I want to be a kindergarten teacher...

Discussion in 'Kindergarten' started by pookiebear, Jul 9, 2008.

  1. pookiebear

    pookiebear Rookie

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    Jul 9, 2008

    Hi everyone...

    I want to be a kindergarten teacher (also wouldn't mind being certified to teach pre-school and 1st grade), but I'm not quite sure what degrees I would need to go about getting a job at a public (or even private) school. I've done a lot of research on the internet, but it is all very overwhelming - there are so many degrees out there! And I just want to make sure I go to school for the right one.

    By the way, I live in St. Louis, MO. (I don't know if different states have different requirements.)

    Thanks in advance for any help or suggestions you might have for me.

    ~ Pookiebear
     
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  3. INteacher

    INteacher Aficionado

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    Jul 9, 2008

    Every state does have different requirements for teaching licenses. I would suggest you actually go to the nearest university or college and visit the education department with a list of questions. They will be your best source to find out the best way for you to achieve your goal.

    Good Luck
     
  4. starbucks

    starbucks Comrade

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    Jul 9, 2008

    Yes, every state is different, but usually you need a 4 year bachelor's degree in Elementary Education to teach K or 1st in a public school. If you want to teach preschool you often will need an Early Childhood degree. Some public schools prefer an Early Childhood degree for K and 1st grade as well.
     
  5. SwOcean Gal

    SwOcean Gal Devotee

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    Jul 11, 2008

    I do not know about Mo, you would have to call up your local college and find out from them. But in MA you have to get a BS in Early Childhood Education and have a second major as well preferably in a subject matter. That will certify you to teach in n-2 in either public or private. To teach in just private you can go for Early Childhood and Care, at least at my college, which certifies you to teach in a private school only basically daycare through maybe 2 I am not sure about that though. At any rate it is probably different in MO and you would need to talk to the academic adviser at your local school that offers an education major. Good luck!
     
  6. pookiebear

    pookiebear Rookie

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    Jul 12, 2008

    Thanks for the tips, everyone. There are so many colleges here, it's ridiculous! LOL! After many phone calls, and not a lot of answers, I have an appointment with the only college in the area that has night classes to get a bachelors in ECE and I can't get an appointment, but will "walk in" to the community college here and talk to an advisor about classes.

    Looking at the schedules for these courses on their web pages - being a full time student, along with having a full time day job - looks pretty intense. I'm not assuming it will be easy. Anyone go to school and work full time that has any pointers/tips for me?? :help:

    Thanks again! :2up:
     
  7. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Jul 12, 2008

    My advice is to start out slow and build up. I always started out with 1 class and then gauge how much more I can handle for the next semester and so on.

    I did that for my AA degree. Then I went to a different university for my BA degree and did it again. I am going to a different school for my MA degree and not only did it again but also made sure I didn't over do it for summer school as well.

    So start slow and go from there. Every school is different. Every learner is different.
     
  8. rosew

    rosew Companion

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    Jul 12, 2008

    Also you will need to do student teaching..if you are working in a school now some schools(most distance schools) will let you student teach where you are working..

    good luck

    rose
     
  9. pookiebear

    pookiebear Rookie

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    Jul 12, 2008

    Thanks again, everyone. The work load for 1st and 2nd semester to get my associates degree - looks very intense! I was going to ask if I could split it up over the following summer too - so that would break it up a tad.

    If I were to only do one or two classes here or there - that might take me forever. How long has it taken you, cutnglue? I understand though at that rate you're able to do your "best" and not have to juggle anything.

    rose, I'm prepared to quit my job at the time I'd have to student teach and just finish up the semester and graduate - and hopefully onto finding a job! Do I have high hopes though in thinking I'd find a job soon after I get out of school?
     
  10. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    Jul 13, 2008

    You also have to make sure your job is flexible. Usually you're required to do a lot of observations and volunteer time (depending on the college and program).
     
  11. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Jul 14, 2008

    Pookie, I would prefer to just go to school full time if I could but at the same time I learn so much from my job that I have because I'm out in the "field." Previously I did start out half time the first semester and then went full time the 2nd semester for my AA and then my BA. For my MA, however, I'm taking it slower. I'm taking 1 class per long semester and 3 classes in the summer so altogether I have 5 classes per year. It will take about 2.5, maybe 3 years (pre-req or a class isn't available, etc).

