Not sure if I want to work in Early Childhood Ed or Elementary Ed

Discussion in 'General Education' started by TeacherCuriousExplore, Aug 8, 2018.

  1. TeacherCuriousExplore

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    I have been working in Early Childhood Ed since I graduated high school. I am certified in the area and enjoy working with 3-5-year-olds. I am currently pursuing a MEd from GCU as well obtaining teacher certs in K-5. I am stuck in a limbo because I love ECE but it sucks with pay and is a major burn out. Public schools and most private schools are very professional. Teachers have bonuses, benefits, paid time off during the summer months, room for growth, and teacher collaboration. In small private preschools, there is a failure of funding, teachers who are sometimes not educated, and no one takes the job seriously. Then there are some preschools that are just right and funded perfectly, but these are often corporate preschools or government-funded preschools. Despite the negatives of ECE I enjoy it! I also enjoy Elementary Ed, but just like ECE it also has, it's problems as well. Such bureaucracy, paperwork, and not getting support from principals or school board officials. Which should I choose? I was thinking that maybe I can go back and forth. If I get tired of Elem Ed then I will go to ECE or vice versa. Anyone here ever had this issue?
     
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  3. svassillion

    svassillion Companion

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    I went to school for ECE and only afterwards while subbing did I realize I enjoyed elementary as well. I ended up getting both licenses then went where the job market lead me which was public kindergarten (ECE is preK-2 in my state, 1-6 is elementary). I'm going into my 5th year and still enjoying the young ones, but I figure if that ever changes I can just ask for a grade change if I maintain the license.
     
  4. TeacherCuriousExplore

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    I am currently subbing but haven't started yet. I hope that I enjoy it
     
  5. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    My DH and I both work in public schools. Two different districts. 50 years experience between the two of us. Yes, we have benefits. We do not have bonuses or any paid time off in the summer. The money we get in the summer isn’t pay for days we are off. It is money we already worked for that was withheld until June. Room for growth is true, but typically only with advanced degrees. The top jobs here require two masters degrees. Collaboration can be a positive . . . or a negative, depending on your collaborating people.

    I’m not an fan of younger kids in general, so can’t speak on choosing between those. Our head start program is part of the public schools here, and there aren’t any private schools. For awhile our preschool, head start, and kindergarten were all in the same building. It was good for a mix of early childhood and public school.
     
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  6. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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    .
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2019
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  7. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Delete
     
  8. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    “Teachers have bonuses, benefits, paid time off during the summer months, room for growth, and teacher collaboration.”

    I don’t know of anyone who gets bonuses. Paychecks in summer is not paid time off-rather it is the contracted salary spread over twelve months instead of ten.

    ‘Going back and forth’ between ECE and elementary could mean constantly restarting tenure track and could affect your pension.
     
  9. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    I think this is different for different people. Some people like to stay in one grade forever. For me personally, it's the tenth year of teaching, and I'm now in my third grade level after three years as a special education teacher. You have to know yourself and what will work for you. You might find that you end up in a particular spot and love it, and you might find yourself under a wandering star.
     
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  10. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Phenom

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    I think they mean bonuses from: 1) stipends for having advanced degrees, 2) signing contracts for hard-to-fill positions, and 3) monies awarded by the state in some instances for schools and/or school districts doing really well on standardized tests.

    At my private school, we get Christmas bonuses and performance-based bonuses. To demonstrate, we get $1,000 before Christmas Break to “help with the holiday expenses” and anywhere from $1,000-$3,000 over the summer in July depending on how well our students do on state and AP tests. I love it because I never have to pay for Christmas gifts myself and I get a little extra spending money for the summer. It’s a beautiful thing!
     
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  11. TrademarkTer

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    That sounds nice, but it doesn't seem fair to teacher who don't teach tested subjects or tested courses.
     
  12. Preschool0929

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    Does your district not have public preschool/sped preschool? This is my 10th year teaching public special education preschool. I have 2 Masters, 1 in early childhood and 1 in special education and in certified in both. I teach in a P-5 Elementary School and I’m paid on the same certified teacher pay scale as everyone else. I think you need to spend some time observing in both elementary and public preschool settings to really make an informed decision. Good luck!
     
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  13. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    The OP doesn’t hold certification in a hard to fill field- both ECE and elementary ed are glutted in most areas. Doubtful she’s looking for higher elementary where standardized tests come into play.
     
  14. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Pay increases for advanced degrees - yes. That's not a stipend, but an earned pay increase. Bonuses - not a chance. Paid time off for the summer - no one I know. Benefits are par for the course, but your parents chose not to provide them. They are a poor role model to compare other education jobs to. I will agree with others in pointing out that both ECE and elementary ed. are loaded with applicants for a finite number of jobs. Many who start in elementary ed. end up acquiring middle school certifications to increase the likelihood of finding a job. The other option is acquiring a certification in Teacher of Students with Disabilities, but that is more graduate school. It would afford the OP the chance to teach PreK in the public school system, and maximize pensions.

