Where do I go from here....

Discussion in 'General Education Archives' started by CAAISA, Jun 29, 2006.

  1. CAAISA

    CAAISA Rookie

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    Jun 29, 2006

    I have a BA in English Literature (1993) and after 3 kids, a private business with my husband and 41 years old, I recently decided to use my education for a better purpose than collecting dust so I applied and received my letter of eligibility for middle school english grades 5 - 9 (in Florida). I am told by the Florida Department of Education that all I need to do is take this letter to the school of my choice (preferrably my son's middle school) and apply for a job. Once I receive a position I will then get my actual "temporary certificate". I am very excited but very nervous as well. I tried to sign up for summer courses at my local university so that I feel that I am better qualified but these classes are very limited and I am too late to take them. My question is....where do I go from here? Is it feasible that I will get a teaching position like this? It seems very unlikely with so many other qualified teachers out there, especially those that have a degree in education. I am willing to take anyting to get my foot in the door, including substituting or even teacher's aide. Does anyone have any suggestions as to first, how I can be better prepared to approach either my son's principal or the job fair on July 21 and second, any reading materials and/or preparations. I have done alot of administrative work at colleges and universities and was PTO president for 2 years at my kids' school but this a teacher does not make....Please don't tell me to quit because this has been a dream of mine for many years and now, at 41, I feel that I can finally make it happen. Any suggestions, help and/or encouragement is greatly appreciated!!!
     
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  3. Mrs_Goatess

    Mrs_Goatess Comrade

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    My situation is similar. I'm in Florida with a BA in English Lit (2002). I'm working for English 6-12.

    Last Janauary, I recieved that same letter. I started substituting last March, to get my feet wet, but I always have been applying for FT teaching positions. I've spent most of my time in long-term positions (a teacher being investigated, a teacher had medical emergency, and a teacher left position). I applied at all three positions when they were made availble; I was interviewed for two.

    In the counties I'm near, one applies through the county, not the individual school. Some put you in a pool; some you have to apply online for each opening you wish to be considered for.

    I've had five interviews all told (and I know I've applied to at least two dozen positions which I was accredited for), and I've no job yet.

    The problem is that I'm not "highly qualified" yet (full professional certification). Thus every education major and fully certified teacher is above me in the stack of resumes.

    I had three tests and four classes between me and full professional certification. I'm taking my final class now (three class meetings and I'm fully accredited! :D ), and I'm hoping I can be hired next fall. (There are always people who back out at the last moment.)

    The job news is you can fairly easily be hired as a substitute teacher or an aid. Earning your own classroom is hard work, and not as easy as I thought it would be. This is good though because if I had been hired for a FT classroom, I would have had no clue how to manage it at all. I was ready to jump in head-first, but thankfully I've had this time to learn what I need the easy way (rather than sinking or swimming with 150 kids tied to me).

    Find out who is in charge of accreditation in your county and make that person your best friend. S/He should be able to walk you through the whole thing.

    Anything else?
     
  4. CAAISA

    CAAISA Rookie

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    Thank you so much....I see that I should not put off the Professional part of the temp certificate and will sign up for these courses as soon as possible. It's good to know I'm not the only one!!!
     
  5. Mrs_Goatess

    Mrs_Goatess Comrade

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    No, don't put them off! Don't put off taking a position too. What you learn in class makes a ton more sense if you can immediately apply it in a classroom.

    The courses are not difficult either. All but one are Community College level, and I passed all the offical tests BEFORE I started my courses (that should tell them something). See if you could test out (CLEP or aduit) of the course(s); I did that with Human Development. (Saves a lot of time and money for things you already knew!)
     
  6. CAAISA

    CAAISA Rookie

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    Do I just go to a university or college for these courses? If I wanted to CLEP or audit out, are there any reading materials that I could look at to be better prepared? When you say "don't put off taking a position", do you mean as a substitute or a teacher? Realistically, I don't think anyone would hire me as a middle school english teacher at this point but I would love to substitute while takin these courses...Is if possible to start taking these courses now in September and finish before next summer in time for the new school year (fall of 2007)? Another, somewhat personal, question if you don't mind (you've been so patient so far): Does a substitute teacher make a good pay? In other words, is it ALOT less than a teacher? I'm just wondering if this is something I could do financially...substitute and take courses as well.
     
  7. teachertobe2

    teachertobe2 Rookie

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    Hey, just relax you have a great head start. I started out as a sub and then worked my way up and I found that it really helped me out. If you feel like you need something more, volunteer at your local boys and girls club or go to your local library and check out some books on education. Good luck!
     
  8. CAAISA

    CAAISA Rookie

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    Thanks for the encouragement (I am a little stressed because I am so excited about teaching and I feel like a little girl that wants her candy NOW!!! ha ha).
     
