offered an elementary teaching position BUT... (alt license)

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by crazy49er, Jul 20, 2017.

  1. crazy49er

    crazy49er Rookie

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    Jul 20, 2017

    Hello all.

    Need some career advice. Im pretty lost.

    So without delving too much into my background I was recently laid off basically from my job some months ago and I decided to take some steps towards getting certified to teach. The reason for this being there is a relatively high demand for teachers in the area I live in and there is a decent program for alternative teachers where once you get a position you then take classes to supplement what your doing in the classroom. I also have always thought the idea of teaching and helping kids was something that would be fun.

    I passed the praxis and got all the paperwork i needed to apply for jobs. i did not expect in the slightest to get offered a teaching position this summer (very surprised, partly because i passed praxis pretty quick) but i wound up interviewing at a local elementary and the staff seemed great (very nice principal, nice teachers, etc.) and was offered the job on the spot. I only have very brief volunteer experience in the classroom and ZERO other experience teaching. I have worked with youth before but again zero experience in the education field.

    I am worried by taking this job, I will be getting into it without having the proper preparation. I want to succeed at whatever I do but frankly, things i have read online regarding teaching are fairly intimidating and make it seem like teaching has to be your life goal and drive otherwise it will be hard to make it.

    The prospective principal i interviewed with is letting me think on the offer for a bit and assures me they will not let me just go into it without being ready and has offered to accommodate me in order to succeed in every area (offered a teachers aid, etc). so they are obviously VERY aware i have no teaching experience. They really like me and want me to jump on board.

    I'm pretty "even keeled" when it comes to my desire to teach. I think i would be great at it and have fun but i don't have this "immense/allconsuming/knew it was my calling since birth" desire like some convey they do... maybe they are exaggerating...im not sure lol. Also, the idea of sitting in a classroom again (alt program classes) on top of the work load of teaching is not too appealing. should i try and get more experience first and or give this opportunity a shot and trust the process? The staff at my prospective school seems very good and even if i waited to apply down the road with more xp, another school may not be a great fit putting me back into a job searching type dilemma.

    that is my dilemma coming from someone who would be getting into this going down the alternative certification path.
     
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  3. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

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    There really isn't any experience you can get to fully prepare you for your first classroom, even student teaching isn't a true indicator as you're in someone else's room following someone else's procedures.
     
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  4. monsieurteacher

    monsieurteacher Aficionado

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    I say go for it... read up over the summer... The First Six Weeks of School is a good resource by Harry Wong.
     
  5. Kat.

    Kat. Companion

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    This is kind of what happened to me - I was working on finishing my alt certification while working as a long-term sub. I was about 4 weeks into my subbing when I was told the teacher I was in for would not be returning and was asked if I was interested in replacing her. My original plan was to sub for the fall semester and student teach in the spring.

    Yes, it was scary and at times I felt like I wasn't prepared. I did however have a great team and an extremely supportive principal who allowed me to attend PD's and observe other teachers. You will likely be given a mentor teacher who can help you with lesson plans and ideas. Maybe you can get class coverage so you can observe teachers around the school, too. That was super helpful for me!

    I'm so grateful things worked out the way they did for me. This is an awesome opportunity for you. I won't say don't be scared because it IS scary, but it really can be an amazing thing. Go for it! :)
     
  6. TXSPEDteacher

    TXSPEDteacher Rookie

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    In Texas, if you don't do university based certification and you opt for alternative certification, you won't be in the classroom until you get a job. I don't see what the difference is taking a job now versus next year if student teaching isn't in the plans. Might be different in your state- just answering from my perspective. Even student teaching isn't "reality" to be honest. If you really want to work with kids, you should do fine.
     
  7. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Teaching is not always 'fun' and I respect your self reflection on whether you are cut out for this career.
     
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  8. Kat.

    Kat. Companion

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    That's not necessarily true - my alt program (in TX) gave me the option to either student teach for a semester or find a full time job straight away
     
  9. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Jul 20, 2017

    Each state has their own quirky rules for AR, but I would think the principal would be aware of whether or not this person can, in fact, accept the job.

    You can appreciate teaching, be good at teaching, continue to educate yourself about teaching, but not be someone who felt destined to become a teacher. Some of us had other plans, but circumstances change our paths, our understanding of what it means to be a teacher, and our appreciation of the work. Yes, I am AR, and since earning my first provisional certificate, I have added a MEd., and have come pretty far along on the second. As an AR teacher, there should be an understanding that you will give a little more, invest more time and learning into those early years because you are bypassing the formal teacher education. What you bring to the table is maturity and life lessons, hopefully patience, and you are committed to becoming a life-long learner. If the principal who offered you the job is right, the very fact that you are reflecting on everything that it means to be a teacher means you already possess one quality that most great teacher share. Teachers are asked to reflect, over and over, and for good reason. Lesson didn't work? Reflect on what could have gone wrong. Overjoyed at the results? Reflect on what you brought to the table that connected so well with the students.

    I don't know what you will choose to do, but I would accept the offer and take this team up on offers of help and support. IMHO, no one is ever the worse off for learning new skills and trying new things. Who knows - maybe there has been a teacher inside of you just trying to get out.
    Best of luck!
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2017
  10. rpan

    rpan Cohort

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    I would say go for it, especially since both you and the principal are aware of your potential limitations. Ask your P for a mentor and also observe other teachers teaching similar grades. Also, ask if the culture at your school is one where there is a lot of collaboration or if each teacher does their own thing. That could make a difference.

