U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Virginia > Northern Virginia
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 05-29-2012, 10:17 PM
 
Location: Northern Virginia
4,489 posts, read 9,556,888 times
Reputation: 3656

Advertisements

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hudlander View Post
To all of you...so to become a teacher it is going to take...sigh...more school on my part? Are we talking another degree....couple of courses...what is involved?
I PMed you, but for future reference of anyone who looks at this thread, my degree was 39 graduate credits and took me 2 years of weekend classes to obtain. 1 full semester was student teaching. You can speed through it in 3 semesters if you want to cram in classes full time (though I would not recommend more than 1 or 2 while you are student teaching)/

Plus, add on any pre-reqs you're missing (I was deficient 5 credits that I had to take at NoVA to meet the state requirements for a secondary math degree).

Most of this info is available on the VDOE website if you look it up.

VDOE :: Licensure
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 05-29-2012, 10:59 PM
 
Location: Alexandria, VA
729 posts, read 1,299,309 times
Reputation: 749
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hudlander View Post
Ummm I got into Geography thinking I could:
-Be an Urban/Regional Planner
-Work the DOT on transportation planning
-Work at the Census on population analysis

To bad for me those jobs don't exist for newbies anymore.

I always to do public service, and figured if I couldn't find work in those fields at least I could teach.


To all of you...so to become a teacher it is going to take...sigh...more school on my part? Are we talking another degree....couple of courses...what is involved?
There is a bit of schooling, even if you are a career switcher. You have to study classroom management, reading instruction in content area, curriculum and instruction (all classes I'm trying to remember from my college days). Now I'm becoming a special educaion teacher after going to school to be a social studies teacher, so I have to take a ton of classes including behavior intervention, transition planning, learning characteristics, and reading instruction. Thankfully sped teachers are in such demand that I can teach while completing these requirements.

I come from the belief that great teachers are born because being a caring individual that can put up with BS does not come from a college course. We had a long-term sub at my school that couldn't cut it; he seemed to think he had "the calling" after working in business for several years. He wanted to treat my low-incidence class like it was playtime because he focused way too much on the children's disability instead of their ability, and saw them as a liability on the school that needed to treated with kid gloves. I, on the other hand, am familiar with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), and recognize that we are bound by federal law to provide a free and appropriate public education (FAPE), and 7 hours of playtime is not FAPE. He was eventually terminated for having a nervous breakdown in a general ed setting.

The point I'm trying to make is that teaching is not for everyone. Get a job as a sub or as a paraprofessional first, then decide if you want to invest the time and money it takes to get full licensure.

Last edited by jzcrandall; 05-29-2012 at 11:45 PM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-30-2012, 07:05 AM
 
Location: New-Dentist Colony
5,738 posts, read 8,943,215 times
Reputation: 3857
I have substitute taught, and I mostly enjoyed it. I have often thought about trying to become an English teacher (or possibly sixth grade) through a career-switcher program. But several things have disuaded me:
  • Huge pay cut. I'm not greedy, but in this area, we can't afford to make less than we do.
  • The requirement to get a master's in education. Everything I read indicates that although there may be a few important tactics to learn (like classroom management), the bulk of the coursework is feel-good, emotive, social-worker psychobabble and watered-down MBA baloney, designed to accommodate the dull-witted. (CaliTerp, am I wrong? If so, tell me; I can take it!)
  • Bureaucratic BS. I've read that teachers now spend a huge amount of time dealing with paperwork, bureaucratic requirements, and training. And then they're supposed to magically erase the "achievement gap."
  • The fact that school districts seem to tolerate behavior-problem kids more than they used to. It sounds like on the one hand, school districts are eager to expel any kid who gets into a fistfight, yet they're loath to discipline any kid who's routinely disruptive or disrespectful.
  • The "mainstreaming" of mentally disabled kids. I know there's a lot of debate on this, but I think it's a bad idea. You can't convince me that such a kid will get the attention he needs in a regular classroom or that he won't be teased a lot. At the same time, there's no way that having kids of widely disparate abilities in the same classroom doesn't slow down some of the kids.
Maybe I'm wrong on some or all of these--but if I think this, I'm probably not the only one. And that's why I think there's going to be a major dearth of teachers in the future.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-30-2012, 09:40 AM
 
689 posts, read 1,371,724 times
Reputation: 232
Shenandoah University also offers Career Switcher and teacher licensure courses, both online and in Ashburn. the cost is pretty reasonable. I'm doing their program now. I've absolutely loved my classroom observation, so I'm confident about switching careers into teaching, but I also have my eyes wide open about what I'm getting into, and have a lot of friends who are teachers. If you're not sure about teaching, look at Mason's grad certificate programs in geography, or a public administration program. You'd make more and might be a lot happier. Or look at all the non-profits in the DC area. Try a site like idealist.org. A lot of those positions pay pretty well, and may be closer to what you're looking for. Good luck!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-30-2012, 09:44 AM
 
