Graduating Soon, Any Educators Offering Advice?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by lelandbowman3, Apr 16, 2016.

  1. lelandbowman3

    lelandbowman3 SS.org Regular

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    So, I'm going to graduate with my BA in History next year, and I'll have a provisional teaching certificate for 3-5 years to teach on. My question is, with no background in teaching: How do I prepare for applying for education jobs? What do I need to include in a resume, what do I need to tell the principals and school board to make sure I have the best possible chance of getting a job?

    Here's some things I've looked into already:
    Teach For America (but that has the issue of the resume)
    Teaching at high-risk schools
    Going to my hometown and trying to use my connections with my old teachers.

    Also, I live in South GA, so I know things are different regionally, but I'm hoping someone here has a teaching job/experience and can offer some insight.
     
  2. Alex Kenivel

    Alex Kenivel Stunt Guitar

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    They're dying for teachers in my district here in CA.. Too bad they don't pay enough and cut benefits left and right, not to mention forcing retirement a few years ago to the more older teachers (like war veterans and Olympic athletes).

    Sorry, this is getting a little ranty.. Stay away from CA, I hear NY is a tough one for Caucasian males, but the fact that you're a male teacher gets a good foot in the door. good male role models are hard to find, especially in the bigger city areas that I'm used to. do you have much experience with children? What levels are you trying to teach?
     
  3. JSanta

    JSanta SS.org Regular

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    I have been looking for graduate level programs to teach on an adjunct basis, so I can't help you much regarding your specific search. That being said, networking is everything. Speak with people you know that are in the profession you want to be in and sponge as much information from them as you can. Anecdotal data, but a friend had a degree in communications (no teaching experience at all) and became an elementary school teacher in NYC by becoming involved with a program there. I lost touch with her years ago, but last we spoke, she absolutely loved it.
     
  4. lelandbowman3

    lelandbowman3 SS.org Regular

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    I lived in Chula Vista for about a year. I'd never go back. Cost of living is way too high, and you're right: they don't pay anywhere near enough.
    I'm trying to stay at a high school level, but I guess middle school wouldn't be too bad.
     
  5. lelandbowman3

    lelandbowman3 SS.org Regular

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    Good to hear. I'm glad that there's some people who can make it. I'm just tired of working minimum wage jobs and struggling to get through school and make ends meet.
    From what I get right now, 30k a year seems like a godsend. I know that high-risk schools in GA offer 45k starting out, and in some circumstances will pay for you to get a masters and help pay back loans.
     
  6. vilk

    vilk Very Regular

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    This is anecdotal, but I actually have two close personal friends that tried the whole "I'm gonna go teach hood kids" thing, and they both quit. One of them quit teaching altogether, the other went through like 3 or 4 south-side teaching jobs before giving up and scoring a gig at a montessori school--which I'm sure many might argue is the opposite of an inner city school.


    Me, personally as someone who used to be a teacher, I think I could handle it. It's all about your mentality. These friends of mine were people who honestly wanted to teach and help and make a difference. It's my understanding that going into one of these jobs with that mentality is setting yourself up for a rude awakening. When I used to teach I had 3 schools, 2 in nice neighborhoods and 1 in a bad neighborhood (but it was Japan which even the grittiest neighborhood couldn't be compared to someplace "nice" on the south side of Chicago), but for the 1 bad school I used to struggle with until I learned to accept that I can't make these kids do anything. The best I can do is show them that white people can be cool, and if I've made that impression stick then I've done my job. I know there are a few different things messed up about that outlook. For one, it's not fair to kids in poor neighborhoods that their education quality is allowed to suffer. But I contend that after a certain point teachers should stop thinking that they alone are capable reassign the priority of education in the minds of the families who live in these neighborhoods. Well, certainly someone may be capable if it happened to be the right person in the right neighborhood, but I'm betting the stars don't align that often.
     
  7. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    I taught part-time in Detroit, years ago. Although there were a few rewarding moments, it was a nightmare, overall, and the pay was piss poor. Administration was always taking an antagonistic position toward teachers, whether you went to them for help or not.

    I switched to teaching at a technical college, which paid better and was a lot lower stress, and then to working in R&D for the private sector. Now I don't teach at all.

