Teach or Student Teach?

Discussion in 'New Teachers' started by MissWull, Feb 16, 2007.

  1. MissWull

    MissWull Cohort

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    Jun 25, 2007

    Thanks everyone for all your input. I'm surprised this thread is still kicking! :) I'm glad though. I've actually just decided to student teach. I managed to get more hours at my current job to save up enough money to pay all my bills for all those months I will be student teaching. But it does help living with my parents because that gets rid of paying rent and the bills that come with that! My fiance also got a HUGE promotion, which couldn't come at a better time...so not only will we be financially stable...we will even be able to do some saving which I hadn't planned on...so yay!!
     
  2. CatieCat

    CatieCat Rookie

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    Jun 25, 2007

    I'm glad you reached a decision. I hope you have a great student teaching experience. Best of luck to you!
     
  3. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    Sorry, long and rambling...

    To student teach or to intern? That is the question that I have been struggling with for several months. As of August, I will either begin student teaching or will have my own classroom. I have completed all courses for my (post BA) alternate certificatoin program. The only thing left is 6 hours -- either 1 semester student teaching or 2 semesters as an intern. For reference, I have an AA in English, and a BA in History with an English minor, all of which I have earned after spending 25 years in the business, computer, and construction sectors. In the course of my former jobs, I have taught adults in different skill areas and tutored students from middle school through college age. I have also been the leader of a huge and very active Girl Scout troop for more than 4 years, and have served as a "leader trainer' as well. Enough background. Several of the women with whom I have attended classes have been in the classroom since BEFORE their first education course began. While I would not have considered doing that, I admire them, because they HAVE been able to handle the double load of taking night classes for the certification program while going through the initial learning curve of a first year teacher, along with all of the extra hours that new teachers (from what I read on this forum) put in. They have all received excellent evaluations from their supervisors and overseeing professors. Thus far, I have not chosed to enter the classroom except in an observational and small group lesson capacity, mainly because my own classroom experience as an elementary student was long ago, and teaching methods have changed drastically since then. I am still debating whether or not I want to student teach or to intern. I see benefits to both (and not just the money). I will probably student teach. However, there is an opening for a 5th grade SS teacher that I would LOVE to have, and the principal has a reputation for being a great supporter of alternate certification candidates. The parish in which I hope to teach (our version of a county) offers many and varied classes and seminars for all teachers. I personally have several friends who have been teachers for years, and all of whom have allowed me to "pick their brains" and have offered their assistance in the classroom (as sounding boards, etc.). I am a quick study, and have much real world and general management experience, which I believe will help me in and out of the classroom. I don't know... Student teaching would also allow me to watch and work under a master teacher, which I know (if the experience is a good one) will be of huge benefit. Do I sound conflicted? It's because I am. There is a fiercely independent part of me that wants "my own" classroom. There is also a terrified part of me that keep screaming "you don't know what you are doing!" Of course, the latter part has been with me upon the beginning of every job I have ever taken. I'm gonna close this now. Sorry for rambling. I love to read your posts with all of the differing opinions and experiences. I find every one of them helpful.
     
  4. luv2teach415

    luv2teach415 Companion

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    Jun 26, 2007

    I will actually be an intern this school year. I just got a 5th grade position at a Catholic school which I will also be doing my student teaching at (well it's my internship). Though, I haven't had a lot of experience as a teacher. I have had a lot of experience doing fieldwork in various grades. I was also a pre-K teacher for the past school year. I've been a head counselor for a summer camp for the past 5 years. I feel that my years as a counselor will ultimately help me through this year. Though camp is not as structured, I do have to implement classroom management every day and we do have to implement a schedule to follow. I tend to make my groups more structured than most groups. It's not just playtime for the children. They are actually learning during the summer.
    Also, when I start in September, I will be lucky enough to know both the first grade and third grade teachers in the school I will be working at. They have already told me if I need anything just to let them know. i know I will be using them as resources throughout my first year.
    I think I can do it. I know it's going to be a difficult first year and probably overwhelming at times. I think with all of the people I know and the experience I have already had with children, I will do it. But everyone is starting to scare me here and make me doubt my decision to do the interning. Is there anyone that has had a decent internship experience?
     
