teacher career path
Posted by msk5 on 3/29/2011 at 3:57 PM
hey i just saw these new career ones so i thought i'd come write on this one :)
I'm a freshmen in college, i want to be a teacher :)
There are currently 28 replies
Re:teacher career pathPosted by Joe S on 3/30/2011 at 12:52 PM
Welcome to the Career Clusters message board for Education. You know me already, I actually did my graduate work in Special Education, Orientation & Mobility, and a specialty in Transition (school to work). I taught in a school for emotional & behavioral special education for two years, prior to graduate school. I did my student teaching for TVI (teacher of the visually impaired) in Brooklyn, NY -- at a high school there. Then, worked for the State of NJ -- I taught Orientation and Mobility to adults age 18 and up.
I did that college prep program prior to and after my student teaching, utilized a lot of the content in preparing the students at the high school for college and or work.
Education is a great field! It is tough, but rewarding, you bring your work home with you on occassion. I loved that you were doing different things everyday, wasn't the same. Each student is different, so your day has ups and downs. You are challenged to be creative, solve problems, and keep students interested.
I loved teaching! I get the opportunity once in a while to work with students in different areas of the country. I relish that time.
If you have any questions, please ask! I know we will have other persons working in education posting as well. I am excited for you, you are just beginning your adventure.
You will learn tricks and things that will help you as a teacher who is visually impaired.
I look forward to hearing more!
Re:teacher career pathPosted by Thrill Monster on 3/31/2011 at 11:36 AM
When I go to college, I want to major in psychology, and I tgnk it would be cool to teach students braille and how to use technology like a computer or BrailleNote.
Re:teacher career pathPosted by Joe S on 3/31/2011 at 1:13 PM
So, I am getting that you want to go to college and major in Psychology. But, you want to teach braille and technology?
If you want to teach braille or technology, psychology may not be the best route. Have you checked out the Career Clusters for Counseling and Education? Explore the types of careers in those fields.
Some of the career don't require a four year college, some do, it is important to look at your educational path and compare it to the requirements. But, there are related careers that may not require as much training.
They don't have braille teacher or AT specialist, yet, but it will be added in the near future. We are currently working on those profiles to add to Education. There will be a Technology cluster coming soon which will have AT specialist -- it overlaps between education and technology. All depends on what age group you would want to work with, if you want to work in the schools, you will need that education background.
Take some time to explore some of those careers, there is also an Exploring Careers section in AFB CareerConnect that can show some other areas as well.
Are you on track to go to college, community, or another type of post secondary training.
Do you have any specific questions that we can try and answer for you about the field of Education?
Thank you for posting!
Re:teacher career pathPosted by sballan on 4/13/2011 at 10:13 PM
Dear jillian and others interested in this thread,
As Joe has shared so well, I just want to reinforce the need to take some time to determine what your field of interest might be and explore your educational plans with that in mind.
If you are planning to stay int he same state you may want to explore specific fields there and if you will be open to other locations, find out if there are different interests in other states.
It is great you are starting to narrow things down into fields of interest.
Braille instruction and using technology would look very different working with young children, contrasted with those in high school, adults who are newly blind, people in college settings or seniors, training for specific job centres. People could be at very different "ages and stages" of need.
Talk about your career interests with adults you know and trust such as teachers, family members or people who work in the field you are interested in and keep working on developing more questions.
Thank-you for using the message board and please feel welcome to post more questions.
cc mentor (message board monitor)
teacher who is totally blind and teaches grade three in regular class of grade three students)
Re:teacher career pathPosted by golde326823 on 4/14/2011 at 6:46 AM
I completely agree with everything already posted. Teaching is a terrific career, but the more you know about your specific direction and target audience, the better prepared you will be when it comes to seeking a job. However, it sounds like you are at the very start of your college education, and I myself had no clue about details then either. Keep thinking and asking questions and trying to match your skills with a career path, and you'll get there.
Public High School English Teacher, totally blind
Re:teacher career pathPosted by sballan on 4/14/2011 at 8:06 AM
Hi Kathy and all,
Thank-you for all the reinforcement and encouragement.
I was excited to read about your job. It is always just such a source of inspiration to know that there are others in similar situations loving their job and not letting their lack of physical sight.
I do have an assistant who provides visual support for the marking of the children's work. I provide the answer guides. Her tasks are more like a secretary or administrative assistant.
Do you find at high school level, students can submit their assignments on computer and you can work without need of having someone sighted?
