The longer I'm a paraprofessional...

Discussion in 'Special Education Archives' started by wannabeteach, Nov 18, 2005.

  1. wannabeteach

    wannabeteach Rookie

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    Nov 18, 2005

    The more I realize I want to teach. I absolutely love it. My only difficulty is with the teacher, whom I like as a person...but, I think she should be working with abled 1st or 2nd graders...not the moderately/severely disabled.

    Anyway, I love going to work each day knowing I get to hang out with "the kids"...and I hate going to work each day knowing I can't do the things with them I really want to do and the teacher (somewhat of a control freak) does not accept my ideas for "fun/creative" learning. I'll never be a teacher. I'm 37 years old, I have a family, we can't afford to send me to college...it's depressing. One minute I think, "Okay, I can accept that I'll never be able to be the teacher." And the next minute, I think, "I'd rather not do this at all if I can't do it the way I'd like to."

    I so envy all of you teachers. I sure am regretting that decision not to go to college twenty years ago for the first time in my life!
     
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  3. SurferGirl

    SurferGirl New Member

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    Nov 27, 2005

    Dear Wannabeteacher, DO NOT GIVE UP on your dream of being a teacher. It is a rare person who has the heart, mind, and talent needed to be able to balance all of the issues dealing with the education of special students. If you have been a paraprofessional for some time, you are well aware of all of the unique issues delt with by special ed teachers and so you know how important it is to have people such as yourself manning those posts. Even if you can only afford and have time for one college course at a time, one evening a week, do it, take a class every single semester until you are finished. Even if it takes you 10 years to complete, what is 10 years in comparison to all of the difference you can make as the teacher? Don't settle for less than what you KNOW you were MADE to do! Take it from this 32 year old part-time college student who only has the courage to face her miserable mortgage industry cubicle each day because she knows that sooner or later, her days in that pit are over...the road IS long, but the journey is itself every bit as important as the end result. Someday I will have the joy of seeing the light in my students eyes when they finally grasp a concept we have been working on for days or weeks or even months, someday I'll get to touch the future, someday I'll get to inspire a child to strive for more rather than settle on limits. Don't be afraid to make the journey just because it's a long one, the children that you will lead are counting on you to try.
     
  4. Danny'sNanny

    Danny'sNanny Connoisseur

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    Dec 3, 2005

    wannabeteach,
    does your area/ state have any tuition assistance programs? Some districts will pay for paras to work on their degrees. Also, some states will repay student loans once you graduate and get a teaching job. Try filling out a FAFSA when the 2006-07 forms come out next spring. You can do this online. That will let you know if you qualify for any government financial aid.
    If none of those options work, still don't give up! A private school may let you teach even without a degree, especially since you have para experience.
    I'm working on my degree now, and there are several women in their 50s that are in my classes, working on their Education degrees! It's never too late, and please don't give up on your dream. There needs to be more teachers that love their jobs and the kids!
     
  5. ViolaSwamp

    ViolaSwamp Habitué

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    Dec 3, 2005

    Uh, what?

    Are you freakin' kidding me? You are too old to go to school at 37? My dad went back to school when he was in his 50s and at the same time as my twin brothers were in college!!! It actually worked to everyones financial advantage. Three of the four children in our family made it out of school debt free because we couldn't afford to pay for college! My parents joke that being dirt poor was how they contributed to our college funds.

    Do your taxes in January and fill out a FAFSA online http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/ as soon as possible. A FAFSA should be free. Do not go to other FAFSA sites as they will charge you money to fill them out and they are so easy you don't need help. Community college and University advisors will help you with your questions even if you are not enrolled. Once you get registered it will take 30 minutes tops if your taxes are complete. I've had my pin for a long time (I think you get it for life), so I don't know how long that will take. They may e-mail it to you in less than 48 hours.

    Start with a community college that will cooperate/transfer credits to a state University. Before you take any classes at the CC check with the U to make sure that they will fit the degree you will be working on there. Take as many classes as you can and find out how long you can take to finish a degree. Some programs change degree requirements which can prolong your studies, usually you will have a very reasonable amount of time to finish.

    Lose the downer attitude, good luck! You know you have what it takes!
     
  6. wannabeteach

    wannabeteach Rookie

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    Dec 3, 2005

    Thank-you, thank-you, thank-you! With this encouragement, I've decided...I'm going to DO IT! Yes, it will take at least 10 years...but, I'd hate to look back in ten years knowing if I'd started NOW, even at 37 years old...I'd be done when I'm about 47 (and that's 13 years younger than the teacher I work with!)!

    I filled out an application at our local Community College. Honestly, I'm surprised at how inexpensive each class is. It's not cheap...but, it's not as expensive as I'd thought. And, I know those credits will transfer to another university which I'm pretty sure has evening classes as well. I'll have to check into it more and definitely fill out the FAFSA, but I'm definitely going to do it (with my husband's blessing...I was a little concerned about that, too)...hopefully starting in January!!

    So, excited. Glad I complained...otherwise, I never would have been encouraged to go for it!
     
  7. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    Dec 3, 2005

    Wanna,
    Doesn't the school system you work for pay for at least 3 classes a year? All the schools I work at do. You have to pay up front but they give you the money back if you receive a B or better in the class.
    Congratulations on going back to school!
     
  8. daysy_may

    daysy_may Groupie

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    Dec 3, 2005

    Congratulations and good luck! That's very exciting!
     
  9. wannabeteach

    wannabeteach Rookie

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    Dec 3, 2005

    I don't think so...but, I'll definitely check into it!
     
  10. TeachWildThings

    TeachWildThings Comrade

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    Dec 11, 2005

    You wont regret it! I also started out as a para & I'm a tiny bit older than you. I went back to school four years ago & now I'm in my own classroom! As difficult as it sometimes was with raising a family too, it was well worth it. I walk in some days & go, "Wow, this is my class & these really are my students!" It is a wonderful feeling.
     
  11. jeanell

    jeanell New Member

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    Dec 18, 2005

    Paraprofessionals

    I know exactly what you are gong through. I work with someone who thinks she can just do whatever she wants to me. The funny thing about it she was a paraprofessional up until 2 weeks ago. Now that she is a teacher( so called) she acts as though she has lost her mind. Almost everyone at school can't stand her. I am currently working on my master's degree and I will be the happiest person in the world when I hope to become a teacher. I will know then that there is one more teacher who is truly wants to teach and not just there for a pay check.
     
  12. LycoManda

    LycoManda Rookie

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    Jan 8, 2006

    I was a paraprof. for a few years before I went back... I definately think that its the right career for me. I have found that many go back to get their teaching degree because they feel as if they have no power as far as really helping students. I havent met one that really enjoys their job.
     
  13. daysy_may

    daysy_may Groupie

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    Jan 8, 2006

    How are things going?
     

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