.

    Still haven't gotten hired, though.
     
  13. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Aug 31, 2007

    Unfortunately, my lack of TAKS experience and classroom experience (neither of which I can get without teaching) really lost me out on those jobs.

    This is a reason I was given in the two interviews I have been on. I have classroom experience because I have my Bachelors in Elem Ed and have taught two years. I am subbing this year in the district that I want to teach in because I have heard that is the best way to to do it since they pull from their sub lists first when job positions become available. I do not think it would be bad to sub. That way you become familiar with the different schools and principals and you also get classroom experience. It doesn't seem fair that certified teachers should have to sub, but if that is the way to get hired, then by all means I will do it.

    To TAKS experience, this year I plan on being available to schools that need someone to administer the TAKS in case the regular classroom teacher cannot. Of course, with the new TAKS/NCLB rules, only certified teachers can administer the TAKS and if the teacher has to take a RR break, then a certified teacher has to replace them.

    Also, my sister went the ACP route and is currently working on her Masters in Elem Ed. She was hired last year for an EC-4 position in north Texas. The only classroom experience she had was student teaching for a semester and a few days of sub work. The good thing about the path she took was that going the ACP route, she is half way through her Masters degree.

    There are certain areas of certification that will get you hired on faster because there is great need for them. I know they are always looking or math and science.

    Don't give up hope. Some districts continue hiring throughout the year.

    The contract deadline for Texas is between the end of June toward mid-July. Also, teachers that need to resign after this deadline have 60 days before the start of school to do so, but there are always exceptions: sickness, relocation.

    Good luck with whatever choice you decide to make. :D

    This is just my :2cents:.
     
  14. kaymurr

    kaymurr Rookie

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    Sep 11, 2007

    I'm here in Houston too and very discouraged. We moved from Dallas where it was really pretty easy to get a teaching job. Here there are NO openings, anywhere! I am even willing to drive pretty far. Not that I want to. I've passed my EC-4 exam and planning to take Special Ed. I actually have 2.5 yrs. experience teaching secondary English (1 hs, 1.5 ms), but not certified yet from getting married/moving too much. Also now I don't qualify to teach hs English because I have more than the required hours but not enough at the upper division/advanced level. That stinks! I'm told the 4-8 Eng Lang Arts certification is pointless compared to the 4-8 Generalist. But I am not a Generalist. English or SS, that's it. It would be a disservice for me to teach other subjects to kids at the 7th or 8th level. And truth be told I think teachers should be more specialized at that level. So here I am, in an ACP, no job, no nuthin'. I will say that my online ACP is very conducive to my schedule, and very friendly, but they don't help you get a job.
     
  15. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Sep 11, 2007

    kaymurr, I couldn't do the 4-8 generalist b/c I'm no good at math! So I went the English/Reading/Social Studies route. I don't have any experience past 3rd grade, but I hope to gain some experience subbing. I agree that when the grade is departmentalized, teachers should be more specialized in the subject they are teaching.
     

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