    It's just that in the last ten years, I've seen the impetus of education switch from being shared between the teacher and the student, to being placed almost entirely on the teacher, and I cannot agree with that.

    With a degree in history, you may have more competition than I did for jobs, so all I can say is good luck.
     
  8. ThePhilosopher

    ThePhilosopher Reason User

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    There are federal loan repayment programs for teaching in Title 1 schools, the repayment amounts are higher in the areas of Math/SpEd/Science. Social Science teaching positions tend to be more competitive than areas with more demand. In my experience, the only areas where you're able to get assistance for graduate school from the school district is getting an M.Ed in C&I or Ed. Leadership.

    Is there a student teaching/internship requirement in Ga (we need to have at least 1 year of monitored teaching in Tx)? If so, making a good impression while doing this is a good path to non-provisional employment.

    Make sure you have a solid teaching philosophy and are able to answer pedagogical questions about assessment, student behavioral expectations, lesson design, etc. It's usually a good idea to have at least one well-designed lesson plan that you can show to those doing your interview.

    I'm sure you're familiar with the GaPSC website and the requirements/steps to becoming a certified educator. You might make an appointment to talk to the advisors in the College of Education at your university.
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2016
  9. lelandbowman3

    lelandbowman3 SS.org Regular

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    I'm not that naive to think that I'm going to be like Ron Clark or something. I can keep up with risk school kids, because I went to an at-risk school my whole life. But again, I'm not trying to be some inspirational "change the world" type if I get that type of gig. That option is primarily to get a higher pay rate and the loan forgiveness.
     
  10. russmuller

    russmuller Cramblin'

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    I'm not an educator, but my advice is don't come to Arizona (teacher pay is crap) and don't sleep with your students (rule of thumb). :agreed:
     
  11. lelandbowman3

    lelandbowman3 SS.org Regular

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    Well, I started talking to my old school board (as in the school system that I went through), and I got a good vibe from the conversation. They were nice and I spoke with them for an hour. They laid everything I needed to do in order to get be the best possible candidate, so I feel hopeful.
     
  12. Varcolac

    Varcolac Frets? What frets?

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    I teach History in the UK so there's a different system at play here. I know it very much depends on the state in the US. That being said, here are some truisms:
    • Know your subject inside out. I have a BA and MA in East Asian history. I needed to swot up on all the European stuff I missed.
    • Be firm with behaviour. I cannot emphasise this enough. Do not accept excuses. Do not allow students to get away with coasting. The thing that kills students' grades is their belief that they can get away with less. Don't let them.
    • Try to gain experience in the setting you'll be working in. Teaching assistant jobs pay a pittance but can be useful insight into what goes on in the classroom.
    • Take nothing personally. If you do you'll wear yourself down. That's from the kids and from other adults. Any suggestions to improve, take them on board. Any insults from kids, follow the school's behaviour by the book and remain calm and cool throughout.

    Good luck.
     
  13. MajorTom

    MajorTom Supreme Being

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    Don't stop learning, always try to learn new things in your chosen profession and field, and make the effort to continue to learn new things and keep up to date and current with the latest ideas, theories, practices and such.

    I would also add broaden your horizons, I don't know much about history or teaching history in a school I'm a guitarist, I teach and play guitar, so using something we're both familiar with, music, let me put it to you this way, I teach mainly classical guitar, after all it's what I studied and have a fellowship in, but I also teach electric guitar so as not to limit my exposure to classical and become stuck in that style of both playing and thinking, and at the same time force myself to keep an open mind and be open to new things and ideas - if that makes sense to you.
     
  14. scottro202

    scottro202 I'm walkin' here!!!

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    Where do you go to school?

    My friend just got his BA in history from Georgia State. He's getting his masters at UGA, starting in the fall and eventually his doctorate. (He wants to either be a professor, or use his middle east studies concentration to get a contract with the government.

    My other History major friend is about to graduate in a year like you, from Georgia State like my other friend and is planning on using the master's program that Georgia State has and plans on teaching high school with that.

    It seems like a post-grad degree is what you really need to teach these days. The Bachelor's is slowly becoming the new high school diploma, especially within the education sector. Luckily in your case, schools in Georgia aren't exactly top-notch among the country for K-12 so we're desperate for capable teachers :lol:

    Hope this helps, good luck!
     

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