Alternative Teacher Training

Updated on February 14, 2010
M.K. asks from Glendale, CA
8 answers

I was just wondering if anybody here has done, or known anybody who has done the alternative teacher training courses.

I am looking for good and bad stories - how long did it take to find a job - do you like teaching - what is the pay like.

This would be a big career change from the medical side for me, so I am looking carefully into it.


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answers from Austin on

I used, and it was super easy. I felt like it may have been a little too easy though. For me, it worked because I already felt prepared and just wanted the cert., but if you are looking to learn a lot this may not be the program for you.

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answers from Austin on

You need to find out if YOU like teaching. Volunteer or sub in the school district you are looking to work in. See if you have the passion, patience and determination to work with kids at all different academic levels, maturity levels, emotional levels and who have a variety of needs all in the same classroom. When I first started teaching, I loved it.
Times have changed. My last teaching position required more psychological counseling than teaching as the majority of the kids were hurting (broken families, step-families, both parents working and too tired to parent, families in financial crisis so their kids didn't get the best of them, nannies at home instead of parents, etc.) I felt as if I didn't have the training that I needed and I couldn't help the kids that really needed it. Teachers today must put in so much time preparing (staying late or taking work home), that it hardly seems worth it if you have a family at home. My kids are grown and I am still wondering if I want to put in that kind of time again. If you have the passion and ability, then go for it. We need more good teachers.



answers from Austin on

Hi M.,
I did it in Colorado - the requirements vary by state. Teachers are in pretty high demand; in general it's not that hard to get a job. It depends on what you're able to teach. The pay is not great, but it does go up with experience. In my case, my pay was reduced by $3000 the first year, to pay for the alternative certification. I didn't really get that much training, which was both good and bad -- good, because I didn't have the time for it, bad because I probably needed more. It is a very demanding profession. Most teachers leave the profession within the first few years. That's one reason schools are always hiring. If you want to stay in the Huntsville area, you can contact the school district to ask about the pay scale (it might even be online) and if there's usually a need for teachers. I taught high school, and it was very rewarding in many ways, but in the end not for me. I was always exhausted, frequently frustrated, worked really hard and often felt I was failing. You really have to know how to get kids to behave, focus, do their work. That's a gift that not that many people have! But it does feel good when you feel like you're a positive influence in kids' lives.(And lots of them REALLY need that!)



answers from Pittsburgh on

I don't live in your area so I don't know much about your local schools. But one thing you might want to do is contact local universities and ask them the same questions. Twenty-five years ago when I was researching colleges for elementary ed programs one advisor told me that if I was going to limit myself to my home state I was going to have a hard time finding a job. Turns out she was right. Most of the classmates I became friends with and those I met while subbing had to go out of state. Good luck with your decision.



answers from Wichita Falls on

I just wanted to answer your question, "Do you like teaching?" I LOVE teaching. I am a Physical Education teacher, and in my 15th year. I was a business major in college....graduated in 1980.....worked in business and then stayed home to raise my children. I then got my teacher certification and have never looked back. Are you a "people" person? Are you patient? Are you an organized person? These are all qualities of excellent teachers. Best of luck to you!



answers from Austin on

I had a great experience, but probably didn't go about getting into the program in the usual way. I went to a job fair for a school district, met with a principal (who really preferred her new teachers to be alt. cert.) and was hired before being placed with an alternative certification program. It made a huge difference in the support I received while going through the program and teaching. The pay is (in Texas) not great, but certainly not the bottom of the barrel - there are also differences if you have postgrad degrees, and it will depend heavily on the school district; I believe most of them post payscales online. Since we were living in Dallas at the time, I stopped teaching when my older son was born, after investigating child care prices. It simply wasn't worth it for us, but we were also being quite picky about the type of child care we were willing to use (in home being our preference.)

All in all, I really was fortunate in my co-workers and environment, and quite enjoyed teaching. It is very challenging, and I would recommend trying to get a little in class experience (either volunteering, or getting on a substitute list if time allows) if you are unsure about whether you really want to be a teacher. Some people flourish, and it just isn't a good match for others. I personally think you have to experience it to decide for yourself. Good luck!



answers from Waco on

If you are interested in teaching at all, then I highly reccommend doing some subbing first!!! You have to actually be in the classroom environment to get the reality of it! Most people think that teaching is an easy alternative, especially with this program available. But it is one of the most difficult jobs out there! You are helping raise hundreds of children. So go out and get the feel of it before you decide!! Just check with your local school district to see what you need to have to sub. You can work full time just subbing because they are in such high demand! Good luck!!



answers from San Antonio on

I am a teacher. I do not go through alternative teacher training. But one of our 4th grade teacher has. You really have to love teaching and children. It is not an easy job. I have always wanted to be a teacher. It is a high stressful job with a lot of long hours. It didnt take me long to find my job but that was about 6 years ago. The pay is okay depending where you get hired. The down side is that alot of San Antonio district are not hiring so it may be hard to find a job right away. If you want to know what teaching is like try being a sub.

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