    P.S. My suggestion really isn't to do one or two classes along the way. My suggestion is to start your FIRST semester out slow until you get your feet wet and THEN decide how much you can stand to take.
     
  12. pookiebear

    pookiebear Rookie

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    Jul 15, 2008

    Thanks all! I appreciate all your input and suggestions.

    I spoke with a counselor from the cc and the university I would go to yesterday...

    The counselor from the cc said she suggested I take 1-2 classes the first semester to see how I like it and how it meshes with my schedule. And then maybe take 3 classes the following semester. While I understand her logic in not wanting to be too overwhelmed, I'm also willing to sacrifice and do what it takes to get my bachelors in 4-5 years... instead of.... 10 years? (at that rate!)

    The second counselor I spoke with from the university suggested I do whatever I think it fessible for my life. He said if I'm willing to go full time - then try it and I can always go part time if I see that doesn't work out.

    He also told me that if I don't "desire" an associates degree, I could really just go for the bachelor's degree - He said that I don't "have" to get an associates in teaching to be able to get my bachelors. That I could just take the appropriate classes at a cc and transfer them to that university to get my bachelors. Did anyone else do that? What's your opinion of that idea?

    Another fun thing - I was homeschooled. And back when I was going through highschool, my mom (who is also a certified teacher) made sure I took the appropriate credits to graduate and I received a diploma. It wasn't required in the state of IL that she kept every record, etc. - and at the time, I wasn't thinking I wanted to go to college - so she didn't keep most of my things. Well now, they're wanting a transcript to get into college... and talking about different tests I could take for placement and/or taking the GED.... and it's frustrating, because I already did the work and got a diploma! I have both counselors getting back to me on the specifics of a homeschooler enrolling and being accepted at both colleges - so that's a little up in the air as well.

    I just keep telling myself - it's just part of the process. :)

    Thank you all for your help and advice! It really helps to have somewhere to come to talk these things out....

    ~ Pookie
     
  13. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Jul 15, 2008

    If it makes you feel any better, I had to take placement tests too and I DO have all my paperwork from the high school I graduated from. I did not have to do the GED thing but now I'm having to take a few MORE tests to start my master's degree and to finish it. It is frustrating but it is also not uncommon.
     
  14. pookiebear

    pookiebear Rookie

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    Jul 16, 2008

    Yeah, they were telling me it wasn't uncommon to have to do that. I guess it just doesn't make sense to me. What's the point of a diploma then, ya know? If I graduated, why isn't that good enough? LOL! That does make me feel better though, to know others "have" to jump through the hoops as well and that I'm not alone. ;) Thanks for sharing.
     
  15. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Jul 16, 2008

    Pookie, I graduated and went straight into college. I took all the required Algebra classes yet when I took the placement test it showed that I needed some remedial instruction before I could take the college level Algebra. There were 3 levels Remedial 01, 02 and 03. I had to take 03. Many students never have to take a remedial course. Some have to take all 3 in one or more subjects. Just because you "passed" high school doesn't guarantee your success. Now ask me why I have to take that crap to get into my Master's level classes. I don't know. I can understand if I have to take a class that shows I can do higher level work but some of these tests are just the same as before..basic placement tests to see if I need remedial work. I passed my college classes didn't I? What are they saying? I'm much more confident that it will go well this time. Life has a way of teaching you how to problem solve among a myriad of other things. My exit exams---that's a different ballgame.

    P.S. I only failed that first math test by 3 points. My sister said I should have challenged it. Nope. I knew it was a weakness of mine and I certainly didn't mind getting some extra help. I still consider it a weakness of mine as far as teaching it but I just took a math methods course that totally changed my view of teaching or learning math.
     
  16. ashleylaurenstl

    ashleylaurenstl Rookie

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    Jul 17, 2008

    I teach in St. Louis, MO

    Hi, I teach in St. Louis, MO. My degree is Early Childhood which gives me certification for birth through 3rd grade. A elementary degree would have given me 1st through 5th. Your can talk the Praxis for extra certification. For example if I would like to teach 4th grade I could take the test and get certified. I believe the degrees depend on the university. I graduated from UMSL. If I were you I would select a university and then contact their education department to see what the grade range is for their degrees.

    I hope this helps.

     

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