I also make use of both volunteer and paid readers (out of my own pocket) to prepare curriculum in alternative formats, to read longer answers where an answer guide is not applicable. There are not enough hours in a day.
Our report cards and Individual Education Plans(IEPs) are all done via computer software that is completely inaccessible. In outside hours I also need to hire sighted support to move all my information written out in microsoft word onto the proper fields of report cards and IEPs.
Are these accessible to you where you teach?
I am always looking for new ways to improve and help my students find greater success.
Thank-you for any feedback.
cc mentor (message board monitor)
regular teacher whois totally blind, regular classroom, public education, grade 3
Re:teacher career pathPosted by golde326823 on 4/14/2011 at 1:05 PM
I wish more things were accessible, but they aren't. I do have kids turn in major papers via e-mail attachment or typed and then able to be scanned and read by my Open Book program. However, I need the sighted help you mention pretty much exactly the same. There are indeed not enough hours in the day. This is a great career, but it certainly isn't the easiest one if a person is blind and teaching in public school. However, it is doable, and I'm glad to be doing it. By the way, my biggest technology miss is that I can't enter or access kids' grades at all. I depend on my aide to do that and then keep me up on kids who are struggling with low percentages. Yuck!
Re:teacher career pathPosted by sballan on 4/18/2011 at 10:10 PM
Hi Kathy and all,
I hear you. There is a tremendous amount of trust needed between the teacher and aide, as not being able to access the grades puts us in a huge space of vulnerability. There are those moments when I would just love the luxury of being able to check in on this or that student but need someone sighted to provide the data to me.
As you say, we find a way to make it work. It is doable and I definitely am grateful to be teaching. The work is hard but the rewards are many.
A good sense of humour helps get through those moments.
Personally, I am constantly needing to be a problem solver and develop new strategies. I think it makes me a better learner and teacher. We live outside the box all the time and it lends itself to a creativity and sensitivity to the various learning styles and needs of students.
I am in Canada and my aide changes almost every September. I think it would be wonderful to have the same aide each year but aides getting bumped out of positions is a regular heartache here. I do hope it is more consistent where you are.
cc mentor (message board monitor)
Re:teacher career pathPosted by moggidoggi on 5/19/2011 at 1:46 AM
Its interesting to learn what is the state of play in the USA. I am 57 and have wet macular degeneration in my "good" eye and almost no sight in my "lazy" eye. I have regular luncentis injections. which even after health insurance amount to abou $350 atime. I have managed this while on salary and was advised that I could use income proction insurance while aI was training as a counsellor. But I was rejected for the insurance and have been using sick leave and long service leave. I am angry that I will lose a $76 000 salary and my sense of worth and pride in my ability to communicate and teach. The state education departments male no effort to accomodate this disability. I can not do yard supervision (a teaching requirement) I could write curriculum, compile teacing packages, counsel students (especially when course is done) I feel abandoned by my employer and sate super insurance. The RSB have provided me with vision enhancing equipment and software, but the practialities of teacing are not to becompromised
Re:teacher career pathPosted by golde326823 on 5/19/2011 at 6:37 AM
Wow, this is a very frustrating situation for you. Please remind me of where you live. I am thinking Canada perhaps, since you referenced not being in the US? I feel for you and hope they will work things out with you. It would seem that substitute duties instead of playground supervision could be found without much trouble. Counseling is something I considered at one point too. Please keep us informed, and let us know if there is anything we can specifically do for you beyond moral support, which is yours without question.
Kathy Nimmer, public high school English teacher
Re:teacher career pathPosted by Joe S on 5/19/2011 at 9:09 AM
Re posting this message:
I was a teacher and know teachers with visual impairments all over the United States. Our system and terminology is different, but I can try to answer.
If you are saying that you are itinerant and have to travel from school to school -- some schools and states in the United States will aid in this as an accommodation. Most will not pay for all of the driver's time. Some will pay for 50 percent or 60 percent, some will pay all. Every area is a little different.
Have you looked for a teaching job where you don't have yard responsibilities or have an aid? In the U.S., special education typically has a 1 to 12 ratio and may include an aid at times. In this case, there would be another teacher. Have you discussed with the school about accommodating supervision in the yard for another job task or duty? Would it be possible to bring in a part time or volunteer aid to assist. A lot of schools in the United States utilize these aids to help with recess. The cost would be minimal (hourly).
