Is it Realistic to Get a Teaching Job in New Jersey via The Alternate Route Program?

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by sweetpea0504, Jun 11, 2015.

  1. sweetpea0504

    sweetpea0504 New Member

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    Jun 11, 2015

    Hello - I am contemplating switching careers from the shipping industry to teaching. I have been working for 13 years as a customs broker - I have a BS in business economics and an MBA. I have been doing some research and it seems that finding a job may prove quite difficult. Wondering if anyone has gone this route? Did they find a job easily? Any advice?

    Thanks!
     
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  3. RedStripey

    RedStripey Comrade

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    Jun 11, 2015

    It depends on what type of teacher you want to be. My friend got a job in March with an alternate route certification but it was for ESL and she is also currently working towards her Master's in Teaching ESL.
     
  4. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Jun 11, 2015

    Science and math are your best bets. You have to be able to use your existing skill sets to fill a gap. Almost anything to do with business is high school, while bio, chem, or physics is in demand from early middle school on up. If you have enough math to go that route, then that could be a real positive. Yes, I was AR, but I took my depth in science and then just kept on learning, adding endorsements. If you don't want to put in the extra work, you might be disappointed. If you like learning new things, and the thought of more schooling excites you, AR can be a great way into the job market. If you don't want to keep learning, however, you will find it a tough go.
     
  5. sweetpea0504

    sweetpea0504 New Member

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    Jun 12, 2015

    I was leaning more towards middle school and math and/or socaial studies. I have to do some more research because going back to school for my masters in education is not entirely off the table. Thanks to you both for your input.
     
  6. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Jun 12, 2015

    If you have the credits necessary to earn your Elem. Ed. certificate, and then your MS Specialization in Math and/or SS, there is an advantage to working on the masters once you are employed - tuition reimbursement is often a job benefit. That said, if you can afford to go back to school and that seems like a better choice to you, I would never argue. I would suggest, however, that your program include student teaching, to help you gain classroom management skills that are harder than they look. Good luck with your decisions.

    For what it is worth, I was hired as an AR canidate on my first interview. Granted, I had a lot of subbing experience to fall back on and great references from a district superintendent and teachers I had worked with. However, I was shooting for middle school and ended up in HS. In the grand scheme of things, I am more accomplished because of the path I chose. That might not be the same for others.
     
  7. Merc

    Merc Rookie

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    Jun 15, 2015

    I've had several colleagues get into the system alternate route (one didn't even have a college degree!!!). You must be hyper aggressive in pursuing a job, out work all those you will be competing against. I was in the business sector and career switched into a Social Studies position. My business experience was a huge selling point to the schools I applied to. Also, look in Teach For America. Its not popular with a lot of educators, for a lot of valid reasons. But I've met several career changers (a couple in their 50's) who were able to get jobs that way. TFA isn't just for recent college grads and they will pay for your alt route classes.
     
  8. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Jun 16, 2015

    The truth is that no matter how you are going into teaching, English and Social Studeis are not easy to find, especially as stand alone jobs. At the middle school level, SS is a common add on endorsement, since there is so much diversity in the courses the state will accept to be considered qualified in SS. Even MS language arts is fairly common, because almost all college grads ended up with 15 undergrad credits on their transcript. Elementary Ed. is what so many people want to teach - they like the little kids, or think they will.

    It is possible that PallasAthena's friend was not good at interviewing, had a weak resume, or his references indicated that he had not mastered classroom management. Many universities in the area will offer routes that lead to a MA for AR candidates, but there are AR candidates who make it to the classroom without the MA. Honestly, when I earned my masters I was very glad that I hadn't earned one prior, since I believe you sometimes don't know where your interests and experiences will lead you. I would not have ever thought of ESL, but in the classroom, it made perfect sense. I always recommend that people interested in ARin NJ talk with CESP at Rutgers before making a decision. Just food for thought.
     
  9. SCTeacher23

    SCTeacher23 Comrade

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    Jun 22, 2015

    I know that a lot of the charter schools in NJ are willing to hire teachers with alternate route. I work at a charter school, and they hire teachers that aren't certified yet, and allow them to do alternate route during the first year while they are teaching.
     
  10. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Jun 22, 2015

    If your job is going to be in a charter school, you should be aware that basically NJ has a certificate in AR that is only good in charters, vs the certificate that allows you to teach everywhere in the state. Anyone helping you through the process should be aware of this. The recommendation is to get the standard certificate that you can use either in charter or public schools.

    This is a change since I earned my certification, so I am not the most knowledgeable, but I believe it is fairly well spelled out on the NJ DOE website. Work in a charter, if that gets you a job, but prepare for the broader market. :2cents:
     
  11. SCTeacher23

    SCTeacher23 Comrade

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    Jun 22, 2015

    Yes - this is true. I am not knowledge about this much either, since I have a standard certificate and have worked at both a public and a charter school, but that is something to definitely research. However, I know that charters seem to be more likely to hire those with alternate route or allow teachers to complete their alternate route while employed there. It can be a good way to get experience on your resume, and then eventually get a job in a public school. One of my former co-workers did an alternate route program and had a difficult time getting hired in a public school, so she taught at a charter school for a few years to get experience, and then was able to get hired at a public school.
     

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