Need advice

Discussion in 'New Teachers Archives' started by Hope2teach, Sep 6, 2004.

  1. Hope2teach

    Hope2teach New Member

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    Sep 6, 2004

    Hello Teachers!
    My name is Joan, I am a 36 yr old single mom who desperately wants to return to school to become an elementary school teacher. My roadblocks are that I presently work full time in a factory, and my hours vary from week to week. My son's father is not around, heck, he has never even SEEN my 2 year old son. My day-care provider is wonderful to me and said she would help me as much as she could. So my question is, has anyone else done this? How did you manage? Do you think I am too old to begin teaching? I am 2 classes away from an Associates Degree, (but I haven't been in school in 9 years), if I go only part time, how many more years would I be looking at?
    Thanks for reading,
    Joan
     
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  3. Amanda

    Amanda Administrator Staff Member

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    Sep 6, 2004

    Welcome!

    To find out what classes you would need to take and how many of the classes you have already taken will count, you have to talk to your local university. States vary according to requirements for a teaching certificate, and they will be able to tell you exactly what you need. They can also give you an idea of the class schedules they have available. You could also check with them to see what types of grants and financial aid programs you might qualify for. It may be that you have to switch jobs in order to get a steady schedule that would fit in with your classes. It won't be easy, but if you feel like teaching is the right career for you, it may be worth it! You also might try volunteering in schools on the days where your schedule would allow, to see if that is what you really want to do. :)
     
  4. krisnicjohn

    krisnicjohn Rookie

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    Sep 6, 2004

    Hi Hope2Teach. Wow, I hope you can find a way to make your dream work. I am kind of in a similar situation in that I would love to be a teacher too. I am 23 and work a full-time bank job. I do not qualify for grants or financial aid though. I am having to look into student loans to try to finance my education. I hope that I can take many of my classses online. Is that something you may be able to do? That could make it easier because of your hours at the factory. I have also wondered how long it may take to become a teacher going to school part time as I cannot afford to work less than full time. I do not have any credits yet and would love to be able to go to school full time. I hope everything works out for you. Don't give up. It sounds like you are halfway there! :)
     
  5. TiffanyL

    TiffanyL Cohort

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    Sep 6, 2004

    Hello -

    I did not return to school until I was 28 years old. I had three children and a fourth on the way. I worked full-time in my own preschool business. I could not imagine having to spend the evenings away from my children when they were in school all day. Fortunately, the State University of New York offers a bachelor's degree at a distance. I achieved my B.A. in human services that way. It took a great deal of dedication on my part and required much more "writing" than a typical degree would. The concept is that they cannot test you as much or as formally so they make you write your tail off to verify that you understand the content. Anyway, it was so worth it and I spent many an evening with my kids in the living room as a family while I was studying and/or writing a report.

    Once I achieved my degree, the teaching credential was much more manageable. I am not sure what state you are in - I'm in CA and they allow you to have a bachelor's in any subject so long as you finish with a teaching credential. I ended up with a bachelor's in psychology and a multiple subject teaching credential (grades k-6). It might be worth looking into. SUNY's website for the distance program is: www.esc.edu

    Good luck to you. You can do anything you set your mind to!

    TiffanyL
     
  6. krisnicjohn

    krisnicjohn Rookie

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    Sep 6, 2004

    TiffanyL, I love hearing stories like yours! It makes me realize that If you and other people in hard situations can do it then I can too. Thanks for the advice. It is encouraging. :)
     
  7. krisnicjohn

    krisnicjohn Rookie

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    Sep 6, 2004

    Also, TiffanyL, if you don't mind me asking, how long did it take you once you went back? Did you start from the beginning at 28? Or did you already have an AA degree? Thanks for the info!
     
  8. Amanda

    Amanda Administrator Staff Member

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    Sep 6, 2004

    That's awesome! A distance program sounds like a great option... Be sure to check with your state, though, to make sure it accepts the program.

    I am more worried about meeting the requirements because I live in a picky state, or so I've heard... maybe others are more lenient on the degree program you choose. :)
     
  9. TiffanyL

    TiffanyL Cohort

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    Sep 6, 2004

    Hi -

    It took me one year once I went back. It was a long year - I came in with almost enough units for an associate. The univ. allowed me to transfer everything, which was great. I then worked as hard as I could - took a full load and even petitioned to take a larger than full load for twp semesters to finish up. It was a tough year but it worked for me and I don't regret a bit of it.

    I agree with Amanda- check with your state. Like I was saying before, California allows teachers to have a bachelor's degree in whatever subject they like. They then require you to prove subject matter through extensive exams as well as obtain a teaching credential. This made it possible for me to complete New York's BA program in psych/human services and then move onto a credential in CA. Not all states work the same, though, so look into it. Either way, there are so many options now, especially for working adults. Decide what type of program you want and use the internet to research where it is offered. There are so many creative ways to accomplish your goals. I know you can do it!

    TiffanyL
     
  10. Hope2teach

    Hope2teach New Member

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    Sep 7, 2004

    Thanks for all the advice everyone.

    Tiffany - I just sent for info from SUNY. That may be my best bet - get my BA online, and go from there. I will check my states requirements though.
    Thanks again.
     
  11. flasunshine

    flasunshine Rookie

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    Sep 14, 2004

    Hope...

    Good luck! I completed my BS online and I highly recommend it for anyone with odd word hours AND a child! I have two teenage boys that had a lot of activities...it was difficult, nigh impossible to attend traditional school! I finished my degree in about 2 years online and absolutely loved the online flexibility!

    I'm 42 and going into teaching as a career change as well. In Florida, you only have to have a bachelor's to teach. I completed my degree in October 2003, took the English 6-12 cert in May (which I passed!) and the Gen Ed cert in July (which I passed!). I'm all set, just need a job now!

    I didn't realize until I was your age what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. It is NEVER too late to start working on your dream, and don't let perceived obstacles keep you from what you want. It won't be easy, but it won't be unattainable either! Good luck!
     
  12. Hope2teach

    Hope2teach New Member

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    Sep 14, 2004

    Thanks Flasunshine! You are good inspriation! :) I just got all the info from SUNY - been reading some here and there. I need to check into financial aid, then I should be getting this ball rolling!!
    Joan
     
  13. Sep 14, 2004

    Teacher


    Dear Joan, keep smiling its never too late, since you have a small son have you thought of teaching preschool for now ? All you need would be a CDA ( child development associate ) cert. to get that you would contact the office for children in your county to find out where the courses are held. You need just 120 hours to complete it, its done most often once a week late evening or saturday mornings, it would cost you around $1200, once you get that you could get into a headstart program where they would help you to get your Associates as well as graduate degrees with financial help, they also offer good health insurance coverage and your son would be with you. You are not old teachers have a long term so get together and look into this .Goodluck and may God Bless you and your son.......Joyce
     

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