So Why Isn't...?

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by Suburban Gal, Feb 2, 2009.

  1. Suburban Gal

    Suburban Gal (formerly Elizabeth) Banned

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    Feb 2, 2009

    You know, now that I think of things a little more (refer to What's Going on Here?)... I can't help but wonder why my exerience at Huntington Learning Center doesn't help give me an edge against people with actual teaching degrees. After all, I not only do 1:1 instruction, but do floor instruction as well in which I'm working anywhere with 2 to 4 kids at one time. Many of my Huntington colleagues are actual certificate holders and do exactly what I do yet they get chosen for paraprofessional positions over me!!!

    So why isn't my Huntington experience helping me at all, especially when it comes to Instructional Assistant/Aide positions? :huh:

    You'd think that my small group instruction at Huntington proves I can work with whatever materials and curricula are given to me.
     
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  3. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Feb 16, 2009

    Is Huntington like Sylvan Learning Center?

    If so, I think it might not be all that useful because you're probably not developing and implementing your own plans. You're probably spending only an hour or two with a very small group of students. This is nothing against you, it's just how it is.

    I worked at Sylvan for one summer, and I hated it. I don't feel like I learned one valuable skill during my time there.
     
  4. Suburban Gal

    Suburban Gal (formerly Elizabeth) Banned

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    Feb 16, 2009

    Yes, it is. But there are major differences between the two. We've actually taken on disastisfied clients from Sylvan only to find out they like Huntington so much better.

    Here's are the differences that separate Sylvan from Huntington:

    Sylvan: Diagnostic testing isn't thorough.
    Huntington: Diagnostic testing is thorough.

    Sylvan: Tutoring is on-going. It never ends. The child just keeps going and going.
    Huntington: Tutoring isn't on-going. It eventually ends. The programs have a beginning, middle and end. Children are one grade level ahead of where they currently are once they finish their program.

    Sylvan: They do group tutoring with as many as 6 kids at one table.
    Huntington: We do group tutoring, but there's never more than 4 kids per tutor.

    Sylvan: They tried 1:1 tutoring and found it didn't work for them.
    Huntington: We do 1:1 turoting.

    Sylvan: They don't receive actual copies (old copies that is) of the SAT/ACT tests for their ACT/SAT prep prgram. I believe they just yse standard test prep books that you find at Barnes & Noble and Border's bookstores.
    Huntington: We do. In fact, ACT and SAT have went as far as branding with us. There's an actual Huntington ACT/SAT test prep book. And because we get copies of the actual test, all high schoolers will take it 3 times throughout their ACT/SAT prep program (which is usally 40 hours total). Our students also end a day or two before they actually take the test.

    Sylvan: Doesn't go into the schools, meet with the stduent's teachers, have regular conferences with the teachers, and solicities for copies of tests and quizzes and the like.
    Huntington: We do. We have such good rapport with districts, schools, and teachers that we're even signed up through SES (Supplemental Education Services) so that we can offer 30 free hours of tutoring to low-income students registered with NCLB. Sylvan, OTOH, has never bothered signing up for SES.
     
  5. Suburban Gal

    Suburban Gal (formerly Elizabeth) Banned

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    Feb 16, 2009

    No, we're not developing our own plans, but we impliment plans ("prescriptions") already done for us. I thought that's what instructional assistants/teaching assistants did.

    And no, when I work in a group of kids, I can be working with many of the same kids for 2½ to 4 hours at times.

    In some cases, I may even have to come up with my own work, e.g. math problems, for them because what we currently have on hand isn't enough to reinforce a concept with them.
     
  6. emmakate218

    emmakate218 Connoisseur

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    Feb 16, 2009

     
  7. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Feb 16, 2009

    Suburban- Do you get interviews but just not job offers? Maybe we could help tweak yur resume or interviewing skills? What is your education level, degree, certification?

    I've served on my school hiring committee...Huntington and Sylvan just aren't looked upon that highly...I think it's a perception that the programs are somewhat 'packaged' and not providing the kind of experiences that schools are looking for in candidates. If I were you I'd keep the Huntington job but see if you can find other ways to get experience working with kids...

    Do you sub? Maybe volunteer as a docent at a children's museum...something like that...You might just need to 'expand' your experiential base into more creative, hands-on, less 'packaged', less 'corporate' type experiences...
     
