From Para to Teacher

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by futureteacher13, Apr 21, 2018.

  1. futureteacher13

    futureteacher13 Rookie

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    Apr 21, 2018

    Hello Everyone,

    I am currently a middle school Paraprofessional, and have been for the past 8 years. I am wanting to become an elementary school teacher this upcoming August. I have a Master of Education degree in Elementary Education and a Bachelor's degree in Social Science with an Education Concentration. I am eligible to receive my Temporary Certificate in Elementary Education Grades K-6.

    Throughout my years as a Paraprofessional, I have worked in Physical Education, and have covered (substituted) in many different subject areas including ELA, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, Agriculture, and Health. I have also covered (substituted) with the Physical Education classes I work in as well.

    My question is: As someone who wants to teach elementary school, will it be a difficult transition, seeing that I have worked primarily with middle school students the bulk of my career in education? Throughout my Master's program, I observed in classrooms with Grades KG, 1st, 3rd, 5th, 6th, ELL, and Physical Education. I also taught lessons for students in Grades 1 (English Language Arts) and 5 (Mathematics). Teaching elementary school has been a passion of mine for a while, although I thought I wanted to teach middle school. I know I will not be perfect as a teacher, nor am I trying to be, but I want to be the best teacher I can be for my students. Any thoughts or suggestions would be great? Thank you so much for your input.
     
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  3. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    Apr 21, 2018

    Be yourself...nobody’s perfect;)

    I started as a TA/para too. Also subbed before and after student teaching.

    This is a great resource for questions and support!

    Based on your summary of experience, I believe you will be a great teacher.

    Seek advice for areas that you feel you need to improve. Realize if you take Kdg, you will have all subjects. Primary & intermediate grades will require a subject matter specialty.

    Can’t go wrong with ELL—always a need there.

    If there are some specific questions you have, don’t be afraid to ask.
     
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  4. futureteacher13

    futureteacher13 Rookie

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    Apr 21, 2018

    Thank you so much for your input! :) In my district (which I also attended all of the local schools as a student), all of the Kdg, Primary, and Intermediate (4th and 5th grades) are self-contained, all subjects, unless co-teaching occurs between a few classes within a particular grade level. Even though I will be moving from middle school to elementary, I have had the opportunity to observe in classrooms at all grade levels, and found that I enjoyed elementary the most! :)

    Another question I have is: How do you stay organized with all of the paperwork during your first year of teaching? I am very much lean upon my faith in God, which is the driving force in everything I do! :) I also don't complain, remain humble, and positive in all as well! :)
     
  5. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    Apr 21, 2018

    You are welcomed. I see your positive attitude and that's a great start. Now, pick up a copy of the book, The First Days of School by Harry Wong. Great read for organization and classroom management. With technology in the classroom, many districts have streamlined paperwork. So a lot depends on what you have already seen and learned in your studies. At the bare minimum, a teacher's grade book/attendance book/lesson plan book would be a starting point. You need the class roster, and you must be able to keep attendance records and grades. Since most attendance is kept online, your book will help you at home, especially if you have limited access to attendance records outside of the school. Again, a lot depends on what is used in your school.

    For your files, you need to keep up with professional development. This includes all degrees, as well as the continuing development classes that you will take. These records are important for renewing your license, and preparing for evaluations.

    That's the beginning that I can offer. I'm sure more seasoned veterans in Elementary Ed. will jump in and offer their advice.
     
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  6. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

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    Apr 22, 2018

    Moving from MS to elementary is not the only thing to consider here.
    Do you have the appropriate licensure? If not, get moving because many districts are already hiring, depending on your area of the country.
    What is the need for elem teachers in your area? My state is very university heavy, and there are candidates at all levels looking for jobs. Does your district tend to hire former paras as teachers, or hire from outside?

    Everyone handles paperwork in a way that works for them. Just be sure and find what works for you - fast!

    Good luck!
     
  7. futureteacher13

    futureteacher13 Rookie

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    Apr 22, 2018

    Good Morning! :) Thank you so much for your input. It's great that you mentioned the book "The First Days of School" by Harry Wong because I already have it! :) It is definitely a great read and I am already in the process of planning my classroom management plan, procedures, and routines. Thank you for also providing types for filing and keeping up with paperwork. I definitely wanted to know ways to be able to keep up with this since it can be a challenge at times, but it is not impossible! :)
     
  8. futureteacher13

    futureteacher13 Rookie

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    Apr 22, 2018

    Good Morning! :) Yes. I currently have a Statement of Eligibility for issuance of a Temporary Certificate in Elementary Education K-6. Once I am hired, I will be issued my certificate. In order to receive my Professional Certification, I will need to pass the General Knowledge Exam, Professional Education Exam, and the Science Subtest of the Elementary Education Grades K-6 Exam. Furthermore, I will also need to complete 1 year of successful teaching experience. In my district, we always have a need for elementary teachers, and yes, our district tends to hire former paras as teachers (at least those paras who are looking to become teachers, like myself), as well as interviewing and hiring candidates from outside the district as well. I thank you for your input and your advice.
     
  9. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Apr 22, 2018

    Just my thoughts on this, and who knows if this is possible in your state, but I would take and pass all of those pesky exams ASAP. Sometimes they are harder than they seem, and having them under your belt removes any fear that interviewing districts might have about your ability to pass the requisite exams. We have had posts from people who lost their job because they couldn't get the exams passed within a given time frame. I think having passing scores gives you an edge over another new teacher applicant still waiting to pass the same exams.
     
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  10. futureteacher13

    futureteacher13 Rookie

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    Apr 22, 2018

    Hello! :) I will most definitely be taking my certification exams during the summer, at least the General Knowledge Exam and the Professional Education Exam. I definitely want to have these exams done before the school year begins OR before January 2019. It is definitely going to take some work on my part, but with God, ALL things are possible! :)

    By the way, we have to pass the General Knowledge Test within our first year of teaching (hence why I am taking this exam in Summer), the Professional Education Test and the Subject Area (for me the Science Subtest of the Elementary Education K-6 Certification Exam, we have 3 years to pass, but I am working on getting these done now so that I can get my Professional Certificate sooner rather than later, plus I do not want to wait until the last minute. Thank you so much for your input! :) I greatly appreciate it! :)
     

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