From College Teaching to Elementary School Teaching

Discussion in 'General Education' started by MATThematical, Apr 3, 2015.

  1. MATThematical

    MATThematical Rookie

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    Apr 3, 2015

    Hi all!

    Since 2009, I have been teaching college mathematics. I have a Master's in math and am currently an adjunct at a community college and university.

    Up to this point thus far, I haven't gotten a full-time position and the outlook is not rosy. Thus, I'm starting to look at other options.

    For various reasons, I would like to avoid teaching high school math. I enjoy working with kids and have been inspired in the opportunities to teach my two school-age nephews while talking with them in a regular conversation.

    Does anyone here have experience in going from teaching college to teaching elementary school, or do you know anyone who has? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I have a Master's, but not a credential, so getting a Multiple-Subject credential would be a necessary step.
     
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  3. The Natural Log

    The Natural Log Rookie

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    Apr 3, 2015

    I know you said you would like to avoid high school math, but I teach high school math and adjunct at my local CC, and they are more similar than you would think. The only difference is that at the CC, I don't have to deal with parents. I have done an after school program before at our elementary school for gifted math students, and I could never do that full time. I would imagine it would be quite the shock to you, especially teaching other subjects. The elementary students were very hard for me to control (maybe because it was an after school program, but they were still gifted kids who you would expect to be easier to control), whereas in my HS and CC, classroom management has been a breeze for me.
     
  4. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Apr 4, 2015

    MATThematical, I infer that you're in California. Let me recommend chatting up the credential analysts at the local county office of education to see just what it is that you would need for a K-12 credential. But let me also urge you to spend some time observing in a range of grades and schools to get a better feel for what suits your style. I could see someone with your background doing well in a STEM magnet high school or one of the more rigorous private schools.
     
  5. John Lee

    John Lee Groupie

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    Apr 4, 2015

    Curious the pay increase/decrease that you would expect, making that move. (No idea what college professors in that capacity make.) Not asking specifics... just general.
     
  6. The Natural Log

    The Natural Log Rookie

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    Apr 4, 2015

    I can't speak for the OP, but for where I work, the pay for adjuncting is MUCH lower than what I make at the HS level. I would have to teach at least 6 or 7 classes per semester to equal my pay at the HS. Since I do it as an "extra", I only teach 1 or 2 per semester.
     
  7. MATThematical

    MATThematical Rookie

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    Apr 5, 2015

    As an example, at the community college I teach at, an adjunct teaching 2 math classes makes about $10,000 per semester before taxes. Most community colleges out here in California seem to start full-time faculty at $50,000-60,000 per year before taxes. According to teach.com, California elementary school teachers make an average of about $63,000 per year.
     
  8. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

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    Apr 5, 2015

    Beginning teachers don't make $63,000...not even close in certain areas of the state. Averages are rather skewed by high COL areas and teachers who have been in the game awhile and have a lot of seniority. I am a third year elementary teacher in CA and I make far less than that. I won't make that for many years.

    Have you spent much time working with groups of elementary students? Would you want to teach all the subjects? Literacy is HUGE focus in elementary in all subjects. I would recommend trying to work with or volunteer with elementary aged kids to see what that's like.
     
  9. Preschool0929

    Preschool0929 Cohort

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    Apr 5, 2015

    I agree with the previous poster, you might want to do some volunteering/observations before making a decision. At my school we have a male long term substitute who was formerly a high school/college teacher. He is a very nice person, and extremely intelligent, but doesn't know how to manage behaviors or talk to elementary students in a student-friendly way. That's not to say that you wouldn't be great at it, but managing an elementary classroom can have different challenges than you've dealt with before.
     

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