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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

Changing grade level and position

Changing grade level and position

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Holding a Bachelors in Science with my major Elementary Education, I began my career as an educational assistant. My thinking at the time was to get my feet wet, to get into the school system and eventually move into a teaching position. I love being an assistant in kindergarten, but let's face it, the pay is terrible. It is hard work being an assistant, yet it is ever so rewarding. Nine years later, I am ready to move to the next level of my career. I have the opportunity to possibly move in to a 4th grade teaching position for the next school year and am eager to try out the new technology that I have acquired in my own learning. I am also a little apprehensive because this is quite a change in all aspects of my life. If anyone has advice or information that would be of assistance, I would greatly appreciated it Lynn Davis

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Lynn's picture

Well, that 4th grade position is more than likely out of the question. with all the budget cuts going on everywhere, people are being shuffled to fill vacant positions. I did put in an application for 3rd grade at another school in the district, yet feel I may be in the kindergarten educational assistant another year. We'll see what happens. Your comments and advice is still desired!

Lynn

Lynn's picture

Well, that 4th grade position is more than likely out of the question. With all the budget cuts going on everywhere, people are being shuffled to fill vacant positions. I did put in an application for 3rd grade at another school in the district, yet feel I may be in the kindergarten educational assistant another year. We'll see what happens. Your comments and advice are still desired!

Lynn

Lisa Dabbs's picture
Lisa Dabbs
Edu Consultant. Blogger & Social Media Marketing at Edutopia
Blogger
Facilitator

Hi Lynn,

I also was a TA for 6 years when I was first starting out. It was in 1st grade, 2nd grade and later in 5th, and 6th. It taught me so much about what I wanted to do, how I wanted to do it, and what I DIDNT want to replicate. I also taught a dance class at lunch and organized performances which helped to supplement my small salary.
I would agree with you that it's time to move forward. With the economy concerns right now, it might be a bit more challenging.
I would only caution you to have a good financial plan as you move forward. As a new teacher you may be more apt to be laid off next year, as opposed to if you stayed in the TA job one more year. If you can come back to the TA job as a safety net, that would be good info to have. In the meantime, whatever you decide, keep pressing forward with building your knowledge base and edu resources in the grades you might want to teach. Get a good mentor to support you. Join twitter and build your PLN:Personal Learning Network. Participate in twitter chats such as #ntchat, and #edchat. Lastly,seek out the great resources we have here on Edutopia.
Let me know how it goes!

Best,
Lisa

Celine Mazoyer's picture
Celine Mazoyer
French teacher

Hello Lynn,

I do not have much advice to give you. We know the situation is very hard for teachers right now and getting a job is definitely a challenge.
The only thing I can say is that joining Tweeter and building a PLN has really made a difference for me. It will help you continue to grow as an educator and get the experience you need to make a difference on the job in such a competitive market.
Good luck to you,
Celine

Jennifer's picture

I am currently wrapping up the first year of my teaching career but unsure if I will have a position at my current school for next year. My principal is awesome and hired me for a Reading and Literacy Teacher's position my first year so I do feel blessed but the uncertainty of not having a position is so nerve racking. There are so many budget cuts this year because of the economy and I am not protected because I do not have tenure yet. I feel that I am "bothering" my principal if I call this summer and check to see the status, so my question is what should I do? I feel that if I don't contact him he will think I am not interested and if I do I am being a nuisance. How can I handle this in the most professional way?

Cheska Lorena's picture
Cheska Lorena
Science Teacher from the Capital District Region, New York

Jennifer,

That is a tough situation to be in, and you must feel very anxious about the future of your position! I don't have the experience to dispense advice, but my personal opinion is that you should contact your principal and check in on your status. You might even consider setting up an informal lunch with him where you can talk with him about your concerns, and then highlight your contributions from the past year.

When I worked as a biologist intern, I didn't wait for my annual review to talk to my supervisor about my performance. I kept records of my work, and was able to provide him with evidence of my contributions. Asking for feedback regarding areas of improvement also helped me to see where I needed to focus my attention too.

Best of luck!

Winona Dennis's picture

Lynn,
I'd like to piggy back on Cheska's suggestion in regards to you going to your principal and noting your contributions. After noting your contributions ask him if he would take a moment and write you a recommendation letter.
If per chance a position comes up in your district you should strongly consider it. It sounds as if your principal knows that you did well as a TA and sometimes Principals like to keep some of us in positions they know they do not have to monitor. It might be time to find a new principal who can and will see you in a teaching role. Time for new surroundings and a new beginning.
Only Well Wishes for You.
Winona

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