Software engineer to computer science teacher

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Rhona, Feb 14, 2021.

  1. Rhona

    Rhona New Member

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    Feb 14, 2021

    Hi,

    I'm a software engineer for over 20 years. I'm due for a change and was considering comp sci teacher positions at high schools. My question (and concern) is about salary. Is the initial salary (after interview before joining) negotiable? My location is in central NJ.

    In the past I've gotten a couple of offers which I declined because salary was way too low and I was told they don't really consider industry experience towards the steps on the salary schedule. Not sure if that is true. I read some other websites that salary is negotiable for teachers.

    Thanks!
     
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  3. CaliforniaRPCV

    CaliforniaRPCV Comrade

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    Feb 14, 2021

    From what I've seen, I'm pretty sure it's universally true. Pay might be negotiable, but you are going to take a pay cut going from 20 year software engineer to new high school teacher. Almost certain you would take a pay cut even if you got full credit for 20 years teaching experience, which isn't going to happen.
     
  4. Rhona

    Rhona New Member

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    I thought schools would value industrial experience especially for comp science.
    I also have several years adjuncting at community colleges and teaching at other universities too. I would say more than 10 yrs time. What salary can I except?

    If I were to negotiate whom do I negotiate with? Principal or Superintendent?

    I’ve been told from my prior interview that comp sci teachers are hard to come by.
    What else can I leverage to negotiate?
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2021
  5. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    Feb 14, 2021

    In public school districts, a teacher's salary is NOT negotiable. The pay scale is set by the district (or in some places, like NC, by the state) and they cannot pay more by statute. The only way to get more is to
    1. Assume extra duties (like coaching) for an additional stipend
    2. Get a Master's degree or doctorate will give a small increase in salary in some districts (many districts are doing away with this, but some still offer)
    3. Years of experience as a certified public school teacher (obviously, you don't have this.)

    Some charter schools do negotiate, but they amount they pay is less than other public schools, so you will still make less than a beginning teacher in a public school in most cases.

    They are not the least concerned about your non-education experience (unless you are talking about college teaching) and they do not consider your previous experience in regard to you salary. If you have 0 years of public school teaching as a certified teacher, you start at the lowest pay grade. Most public schools make no differentiation between a computer science teacher, an English teacher, and a PE teacher. They don't pay more for past non-certified teaching experience, for knowing additional programming systems, or network experience. (This is the reason there is a shortage in science and math teachers...they can make so much more in other jobs, who would take a job making $34,500 per year when they used to make $65,000 per year?)

    And, of course, you will still have to take a teaching certification program so you can meet the requirements to be a certified teacher. It typically requires about a year of addition college classes, and passing a couple of teaching exams. The majority of schools will not hire anyone who is not already certified. They used to, a long time ago, and let you earn it while you taught, but most districts no longer do that because of the legal liability of doing that. You will also need to pass classes in identifying child abuse, being a mandated reporter, and in my state, you have to get your ESOL certification, no matter what you teach.
     
  6. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    Here are the requirements to become a Technology Instructor in NJ.

    TECHNOLOGY EDUCATION CERTIFICATE OF ELIGIBILITY (ENDORSEMENT CODE: 1810)

    This endorsement authorizes the holder to teach technology education in all public schools with the exception of approved vocational programs.

    Technology education includes content aligned with the CCCS and the standards for Technology Literacy published by the International Technology Education Association. Examples of the topics that can be taught under this endorsement include: the nature of technology; technology and society; engineering and technological design; abilities for a technological world; energy and power; information and communication; and transportation, manufacturing and construction technologies.

    Degree Requirement • A minimum of a bachelor’s degree is required from a regionally accredited college/university.

    Cumulative GPA Requirement • New Jersey requires that candidates for certification achieve a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 when a GPA of 4.00 equals an A grade for students graduating on or after September 1, 2016 (2.75 for those graduating before September 1, 2016) in a baccalaureate degree program, higher degree program or a State-approved postbaccalaureate certification program with a minimum of 13 semester-hour credits.
    • Please note that there are GPA Flexibility Rules where a high praxis score may offset a GPA that is lower than 3.0, but higher than 2.75.

    Subject Matter Preparation
    Current regulations for certification require that applicants complete a 30 credit coherent sequence of study in courses that align to the Standards for Technological Literacy (STL). A coherent sequence requires that at least 12 credits are completed at the advanced level of study (junior, senior or graduate level).

    Within the 30 credits, the candidate shall complete study in:
    1. The nature of technology or technology and society
    2. Technological design
    3. The use of tools and materials and safety related to using tools and materials; and
    4. Three of the following seven areas:
    i. Medical technologies
    ii. Agricultural and related biotechnologies
    iii. Energy and power technologies iv. Information and communication technologies v. Transportation technologies
    vi. Manufacturing technologies and/or
    vii. Construction technologies
    Related courses may be accepted depending on the course description/content. Please provide a course description if a course is not taken from the Technology Department.

