Looking for some advice...

Discussion in 'Preschool' started by red42172, Oct 16, 2008.

  1. red42172

    red42172 Rookie

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    Oct 16, 2008

    Hi all-I promise, I will make this as short as possible! :lol:

    I graduated in May with an M.Ed in Elementary Education (1-6), and have since come to a realization that I should have pursued an ECE master's instead. I have always felt more at ease working with very young children (toddler and preschool age), and find myself becoming more and more interested in learning more about early learning and literacy.

    Recently I've been looking around for preschool teaching positions and had a working interview at a school. I'm still waiting to hear back regarding the position; I bonded well with the students and it was a great experience overall. If I don't get this position, I'm sure it will be because I have not had a great deal of experience working with this age group. Nevertheless, I know that this path is the one I want to take for my teaching career.

    So...the question...going forward, what's the best way for me to get into this field? I plan on going through the necessary procedures to get an initial license for ECE in my state, but do I need another masters in ECE? I could use more experience with children at this age group, and am willing to get it...where do I start? Do I need to get a second master's degree, or will taking courses geared towards specific development for this age group be sufficient?

    Wow...WAY too long here. :blush: Any input or advice about the best course of action would be appreciated. Thanks!
     
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  3. MsWK

    MsWK Habitué

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    Oct 16, 2008

    You could probably start right where you are. Find a good center that is looking for a Lead Teacher. Take some more courses, participate in professional development.
     
  4. sarzacsmom

    sarzacsmom Groupie

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    Oct 16, 2008

    I would think you would be set to enter the field as a lead teacher-- youmust have had courses in child / human development and if you can always take a few courses geared specifically to ECE and there are always a ton of workshops availabe to take on all kinds of topics realting to ECE--- some centers even have a tuition allowance to help pay for them. I knwo at my center we get 50 or 80 dollars the first eyar and t hen 5 or 10 more each year we are there. I think I am up to around 180 a year that I can spend on workshops etc!
     
  5. Beverly

    Beverly Comrade

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    Oct 18, 2008

    You definitely don't need a master's. State programs will probably be looking for certification, but I know many pre-k teachers who have elementary certificates. And if you wanted to work in a childcare center, you are certainly overqualified. They'd be happy to have you, but the pay is practically minimum wage. Since your interested in literacy, I'd just as soon suggest going for a degree in that route.

    I have a master's and ECE certificate, and I'm starting to wish I had gotten my El Ed degree instead. It's not that I want to teach higher than 3rd grade; it's just that I feel like our program neglects so many facets of teaching. For example, teaching math and science was one course. One semester to cover pre-k through 3rd grade. We didn't really have a course on classroom management, and some other content was repeated TOO much. (For one thing, school/family partnerships. Don't get me wrong- involving families is extremely important, but I didn't need to do a chapter on it in every class and then take 2 classes just on that). It's ultimately up to you what to do, but I think experience will be more beneficial than another degree. (I know that sounds gloomy coming from someone with a masters, but maybe it was just my college. Maybe there are better programs out there).
     
  6. Miss J. Pre-K

    Miss J. Pre-K Comrade

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    Oct 19, 2008

    I have a masters in early childhood and a bachelors in early childhood. I got them at different universities so that my classes would be different, I would have different professors, and different environments. I'm now in my first year teaching at a Headstart center. Honestly, while the masters degree has made me a better (more knowledgeable) teacher, it was the actual classroom experiences I'd had over summers through college and during grad school working with children that I value the most. I would suggest if you don't get a job right away working with young children, then volunteer a few hours a week at a center that can use some help.

    Right now, I don't get any extra pay for my masters, but if I get an elementary school job next year (fingers crossed), I'll get about $3,000 more a year. I have to be honest, most pre-school pay sucks, because a lot of their staff is not highly educated. Also, if you get a masters, most centers will move you to be the director because you'll be the most highly educated. I would check into state-run pre-ks, they tend to have the same pay as elementary school teachers.
     
  7. Beverly

    Beverly Comrade

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    Oct 20, 2008

    And worse yet- they'll expect you to take on director duties without compensation. ("Can you stay here for your break so I can go to the store?")
     

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