In search of some Insight. Please Advise.

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by JMWIV, May 27, 2010.

  1. JMWIV

    JMWIV New Member

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    May 27, 2010

    Hi all.

    Here is my situation.

    I am tentatively planning on attending a Child Care 90-hour class at PG Community College beginning on June 21st, 2010, and I am unsure where to go from there. My tentative plan is to do my 90 hours, and then get a job in the Child Care Field. Then once I am employed, begin working on an Associates Degree, and then a Bachelors eventually.

    I am also searching for information as to what exactly I am getting into here, in regards to certain aspects.

    I love Children. I enjoy dealing with them. Children tend to like me as well. With Children, I am playful, friendly, light-hearted and a bit goofy/funny. Like a big kid. I'm the Daddy that when I take my daughter to the bus stop, all the kids at the bus stop like to jump on and try to roughhouse with(unsure if that's a good thing or not though. you tell me), until it is time to stop doing so. I think that am naturally good with them, but I lack the formal training to teach them on an everyday basis. I am almost 30, and I've wasted a lot of my adult life pursuing meaningless and selfish ideals when it comes to work (or lack of it in my case). I am trying now to set my life right, and I would like to enter a career field where I can do something meaningful that has a real, tangible, positive impact on the world rather than JUST to make money.

    But at the same, I have a Wife and I have a Daughter. Therefore, my primary concern in regards to a Child Care/Pre-School Teaching career, is being able to support and provide for them financially, and in regards to health benefits. I understand that the wages are low, especially starting out, but my hope is that initially, the pay is at least livable, and as I complete my education in the field, the Pay improves towards real comfortability(meaning I can support my family without my wife HAVING to work as a necessity, but only if she WANTS to work).

    As a frame of reference/comparison, I have been working in Food Service in various jobs for a few years now, and the highest hourly wage I've had so far in that field is $9/hour, and I have never had benefits. Right now, I work as a busboy in a restaurant for $7.50/Hr + weekly minor cash tips(like 50 bucks a week or so). I am really tired of food service, and I wish to transfer to a new career field.

    My secondary concern is the perception and role of Men in this field. I understand that Men in this field, especially Black Men like myself, are extremely rare(and from what I read, this is mostly due to the Pay. is that correct?). I am curious as to what exactly I should expect walking into this woman-dominated field as a relatively young black man. Or what the expectations would be of me from parents, Directors, and other teachers, and what type of reception a Man typically gets in this field.

    Any insight and advice that you may have in regards to pay, benefits, and any other aspect of the field that you could share would be extremely helpful.

    thank you very much in advance.
     
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  3. Unbeknownst

    Unbeknownst Cohort

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    May 28, 2010

    First off, getting into a field not just because of the money is a great first step. Congratulations.

    Secondly, "you live on what you make" as my Uncle always says, meaning whether you make 20,000 a year or 100,000 a year, you make it happen. So for your family, if you can get on a budget, you can stretch even the smallest of salaries to get you where you need to go.

    The money in teaching, as you've probably heard, isn't going to get you rich. But it's not bad. Remember, your contract is for TEN months (not 12) and you generally get around 30,000 to 40,000 starting out, depending on where you're from. When it's all said and done, it will be a better wage than what you've been used to.

    But, (and you know there was a but) teaching is a taxing profession. That's why you'll get paid more than working in Food Service. Loving kids and getting along with them (as you mentioned in your post) is only a small portion of the pie.

    Having them love you will only get them motivated, but you have to turn that motivation into work, every day. You will never have planned so much in your entire life.

    Also, getting your credentials is going to cost you some money up front. At the least, it's goign to cost you a bachelor's degree at an accredited college and a certification program, which where I'm from runs at around 4,000 - 5,000 dollars.

    Finally, your male status as a teacher won't mean much after the first week. Yes, you're a male. Yes, many more females work in the profession. Doesn't matter. You all do the same job, and you all must do it well. Don't worry about any backlash about being a black male; it's something that can only help you, never hurt.

    Good luck man, I wish you the best.
     
  4. TeaRoses4M&D

    TeaRoses4M&D Rookie

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    May 31, 2010

    If teaching is in your heart then you should try it. Sure there might be some difficulties and bumps along the way-but that is life.
    As far as the cost of school- my school district has a child development program that offer scholarships and different financial awards as incentives for employees to go back to school. I know several people that work in Child Development while earning their degrees. In my district early childhood special ed teachers are on the same pay scale as the elementary teachers-something to consider. Concerning income I agree with the previous poster somehow one manages to make it work. However, I find the more I make the more I spend. Also, having benefits for you family would be a huge positive.
    One of the best teachers(his class always has a waiting list) in my districts child development program is male. I have nothing but respect for him- he truly cares about the kids and families and is an amazing role model. Just think that could be you!
     
  5. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    May 31, 2010

    Before teaching I worked in childcare through my school district, so I was technically an instructional assistant and as such was paid just over what you are paying now. I was also earning credit towards retirement. It was fabulous and no doubt influenced me throughout my first year of teaching, especially in the area of classroom management. That has always been one of my strengths and I attribute that in part to my experience in childcare.

    The fact that black men are rare in this field...well, all the more reason for you to join! :)

    Welcome, and best wishes!
     
  6. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    May 31, 2010

    Check into Head Start. It pays better, and would welcome a male.
     
  7. JMWIV

    JMWIV New Member

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    Jun 1, 2010

    thanks all of you for the responses.

    I'm going to go ahead and do this. Just a matter of coming up with the money in time to pay for my classes.

    I wonder if I can use my Pell grant on a non-credit class...
     
  8. Unbeknownst

    Unbeknownst Cohort

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    Jun 1, 2010

    Yes.

    Here's what happens:

    1. You get your pell grant sent to your school.
    2. The school takes the Pell Grant and uses that money to pay for your tuition and fees.
    3. The difference (the money left over after they pay for all your school stuff) is sent to YOU in the mail.

    You can do whatever you want with that money.
     
  9. JMWIV

    JMWIV New Member

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    Jun 6, 2010

    Interesting.

    so the Pell Grant only applies for a semester? or what? will I need to re-apply for the Spring Semester?

    either way, I'll have missed the accelerated noncredit class by the time the money comes in.

    apparently the "credit" version of the 90 hours is split into two 45 hour courses, so I am going to take both of those in the Fall semester, and just get rolling towards my Associate of Arts in Teaching Degree that way.
     
  10. scmom

    scmom Enthusiast

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    Jun 6, 2010

    I don't understand what it is a non-credit class? Here the child development classes at the junior college are credit classes - how else would you be able to count the class for your credential? I would talk to an advisor at the college, especially before taking any non-credit class.
     

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