  5. SJteach

    SJteach New Member

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    Jun 26, 2007

    I was actually talking about this exact subject to a teacher I know, and she offered another dimension to think about. She said that if you are hired while still going to school, you will be hired at a "non credentialed" rate, which is about half as much as a first year credentialed teacher makes. So for me to do this, I would take twice as long to finish my credential program, at half the rate I would get if credentialed. In two years, I would make about the same amount of money if I A) complete my credential in a year and work full time for a year, or B) work full time at a non-credentialed rate for two years while getting my credential. Also, option B would be far more stressful, trying to get through my first couple years teaching plus going to classes at night.

    Anyways, before you make the decision, find out what the compensation will be. I know it seems tempting to just take the money, but it might not be worth it.
     
  6. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    Actually, here, interns are paid the same amount as fully credential teachers with no experience. The only human resource difference is that if a principal has a certified teacher apply for the program (and they are qualified), the principal has to hire the certified person instead of the intern.
     
  7. SJteach

    SJteach New Member

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    Jun 26, 2007

    Oh, that's good! Well then, do whatever is best for your situation. I know that I'm definately going to do the student teaching thing, though!
     
  8. greenbean6

    greenbean6 Companion

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    Jun 27, 2007

    In my area the pay depends on the school's needs. From what I've seen interns are paid anywhere from 2-4 thousand less than fully-credentialed first year teachers, but in some cases are given equal pay. Actually, I have a friend who was just hired as an intern for a second grade position and her pay is above the average starting salary for teachers in my area. I've never heard of interns making half the salary of credentialed teachers though.

    I think the decision between student teaching and interning really depends on the individual.
     
  9. katrinkakat

    katrinkakat Connoisseur

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    Jun 27, 2007

    My school district will hire me as an intern teacher if I have passed the CSET, CBEST, have a Bachelor's degree and am enrolled in a credential program. I have 10 years teaching in the district for their head start program. In some states Head Start teachers are on the same pay scale as K-8th grade teachers, but not in California.
    So I am enrolled in a credential program and hope to get an intern position in a K or 1st grade class in the fall. I could not afford to quit my job and do the student teaching route as I pay the mortgage with my paycheck. But I feel prepared to teach K with my pre-K classroom experience. I think this is a very interesting thread!
     
  10. katrinkakat

    katrinkakat Connoisseur

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    Jun 27, 2007

    PS. in my district interns are put right onto the regular teacher's pay scale. They will also count my years as Head Start teacher as years teaching and so I would start at about year 8 (two years I subbed). It's interesting that it is different in various counties/states.
     
  11. shasha379

    shasha379 Devotee

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    Jun 27, 2007

    I was a teacher intern, and loved it. I did not have any classroom management problems or anything. I guess it helped that I was a paraprofessional for two years prior. I have many friends who were in the same program with me, and they had no classroom experience. They say they would not have traded the experience for anything. We all have clear renewable certificates now. YAY!!!!
     
  12. snappyscrapping

    snappyscrapping New Member

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    Jun 27, 2007

    I absolutely loved my student teaching experiences. I have been in the field of education for 13 years and still those student teaching placements prepared me more than anything else I have ever done in my career. Although intern programs can be great programs, it was nice to know that I got to focus on bettering myself as a teacher instead of all the other worries that go into running your own classroom for a year. I was able to reflect more on how I could do things better and I had my master teachers there most of the time (I subbed for them when they were out for a day two here and there) to model for me, and evaluate my teaching practices, so that I could focus on being a better teacher.
    I struggled with this decision as well and in the end, I am so glad that I went the student teaching route. It was a hardship for me financially, but it was worth it. I just got my first teaching job and I start on Monday. I am so excited and I feel really prepared to start this new school year.
     
  13. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    I have been the mentor for three interns.

    Two of them shouldn't have been let loose in a classroom without student teaching. They both showed up for the first time when teachers reported back and then had a great deal of trouble being ready for those first yellow buses. They weren't slackers but really had no idea what was expected of them. Those two years were very stressful for me since I had to spend a lot of time teaching them very basic things during my planning period.

    The third intern was a retired Marine who was much older than I was but actually listened to my suggestions and had a very good first year. I would have put my child into his class had I had one in that grade. Even though he was a good first year teacher, he often said to me that he wished he had had a chance to do student teaching.
     