  8. Suburban Gal

    Suburban Gal (formerly Elizabeth) Banned

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    Feb 16, 2009

    Yup. I seem to have no problems getting an interview, for the most part. It seems like the problem lies in the offers. I get told told they've went with someone with "more" experience. In a couple of cases it was "a tad bit more" experience than me.

    I had my résumé A+ Résumés For Teachers revamp my résumé not long ago. Cost me well over $100 too! No one has ever told me my was disorganized or hard to follow.

    Maybe it's my interviewing skills and the fact I just don't know what to say. Although it seems like interviewers (principals and assistant principals) seemed to have liked my responses to specific questions in the interviews I've been going on so I don't know. Maybe they act that way with everyone as a pleasantry?!?! :huh:

    Right now, I hold a Bachelor's Degree in General Studies with a Minor in History. I hold a Type 39 (Sub Certificate) and Paraprofesional Approval from the State of IL. I'm considered HIGHLY QUALIFIED and NCLB Approved. My experience includes 3+ years of substitute teaching (county wide, public and private), 2 years of religious education teaching (Sunday School essentially), and close to 2 years of tutoring (this march will make for 2 years exactly with Huntington). I also have those 2 months as an assistant teacher with the Montessori school (although I realize that probably doesn't mean a whole lot to many in the traditional school setting).

    Right now I just do the tutoring at Huntington. I wanted to go back to religious education teaching with SPECED kids, but I just can't right now. My time is spread so thin because not only do I tutor and go to school to work on a Master's in Secondary Education, but I also do elder care. When I did the religious education the first time, it was very hard to come home from subbing and then turn around and have to leave my grandfather at home for 90 more minutes and delay dinner and care for him. My mom and I relied on my uncle to look after him, but we were always under the imprerssion my uncle didn't exactly do a stellar job at that while we were away. So we couldn't help but wonder if there were times he got neglected.

    When the religious ed enrollment dropped and they had to cut half of the teaching staff for the 2008-2009 school year, my mom and I were in the many who got cut and not asked back. While we miss it, we somewhat view it as a blessing due to my grandfather requiring more and more care.

    Between Huntington, school, and my grandfather, I don't think I'm in a position to take on something else, especially since my uncle is fixing to move out in another month to live with his Filippino wife (she's fling in from Manila on April 4th). Once he leaves, it'll just be my mom and me — no third person to help wit grandfather.
     
  9. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    Feb 16, 2009

    Suburban,
    Having done a lot of hiring, I can tell you something principals may not tell you. If you mention that you are in a Master's program, tutor, and do elder care, there are many principals who will choose another candidate over you. I hope you are not mentioning the elder care in any way, shape, or form in your interviews. I'm sure you wouldn't, and don't mean to imply you would, but on a hiring committee, the first thing I would think is "this person may be absent a lot." Add to that the load from a graduate school, and that could be something that "isn't working for you" in terms of getting an aide position.
     
  10. Suburban Gal

    Suburban Gal (formerly Elizabeth) Banned

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    Feb 16, 2009


    No, I don't mention elder care whatsoever.

    I have the Master's listed on my résumé as an in progres. I never mention that unless they it comes up on the interviewer's part or they as me why I really want to work there. In the later case, I then usally tell them I want to work there because it's a terrific opportunity for me to put what I'm learning inside the classroom to good use.

    As for the Huntington, that really isn't much of an issue. I was working about 17 hours a week. However, that then got cut down by half. Now, I'm working just 2 hours a week and just on Sundays. I'm hoping it'll eventually get better and my hours will go back up. Evidentally, there's a lot of cancellations on the 1:1 side of things and not only at my center, but many others in the area as well.

    Honestly, I was having a lot of problems even before I added grad school on my plate. At that point in time, the only thing that ever came up was the Huntington.
     
  11. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Feb 16, 2009

    If you're getting the interviews and not the jobs, it sounds to me as though we need to work on those interview skills.

    Also, are you one of those people who knows someone? If not, spend the next weeks networking-- BECOME one of those people. Send a note to every contact you know in education. Let them know you're looking for a job and ask them to keep their eyes open for you.
     
