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justinvil1103
 
 
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justinvil1103
 
 
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Thniking about starting as a parapro
Old 11-27-2016, 05:07 PM
 
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Hi gang,

I am really struggling with my career direction. I have been a stay at home mom for the last 12 years. I am returning to the work force as a substitute teacher. I have a 2 children. One in 8th grade and one in 4th grade. I mainly sub in elementary schools or 1/2 days in middle schools because I have to pick up my 4th grader. I have an BS in English and no teaching experience. I really wanted to return to school to pursue a Master of Arts in Teaching specializing in Secondary English. I fell in love with middle school and I really would love to teach Language Arts. However, I am really wondering how to juggle attending graduate school and still having an elementary school age child and an active high school age child. Hubby travels and really can't support much of the day to day.

Honestly, our finances really could use the 2nd salary right now and I am leery of incurring more student loan debt. My hubby and I already have a ton!

In addition, I failed the math portion of my GACE exam. I will have to retake it and I really think I need a tutor. I am 46 and have been out of school for years. Even in school math was my weakest subject.

Should I take a paraprofessional position at a middle school and try to work (steadily) instead of subbing.? This option would really benefit us financially. However, I don't want to get stuck and push my goal farther away.

Any advice from someone who may have done this route?


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Sounds familiar
Old 11-29-2016, 02:37 PM
 
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I got my teaching degree in 1977. I was an aide for two years (second year I taught half the day, then was a resource aide), then got married. Worked on the farm with hubby and had 4 sons in 5 1/2 years. When the youngest went to kindergarten, I began subbing. That would have been in 1991. I subbed until 1996, then was an aide for two years in a middle school. Because I had let my license lapse, I took classes while I was an aide (not my masters, though, just the classes I needed to get my ELA certification and to renew my license). In 1998, I was hired at my school to teach and stayed there until I retired in 2015. I was fortunate to have a supportive husband and staff. Maybe you could just take the classes you need to get your middle school endorsement instead of a full masters. Then, later you could go for that if you still feel it would be beneficial.
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Sounds familiar II
Old 12-11-2016, 07:45 AM
 
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I too got my degree in 1977. Married, moved to a different state, stay at home mom and substitute taught to have my daughters school schedule.

The para-professionals are key people in the school I am teaching in full time. They are so helpful and fill a much needed role.

Being in debt was so stressful and I didn't know how much stress until the debt was gone!

Do what your heart calls you to do in any case....best wishes.
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Song of Joy Song of Joy is offline
 
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Old 12-11-2016, 08:07 AM
 
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I think the para-pro route is a great idea! You don't have to work over the weekend or evening, get to skip parent conferences, and at most schools you get to skip most of the meetings because they usually pay para-pros by the hour.

I would be careful about getting a masters until after your first job. Depending on the job market in your area, it can make it more difficult to get a first teaching job because you'll be more expensive to hire. It seems to really depend on the area.
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