Certification/Degree/Hiring Question

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by KinderWonder, Feb 9, 2010.

  1. KinderWonder

    KinderWonder Rookie

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    Feb 9, 2010

    Hi again,

    I seem to have a lot of questions lately. I was talking to my fiance's brother's finacee (tongue twister) who is enrolled at the same University as me majoring in Prek-Primary Education. She has been helping me with choosing my courses and such (she is a Junior, I'm a Freshman) and she brought up the fact that since I was only interested in teaching up to second grade I might consider changing my major to Prek-Primary Education rather than Elementary Education (which I am currently doing). I thought about it for a while and decided either way it didn't matter I really wanted to teach Kindergarten so I decided to stick with what I was doing.

    I talk to my professor for my Introduction to the Teaching Profession class constantly through emails about different concerns and ideas I have and she has been extremely kind and helpful. She mentioned that I might want to reconsider again because if I am hired as a Kindergarten teacher but am certified to teach K-6 that the principal reserves the right to move me to a different position. Since I am only interested in teaching up to second grade it might be better for me to switch the PreK-Primary Education (PreK-3) so if that does happen I am still comfortable with it.

    I originally decided to go with Elementary Education for two reasons. 1) I thought PreK-Primary was just for preschool (oops! :eek: ) 2) I wanted to be certified to teach higher grade levels because as I found out the first (few) year(s) I may not get to teach kindergarten, so I wanted a wide variety of grades to be able to teach (so I could hopefully find a job easier). PreK-Primary Certification would let me teach 5 different grades, however technically only 4 because PreK is not considered a part of an elementary school (where I am from). Elementary Education Certification would allow me to teach 7 different grade levels...

    So I have a few questions:
    1) How often does this happen (principal's making you move to a different grade level)?
    2) How can it be considered fair/right? (I mean, most teachers spend a bundle buying materials for their classroom, if a kindergarten teacher has everything they need for a kindergarten class and is all of a sudden moved to fifth grade, they have to start all over basically)
    3) If you were me, what would you do and why? (I know you all love (sarcasm) these types of questions, but it really helps me!)

    Sorry this was REALLY long but I felt background knowledge was needed to asses the situation properly. Thanks in advance to anyone willing to spend a few minutes (probably more) helping a "wanna be" figure out what she wants/needs to do!:)
     
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  3. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    Feb 9, 2010

    here is my two cents
     
  4. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Feb 9, 2010

    My two cents is that, until you try it, how do you know for sure that you only want to teach the lower grades? I know some teachers who KNEW they only wanted younger (or older) and then they had the experience teaching the other grade and loved it. So, I vote to keep your options open.
     
  5. Beth2004

    Beth2004 Maven

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    Feb 9, 2010

    You never know where you'll end up. I actually have a friend who got licensed to teach Prek-3 when she graduated from college and now she regrets it. Limiting yourself like that can really limit your options and teaching jobs are notoriously hard to come by. When it comes time to start searching for a job, you may need to apply to positions that you don't really want just to get your foot in the door and start earning a salary. Only being licensed in the younger grades will limit the positions that you qualify for.
     
  6. KinderWonder

    KinderWonder Rookie

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    Feb 9, 2010

    I do agree with the limiting myself and probably regretting it later, I knew I would probably have to teach a grade I didn't necessarily "want" for a few years until I could get to where I wanted to be. For me there are two extrinsic reasons I want to teach younger grades 1) From my experience (MANY second cousins) after they reach third grade they seem to develop their own attitudes and are not as loving as the younger ones 2) I hate that teaching (and learning from a student's POV for that matter) has become nothing but preparing for standardized tests and in Florida FCAT does not start until third grade. There are tons of intrinsic motivations for me to teach though. I'm still not sure what to do, I talked to my professor about the dual certification and she started talking about endorsements but I was lost and she couldn't seem to find another way to explain it. Thanks for everyone's input!
     
  7. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

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    Feb 9, 2010

    Get the elementary cert. It's not wise to be picky in a recession, especially when it will probably be years before we recover.
     
  8. gutterballjen

    gutterballjen Comrade

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    Feb 9, 2010

    I think that going for the Elementary cert would be a better choice. When I first started my education classes, I was disappointed that my cert would be in EC-6 instead of EC-4. Now I realize that this will help out in the long run since I can work with more grades. 5th and 6th grades aren't my first choice, but a job is a job at the end of the day.

    Good Luck!
     
  9. KinderWonder

    KinderWonder Rookie

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    Feb 10, 2010

    Yes that is very true (about the recession). I think I will just go ahead and stay with the Elementary Ed cert. just to be on the safe side. Thanks everyone!
     
  10. leighbball

    leighbball Virtuoso

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    Feb 10, 2010

    Good luck!
     
  11. emmakate218

    emmakate218 Connoisseur

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    Feb 10, 2010

    Being reassigned is quite common and when you sign your contract, you agree that you're subject to reassignment within the district as long as you're teaching a grade level and/or subject covered by your certification.

    It happened to me my first year of teaching. Two and half weeks into the school year, I was told that I had to be reassigned to another campus and grade level because that school's enrollment was up and ours was down. It sucked. :) That experience taught me to not "waste" too much money on materials specific to one grade level.
     
  12. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Feb 10, 2010

    :2cents:
     
  13. John Lee

    John Lee Groupie

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    Feb 11, 2010

    The education industry's environment is sure to remain the abject mess it is now... so it probably makes sense to hold the qualification, certification, etc. that broadens the potential for them to keep you around the most.
     
  14. Toak

    Toak Cohort

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    Feb 12, 2010

    There is a way to remove endorsements from your teaching certificate - but I imagine you would greatly irritate an adminstration by switching to K-3, if you were hired on the idea that you could teach k-6, so its definitely not something you'd want to do before getting tenure.
    And changing processes can mean that dropping your endorsement will require you to take new college courses or praxis tests - one girl who took the praxis 2 with me, had to take it because she had given up her reading specialist certification. If she didn't pass the test that time, she'd lose the job she had gotten because of that endorsement
     
  15. wrice

    wrice Habitué

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    Feb 12, 2010

    In TX you can add endorsements after initial certification just by passing the appropriate test.

    Because of this, I think principals here are more inclined to hire and place based upon experience and preference and not certification. Just 'cause your certified fifth doesn't mean you'll end up there.
     

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