Post # 1
I want to become an elementary school teacher. I’m currently 27, and live in CA. I’ve done some research, but I’m a little confused by the process of becoming a teacher in CA.
I have completed a year of community college, have about 1-1.5 years left to transfer.
1. While I’ve worked with small groups of kids in a daycare and reading group setting (different state than I live in), I haven’t in a school or large groups. I would like to shadow elementary school teachers to confirm this is the right path for me. I do not live in the state I went to school to. Can I just go to the office of a random school and ask the administation people if there is a way to shadow a teacher for a day? Do I need to bring a resume or cover letter? Do I need to bring vaccination/TB shot records? How do I go about this if I have no direct connections? (Is having my husband ask his coworker if they could give me their child’s teachers’ email strange?)
2. The undergrad colleges near me (less than 1 hour away) do not offer elementary education/early education/childhood development as a major, same with the community college near me (they do not offer any child development classes). Due to my and my husband’s work, we can’t move to a new city for my undergrad, and commuting >1 hour for school is something I’d rather avoid. My plan was to major in psychology, then pursue a master’s in elementary education. Is that a good plan? (I’ve also read that getting a master’s is a good idea to be competitive)
3. Does the master’s degree programs automatically include a teaching credential at the end, or is that a seperate program? (How long do they typically take to complete?)
Thank you for your time!
Post # 2
You need to have your bachelor’s degree and complete student teaching. Plus get certification. Kind of weird to be asking to Shadow, I’d arrange that through your school. You have a lot of research to do and your college could help you with the requirements
Post # 3
anon1227 : So it doesn’t matter what the bachelor’s degree is in? There is no benefit from getting a bachelor’s in something education related versus something like psychology? I have a meeting scheduled with an academic advisor soon, but it is only a 10 minute meeting so I wanted to have a good understanding before going in.
I’ll see if my school is able to arrange something for shadowing through the career counselor then.
Post # 4
I’m not in California but I am a K-5 teacher. I think the idea of shadowing is great, but you need to go through some kind of school program to get that. There is no way that me or my school would allow someone to walk in with a cover letter and put them in a class with children. It seems like a lawsuit waiting to happen. Also, if you shadow, you should do it for at least a week. One day isn’t going to let you know if this is right for you. As far as master’s degrees go (and that’s the route I took because my bachelor’s wasn’t in early childhood education), you still need to take the state certification at the end (it looks like California uses edTPA), but your masters program should prepare you for it. Good luck meeting with your academic advisor and keep us updated 🙂
Post # 5
bluesnapdragon22 : Most people get their bachelor’s in elementary education and something else. It’s not that easy.
Do you really want to be a teacher or do you just want to work with kids? Sounds like you are describing more of a daycare teacher, not a school teacher.
Post # 6
bluesnapdragon22 : I am not in California but know for the state I am in you have to have a bachelor’s degree in elementary education. Which more likely is standard practice. Which involves student teaching then you have to get a license.
I started out going for my degree in education but went a different route and have a degree in early childhood.
No school is just going to let you shadow if you are coming off the street. That is just dangerous and won’t happen in this day and age. You would need to be in a program to even set foot in a classroom, unless you have a child in school then you can volunteer as a parent.
Post # 7
I have no idea about California, but in my state there is an alternate route program for people who want to obtain a teaching license. It requires a bachelor’s degree (any subject), 6 months of taking education classes, and 6 months of student teaching/internship. During that time you also take the licensing test for your certification. My state uses the PRAXIS test.