  14. srh

    srh Devotee

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    Jun 28, 2007

    That was great to share, Teacherintexas. And your experience is what I have imagined it is probably like for interns...unless you have gobs of "non-school" experience somehow (community work, church activities, etc.), it HAS to be a difficult transition. And even with that outside experience, it is still just a different world in a classroom. People SO underestimate the responsibilities and hard work it takes to teach.

    Thanks for the voice of logic! And I'm glad one of your three seemed to manage and do a great job. (Do you think it was his age or his background in the military that helped the most?)
     
  15. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    I think his age and military background both helped. He was very contentious which I think was probably his age and the fact that he had raised three kids, and he was very organized which was either his natural tendency or the the military had "made" that a natural tendency. I think he was the best one of the three just because he wanted to learn from me and all the other teachers on my campus, and didn't have a know it all attitude. I was just a few years older than one of his daughters but he would come ask me questions after school about how to make a lesson he had done that day better.

    The other two were very passionate about teaching. They wanted to do well and change the world one kid at a time, but just didn't seem to get their passion translated into the day to day teaching. They both had great ideas, but usually were too big and elaborate to really work in a class.
     
  16. hdmeza

    hdmeza Companion

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    Jun 28, 2007

    Let me say that not everyone who is ACP doesn't know what they are doing.

    I am about to begin my "internship" in August, but I have already attended many classes, taken content exams, and gotten pushed tot he end of every hiring line.

    An Administrator will not hire an ACP person if they do not meet federal guidelines and district guidleines.

    I have been teahing inprivate schools for over 4 yrs, so have many of my classmates.

    Please do not assume that we all don't have a clue.

    And as far has having my child removed from a class, that would be the last thing on my mind, I am relieved to have learned how to teach, develop my own content and assessment, not just use the Te's like our area colleges teach in Ed classes!!!

    Anybody can be a great, good, of poor teacher, It is the person, not the program!!!!!!
     
  17. srh

    srh Devotee

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    Jun 28, 2007

    hdmeza--I don't think we were meaning that interns "don't have a clue." I read many success stories earlier in the thread that tell us otherwise. It's just that it would definitely take a special person to be able to walk into a classroom of his/her own for the first time without having had the benefit of direct instruction or mentoring in all the duties and responsibilities. I agree that many people are just "naturals," but I don't think anyone would argue that in a best case scenario, a new teacher has had classroom experience before taking on the full responsibilities of teaching 20+ students.

    I reread through the thread a bit, but I'm not sure about your reference to removing a child from a class...did someone say something about taking a child out of a class taught by an intern? Gosh, that's another place where it depends on the person. We had a 23-year-old intern teaching last year in a self-contained classroom (8th grade) with a partner teacher while she simultaneously completed her credential program. This year she went solo in that same classroom and did an incredible job while simultaneously completing her Master's Degree. She is highly motivated and it shows. People have to look at individuals in these situations; administrators do have more to watch for though, if a teacher is not yet credentialed.
     
  18. hdmeza

    hdmeza Companion

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    I was referring to this. I am sorry but any first year teacher is an experiment. Whether they student taught or interened, and regardless of their background. If it is anyone's first time to run a class without a back-up (master teacher) in the room to provide immediate feedback, it is an experiment.

    I do take offense to stating that my students will pay the price for my alt cert.

    I will repeat there are good and not so great no matter which route you turn.

    I am saddened that teachers would not stand behind their colleuges that regardless of pay or not, still made sacrafices to be in a classroom. A school cannot be an effective learning community if its members do not support each other. What message would that send to the students? "She's not good because she did things a different way." Aren't we as teachers working to embrace different learning types and help students find their path to success? Should we not be supportive of those adults who have done the same?

    :( :confused: :( :confused: :( :confused: :(
     
  19. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Jun 28, 2007

    If my kid were in a class with a new teacher, I would be completely fine with it. I would, however, possibly have a problem with my kid being in a class with an unlicensed teacher. Depending on the requirements for LTSes, I might even contest that. I'd want to know the person's qualifications.

    In some states/districts, anyone with a college degree (and sometimes not even that!) can enter a classroom and begin teaching. This doesn't indicate any knowledge of a particular subject matter or best teaching practices. It doesn't prove to me that they know how to manage a classroom or that they even know what classroom management is.