Have you created a dialog with the school about possibilities? Have you spoke to other visually impaired teachers in your country. I know you have to have others there. I would contact your local blindness organization to find some contacts.
Re:teacher career pathPosted by blindmouse3 on 7/7/2011 at 9:33 PM
Hi! I am 35 years old, and have thought about teaching at various points in my life. I did teach for 3.5 years at community college. That job has ended, and I would really enjoy teaching young children. Some concerns include: teaching math and science, neither of which is a strong suit of mine; discipline in the classroom; getting through a teacher education program (I am in contact with a local university, and need some ideas as to how to "sell myself", and finally, support from the school and parents of the young children. Thanks, and look forward to hearing from anyone in this group!
Laney Troutman, Shelby, NC
Re:teacher career pathPosted by Joe S on 7/8/2011 at 11:18 AM
I think it all takes organization, planning, and some creativity. I know teachers who are visully impaired who teach all age ranges.
The discipline aspect comes from being organized, planning ahead, and consistency. If you know much about behavior management or ABA (applied behavioral analysis), there will be many systems you could set up for students to earn points or something. Finding appropriate simple and meaningful rewards. Seating charts are truly helpful in the beginning for any teacher.
Creating rules that will help you manage the class effectively -- make sure the students, parents, and the school understand the rules.
Some schools will provide an aid for a lcassroom of really young children.
Utilizing students through assigning and rotating classroom duties, this teaches them a bit about work and such -- also helps you out.
Selling yourself -- be prepared, create examples, be able to explain how you would do just about anything. Bring your portfolio -- be prepared!
I have also seen teachers use outside volunteers as aids in the classroom - older retired persons -- they have to get finger printed and all of that too. I also knew people who provided appreciation for these volunteers help. Pad assistance tends to work better though -- reliability. But, the more you label things as you would need it and organize -- the less assistance you would need. Teachers obviously spend a lot of time in preparation.
I am sure others will add to this.
Hope this helps a bit.
Re:Laney, teacher career pathPosted by golde326823 on 7/8/2011 at 8:02 PM
Joe answered well. You wrote very articulately and have obviously thought about many things. If it is a passion of yours to investigate this career, then go for it. I teach high school, so I can avoid subject areas that are lesser strengths, but my read on elementary classrooms these days is that there is more sharing to highlight teacher strengths than ever before. One teacher may love math, so she does math for the three sections of a grade level, while her colleagues do science and art, respectivey, as an example. Be confident and creative, and ask ask ask! That's what we're here for, and I only wish I had this and other similar resources when I was starting my journey. Have a great evening.
Kathy Nimmer, Indiana
Re:teacher career pathPosted by blindmouse3 on 7/9/2011 at 10:01 PM
Thanks, Joe and Kathy. When I worked at our community college, students would often sneak out! This is a dumb question, but would kids do this (at least in general)?
Y'all are amazing!
Laney and Guidedog Mack
Re:teacher career pathPosted by blindmouse3 on 7/9/2011 at 10:02 PM
Good luck, Jillian! Enjoy college! That will be a learning experience!
Re:kids sneaking out, teacher career pathPosted by golde326823 on 7/9/2011 at 10:09 PM
Hi, Laney and Mack!
In student teaching, kids did sneak out, and it about broke my heart. Now, I teach with the door closed. I also have a little dream catcher wind chime on the door, so its opening and closing makes a light but distinct sound that I am alert to. Since my classroom aide coordinates passes and such for the kids to the bathroom and office, I don't stop teaching every time I hear the door, but I do keep half of one ear peeled that direction, and I do spot checks on asking things like did someone just come in, or does someone need something from me, or things like that, just now and then, enough for the kids to know I am listening to that door. No one sneaks out now.
Kathy and guide dog Elias
Re:teacher career pathPosted by blindmouse3 on 7/11/2011 at 8:14 PM
Hi, Kathy and Elias!
What neat ideas! It looks like you're an overcomer and a great teacher! Have a great evening!
Laney and Mack
Re:teacher career pathPosted by blindmouse3 on 7/14/2011 at 8:41 PM
Update: I have spoken to one of the higher-ups in a "transition to teaching" department at a local university. She is polling other teachers and H.R. directors in school systems in NC to see if, theoretically speaking, they would hire me provided my educational credentials and competency were good. If I find that most would not, should I stop the process now? The lady with whom I am in contact said she did talk to one guy personally and he said he did not know. hmmm!