  9. Mrs_Goatess

    Mrs_Goatess Comrade

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    If you start a conversation with the accreditation councilor for your county, they can tell you *exactly* what courses you need. Otherwise you can talk to the education dean at any communnity colleges or universities. Some have complete programs that will fully certify you by the end of the course (those take a year). (I would have taken that route, but I was already taking my courses a la carte when I found out about this option.) What courses you need may vary, based on what you've already taken and your level/subject area, so ask exactly about what you need.

    (For example, I needed to take a course on classroom managment or methods. The only availble classes were in elementary, which wouldn't help me at all with 6-12. I found out with a little well-poised questions that Measurement for Teachers applied to this obligation, thus I didn't have to wait another semester!)

    To CLEP a course, I used an online study guide. It notes what concepts were on the test, and I googled anything that didn't sound familiar.

    If it's wise for you finacially, take a substituting position. My two counties pay $10.50 and $13/hour (The work day is 7 hours, typically). Last year I only had a handful of days where no one wanted me. Long-term subing (typically 16 days+) makes $18/hour. Unless the teacher plans on returning to the classroom, like an expecting mom or forseen absence, the class is yours to do as you please. I never got any assistance of any of the teachers whose job I was "filling in" for as a long-term. Teacher's aids make much less where I am, but it's garanteed steady work if you're worried about such things. Some counties have "para to pro" situations, where they monitarily assist their paraprofessionals (aids) while they go to school to become teachers.

    Check out the websites of the counties you're interested in. The salaries should be viewable, as well as maybe currently open positions.

    Don't be put off. :) It can be overwhelming at first, but I see it as a way to keep people like me from jumping in headfirst and academnically taking down a bunch of kids with me! :p

    Does this help?
     
  10. CAAISA

    CAAISA Rookie

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    Absolutely it helps...thank you for your patience. I am very excited about starting and am looking forward to doing it the right way and not have guilt over the kids' future therapy bills (just joking)!
     
  11. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Jun 29, 2006

    We have a middle school science and math position open at my private school. Pay isn't good but classes are small and people are great.
     
  12. CAAISA

    CAAISA Rookie

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    Sounds great but I can only teach English...or am I wrong on that?
     
  13. Mrs_Goatess

    Mrs_Goatess Comrade

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    Private schools can hire whoever they want to teach whatever they want, from my understanding. My last interview actually mentioned to me that some teachers take private school gigs outside their subject area to gain experience. (I hope that wasn't a hint, but it's honest.)
     
  14. CAAISA

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    Thanks! That's one route I can take to gain "experience". But from what I understand, private school pay is much much lower than public...am I wrong?
     
  15. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    As to the pay, that depends very much on the private school.

    As to what you can teach, that depends on what your state will allow. Though, in the best of all possible worlds, many states would prefer that math and science teachers have majors or even MAs in the subjects they're teaching, in practice the need for math and science is great enough that the states will settle for people who can pass some subject-area tests. I don't now recall whether Florida has a middle school math test, but if it does, that might be a fine place to start.
     
  16. TheConspiracy

    TheConspiracy Companion

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    Jun 29, 2006

    Real quick -

    Highly Qualified does NOT mean you have a professional certificate. Getting (or being eligible for) a temp certificate is enough to be HQ'd.

    And in FL you CAN just take the test for Math or Sci and be HQ'd fo those areas.

    I would look into applying for "reading" positions as well. They are so desperate for reading teachers that they will hire you without being directly highly qualified.

    My biggest concern for you is how late into the "season" you are starting. Many school districts here in FL are on the "tail end" of their hiring as school starts in the first week or two in Aug. I'm not saying you won't get hired - I'm saying you should be scrambling a little to get yourself on the market.

    ~J

    PS~ I have a BA in English Lit and am HQ'd for 6-12 (thru exam) and I have just landed my first job as a 9/10 English teacher at a great school in my county. So it is possible.
     
  17. CAAISA

    CAAISA Rookie

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    Thanks a million....Still have hopes up that I can land a teaching position as English teacher but I'm still being realistic in thinking that I probably will only be able to sub for the first year which is fine with me...I do think I am very qualified in the "English" part but not too confident in the "teacher" part so I actually prefer to have a course or two in teaching method under my belt before I begin. So far everyone has been so helpful and I am taking advise from EVERYBODY...I am going to read up on some teaching methods from the local college bookstore like someone suggested in case I do get hired and I don't go in completely "blind", I am also looking into taking the courses as soon as they allow me. The Broward County Job Fair is July 21 so if I don't get anything in the local middle schools in my neighborhood area then I will be going there to get my "feet wet".

    Congratulations on your new job!!! I'm curious though, do you have your temp cert or do you already have the professional education part completed? Because if you landed a teaching position in a great school with just your temp cert, then there is hope indeed for me!!!!
     

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