Thinking of becoming a teacher but have questions and concerns - please help

Discussion in 'New Teachers Archives' started by lokobreed, Jun 4, 2006.

  1. lokobreed

    lokobreed Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2006
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 4, 2006

    Hello,

    Im 19 years old and have been questioning and trying to determine for a while now what I want to be and what I want to make out with my life. I have gone from thinking of being something to do with international business but its so broad and not sure actually what I want to do in that span, computer science because I love computers, dental hygienist because its really good money (50 + a year and only 2 years of schooling), translator, and now teacher. I come to realize I really would like to do something with spanish.

    I am thinking of becoming a spanish teacher but I have questions and concerns.

    1) Is the teachers pensions as good as wveryone says they are? If so in a round about how are they?

    2) To become a teacher do I need to go to school to get a degree for a spanish teacher or do I major in spanish and just get a teacher certificate?

    3) Do you have to recieve a degree to teache different age levels?

    4) I heard teachers dont make much money? Whats the average starting salary and does it usually increase after a few years? Do all departments make about the same?

    5) How many months do you have off in the summer truly?

    6) If I graduate with the teachers degree from one state but want to teach in another or leave the state I currtently teach in for another is that a problem or is there a test I must take?

    7) To teach elementary kids is tehre a certain degree different than one where you major in one are like spanish teacher?

    8) After school ends are you usalluy done for the day?

    And basically last question is teaching a good job to enter into? How do must of you feel about your job?

    ---
    I would appreaciate it if you could answer any of these questions and thanks to all for reading.
    Lee
     
  2.  
  3. Malcolm

    Malcolm Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2005
    Messages:
    2,100
    Likes Received:
    1

    Jun 5, 2006

    The answer to most of your questions vary by state.

    In California, a simplified answer on retirement would be that there is currently a defined benefit plan that gives you 2% of the average of your last three years salary for each year of service, plus health insurance.

    In California, to get a teaching crendential, you need to have a bachelor's degree in something other than teaching, complete an approved subject matter preparation program or pass the appropriate tests, jump through a few other hoops, and then complete an approved teacher preparation program (typically 1 to 1 1/2 years) or internship program (typically 2 years, but you get paid as a teacher). So, you are looking at five to six years.

    In California, there is a Multiple Subject credential that essentially allows you to teach most subjects in K through 6. Then there are Single Subject credentials that allow you to teach a specific subject, in your case perhaps Spanish, in 7 through 12. There are other more specialized credentials as well.

    Teachers, like most other folks, like to whine that they are underpaid. Starting pay locally is about $38,000 per year for a 10 month work year. You get step increases every year for many years. You get increases for more education. There are some veteran teachers around here making in excess of $70,000 per year.

    You basically have two months off during summer, just like the kids. You may come back for meetings a few days before the new term starts. Some teachers take classes during the summer to meet continuing education requirements or increase their pay.

    Credential requirements vary from state to state. There are agreements between some states that permit teachers credentialed in one state to move relatively easily to the other. But it may not be automatic. You may have to go back to school or take a test to meet some requirement or other. Sometimes they let you teach while you work on meeting the requirement.

    In California, to teach K through 6, you need a Multiple Subject credential. Any bachelor's degree will do, execpt education. You have to pass a three part subject matter test that essentially covers what you might have been exposed to if you were a liberal arts major. Then of course, you need to complete the teacher preparation program or internship mentioned above.

    Most teachers are not done at the end of the school day. You have to grade papers, plan the next day's lesson, meet with parents, etc. Of course, once you have been doing it a while, learned all the tricks of the trade, and have it down to a system, all this may take a lot less time.

    I think teaching is a good job. I am changing to teaching after many years in another profession. But then, I was lucky enough to fall into an opportunity to find out if I like teaching before committing to the work necessary to make the career change. Teaching doesn't pay as much. But there is more to life than money.
     
  4. Tri'nTeacher

    Tri'nTeacher Rookie

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2006
    Messages:
    79
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 5, 2006

    Good Luck!
     
  5. lokobreed

    lokobreed Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2006
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 5, 2006

    thanks

    Thank you both very much for helping me answer these questions I have.

    I really cant think of anything else I would enjoy doing. I dont really like the style of computers where you got a CEO who is all over your back aboput reports and such to do and finish and I dont do well in very stressfull situations. I feel teaching is probably stressful in the sense of dealing with studetns and getting the information acorss to them, which I could handle... but as far as the hounding above you I feel thats more limited. And this stype of job would be nice witha family.