    I would like to go on record as saying that although I now work in a private school, futuremathsprof's experiences are not similar to anyone I know. I'm happy for him, but I can only dream of the "cash bonuses" that he seems to enjoy. Pay increases are earned by a set amount per year, unless you increase your value by adding more degrees or certifications. We don't have the same pay scales as public schools because we don't have unions to negotiate for us. Honestly, our pay raises are the equivalent of cost of living pay raises, and fair. Not generous to a fault, but fair. The only way I could earn a true stipend would be if I could coach a sport, direct a play, teach music after school, etc. The stipend would be for hours spent beyond the normal work day.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2018
  15. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Phenom

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    Some districts in my area and in many other parts of California will give you a stipend for having a Masters and/or PhD/EdD. It specifically states “stipend” at the bottom of the teacher salary schedule.
    Teachers in public schools can get bonuses if their students do well on the AP test(s) for the class(es) they teach. In fact, I know a number of public schools that do this in CA.

    And everyone in my school gets the $1,000 Christmas bonus, regardless of what they teach. If you teach AP classes and/or a subject assessed in the state tests, then you are offered an additional bonus to incentivize you to make sure your students pass. With clarification, you get $1,000 if you beat the state average, $2,000 if you beat the state average and at least 70% of your students pass, and $3,000 if you do both of those things AND at least 90% of your students pass.

    The same thing holds true on the state tests, but you can’t double dip if you happen to teach for both. This gives almost every teacher practically a chance because my school offers over 21 AP classes and many teachers teach AP.

    My school is data driven and cares about how its students test and so it gives financial incentives to make teachers focus on the tests. It makes sense fiscally to reward those who make it happen — just like performance would be rewarded in the private sector and we do have subject-specific knowledge. That’s how a capitalist society works. And after all, I do work in a private school.
     
  16. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Well, I live in NJ, and nothing you have just said sounds like anything that I have ever heard of here. Not saying you don't get it, just saying that I wouldn't hang my hat on your description being considered the norm. In at least 5 states that I am familiar with a stipend is something that they pay for extra service, such as coaching. The additional money we are paid due to extra degrees or education simply bumps you up on the pay scale.
     
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  17. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Phenom

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    Interesting to see how different states do things.

    To demonstrate, here are some random teacher salary schedules in CA:

    http://www.ycusd.org/documents/Contact Us/District Administrators/Human Resources Division/Salary Schedules/Certificated/2017-18 Certificated Salary Schedule -5.7-.pdf

    https://www.petalumacityschools.org/cms/lib/CA02204883/Centricity/Domain/51/PFT 2017-18 adopted 111417.pdf

    http://www.sfusd.edu/en/assets/sfusd-staff/contract and salary schedules/18-19 salary schedule K-12 teachers.pdf

    In California, you usually get a stipend for having at least a Masters AND further right on the salary schedule.
     
  18. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    In my area preschool teaching doesn't require a degree and pays close to minimum wage, so there would be no contest for me. At a district run preschool, you can eventually get more as you gain experience, but even the top earners are still making less than a first year salaried teacher. Our preschool is public and run by our district, but the only teachers paid on the regular salary scale are the special ed staff.

    I'm also in an area that's considered to have a "teaching shortage" but there are still a lot of elementary candidates. There just aren't as many as there used to be/as many as districts would like. It would still be difficult to find an elementary job here.
     
  19. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    That says it all!
     
  20. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    We call it moving up the pay scale.
     
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  21. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    We get bonus/stipends for: working at a target school (hard to staff), working in a high-demand area, being at a Top Gains school (as identified by the state), and being rated highly effective on our teacher evaluation.
     
  22. futuremathsprof

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    We also call it that, but I like that we get rewarded twice essentially. I think it’s fair to pay a teacher extra annually on top of the increase from moving up the pay scale for having a Masters and/or Doctorate.
     
  23. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    I figure that by the time they pay tuition reimbursement for the graduate degree, simply paying me a couple of thousand more in salary per year seems fair. After all, all of my subsequent annual raises are a given percentage, for instance 2%, that applies to my current salary, including that salary raise given from the increased education. So if my salary went up by $2000, all subsequent pay raises are paying an additional 2% on that salary increase. I am in a private school, too, but apparently not in the land of Christmas bonuses and generous money that falls like manna from heaven.

    I am happy you are so well taken care of, even spoiled, but OP is in Florida or Georgia, and the southeast is not known for being luxurious with their salaries. She has, to date, not even worked somewhere that pays her basic benefits. I would expect modest salaries in her part of the country, better if she finds a public school job that offers stability and a steady pay check, but I doubt that your definition of stipend is the one she will encounter. As Czacza pointed out, being paid over the summer is simply a matter of 10 months of work being paid over 12 months, instead of 10, which is better for those who can't go 2 months with no salary. My job does not offer that option, so I budget, but my son is in VA, and the 12 month pay out of 10 months work is the norm.