  12. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Feb 16, 2009

    So you are only working at Huntington on Sundays? Get on the subbing list NOW,you have every other day available outside of your grandfather care (work out a schedule with mom or see if you can get some care through his insurance?)and grad school (classes at night?)- you absolutely need to get your body in CLASSROOMS in SCHOOLS...then once there, network, offer to run copies during 'preps', talk to teachers...show your happy helpful teacher face!
     
  13. Suburban Gal

    Suburban Gal (formerly Elizabeth) Banned

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    Feb 16, 2009

    While I agree, it takes SOME level of skill to execute the pre-made plans ("prescriptions"). And to have to ability to think outside the box and make up your own math problems/worksheets at times says a lot. Does it not? Why can't people get past that? Work at Sylvan, Huntington, or the like shouldn't be devalued.

    I've heard many interviewers tell me that part of the job as a teacher assistant, classroom assistant, or instructional assistant is to be able to think outside the box at times. I did that teaching religious ed and do that now as a tutor. (Heck, there were even times I had to do it as a sub... like the time that Language Arts teacher left me NO lesson plans whatsoever.) In fact, one of my character letters of reference gives me props for being able to think outside the box.
     
  14. palla

    palla Companion

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    Feb 16, 2009

    SG, do you have a specific example that you include in your resume/cover letter? It is one thing to say you think outside the box, but do you show them how you do it? That might help if you don't have it already.
     
  15. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    Feb 16, 2009

    SG,
    I can hear the frustration in your words. I just want to tell you that, in the past, and in a different field, I have been in your shoes. I know how painful it is to hear people tell you that you should do this, or you should do that, when you have tried, and tried, and changed, and tried again. You feel like screaming BUT I ALREADY DID THAT!!!!! seven times a day, and it seems like nobody understands. During the recession in the 1980's, it was impossible to find a job for a long time, and well-meaning people kept "recommending" things I had already done, and I just wanted to scream.

    I think the thing you have to remind yourself of is this -- what you've been doing isn't working. You can keep doing what isn't working, and you will probably get the same results, or you can come up with a plan for something different. Yes, some of the suggestions you are getting are probably things you have already tried, or think you have already tried -- but there have got to be some things you haven't tried, or that you tried but maybe didn't carry across quite the way you could have if you had more practice.

    I'm trying to say this next part as gently as I can. Whether or not it is fair or right, in the public school realm, working a Sylvan or Huntington and religious education don't count for squat most of the time. Is it right? No. Is it fair? No. Are they overlooking a great candidate because of their bias? Yes. But it is still a bias that is there. No matter how unfair you think it is, it isn't going to go away. I think you need to realize that when this many people are telling you the same thing, there must be some truth to it. It isn't fair, but it is the reality of the situation.

    Czacza is right. You have got to build up some public school experience and network in public schools. If your current experience, networking, resume, and interview techniques were working, I don't think you'd still be looking. You get interviews so there are jobs out there, but they don't materialize into jobs for you right now. There is something else you need -- and you must seek it out. Otherwise, you will continue along the same path, and based on your posts, you don't like the direction this path is leading.

    We are all trying to help. I know it is hard to hear. But I hope, if you can set this aside for a day or two, and then re-read it, you may find something that will be truly helpful.

    We all are really cheering for you get get the job of your dreams!
     
  16. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Feb 16, 2009

    Can you tell us what kind of questions you are getting in these interviews and how you are answering them? Maybe we can take your answers and make them better.
     
  17. allisonbeth

    allisonbeth Comrade

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    Feb 17, 2009

    I was able to land my first job after I returned to my college and went through the placement dept's resume building/ mock interview seminar again (the first time I was student teaching and too tired/ distracted to do much). I was afraid it would be a waste to time (the drive alone was 1hour 45 min each way) but I am sure that was why I landed the job and got offers even though 300plus people applied for each job.
    At the seminar, the staff videotaped me and I realized that I was not as "slick" as I had hoped. My answers were rushed and I seemed distracted. They gave me some tips to improve and, after practicing, I videotaped myself again. Much better! We also brainstormed answers to common questions. It was much easier going into interviews knowing how I would answer.
    Thanks to the eminar, I also did a huge amount of research into each job I interviewed for. I knew class size, test scores, seminars their teachers were attending...I read board minutes and talked to people who worked there- had children there-sold office supplies to it:lol:...
    Keep your chin up!
     

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