Teaching Assistant, Subbing or Preschool?

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by Shiloh17, Apr 23, 2013.

  1. Shiloh17

    Shiloh17 Companion

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    Apr 23, 2013

    Hi all,

    I will be graduating this May with a degree in Early Ed. I know having my own classroom is unrealistic. What do you suggest is best to begin my career...Teaching Assistant in a school district? Subbing? or Preschool? I need advice from those of you who have been in the same position!

    Thank you so much
     
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  3. bridgetbordeaux

    bridgetbordeaux Companion

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    Apr 23, 2013

    I graduated 2 years ago and had been subbing for the district while a student. Since I didn't get a job, I subbed more. Then I got hired as a special ed para, but lost that job to budget cuts. This past year I have subbed almost every day at the same school including 2 maternity leaves. I think subbing gives you an idea of where you would like to work, and if you find a good school, then a para or teaching assistant job is a way to get your foot in the door. Good Luck
     
  4. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Apr 23, 2013

    I don't think you need to immediately give up on the goal of getting a permanent, regular teacher position.

    As for your back-up options, which ones can you afford to live on?
     
  5. Shiloh17

    Shiloh17 Companion

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    Apr 23, 2013

    Thanks for replying bridget :)
     
  6. Shiloh17

    Shiloh17 Companion

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    Apr 23, 2013

    So true. You're right I shouldn't...I can afford to live on any. What do you think is the best back-up option?
     
  7. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

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    Apr 23, 2013

    I agree with Caesar - why is having your own classroom unrealistic? I graduated in December 2011. I then worked as a para - after school program and RSP. I got hired as a regular teacher in May for this school year. I'm in southern California, which is arguably one of the worst job markets in the country.

    As far as back up options, my coworker (also a first year teacher) who teaches Kinder now taught preschool for a year or two. She said it was great preparation. I'm not sure if it would be great preparation for anything above 1st grade though, and I guess it may pigeonhole you into early primary. It depends if you want that or not. I tried subbing for a very short time (just a few scattered subbing days during my credential program) and I absolutely hated it. I have IMMENSE respect for subs. It does give you lots of experience, though! But it's not the best for building references, unless you get a long term gig. I did like being a TA. That would give you references and steady, varied experience.

    Honestly, it really depends. I was working in an area where there was no door to get a foot in (as in, they haven't hired brand new teachers in at least 7 years), so that was never a factor for me. It was all about building experience and getting good references. Oh, and enjoying my job. ;)

    Edit: Pay varies WIDELY between states/regions. Subbing and TA work pays roughly the same where I am, and neither has benefits. Preschool usually pays less. Where I am, it is also very rare to land a full time TA job. I combined two part time jobs when I worked as a para.
     
  8. Shiloh17

    Shiloh17 Companion

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    Apr 23, 2013

    It is unrealistic because that is all I hear people in the school I am student teaching at say...they keep telling me to be prepared for nothing to be available. Even my college supervisors :confused:

    What you said about the preschool is true. May be good for me because I love the lower grades.

    I agree with you on the subbing. I don't want to only work 3 days a week. I want a consistent schedule.

    Thanks for your advice! I do definitely want to gain experience and I know I will whatever I decide to do. Building references is something I definitely need to do. Thanks again! :)
     
  9. MissD59

    MissD59 Comrade

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    Apr 24, 2013

    Find out what is more desirable in the area you live in. It tends to vary. Even here on Long Island, some districts tend to pull from their sub pool for long term sub jobs/potential jobs, others pull their TAs.

    I subbed and then wound up TAing the end of last year. This year, I opted to be a TA. I preferred the consistency of having the same kids everyday. I also was able to get a TA position with benefits, although my salary is very low.

    I do think you need to take a shot at getting a full time classroom, though. I don't blame you for being pessimistic, especially in this economy. However, you have to be in it to win it. View subbing/TAing as a backup plan, but keep applying for classroom positions and make sure that is still your goal. You never know unless you try.

    I personally am not very into preschool. The salary wasn't much more than a TA, and I do think that unless you want to teach kindergarten, it isn't the most relevant experience. TAing and subbing will give you more of a glimpse and experience into what it is like in the elementary classroom...but that's just my opinion.
     
  10. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Apr 24, 2013

    If it's actually being the teacher of the pre-school, as in the main or hed teacher, then I'd think that is the best out of the 3 positions. The teaching assistant would be the 2nd best. Subbing is nice if you want flexibility & don't care about steady pay or benefits.
     
  11. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    Apr 24, 2013

    I subbed, but it payed way more than a para job did.
    Since you can afford it, I'd go the TA/para route.
     
  12. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

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    Apr 24, 2013

    I heard all the same things. I went to school in an area where there are no teachers with less than 7 years of experience in the district because everyone else has been laid off. I knew I'd never get a job in either district I student taught in or in my immediate area. They truly have not hired elementary teachers in years. So I applied statewide to everything I would ever consider doing. I went to a couple job fairs. I got my job at a charter school through a job fair. I had to move an hour away, but it was completely worth it.

    Of my cohort of 26, I think about 8 have gotten jobs. Everyone either moved or is teaching middle school. A few of us are at charters. Charters are a viable option - I love mine!

    Believe me - my area (southern California) is TOUGH. I really think it's one of the toughest in the country, and many on these boards would agree.

    So all this to say, it can and does happen. You may just have to think out of the box. Being as flexible as possible is helpful too.

    The other options are just that - a backup plan. :)
     
  13. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    Apr 30, 2013

    My teacher friend ( who taught Preschool) said to be careful with preschools because the time there may not "count" towards your retirement. Just thought I'd pass it along. I subbed for about 2 1/2 yrs total (while in college as well) and then about a semester after I graduated before getting a job.
     

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