    While I would expect a new teacher to struggle a little bit with these things, I'd feel confident that he or she would have at least been exposed to those concepts in school. When it comes to an unlicensed teacher or a LTS, however, there's no telling what their background is. One of the LTSes at my school last year had worked in political campaigning before becoming an LTS, and she really (REALLY!!) struggled with basic classroom management techniques. The problems were so bad that her kids weren't learning anything at all. If my kid had been in her class, you can bet I would be demanding a schedule change.

    School is for learning. We have schools because of the students, not because of the teachers. If someone can't teach students what they need to know--licensed or not, regular or substitute--then they need to go.
     
  20. srh

    srh Devotee

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    hdmeza: Oh, I see what you mean! Well, that is the place where parents (and other teachers) have to rely on the expertise of the administrator who is making the call. No good administrator will knowingly hire someone who is not qualified--credentialed or not--and we all know that many teachers who have earned a credential should be in another career! I trust my administrator to call the shots, because ultimately, he is held accountable for everything from morale to test scores to student success.

    It's a tough subject, but there is room for negotiation and sensitivity! Please don't be offended for long! :-D
     
  21. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    Absolutely true!

    I take exception to this on several levels. First, I have been in education courses with students in the regular ed program and the alternate certification program (I am alt. cert.). Very little practical classroom management training was given to either group. Second, most of the people who are participating in the alt. cert. program that I am in have been out of college at least a few years, some have raised children, some are retired from other fields, and some got into the workforce and decided that teaching was a better calling for them. I personally try not to assume ANYTHING about a person's background. Have I ever taught in a classroom? No, but I have been the leader of a huge very active Girl Scout troop (girls aged 5 - 11), I have tutored students from Middle School to graduate students, I have instructed adult clients in software training sessions,I have raised a child with learning disabilities, and I have obtained a B.A. in history with a minor in English and a 3.5 average (while raising a family AND working). I have a problem with someone who would assume that (in spite of the fact that I have passed ALL of the Praxis exams well above the required minimum scores (on the first try) and have completed all of the course work for my certification, leaving only student teaching or interning until I am fully certified, and have been fully "vetted" by the school boards) I am unqualified for the position of teacher!
     
  22. hdmeza

    hdmeza Companion

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    Jun 28, 2007

    If anyone would like to know NCLB (as many problems as it has) has set standards for anyone entering a classroom. They must be "Highly Qualified" in the subject they are teaching. For example in TX that means that an academic degree PLUS an ACP program which includes preservice training is a minimum for secondary. For Elementary or SPed a BA is the min. plus the state required content plus the preservice from the ACP.

    That being said many districts set tougher standards and many really aviod ACP people. I do not blame them. I just got hired today in a district that is not "friendly" to us, but The entire Sped Staff was impressed by my knowledge, passion, and experience and hired me on the spot.

    I am assigned a mentor teacher, must have regular meetings with them and the group of first years/mentors. The district also provides training for "first years" ACP or traditional.

    My offense is not to differering opions, but rather to the utter lack of respect for those who want to teach and found a way to be successful, for those who are now peers and who should be afforded the same respect.

    I can agree to disagree, but the insulting nature of a few comments went beyond a reasonable point. I would never criticize one who gained theri credentials the tradional way for "working without pay" or some of the other comments made. Each of us sacrafices in the best way we can to pursue our passion. I only ask that we a professionals do not look down on each other for our path, but rather support each other through the journey to a common destination.

    At the risk of sounding like a broken record. "There are good, bad, and in between, no matter the path, no matter the pay. Some have it, some don't. We should unite to teach our children, not bicker about each other"
     
  23. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    Jun 28, 2007

    Well said, hdmeza.
     
  24. katrinkakat

    katrinkakat Connoisseur

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    Jun 29, 2007

    I agree! This reminds me of the old stay-at-home mom vs. working mom debate.
     