Re:teacher career pathPosted by golde326823 on 7/14/2011 at 8:51 PM
Well, this could be helpful, but remember that their response will be in part based on how she presents the prospect to them. If she is on your side, she will knowingly or inadvertently be more positive in her presentation of the theoretical situation. If she has significant rreservations, she will be knowingly or inadvertently hesitant in her presentation of the theoretical situation. Either way, you must filter her feedback from them through your own heart and desire, not being falsely discouraged or falsely buoyed up by what they say
Re:teacher career pathPosted by Joe S on 7/15/2011 at 9:05 AM
I totally agree about it is all about how it is presented. I would never trust someone to represent me prior to my interviewing. I want to be the one to sell myself. It is important to be carrying lots of evidence of why and how you would be a good teacher. I would not let this discourage you.
I had a ring of bells that I attached to my door, similar to the dream catcher idea. I used that in one of my classrooms -- made it pretty easy to know when someone was leaving or coming in. I know a teacher who used an old ring of keys and attached it higher up on the door, it was almost like a piece of art that they created. I only have seen that once.
I know many teachers with visual impairments. The American Council of the Blind and National Federation of the Blind have groups specific to teachers who are blind or visually impaired. I was at one of these conferences/conventions and there were a lot of teachers.
I am really surprised that someone would tell you that -- really is discrimination. Typically people would not be open about that.
Keep your head up!
Re:teacher career pathPosted by blindmouse3 on 7/18/2011 at 4:41 PM
Great ideas! I got one response (via the woman about whom I wrote.) She got an e-mail and read it to me over the phone. Basically, it intimated that regular classroom teaching may, because of technologies, be better suited to a blind person than VI teaching. I understand that teaching orientation and mobility would be nearly impossible for an almost totally blind teacher (who, herself needs orientation, thank you)! However, the writer of the message seemed to say that teaching Braille might be difficult for a blind person because of vision? He is an exceptional children's director in a school system, and bless his heart, I don't get it!
Thanks for your insights.
Jillian, where are you attending college? Enjoy it and study hard
Re:teacher career pathPosted by cookieboy on 7/18/2011 at 5:14 PM
Jackie, if you are total blind you still can teach braille to other student by following they finger along when the student is reading.
Re:teacher career pathPosted by Joe S on 7/20/2011 at 8:28 AM
I second that comment, I know a bunch of teachers who are blind and teach braille. I think that would be a non-issue.
I say this again, I would not let someone contact employers for you. I would want to be the one, as an individual applying.
Re:teacher career pathPosted by blindmouse3 on 8/1/2011 at 2:35 PM
I don't think that I will contact her again. It's going to have to be an issue of "putting out a fleece." Looking back, her poll was ridiculous even though she meant well. Alright, I'll stop bashing behind her back. She's a good person.
Re:teacher career pathPosted by Joe S on 8/2/2011 at 9:31 AM
I believe with quality training in your field, good compensatory and blindness skills, and a positive attitude -- you can make it. Being visually impaired is an obstacle and we have to learn how to get past it. There will be ravines along the way, but we can traverse. Look at what Erik Weihenmayer has been able to achievve. He actually was a teacher before becoming famous. I would say he is still a teacher, as he works with children and adults still.
Rip it up!
Re:teacher career pathPosted by cljonesblind on 9/3/2011 at 9:46 AM
This message is for Joe, if you truly love teaching so much then why do you try and play the martyr by continually insulting consumers on this site?
Go back to being a government cronie and let them continue to dictate how teachers should teach and how they should further deystroy the lives of our children.
Current demands in education are communistic and most, regardless of their love of teaching refuse to concede to the United States and the NCLB act of 2005.
We have more students who are dropping out of public education, more teachers loosing control of classrooms and more educators who have wasted their entire lives trying to educate a society of children at the hands of communist controlled education since its enactment.
Parents do not like this but forced due to agian complusary education laws and the fact that if a teacher cannont demand financially what he/she wants money wise then many will refuse to provide what the children need.
Get off the bandwagon and stop boasting what you have done as you are not wise enough to solve the problems of the entire eighteen plus million blind indiviudals.
I do not appreciate your hipocracy in the least.
Re:teacher career pathPosted by cljonesblind on 9/6/2011 at 10:50 AM
Here is the infamous Joe again a know it all. NCLB was the worst piece of legislation every implemented. Government needs to stay out of education and let parents control their childs education.
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