Post # 1
I’m looking to get out of the corporate world (I’m in PR right now) and go into elementary education. I took some education and child development classes while I was an undergrad and loved them, and also really enjoyed the few months I spent as a teacher’s assistant at an elementary school two years ago (I just graduated last year, but I’ve discovered pretty quickly that the corporate world is SO not for me). There is a program through our area’s inner city school system that grants temporary teaching certification after the completion of intensive summer training courses, so that you can teach full-time while working toward your permanent teaching certification. You get dual certification in your specialty area (mine would be elementary language arts) and special education. The program is highly vetted and sounds incredible.
I want to hear from Bees who are already teachers or have previously taught – what do you love about it, and what isn’t so great? What grade/subject do you teach? Anyone work in special education or have input on that aspect of the certification?
I REALLY appreciate any input.
Post # 3
I’m not a teacher but a school counselor. Hubby is a special ed high school chem teacher. I actually started a program last year to change to special ed teaching but just couldn’t do it with raising a child full-time. Hubby finished his MA in special ed last year with an undergrad degree in Bio. They really needed chem teachers which is how he ended up in that subject.
I know my husband loves special ed. There are challenges and extra paperwork in a way (IEP’s) but he loves the small classroom and always feels proud with the difference he makes, not only in a child’s life but his parents (who many times feel frustrated, alone, etc…for having to fight the system to get accomodations and support). I know he finds it a challenge to team teach since alot of gen ed teachers have a bias and are not fond of the sped students (not all teachers are like this, of course, but my hubby has encountered some).
I have a friend who is an elementary sped teacher and he enjoys it. It’s different than HS in that it’s more one-on-one, I believe.
Hope this helps some…
Best of luck to you!
Post # 4
I have taught high school and I currently work for a grant program that runs out of an elementary school and mostly serves a K-5 population. I love the field of education and I am passionate about what I do. My general caution to friends looking to transition from the corporate world to a career in education is not to over-idealize the reality of working with children.
It can be rewarding, but it is also frequently draining and frustrating. It is definitely a difficult job, and one in which you are “on” for the duration of your workday. The level of burnout for teachers is extremely high–many of the people I graduated with just a few years ago have already moved to other occupational fields!
I think as long as you are realistic about both the positive and negative aspects of being a teacher, it can be a wonderful career. Of course, there are many very positive aspects, and the hours/vacation time are a nice bonus.
One last thing: I also work in a low-income district, so I think you need to be prepared that students in an inner-city school may have extremely difficult home situations and in some cases may not have their basic needs met. This was something that really affected me when I switched from working in an area serving an upper-middle class population to one serving a low-income population. It can be tough not to take your problems home with you and to find that work/life balance.
Sorry if this was really long, I just wanted to give my honest two cents! I hope it helps. Good luck with your certification program! 🙂
Post # 5
Thanks for posting this! I would love to hear feeback as well.
I live in Texas and am going to go through a very similar program – right now I’m studying for our state cert test 🙂
I want to teach the latter elementary years or early Junior High.
Post # 6
I’m currently working on my degree in Elementary Education also! I still work full time and have a family, so I’m only taking night classes. But I will get there eventually! I think from the way you are talking that you have a passion to teach, but pink is right….it can be a very rough and draining job. So as long as you go into the profession knowing this, and you have a true passion to teach, you will do just fine.
Post # 7
I teach a self contained class of 3rd-5th graders with severe disabilities. I love my job, but it is definitely challenging. The paperwork, the sometimes crazy parents, the agressive behaviors of my kids – Sometimes I just have to come home and cry. And sometimes I assess how good or bad my week was based on the number of bruises I get haha. But even on the bad days, I love my babies and could not imagine NOT working with kids with disabilities.
Getting certified in South Carolina was crazy (I had to take SEVEN Praxis tests – but I also got Elementary Certification in addition to my SpEd Certification). And no one can really tell me what I’m qualified to teach (All I know is I CANNOT teach Resource Classes, only self contained. But no one at the State Department can tell me what that really means).
Post # 8
- Wedding: June 2010 - Tannery Pond at the Darrow School
I’m a teacher and I LOVE IT! I didn’t get a degree in teaching so I can only teach in private schools but I know that NYC has a program exactly like the one you’re describing and my friend did it and it was great!
She got her teaching degree while teaching, so it was both cost and time effective…
Like someone said before, it can be very draining, exhausting, patience-testing, etc but the rewards (and the schedule- Helloooooooo summer vacation!!!!) make it totally worth it…
Although, I must add, I teach Phys Ed (Gym class for those of you born before 1985, ha!) so it’s kind of different for me since I have almost no prep work…But I think the US needs more qualified,trained teachers so I say go for it, especially if you do the program you described!!!