  25. trulyblssd

    trulyblssd Companion

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    Jul 5, 2007

    I just went through a year long internship and it was really the best way for me to go! There was no way in the world I would have been able to become a teacher if I would have had to student teach. The internship was really rewarding and I learned a lot. I looked at it as student teaching on crack! It was just more fast paced and I had to learn a lot of my own. It took a lot of time outside of work hours to prepare for class, but I am truly looking forward to next year, because I know so much more now. I not only was in an internship, but I ran a club, roved & planned a wedding. Next year will be so much better! The only thing I would change in the roving, but who wouldn't.

    I was told that I was a perfect candidate for an internship, because I have been working with teens for the past 5 years (church, volunteering, etc.) and that I have great behavior management. That I have to say really helped, because if I would have had to deal with behavior problems I wouldn't have had a good year and things would have been much harder!


    I guess you just have to prepare yourself for this situation and get through it. Everyone says that your first couple of years are the hardest internship or not. Good luck!
     
  26. katrinkakat

    katrinkakat Connoisseur

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    Thanks for your post! I am looking forward to my internship this year!
     
  27. kenny2teach

    kenny2teach Rookie

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    so, I guess I am this "non-experienced" teacher. I am opting out of student teaching, because my school did not help me secure placement for the fall. (They said I had to do it on my own, but the districts here were not having it...it's been an issue) After months of worry, crying and not hearing ANYthing from my school or district, I was offered a position at a private school teaching second grade. I can still get the credit for a 16 week student teaching placement and graduate with my masters, if I have my own classroom and the principal is willing to be my mentor.

    I have decided to go this route because school starts in a week at the district that I wanted to student teach in, and I haven't heard anything from them. They actually told me that because I sounded so concerned about placement I should apply for another district. Meaning I would have to wait till the Spring, because everyone is on vacation until school starts.

    I taught preschool for the past year and I have also taught at a second grade level, ballet classes, so I am giving it a try in my own classroom. The school insists I will have plenty of support. These posts kind of worry me, but I feel like I wouldn't have been given this opportunity if it wasn't for a reason. I'll keep ya'll updated! It's not about the money for me..it helps but I am ready to start my career, and I am not going to let uncoopertive people hold me back.
     
  28. katrinkakat

    katrinkakat Connoisseur

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    Jul 15, 2007

    I respect intern teachers for being able to do it all, learning, teaching, being responsible for their own classroom.
    I dont think intern teaching is any kind of short cut. You still have to put in the hours being observed, learning from a mentor, and all the other assignments given to a student teacher are given to an intern teacher. You are just lucky enough to do your student teaching in your own classroom. That's how I see it anyway!
     
  29. Jarenko

    Jarenko Companion

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    Jul 15, 2007

    I'm a bit confused. Isn't student teaching normally a part of the credential process?
     
  30. srh

    srh Devotee

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    Yeah, Jarenko, you're right. Normally being the operative word! But there are exceptions, and there are other needs in districts, etc. that allow for internships. They still are few and far between, as far as I know. I was interested early on because I am self-supporting and was just so afraid of having to quit my job at some point. But there were no internships available that I qualified for. You might want to go back and read previous posts to explain things a little better. This was a great thread!
     
  31. Calif Student

    Calif Student Rookie

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    Jul 16, 2007

    In the Los Angeles area, especially for Math or Science credential candidates, many school districts are willing to accept "teachers who are intern-eligible". That means, you must complete the first two quarters of your teaching credential program, go through an interview with university advisor who is going to recommend you to CCTC in order to get you the "Internship Credential" (hey, it's considered NCLB complaint, "highly qualified").

    Personally, I've taught math for these past two years under the "Internship Credential". Yes, it was HARD! My first year? I felt like my students had eaten me alive!

    Keep in mind, while you teach full-time in the morning, you also have to go to school full-time at night. That, will definitely drain you out.

    In addition, to obtain that "University Internship Credential", I had to take an additional 3 classes. There was one quarter that I had to take 16 units, meeting 4 nights a week. That.......was not a pretty picture.

    Anyway, I managed to survive. I just got my "Preliminary Teaching Credential" in the mail this past Friday, the 13th!

    As to whether one should go for my route (teaching under an intern credential) or go for the student-teaching path, it all depends on YOU. For me, it wasn't really a money issue. Originally, my plan was to sub in the morning while attending classes at night, to make my ends meet. However, an opportunity came up. One of my classmates in the credential class (who was also teaching under the intern status) persuaded me into taking that vacancy at her school (the previous teacher just left in the middle of nowhere, November). So I did.