    Courses in pedagogy/education are not accepted towards the subject matter preparation. The final determination as to which courses will be counted towards the Technology subject matter is based on professional and content standards found in the NJ Licensing Code. All credits must appear on a regionally accredited 2 or 4-year college/university transcript.

    Testing Requirements • Praxis II Test Requirement Official scores must be presented directly from Educational Testing Service to the NJ Department of Education. Only official scores are accepted. The New Jersey Department of Education code (R7666) and your Social Security number must appear on your test score report in order to be accepted. Please submit a copy of your test score report if you have taken the appropriate exam. NOTE: THIS DOCUMENT IS MADE IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE RULES CURRENTLY IN EFFECT. REQUIREMENTS, PASSING TEST SCORES, AND FEES ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITHOUT NOTICE.

    Basic Skills Assessment Requirement (choose one)
    All candidates applying for their initial CE must pass a Commissioner-approved test of basic skills. Scores must be presented directly from Educational Testing Service to the NJ Department of Education. Only official scores are accepted. The New Jersey Department of Education code (R7666) and your Social Security number must appear on your test score report in order to be accepted. Please submit a copy of your test score report if you have taken the appropriate exams. OR Score in the top one-third percentile on the SAT, ACT, or GRE for the year the test was taken. Official score reports must be sent directly from the testing agency.
    Physiology and Hygiene Requirement • This requirement may be completed by choosing one of the following options: 1.) Present evidence of basic military training 2.) Complete a course such as biology, health or nutrition that appears on a regionally accredited 2 or 4-year college/university transcript 3.) Complete an online test. You must have a tracking number and an application on file to take this test. Once completed, please email us at Licensing.Requests@doe.nj.gov stating that the test has been taken. You will need to include your name and tracking number in the email. Fee Requirement • No checks or money orders will be accepted • Please make the payment online • Please notify your examiner after payment has been made. • If your application expires after six months, you will be charged a fee of $70. • All fees, including money left on file, are nonrefundable Online Certificate Information • All information regarding applications and certifications is now available online, including certificate name, certificate ID number, date of issuance, and expiration date, if applicable. Instructions to view this information can be found here. • In order to make certification information available more quickly, this information will appear on our website in lieu of the issuance of paper certificates. If you would like to view the status of your application, then please visit our application status check.
     
  7. CaliforniaRPCV

    CaliforniaRPCV Comrade

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    This and your post before amount to a couple tons of cold water. And I thought I was being tough.

    Confession, I'm an all but retired IT guy (40+ years in the business) and I thought switching over might be an option for me since I had Peace Corps experience and an alternative route to certification. After all the time and expense, I have what will be yet another useless cert. The bar is pretty high to get the cert. Job application processes are more onerous than for most other jobs. For example, most often I see letters of recommendation required at the time of application, where other jobs require phone numbers and email addresses after interview. In my opinion, breaking in to K through 12 teaching is more of a younger persons game.
     
  8. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    Feb 15, 2021

    There are so many people out there who think "oh, I'll be a teacher...I'll just take a test, and I'll be ready to teach right away." Teaching high school students requires so much more than just taking a test or being knowledgeable about a subject. You have to know about pedagogy, theory and best practices in instruction, legal requirements, working with non-English speaking students, working with students with special needs, dealing with parents, following state testing protocols, etc. If you want to be a teacher, you have to learn to accept the fact that the worst teacher and the best teacher both make the exact same salary.

    And when it comes to teaching technology, you also have to realize that the computers and such that are available are typically years behind other industries. It can also be a surprise to many who are considering switching to teaching that the certification process is rigorous, daunting, and that every single first year teacher, whether they teach English, or computers, or PE, or Art -- all make the exact same amount.

    A lot of people (not necessarily the original poster) think teaching is easy and they simply have no idea how little it pays in most areas, or that non-education experience is not valued when it comes to salary. They also don't realize that from day one, a new teacher is expected to be proficient at everything -- even things they have never done before. This is especially hard for people who go through a certification program that does not include student teaching.

    Many people have a romanticized notion of what teaching is, and how kids behave, and trust me, it is nothing like when they were a kid. So many new teachers come in and don't realize that you can't send a child out of class for constantly talking, that your classes will be overcrowded, that half your class will not have the required prerequisite knowledge to succeed, that a teacher can go all day without interacting with another adult, and that some parents will jump all over you no matter what you do. They have no idea how long the required lesson plans take each week, or the amount of uncompensated overtime they will be required to work to grade, plan, and design lessons.
     
  9. CaliforniaRPCV

    CaliforniaRPCV Comrade

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    It's more than a bit sad that there is such a huge barrier between school and just about everything else. That barrier causes real harm to everyone.
     
  10. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    Your ability to negotiate a starting salary in a public school system is slim. A few may if they desperately need teachers in your area, but I wouldn't be holding my breath.

    You may have more negotiating power in a private school, but they tend to pay less than public. However, if you can manage a mid-range private salary, it may be more than a starting public.

    As others have said, your years of industry experience means little when it comes to starting teacher's salaries.

    Good luck on your decision.
     
    CaliforniaRPCV likes this.

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