Post # 9
I’m nervous about taking ONE (my first) Praxis in April! I can’t imagine 7! WOW!
Post # 10
@MeaganLeigh2011: I took the basic PRAXIS and one for my subject certification and neither was as difficult as I thought they would be! Unfortunately, that’s not the preferred certification test for Texas (where I live now), so all that studying didn’t really pay off!
Post # 11
Well I plan on “studying”, but I really debated on doing it now or after my wedding which is in September, but I NEED the math to be fresh in my head, and waiting a year is NOT a good idea for me since I dispise math haha. So I’m going to “attempt” in April and hope for the best! If I fail, it will just be another thing added to my list of stress, but if I pass, it will be a GREAT relief! LOL
I have 3 parts to this one, I’m not sure if it’s considered basic or not? I live in Louisiana.
Post # 12
I’m a teacher in PA, and I can definitely agree that it is a draining job. I teach 9th and 10th grade English, communications, video, and journalism.
- You’re done before 5 on most days.
- Your students can really, really make you happy sometimes.
- Some states have GREAT pension plans.
- Most holidays are observed.
- If you live in an area that gets snow – 2 hour delays and snow days!
- Cute cards and stuff that the kids make/get you.
- Witnessing that moment where a kid “gets it” over and over again 🙂
- Unrealistic expectations from your boss, the state, legislators, parents, students, department chairs…..need I go on?
- Standardized testing and trying to get kids to levels that you know they probably won’t ever reach
- You have to get up relatively earlier than the rest of the world.
- Sometimes you cannot get the materials you need to do what is expected of you.
- People complain a lot about teachers.
- The salary doesn’t always match the work load.
- You’re “on” all the time.
- It’s not a job you can just “leave at work.”
- GRADING PAPERS…ugh.
- You’ll often feel unappreciated by just about everyone, especially your very own students.
Post # 13
This is my 5th year teaching kindergarten in a public school and I am also going to grad-school part time to obtain my master’s degree in early childhood education as well. As with any job there are pros and cons. I live in a rather expensive area and life without pay increases is difficult to swollow. I am making pretty much exactly what i made as a first year teacher. The economy hits education the hardest. Despite the pay, i love teaching. I have made a great name for myself at the school and teaching children how to read and speak english is amazing. Nothing compares. I don’t think teaching is for everyone because you honestly have to LOVE it to want to be in this business. The pay is awful and you are put under a microscope at all times. But if you can focus on the pros and not the negatives, it is great.
Post # 14
@tntrav44: I’m actually in Pittsburgh too, and the program is the Teacher Academy. It places teachers at King PreK-8 and Brashear HS (http://www.pps.k12.pa.us/170220210151928197/blank/browse.asp?a=383&BMDRN=2000&BCOB=0&c=63465)
Mind if I ask where you teach? I did my few months of student teaching at McKnight Elementary in the North Allegheny SD. My mom was a teacher at Fox Chapel before I was born, but was a stay-at-home mom after that. Obviously I know NA and Fox Chapel SDs would be vastly different than the Pittsburgh Public Schools!
And thank you so much to EVERYONE for your feedback (keep it coming!) It’s great to hear from real teachers. I know that every job has its issues, and teaching would definitely not be an exception. I think I’d just rather feel like what I’m doing makes some kind of a difference, instead of debating over the color of a logo or the boring phrasing of press releases that I don’t think anyone will read anyway!
EDIT: Can you tell I’m sick of PR? Talk about idealizing a profession – I don’t remember Samantha Jones doing ANY of this stuff in Sex and the City
Post # 15
I’m a high school English teacher and I definitely love my job. Every day is different. I get to interact with tons of different people. I love my subject matter and I use my brain every day. I may not stay in the classroom forever, but I will absolutely stay within the field of education.
But, here in CA we have no money, you cannot feel secure in your job unless you’ve been teaching for quite a few years. (I was pink-slipped my 3rd year, but it was rescinded. Some of my friends have been in limbo every year and do not find out if they are hired back until late summer.) There is not enough time to possibly do all the work you need to do, but no one understands how much work that actually is.
Post # 16
@DiamondsandLace: I left industry to teach and to be honest I wish I’d stayed in industry but this isn’t the same for how everyone feels, obviously it’s a personal thing. I taught 14-18 year olds for two years before leaving the school due to their behaviour and workload. I now do supply, or substitute teaching as I believe it’s called in the US and I realise if I could have taught the age group that I went into teaching for, which was 10-14 i’d probably be happier but there are never any jobs in this age group where I live because it’s an easier life for the same wage.
I miss adult banter you get in industry. Some days teaching are satisfying and some aren’t. It can be very draining and you do work in the holidays like planning etc. There is alot of marking. However, I am glad i’ve done it as otherwise i’d have been wondering what if.
All the best in what you decide.