    So is a Spanish teacher a good job field to look into ... Like are the many needs for Spanish teachers? My goals is to submerge myself in Spanish...

    --->> 1) So from what I understand I would need to recieve atleast a BA in Spanish and to increase pay recieve a MA in Spanish? Correct?

    2) Then I need to get a BA in another sort of teaching?

    3) Then take a teast for the state Im wishing to teach in or sit -in and teach?

    4) If I teach in CA and later move to MO is it hard or is it pretty easy to switch just have to pass another test?

    5) What type of school do I need to attend... like what majors/programs must they offer? (I have found scchools that I can get a BA in Spanish but then some schools actually offer a degree called "Spanish Language Teacher Education" to earn a BA in.... does it matter?

    Thanks again all
     
  6. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Messages:
    27,640
    Likes Received:
    1

    Jun 5, 2006


    Good luck!
     
  7. mslimko

    mslimko Rookie

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2006
    Messages:
    52
    Likes Received:
    1

    Jun 5, 2006

    First- welcome to the forum. The best advice that I can give you is you need to be in this profession because you absolutely love what you do. There are many teachers out there because it is simply a "fall-back" occupation and that makes the rest of us mad that are here because we feel we we wouldn't survive without our children and we want to make a difference in these children's lives.

    The pay is not good at all, but really it does depend on the area you live in. bottom line-- don't enter this field if you are wanting to be rich one day. The pay gets better when more experience is gained, but it takes many years to get where many are paid their first year.

    "Days off" aren't really "days off". I, for one, work many hours after school getting things planned, I come in on Sunday evenings to write lesson plans and create activities so my kids aren't stuck with worksheets all day. Summers (well, I'm finishing up my first year, so I've only had one summer to speak of) are spent with lots of professional development (if your school supports that), setting up your classroom (I spent three weeks before school started in mine), and coming up with new ideas. Many have to get another job during the summer (like myself) because I am only paid for 10 months not 12, which depends on your district.

    All the other certification questions, you really have to look into your district that you are considering. Many people can get a Gen Ed degree and then get a teaching certificate, but it would work best if you went into teaching major. It's helpful with your field experiences.

    I love teaching. But it takes a lot to be a teacher. You have to have a lot of motivation, enthusiasm, and passion to enter this profession. I read this in a book once-

    "Teaching is the easiest profession to be bad at and the hardest profession to be the best at"

    It's so true.
    There's my two cents.
     
    DaniB92 likes this.
  8. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2006
    Messages:
    6,439
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 5, 2006

    I couldn't have said it better- every word is true. :)
     
  9. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

    Joined:
    May 13, 2005
    Messages:
    28,190
    Likes Received:
    434

    Jun 5, 2006

    loko, if you're in college in California, an education major or minor isn't an option: California doesn't do education majors. (That's what the credential program is for.) If Spanish really engages you, by all means major in Spanish - but make sure you really pay attention to your general education courses as well, because if you do go on and become a high school Spanish teacher, you're going to have to "sell" Spanish to the kid who's into science or art or history, and the way you do that is by being able to help the kid connect between what she's into and what you're teaching.

    You might also look for opportunities to volunteer or work with middle school and high school students - to help you decide whether teaching is for you, it makes sense to spend time in the environment so you really know what you're getting into. Many California schools of education require 30 hours or so of "early field experience" observing in a school, but more time will give you a better picture, I think.

    Best of luck, whatever your choice is - and bear in mind that if high school per se isn't for you, there are still lots of ways to be a teacher and lots of fields that can use a teacherly touch.
     
  10. Malcolm

    Malcolm Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2005
    Messages:
    2,100
    Likes Received:
    1

    Jun 5, 2006

    Yes, in California, you need at least your bachelor's degree, and that is before you even start your teacher preparation. Getting your masters will get you more money.

    You don't need a second bachelor's degree to teach. But you do need to complete what amounts to an additional year of college work plus student teaching, either through a teacher preparation program at a university, or through an internship program.

