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paratoteach's Message:

Are you looking to teach special ed? In my district special education teachers are so hard to find that they pay paras to go to school and become teachers. If you are a decent para, have good attendance and get your license, you would get hired as a sped teacher.
If you are looking to teach regular ed, it will be a lot harder to switch from special ed para to regular ed teacher.
But even if you are in a high demand field, no job is guaranteed (nor should it be). I had a licensed teacher in my room last year working as a para. She had fits that the district did not hire her as a teacher. Problem was that she wasn't good at her para job. If you take the para position, make sure you shine.

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Discussion Review (newest messages first)
MnToCa 09-08-2018 08:56 AM

After teaching 2 years, I moved districts but couldnt get a teaching job. I then took a Sped para job for 2 years and that experience gave me the chance to have my current job as a Sped teacher even though my license is elementary ed.

Testyteach 09-07-2018 11:46 PM

run like hell from getting a teaching job. The behaviors are out of control and there are no consequences anymore. No silent lunch and you aren't allowed to take away recess minutes. The kids know that they can do whatever they want and get by with it. It's a nightmare that returns everyday until the end of the year. You have to work 60 hours a week just to keep your head above the water. Keep your other job with insurance and be glad that you aren't a classroom teacher. Teaching = Poor Working Conditions and No Personal Life and Being Treated Less Than Human

TAOEP 09-07-2018 07:00 PM

I once worked as an aide (library) and when the teacher was out, since I was certified I would be asked to sub for her and then they would get a substitute aide. You might ask if your district works that way. If so, perhaps that would enable you to get an evaluation as a teacher.

Haley23 09-07-2018 04:30 PM

First of all, are you trying to eventually get a gen ed teaching job or a sped teaching job? What kind of classroom is this (severe needs, mild needs, etc.)?

IMO, the pros of taking the para position would be having a steady schedule/going to the same place every day and having a "place to belong" with coworkers you can really get to know. As long as you do well in the position, it also gives you an opportunity to get updated references and letters of rec. I've always wondered how subs get things like that. I'm also assuming the insurance benefit is a significant monetary advantage, unless you have insurance already through the 2nd job.

The cons really depend on what type of classroom it is, but I'll just say that IMO aides get stuck with the worst tasks for very little pay. If you're in a severe needs room, you'll be changing diapers. If it's a more mild/moderate setting, you'll likely be spending most of your time with the most difficult kids who have severe behaviors, and you'll have to push in with them in their gen ed classes. My previous para always said that she felt like she was "babysitting," and TBH I get that. You'll also most likely have kids that will try to (or succeed in) hitting/kicking/biting you. I would ask very detailed questions about what your day will look like if I were you.

paratoteach 09-07-2018 04:16 PM

Are you looking to teach special ed? In my district special education teachers are so hard to find that they pay paras to go to school and become teachers. If you are a decent para, have good attendance and get your license, you would get hired as a sped teacher.
If you are looking to teach regular ed, it will be a lot harder to switch from special ed para to regular ed teacher.
But even if you are in a high demand field, no job is guaranteed (nor should it be). I had a licensed teacher in my room last year working as a para. She had fits that the district did not hire her as a teacher. Problem was that she wasn't good at her para job. If you take the para position, make sure you shine.

casper40 09-07-2018 11:43 AM

I've had a change of career and started subbing to get my feet wet. I've done the long term subbing before. I've been applying for teaching positions,but the problem I've come to find out from colleagues is that if you're not well connected, it's difficult to land a teaching job, especially if you're new. On paper, it looks like I don't have much experience as I have no written evaluation. I currently hold a second job which is not related to the teaching field. It gives me steady income and health insurance. Recently, through one of my subbing jobs, I've been given a shot at working as a " Teacher's aide " in a Special Needs classroom. It is a permanent job (with insurance benefits and no chance of getting a Teacher Evaluation since i'm not teaching). Not a teaching position,but an assistant. The pay is about the same as a Sub, but i'm afraid i'll be Pidgeon Holed. What would you do?




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