    The truth is.......I felt like quitting 3 months into my first year of teaching.......I was overwhelmed with all the work that a teacher had to do.

    It is still a lot of work. But with two years of teaching experience, at least I've got some of the stuff out of the way, such as EasyGrade pro, MathType, Geometer's Sketchpad. The latter two terms are necessary for math teachers only.

    By the way, the "Internship Credential" is only good for 2 years. One must obtain the "Preliminary Credential" by the end of that 2nd year. In other words, one has no choice but to finish up the credential program during that time frame. It is not renewable.
     
  32. katrinkakat

    katrinkakat Connoisseur

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    Jul 16, 2007

    Thanks for the explanation. Going the intern credential route is definately not the easy way out!
     
  33. hdmeza

    hdmeza Companion

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    No it is not, and though each program and each state are different, they do require mentors, me to observe a teacher, me to be observed (more than the schools annual for assesment), I have more professional devel. requirements and the list goes on.

    Here in Texas there is no one way, there are many state approved programs and each are set up differently, some are through colleges, some through districts, and even some through private practices, but they must be state board approved, so they all meet NCLB.
     
  34. kenny2teach

    kenny2teach Rookie

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    Jul 17, 2007

    Yes the going to school at night thing is going to hurt for a bit. Although I will be finished with most of my courses by the time I start. I will have 3 classes for the first 3 weeks of school...ouch. Then I have my "student teaching" course and the Arizona Constitution course...fun fun fun!
     
  35. LLBeanie81

    LLBeanie81 Rookie

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    Jul 23, 2007

    Wow... reading this is making me nervous. I am in the process of possibly taking a physics teaching position at a high school with 0 credentials or experience. I have my Preliminary License in Math (just by having a bachelors degree and by passing the necessary exams)

    I guess I would be considered an intern teacher? I'm 26 and an engineer, have been in the work force ~4 yrs as an engineer.
     
  36. Chevygirl97

    Chevygirl97 Companion

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    Jul 23, 2007

    I student taught during the day, and went to school (Wed/Fri/Sat.) I also did not work and that hurt. But I got through it and I have a position. That's all that matters in the end. I don't think there is any easy way to get your credential (especially in CA!!) Looking back, it was tough but completely worth it.
     
  37. kenny2teach

    kenny2teach Rookie

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    Jul 23, 2007

    I have a friend who is going to be taking a high school position in Health and PE, and her undergraduate major was athletic training, she has zero teaching creditials, I don't think it's that uncommon. I think you will be great. At least you know math well!
     
  38. luv2teach415

    luv2teach415 Companion

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    Jul 23, 2007

    LLBeanie81...I am in the same situation you are in. I was soo nervous after reading this forum. I was recently just hired as a fifth grade teacher. I have been a camp counselor and an assistant pre-k teacher but i have never been with kidsolder than third grade. I was so scared after reading this topic that I wasn't going to be good enough or I wasn't going to make it being a teacher and completing my master's program because I am going the internship route like you. But my parents told me one thing that has stuck with me. The school would not have hired you if they didn't think you couldn't do the job. Yes it will be hard but many people have gone this route before and many will after us. But just think of it this way, you actually have your own class! I think that's the most exciting part for me.
     
  39. teachkids

    teachkids Rookie

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    Jul 23, 2007

    I had a great experience interning. I would not do student teaching because i couldn't quit my other job and lose my benefits. I was a par-professional in the classroom. Even though I was already teaching small group, it's differentnwhen it's YOUR classroom.

    I had a mentor teacher on site in the same grade, who was phenomenal. The good thing was after my second year of interning i could bid for positions and start building my seniority, which started year one of interning...yes it was hard, but for me it was worth it. I learned so much more than my friends who student taught and were "shell-shocked" when they finally got their class.
     
  40. teachkids

    teachkids Rookie

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    Jul 23, 2007

    I LOVED my first fifth grade class. They understand you, your humor, and they can cut and paste! It is challenging, but after doing second grade my first year interning, fifth grade was easier.

    Hint: make friends with the other fifth grade teacher and collaborate on field trips and "borrow ideas" from her/him. I'm teaching a 4/5 class this year...talk about challenges!
     

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