    I have no idea if she will be in a situation where she will deal with standardized testing - she certainly will NOT if she goes with ECE, so take potential bonuses off the table. A hiring bonus - maybe, if she is applying to a very hard to staff school. Stipends will be a result of extra hours spent working with children outside of normal school hours (clubs, coaching, etc.) I am just pointing out that this is more likely to be her terminology and the context it will be used it. She is not in a private school teaching upper grades in STEM courses.
     
  24. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Phenom

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    What I do like that public schools sometimes do is offer teacher’s the option to be paid once per month. My schools offers you the ability to be paid twice per month and spread out over 10 months or 12, but I would like the single-pay option per month. I have passive income from tutoring and would prefer that I get all my money at once.
     
  25. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Groupie

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    But the sooner you can get it in the bank, the sooner it can start earning interest! Give it to me ASAP.
     
  26. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    Tuition reimbursement?

    We are required to have a masters, but we have to pay for it ourselves. The degree kicks us up the salary scale, though. It is an extra $3000 a year. I finished my MA in 1996, and it was well worth getting it finished while I was still young. People who wait often find that children, marriages, and other life events complicate matters later. Several people have lost their teaching certificates because they didn't get their masters done in time.
     
  27. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    My DH gets paid twice a month, but I get paid once a month. It is all I've ever known, so I don't mine the once monthly option. Some people hate it. DH and I both get checks 12 months. Well . . . kind of. In June we get our money for June, July, August, and September all at once.
     
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  28. TrademarkTer

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    We get tuition reimbursement as well. The district pays us back 100% of the tuition for masters, 75% for PhD, and 50% towards other certifications (i.e. special ed, admin, etc.). We don't have a requirement to have a masters, but the pay difference is enough that it's foolish not to. There is a teacher who has been at our district for 13 years who only has a BA, and he makes the same as I do with only 6 years of experience and my M. Ed. That money adds up big over time, and with it being reimbursed, it seems like a no-brainer. Of course he has a few young kids and such making it more challenging for him to find the time.
     
  29. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Phenom

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    Bank interest rates are poo-poo.
     
  30. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Groupie

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    Use a totally online bank. I recommend Ally. Sure it's not amazing, but the 1.8% I get is better than the .01% I was getting from Bank of America. I still maintain an account with Bank of America, but I keep only a few thousand in there, with most of my savings over in Ally.
     
  31. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Phenom

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    That person is not fiscally intelligent... It’s sad because they have severely limited their income.
     
  32. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Phenom

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    But if you calculate how much you get over decades it comes out to very little... $25,000 at 1.8% interest over 40 years is $43,000 after all said and done. That’s basically not even worth it.
     
  33. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Groupie

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    That's right, I forgot who I'm talking to---the guy who works in the land where toilet paper is made of cash.
    [​IMG]
     
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  34. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Phenom

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    Oh, come on, lol!
     
  35. ChildWhisperer

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    You don't have public preschools?
    Our district has an entire school dedicated to preschool classes, and the teachers are paid according to their degree and years of experience, same as any other teacher in the district. And you have to be certified of course.
     
  36. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Phenom

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    I go with the 10-month option because I just put the extra money I get into savings for my summer expenses. I do like the idea of getting your last month’s pay and the summer months all at once! That would be nice!

    For my last contract, I would get $2,750 per pay period, but I’d have LOVED getting $5,500 all at once. Now, I’ll get $3,100 per paycheck, but I would prefer getting $6,200 each time.

    My mindset is this: I would rather pay all my bills at once (rent, savings, insurance, retirement, etc.) and then use what’s left to have fun with. Oh well. One can dream!
     
  37. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    This is what we do. Everything is paid the same week. Mortgage, utilities, insurance, etc. are all automatic deductions. They’re also mostly all the same amount every month. We dump the money for the household into the joint account, then whatever we have left is ours to do with as we please. (At the end of the month cycle, we put half of whatever we have left over into the household account for random things that we know will come up from time to time.)
     
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  38. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Phenom

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    I like your thinking! This is my plan (without the spouse and joint account) once I get my finances in order. :)
     
  39. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Public preschools are limited where I am. We have a preK in the school where I teach but it’s tuition based. This type of situation would be good for the OP- if hired to an elementary with a preK, one could potentially change grades.
     
  40. TeacherCuriousExplore

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    Thank you all. It seems I am always coming to the conversation late!

    My heart is with the little kids who are ages k-3. The district does have a public preschool that I will look into. I need to find a perfect school asap because student teaching is vastly approaching
     

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