    In California, you would normally take all the required tests before entering the teacher preparation program or internship program. There is something called CBEST which is a simple test on reading, writing and arithmetic required for all teachers. And there is something called CSET which tests subject matter knowledge for whatever credential you are going for. For me, CSET was 3 tests on mathematics through calculus because I will be teaching mathematics in high school. If you want to teach Spanish in middle school or high school, it will be on Spanish. Most other states have similar tests.

    You are going to have to check with the appropriate MO government agency to find out how easy it is to move from CA to MO.

    In California, if you take a CTC authorized subject matter program while in college, you don't have to take a test other than CBEST. If you just major in Spanish, you will take to take CSET. The schools of education at the universities can tell you which CTC authorized subject matter programs they offer. There is also information on the CTC web site. Look here. Looks like many CSU campuses and a few private schools offer CTC approved subject matter programs in Spanish. In other states just a major in Spanish may do it, or you may have to take an exam.

    FWIW in California it will be very easy to find a job with a credential to teach Spanish, probably many other states, too.

    I think at some point you need to find out from the appropriate government agencies what the requirements for a credential are in the state you plan to go to school, and in the state where you plan to live. You can also contact the school of education at your local university. Most of them offer counseling of some form to prospective teachers.
     
  11. Tri'nTeacher

    Tri'nTeacher Rookie

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2006
    Messages:
    79
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 5, 2006

    This changed about 2 years ago. There is no subject matter program that waives the test anymore. I think you are referring to the liberal studies major. Unfortunately, you now HAVE to take CSET (Subtest I, II, and III) to receive your preliminary credential in California. In addition to CBEST and CSET (subtest I-III) you also need to take the RICA.
     
  12. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

    Joined:
    May 13, 2005
    Messages:
    28,190
    Likes Received:
    434

    Jun 5, 2006

    Tri'n, I believe loko is posting about single subject Spanish, in which case Malcolm's right (and loko wouldn't need RICA). If loko's posting about multiple subjects, of course the liberal studies waiver is no longer available and you're right that RICA's part of the package.
     
  13. Tri'nTeacher

    Tri'nTeacher Rookie

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2006
    Messages:
    79
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 5, 2006

    I believe that you still need to take the CSET (Subtests 1-III) for Spanish (not multiple subject) in addition to the single subject Spanish credential. But, you are correct RICA is ONLY for multiple subject. Thanks for clearing that up. :D

    Who know what other changes the CTC might make. It all seems to reconfigure every few years....:rolleyes:
     
  14. lokobreed

    lokobreed Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2006
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 5, 2006

    Thanks once again to everyone.

    I thought alot about teaching today and if its the profession I should go in. Yes and no where my answers. I never thought about teaching as an option. My passion and something I wish to learn in life and has been a life long goal is spanish. And as Spnaish opens options teaching is the main one that sticks out. The thing I really dont like about other positions and careers (such as computer programming or accounting) is you sit in a desk all day not really engaiging in much interaction and have a boss that is houding and rude. Where teaching its you and the kids - while you have the over lookers- its pretty much you and the kids.

    I want to teach highschool because if I teach the only thing I would want to teach is Spanish and that is either highschool or college for most parts and I know high school students will be crazy but its no a problem I feel I would have dealing with.

    --
    So basically if I understand this right I need to major in Spanish and getting an MA in spanish will up my pay (or is it getting a MA in Education that will do so)?

    And then need to minor in education or some sort... correct?

    --

    Anyone have any info on MO as far as teaching and how process ti become a teacher in missouri? Because pretty much I want to go to college in California but may teach in MO.
     
  15. ddb23

    ddb23 Companion

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2005
    Messages:
    227
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 5, 2006

    I think that in order to be successful in teaching you need to have both an interest (or passion) in the subject matter that you will be teaching and the patience (an interest) to deal with students who do not share your interest or natural aptitude for the subject.

    Each class is different, so feeling confident about managing a class is good, but you'll have classes that you can manage well and others that need more work.

    You will have someone hounding you, but you're right - in most cases you are given the ability to plan your day to day activities so that they fit into the larger scheme of things. In the summer I work in financial consulting and actually welcome the opportunity to play a more "background role" than I do the rest of the year.

    The pay is good. Like any job - the more talents you have, the better opportunities you will have and the better you will be paid. If you stay in the exact same position, you will earn about 3% more each and every year. If you take on more responsibilities, you will earn more. There is a lot of money being spent on education, and if you play your cards right, you can get a nice slice of the pie.

