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sgiaco01
 
 
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Question about getting a teaching job-Experie
Old 05-26-2006, 06:58 PM
 
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Hi,
I am 23 years old, graduated from college last year with a degree and certification in Elementary Ed. I have been teaching Middle school social studies at a Catholic school this year. I am debating what to do next year, and thinking of going back to get my Master's Degree full- time.

The main reason I'd be getting my Master's is in order to get a teaching job (in a public school), b/c I have had a very difficult time finding a teaching job and it is so competitive esp. for elementary positions. I am thinking a Master's may make me a more competitive candidate, but I'm not sure, because I know principals also like to see people with lots of teaching experience, too.

My first question is, do you think employers/principals would value someone with more years of teaching experience or a Master's degree more when they are hiring someone for an elementary position?

My second question is, which Master's degree to pursue. Currently I'm deciding between Special Ed. and Reading/Literacy. I know they are both good, but I'm not sure which one would make me a more competitive candidate for an elementary teaching job.

I am so confused and gotten different opinions on all of this! If anyone could offer any advice or their professional opinion, I would really appreciate it!


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Both-!
Old 05-27-2006, 01:58 AM
 
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Continue working, but pursue your Master's degree at night. I got my Master's in sped in 14 months, plus a semester of student teaching, which I was able to do while I was working (but I was in a public school). Two classes a semester, plus a lot of intense courses in the summer. (I was 42, single mom to 2 boys, one special needs, great babysittter). This way, you don't lose experience years, especially if it takes 3 or 4 years to finish.

I would pursue a Masters in Sped. Look at the need and what schools do to budgets. We had to cut our Reading Specialist position due to budget. You can always do a Wilson training or Lindamood-Bell training for reading. And by nature, special educators are reading teachers by trade.

Go the grad office and make an appointment to talk with the licesing person. They are a wealth of information and with little extra effort, you may be able to get dually certified due to overlap. I was able to get a masters (and certification) in sped, and get my cert if elementary ed as well. It depends on your school.

Good Luck!
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Well,
Old 06-01-2006, 04:12 AM
 
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One of the OP's questions was, " Do principals value the Master's degree?" Around here, no. You cost them more money than the rest of the first years. While I think it's great to get your Master's, I don't know if it will make getting a job easier in all instances.
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Get the Master's later
Old 06-02-2006, 04:16 PM
 
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Even in Florida with our teacher shortages, I agree to get the Master's after you're in your first job. When they look at budgets and open positions, they're going to hire the people with the required paperwork that costs them the least.
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Special Ed?
Old 06-04-2006, 04:00 AM
 
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Think about whether you want to teach special education before spending time and money pursuing it. I know where I live it is very difficult to get out of special education and go to regular education. Also here, the only time the higher salary hurts is if the position is paid out of special funds (Title I, Act 135 etc.) If it is an allocated position the cost doesn't matter.


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so many of us
Old 06-19-2006, 10:29 AM
 
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Make sure you ask your college if getting a master's in Sp. Ed. or Reading will make you certified in those areas. I had no idea there was a difference and got my master's w/just a concentration in Sp. Ed and I am not certified to teach it....every college does it differently. However, if you get it, they will want you to be the Reading Specialist or Sp. Ed teacher..those are the shortage areas...not elem ed. teacher. Think about what the other posters said...principals want the cheapest candidate possible..believe it or not. The key thing to do around here is wait til you're hired, then get it. I honestly think I shot myself in the foot by getting mine because I cannot get a job. I believe it's competitive not because people w/higher credentials are getting hired, it's competitive because there's so many of us certified in elementary, out here! Good luck!
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Choices
Old 07-05-2006, 04:34 AM
 
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A couple of things to consider:

1. A previous poster mentioned that she found it difficult to get out of speced once in. I wholeheartedly agree. I had to change districts to get out of speced. The speced field is changing. Mainstreaming is the current fad. This results in the reduction in the number of speced teachers and chances are you will be co-teaching or providing gen ed class support as opposed to having your own room. Not saying this is good or bad...just something to think about. Also, we will always need speced teachers...however, I think less resource teachers and more specialists such as autism, life skills, etc. You might want to consider speced ed with an emphases in specializing.

2. Every school I have worked in has placed a special emphasis on reading. I don't necessarily think having a Masters will make you more competative...actually it may work against you in the hiring process simply as they would have to pay you more. As previous posters mentioned...once hired get your Masters.

3. Another option would be to consider getting National Board certified. In the school districts in my surrounding area National Board teachers are always given preference in hiring.

Chuck
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interesting
Old 07-15-2006, 05:22 AM
 
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2. Every school I have worked in has placed a special emphasis on reading. I don't necessarily think having a Masters will make you more competative...actually it may work against you in the hiring process simply as they would have to pay you more. As previous posters mentioned...once hired get your Masters.>>

This is interesting. In my home district, only teachers with masters' degrees are being hired these days. I also happen to know that at my kids' school last year, a teacher was hired over other candidates specifically because she was simultaneously enrolled in a reading specialist certification program.

Michelle
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Elementary ed teacher with reading endorsemen
Old 09-11-2006, 09:12 PM
 
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Hi I have a cert in elementary ed, and a reading endorsement with no Masters, just my BA, and I cannot even get a job. In fact I ama highly qualified teacher who just graduated but yet was an instructional assistant for eight years in the resource room working right beside the Special Ed teacher. Nothing matters, not the degree, the reading endorsement, or the valuable background experience. i have not even gottenmore than one interview this whole summer. I think public school districts can afford to be very picky due to the influx of so many qualified applicants. I say be happy you have a job! at least I cannot say that.
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masters
Old 09-12-2006, 02:09 AM
 
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Hello -

Wow.. you sound just like me. At 23, I also got my first teaching job in a Catholic school teaching middle school science/math. I really enjoyed my experience there. I stayed on for 6 years. During that time, my teaching certificate expired. I didnt know how to go about renewing it at the time. Now I know it could have easily been done but, I did it the hard way.

I finally got a public school job 3 years ago. My principal said what attracted me to her was that I had taught middle school and she was looking for someone who knew that level content to teach her gifted 5th graders. She was also looking for someone strong in science because the 5th grade team is departmentalized. I was given a 1 year provisional license and had to earn all 180 points in one year! It was tough, but I did it. I am actually at a different public school now. I don't have my masters and I'm not intending to get it... I am taking a class or two a year and I'll have +15 soon.

If I were you, I'd take a class or two during the school year and more in the summer. Keep working at the catholic school. They may even reimburse you for some of it. This way, you'll gain experience and stay certified. You can take on line classes from home! Experience at Catholic Schools still counts in terms of where you are on the pay scale once you do get a public school job. Please don't stress yourself out to the max if you don't have to - especially if you're pretty happy where you are.

In my experience, Catholic middle school is a lot less stressful than public elementary.


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