    Accept that the first couple of years will be difficult (it will be for every new teacher, regardless of the route taken), and there will be lots of hard work ahead. If you are prepared to stick it out do the required, then I think you will come out the other side. Sometimes (in general), people don't have a passion for something, but once they become "good' at it, then the passion comes later. It's not a calling for everyone, and it's nice to be passionate about teaching, but not a pre-requisite.
     
  11. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Fanatic

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    Look at all the people waiting on the boards for job. Take the job and realize many first year teachers barely know what they're doing.
     
  12. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    So the ARL program requires you to teach in a classroom while taking classes to meet their licensing requirements and remove provisions? Is that the only way to do it? Or is it possible to take the classes first before entering a classroom?

    If your only option is to simultaneously teach and take classes, what will change between now and later if you are offered a different position down the road? Will you be more or less ready later, when you've had no classwork or training at that point either? Volunteering in classrooms and whatnot is excellent, but it's nothing like being a real teacher all on your own.

    If teaching is your goal, and if the only want to meet this goal is do this program, and if the only program option requires you to teach and take classes at the same time, then I suppose you have to take this job.

    I would caution you that there have been many times during my teaching career where I wouldn't have described it as "fun". I love my job, and I think it's the perfect one for me, but it's hard. Like, very hard. I've had some very rough days, like the time I sat in my car in the garage once I got home from school and cried for about an hour. I don't get super worked up about stuff I can't control, so you can maybe imagine how awful things must have been for me to reach that point.

    I would further caution you that when it comes to support of new, inexperienced teachers, sometimes schools make promises that they won't or can't keep. It will be amazing if you do get all the support you've been promised, but you should know that it might not actually happen. You should be ready to be honest with yourself about your own personal characteristics, motivations, ability, and willingness to do a lot of really hard work on your own. Are you very resourceful? What happens if you don't get the amount of hand-holding you want or need?

    If it's possible and if your program allows for it, I would probably recommend that you take classes first before entering a classroom. If there's a student teaching option in your program, go that route. Of course, that would only work if you could financially support yourself in the space between starting classes and actually getting a classroom position.

    Lots for you to think about here. Good luck in whatever you decide.
     
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  13. crazy49er

    crazy49er Rookie

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    In reply to the bold first question... yes. The alternate licensing program (at least the one I'm looking at) only allows you to start the program once you secure a full time teaching job with the offer etc.

    so you basically are taking classes after you've already gotten a crash course in a real class setting as a teacher. After thinking about it some more, i think they (alternate program) leave the burden of acquiring experience and confidence to teach on the prospective alternate teachers and they sort of just leave the door open if teaching is something you really want to get into. there are no options with this program to student teach or take classes before hand even if you were willing to pay.

    in regards to your difficult days teaching, i must admit that is extremely intimidating. I suppose the positive side to things is with teaching you aren't really "locked in" to stay more than a school year if it really wasn't working out. I never really pursued a career or degree in education so I'm not too emotionally invested one way or another (of course i would want it to work out though)

    Also good to know about schools potentially exaggerating the support you may get at the school. My prospective principal actually reached out to me several times assuring me id get the support I need but i guess you never know until you try ;)


    ...lots of good replies in this thread and a lot to think about moving forward with my career goals. At the very least I know a heck of a lot more than I did about the teaching field.

    Thanks all.
     
  14. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    That's a sad statement on the capability of new teachers.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2017
  15. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Fanatic

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    As someone who has interviewed people for teaching jobs, it's the truth.
     
  16. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    One thing that jumped out to me was the teacher's aide. No school is going to hire a teacher's aide just to help out a first year teacher. Either they are exaggerating about giving you an aide (maybe they have an aide that floats between several classes, and they'd have that aide spend an extra block in your room occasionally), or they are giving you a classroom that requires you to have a full-time aide in the room (likely for SPED purposes). Just a factor to consider.
     
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  17. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    AR programs are not for the faint of heart, those who are content to do the bare minimum, or those who weak in content knowledge, IMHO, and I firmly believe the successful candidates will be lifelong learners who don't have to be told that this is an accelerated program. NJ AR programs include work and learn as you teach approaches. One way does not include college courses, but is a product of Rutgers, while the other way includes grad credits at a university that you might not care to finish a master's degree at. Since I don't teach elem. ed., I don't know how hard that would be. With an endorsement/content area that is HS appropriate, if you have the content firmly ingrained, you aren't learning that, just the classroom practice.

    I would agree with gr3teacher that I would want more information about why the aide is in the class. In a public school, aides are the unspoken code for large class size or increased SPED population.
     
  18. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Where is the part about an aide? I must have missed it?
     
  19. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    From the OP:

    "The prospective principal i interviewed with is letting me think on the offer for a bit and assures me they will not let me just go into it without being ready and has offered to accommodate me in order to succeed in every area (offered a teachers aid, etc). so they are obviously VERY aware i have no teaching experience. They really like me and want me to jump on board."

    6th paragraph from the top
     
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  20. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I completely missed that! I even looked a second time, lol!
     
  21. crazy49er

    crazy49er Rookie

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    Interesting to know. From how she said it, it definitely sounded like she was hiring a teachers aide just for my classroom. Ive asked quite a few questions for my principal but the answers are always quite vague all things considered. She seemed to like me but i don't know...something just felt off.

    In any event, I've decided to table this endeavor for now and pursue other avenues. Im still young and don't want to burn myself out... i don't feel I'm ready for a career of this scope at the moment with the added burden of taking classes. If I had more time to prepare and spend more time in a classroom I think I would have felt more comfortable with it.

    Thanks all for the input.
     
  22. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Fanatic

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    In the end, you are the only person you have to satisfy with your decisions.
     

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