Alternate route or go back for my master's in education?

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by Teacheroflove, Aug 12, 2013.

  1. Teacheroflove

    Teacheroflove Rookie

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    Aug 12, 2013

    Hello everyone!
    I'm 24 years old and currently working as an early childhood paraprofessional at a preschool. I graduated in May 2012 with a degree in Psychology and a Certificate in Spanish. I would like to become an elementary school teacher (preferably kindergarten or first grade).

    I live in Philadelphia, PA but plan to relocate to New Jersey with my boyfriend, so I'm looking more into the New Jersey District. (South Jersey to be exact). I'm at a crossroads and not sure what would be the best thing for me to do at the current moment. I am in the process of getting my Certificate of Eligibility through the NJ alternate route to teaching but I hear that it is very hard to find jobs that way. What do you guys recommend I do?
     
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  3. Rbart

    Rbart Companion

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    I would recommend a post bacc. If you are looking in nj I would find a school in nj. I don't know much about alt route but nj is very competitive. I have my masters and feel like it has not helped me at all.
     
  4. Teacheroflove

    Teacheroflove Rookie

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    thank you for your response.
    What is the difference between a post baac and master's degree?
     
  5. Rbart

    Rbart Companion

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    I believe a post bacc is a degree that you get by taking education classes needed for initial certification I'm not sure but I think the credits could be used later towards yor MA. I'm not sure about that and I would look into it. I wouldn't get your ma until you have a job. I wish I had done that. Once you have you cert from doe through alt route you can start applying for jobs while you are looking or taking classes.
     
  6. schoolteacher

    schoolteacher Habitué

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    It is very difficult to find elementary jobs in New Jersey. It is even more difficult if you have alternate route certification.


    Adding on a certification that is more in demand would make you more marketable.
     
  7. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Aug 12, 2013

    :thumb: this.
     
  8. Teacheroflove

    Teacheroflove Rookie

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    What certifications are more in demand? Also, since I already live in Philly, would it be smart to apply to the Teaching Fellows Program? That way I'm thinking I could have some teaching experience under my belt? (besides the preschool paraprofessional experience). I'm very passionate about wanting to become a teacher but my downfall is that i'm not very well informed on how to go about this best and it's starting to stress me out a little.
     
  9. schoolteacher

    schoolteacher Habitué

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    Certificates that are more in demand include middle school math/science (getting both would be preferable). If you are interested in these subjects, and have the desire to teach inner-city middle school students, you would have a good chance at a job in Philly. I live in NJ and work in Philly. Depending on where you plan to move, it could be an easy ride over one of the bridges.

    You said that you have a certificate in Spanish. I'm not sure what that means. But if you are able to conduct a conversation in Spanish, you could apply for a bilingual elementary teacher position. I know that Phila. is accepting applications for that, and other inner cities in Jersey, such as Camden and Trenton may be as well.

    Teaching Fellows in Philly is not an option this year. They may be an option next year, but school closings and budget issues make it look unlikely.
     
  10. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Aug 12, 2013

    If you want elementary, consider an additional cert in sped.
     
  11. RedStripey

    RedStripey Comrade

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    Aug 12, 2013

    :yeahthat:

    My university is in North Jersey and they have a great program that gives you a dual cert in elementary (or a subject area) and sp+ed. I'm not sure if they have a post-bacc program in that though. If you're moving to South Jersey look into Rowan's programs :) They're a great teaching college in South Jersey.
     
  12. Teacheroflove

    Teacheroflove Rookie

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    Thank you for the replies. I do want elementary (kindergarten and first grade would make me ecstatic) and preferably in a small town or suburban part of NJ (I know, I know...I'm asking for too much, but that is my ultimate goal). I know that jobs are hard to find so I'm willing to work anywhere but I just want to know what should be my next move. I am thinking of a few options:

    1. Receive my Certificate of Eligibilty (Alternate Route in NJ) and apply for jobs. See how that turns out. (Although I haven't heard many good things about this from this forum, which is discouraging but a reality check I suppose)
    2. Apply to a post bacc program for teaching (either campus or online...not sure which one looks better when it's time to get hired)
    3. Apply to a master's program (Although I read that this isn't a good idea for new teachers because most likely they will hire someone without a masters degree so they can pay less)

    Some additional things I would like in my program would be:

    1) Get certified in two states, PA and NJ
    2) Get certified in teaching elementary ed, special ed and possibly Spanish (I have a certificate in Spanish which is kind of like a minor in undergrad but I am not certified to teach Spanish, although not sure how I would go about that either)

    Sorry, this is a little long but this is basically what I am looking for and need to know which road will lead me there. :help: Thank you again for your responses.
     
  13. RedStripey

    RedStripey Comrade

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    I don't recommend you getting your CE either. It would be more expensive, but definitely do post-bacc. Also I don't think any programs in NJ allow you to get certified in two states. You would have to get certified in NJ and apply for certification in PA on your own. Luckily NJ has reciprocity with PA so you'll probably just have to pay a fee and send your transcripts and Praxis scores to PA DOE :)
     
  14. Teacheroflove

    Teacheroflove Rookie

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    :thanks: I hear a lot of good things regarding post bacc programs. I have a few questions.Are online programs frowned upon and not taken as seriously? I have a full time job with good benefits and would hate to quit so I'm thinking about doing it online. However, I am taking the post bacc program very seriously if I'm enrolling in one and want to make sure it is worth the time and money I'll be investing. I have never taken online classes before so another concern of mine is how difficult are online programs? I was looking into the wgu website and was totally confused how the whole online thing works. :huh:
     
  15. RedStripey

    RedStripey Comrade

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    You're welcome! :)

    I'm not sure if online programs are frowned upon or not. I know a lot of people who took grad courses online but most of them were in the fields of business or IT, not education :/ I think as long as you complete a practicum/student teaching (which will obviously not be online! haha) you should be okay. I'm not sure though! Other people here should know better than me :)

    I never had a problem with my online classes during college. My professors would post assignments on Blackboard and we would have to discuss them on the message board and upload the assignments. But every school is different!
     
  16. schoolteacher

    schoolteacher Habitué

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    You don't actually have to be certified in Spanish to be a bilingual elementary school teacher. You just have to be able to hold a decent conversation in Spanish. If you can do that, you would apply and then speak to the interviewer in Spanish.
     

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