Location: Northern Virginia
4,489 posts, read 9,556,888 times
Reputation: 3656
My responses in red:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Carlingtonian View Post
  • Huge pay cut. I'm not greedy, but in this area, we can't afford to make less than we do. Yeah, I make about $40k less per year now than I did in IT consulting (and I got a masters in order to get that pay decrease!) I knew for me personally, I had to make the switch before I hit 6 figures, or mentally I would never be able to do it. It sucks, don't get me wrong...but I didn't do it for the money. I took my first job for the money (and made a ton of it) but it didn't make me happy at all.
  • The requirement to get a master's in education. Everything I read indicates that although there may be a few important tactics to learn (like classroom management), the bulk of the coursework is feel-good, emotive, social-worker psychobabble and watered-down MBA baloney, designed to accommodate the dull-witted. The classes were 50/50. Half of them were awesome, relevant, and applicable. The other half were fluff. It wasn't "feel-good, emotive, social-worker psychobabble" (well, maybe 1 class out of the 12), but it was a little abstract for my tastes. I honestly couldn't have made it without the 4 awesome classes and my 1 student teaching semester though. I would have quit after the first month, no joke. I think the requirement is good (though I wish the program could be refined to take out the fluff, of course)
  • Bureaucratic BS. I've read that teachers now spend a huge amount of time dealing with paperwork, bureaucratic requirements, and training. And then they're supposed to magically erase the "achievement gap." I haven't experienced this near to the degree I expected to. I have to fill out paperwork for referrals, which makes sense--admin needs to know what happened, and the paper goes in the kid's permanent file so there's a paper trail when things escalate. That's about the only paperwork though (my SPED colleagues have tonnnnnns more). I go to training for an hour or two once a month. Way less than I did in the corporate world! The nightmare is dealing with parents who don't know how to parent and expect me to raise their child, but that's another issue...
  • The fact that school districts seem to tolerate behavior-problem kids more than they used to. It sounds like on the one hand, school districts are eager to expel any kid who gets into a fistfight, yet they're loath to discipline any kid who's routinely disruptive or disrespectful. This is such an individual school issue. Every school takes a different route. I do have a ton of disruptive, disrespectful students, but honestly there's only so much the school can do without parental involvement. When you call mom in for a conference to discuss the fact that the kid cursed at me, and she curses at me, it's fairly obvious to see that nothing's going to change. My colleagues who teach at more "upper middle class" schools don't seem to deal with these issues.
  • The "mainstreaming" of mentally disabled kids. I know there's a lot of debate on this, but I think it's a bad idea. You can't convince me that such a kid will get the attention he needs in a regular classroom or that he won't be teased a lot. At the same time, there's no way that having kids of widely disparate abilities in the same classroom doesn't slow down some of the kids. All the special ed kids who are mainstreamed into my algebra class are on par with the "regular" kids. They just need a calculator to do the more basic arithmetic (though honestly, a lot of the so called "regular" kids do too). Some of them are special ed because of ADD, ED, Aspergers...but all of them have shown math aptitude or they wouldn't be there. Far, far more troubling to me are the non-honors kids whose parents utilized open enrollment to get their kid in a higher level class. I have kids in my honors class who, after a whole year of instruction, are still telling me that 5x-x=5. Yet I can't recommend that they repeat algebra or that they should have moved down back in September (I did), because the parents don't want to hear it.
That sounds like a total TEACHERS KNOW EVERYTHING and PARENTS KNOW NOTHING! rant, and I really don't feel that way. For the most part, I have an awesome relationship between parents/teachers/administration, and things go pretty smoothly.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-30-2012, 09:49 AM
 
689 posts, read 1,371,724 times
Reputation: 232
Wow, great response, Hudlander!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-30-2012, 09:58 AM
 
Location: New-Dentist Colony
5,738 posts, read 8,943,215 times
Reputation: 3857
CaliTerp, thanks for the responses! Your experience is interesting to me, as you switched from a higher-paying career.

I'm trying to think of a number that will prove 5X-X = 5, but I'm still working on it.

Re. mainstreaming: Are they not also mainstreaming the truly developmentally disabled kids along with those with mild autism or ADHD?

Last edited by Carlingtonian; 05-30-2012 at 10:20 AM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-30-2012, 10:02 AM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, NC, formerly DC and Phila
8,555 posts, read 12,622,593 times
Reputation: 8315
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carlingtonian View Post
...I'm trying to think of a number that will prove 5X-X = 5, but I'm still working on it.
x=1.25
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-30-2012, 10:18 AM
 
Location: New-Dentist Colony
5,738 posts, read 8,943,215 times
Reputation: 3857
Quote:
Originally Posted by michgc View Post
x=1.25
Doh!

You cheated.

Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-30-2012, 11:07 AM
 
Location: Northern Virginia
4,489 posts, read 9,556,888 times
Reputation: 3656
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carlingtonian View Post
Re. mainstreaming: Are they not also mainstreaming the truly developmentally disabled kids along with those with mild autism or ADHD?
Perhaps in the elementary schools, but by middle school they certainly aren't. The low functioning kids are in classes all to themselves with high teacher:student ratios and extra aids where they really work to teach them life skills and such.

There are "levels" of mainstreaming in middle school. There are self contained classrooms capped at ~10 students where they cover the same material but in a smaller, less distracting environment with more accommodations, and probably less in-depth.

There are team taught classes, where 3-6 kids will be put in the "regular" classroom alongside their peers. There are 2 teachers (one certified in the subject, one in special ed but hopefully fluent in the subject) to tackle teaching together. The idea is there is more time for one-on-one attention when necessary, teachers can split and take small groups of students aside, etc. When the teachers are paired correctly and students are placed appropriately, it's beautiful. When they aren't, it's a disaster.

Then sometimes the kids are put in regular classes on their own, they just get extra accommodations like longer testing periods, assignments given to them ahead of time, an outline given for a lecture instead of a blank sheet of paper, etc. These kids have often transitioned out of other special ed settings.

Most of the time you'd have absolutely no clue any of these kids were "special". They are on par with their classmates, they just need a little extra help to level the playing field. There aren't any people who can't count taking algebra, or students that can't string together a sentence in regular English.

It's actually very similar to an ESOL set-up, actually. ESOL kids move from self contained classes, to team taught classes, to "regular" classes with read-aloud or time limit accommodations pretty fluidly as well.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:


Options
X
Data:
Loading data...
Based on 2000-2016 data
Loading data...

123
Hide US histogram

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Virginia > Northern Virginia
Similar Threads
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top