    If you get a California credential, that should transfer over to MO with a little bit of paperwork, some fees, and maybe a missouri history test. If you study spanish in a CTC approved program, then you do not have to take the CSET. However, if you take the CSET right after college, it should be very eaasy for you. Most states take any masters degree as a masters degree. I don't think you have to minor in education - I thought I was going to do that until I took an education class and found it to be more of a sociology class than an education class.

    good luck,
    dave
     
  16. TexasAggie2323

    TexasAggie2323 Comrade

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2006
    Messages:
    418
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 5, 2006

    Everyone has done a good job of answering on this thread but I did not see anyone talk about the CEO "down your back about reports" that the poster was worried about.

    Parents can and will be a lot like a CEO. You are dealing with something MUCH MUCH more important than money and it sometimes can be a very stressful situation. The easiest part about teaching is the actual teaching but most of your job deals with things that nobody ever sees or cares to talk about.

    Parents also usually do not show the courtesy of letting you off the hook when you are away from your job.
     
  17. Malcolm

    Malcolm Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2005
    Messages:
    2,100
    Likes Received:
    1

    Jun 5, 2006

    In California, it is not a minor in education. It is a complete, separate program, after you get your bachelor's degree, that leads to a credential. Well, there are also "blended" programs where you get both your degree and your teaching credential in 5 years.

    Hmmm.... I've never had a problem getting a CEO off my back. You just have to make them understand that it is in their own best interest to let you do your job. Some parents aren't nearly that reasonable.

    Just a word of warning. About half or so of new teachers don't stay in the profession five years. A lot of it has to do with misperception about what they are getting into. You are off to a good start to see if teaching is for you.
     
  18. hepsmom

    hepsmom New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2006
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 7, 2006

    It doesn't need to be AN option, but your ONLY option.

    I hope you won't find this negative or discouraging, but you must be desperate to teach. If you aren't on fire for it, all the negatives can really get to you. I'm in my sixth year of teaching. There is NOTHING else I would consider doing. Teaching high school math is "where it's at" for me.

    You can have 412 things go wrong in a day, but one student can make a comment or come to a realization and that one thing can undo all the 412 negatives.

    I believe that in most schools someone IS breathing down your neck. It just depends on what group. It could be your department head, your principal, your students' parents, or some other entity.

    Be careful before choosing this profession. I LOVE it. It can make you happy or it can make you miserable. Personally, it makes me very happy, but every year I see new teachers who feel as if they've been trained for a totally different career and then go off to find it.

    Much success to you regardless of your decision!
     
  19. oldsoccerlady

    oldsoccerlady Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2006
    Messages:
    65
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 8, 2006

    lokobreed,

    It is great that you are conscientiously researching career paths. I agree with the advice that has already been given to you regarding teaching. I would like to add, though, that it is likely that you will change your career about three times during the course of your life. This seems to be the trend as we live longer, move more and find ourselves downsized. So remember that the career path that you embark upon at 20 might be very different than the one you find yourself on at 40. And remember that if you make a decision and discover it is not the right one for you you can almost always change it. Best of luck!
     
  20. mnteacherguy

    mnteacherguy Companion

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2006
    Messages:
    105
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 8, 2006


    AMEN

    Here's a quote that may help you...

    "If a doctor, lawyer, or dentist had 40 people in his office at one time, all of whom had different needs, and some of whom didn't want to be there and were causing trouble, and the doctor, lawyer, or dentist, without assistance, had to treat them all with professional excellence for nine months, then he might have some conception of the classroom teacher's job." ~Donald D. Quinn

    IF ITS SOMETHING YOU REALLY WANT TO DO...GO FOR IT NO MATTER WHAT!!! Just remember your CEO is your class and their parents....and at times they will put more pressure on you than your current boss. Your not dealing with money, but a child's future
     
  21. DaniB92

    DaniB92 Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2017
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0

    Mar 15, 2017

    I love that quote. It is so true. As a perfectionist, I have to say it's hard to do teaching but if you really love it you'll do your best and you'll work hard for the kids.
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. dgpiaffeteach,
  2. 2ndTimeAround,
  3. DAH,
  4. pinkcupcake90,
  5. SpecialPreskoo,
  6. MrsC,
  7. Pashtun,
  8. carolinafan
Total: 666 (members: 9, guests: 543, robots: 114)
test