Jump to content

Kindergarten teaching - need advice


  • Please log in to reply
14 replies to this topic

#1 bearmum

Posted 21 November 2012 - 11:54 AM

Hi all

I have been thinking about making a life change and retraining for a new career. One idea that has taken hold in my mind is getting a postgraduate qualification in teaching specialising in early childhood and then teaching kindergarten.

Not knowing anyone who works in that area I have some questions and thought maybe EB would be able to help me out!

Basically I would love any information/insight about working as a kindergarten teacher that you might like to share - the good bits, the bad bits etc. Anything would be interesting for me.

In particular though I have wondered whether it is possible to get part-time work in that area. I work part-time at the moment and don't really want to be working fulltime until my children are older. Is it hard to get a job like this as a graduate teacher? Is the job in any way family friendly? How do the non-contact hours work - does it mean that the days at work are very long or can you do some of the preparation time etc from home? What is a normal day/week like etc?

Any information, suggestions, advice or insight that would help me understand this all better would be very gratefully received. It would be a big move for me to change careers completely but I am very ready for a change!

Thanks in advance original.gif

#2 Wyn99

Posted 21 November 2012 - 07:28 PM

Hi I don't know about kindergarten but there are part-time teachers at my son's preschool (3-5 year olds). However I don't know how you could have a kindy class and work part-time? Would you have to job-share with another kindy teacher? Would that be unsettling for the children?

#3 Melidia

Posted 21 November 2012 - 07:31 PM

To be honest with you, if you are looking to retrain as a kindergarten teacher only because you see the profession as being family friendly and are looking for the flexibility of part-time employment, then teaching probably isn't the career for you.

You really need to be passionate about teaching and want to be there for the kids.

#4 Expelliarmus

Posted 21 November 2012 - 07:34 PM

Kindergarten pre school, or kindergarten FYOS?

QUOTE
Is it hard to get a job like this as a graduate teacher? Is the job in any way family friendly? How do the non-contact hours work - does it mean that the days at work are very long or can you do some of the preparation time etc from home? What is a normal day/week like etc?

Yes it is hard to get a job like this as a graduate teacher - you might have to teach casually as a relief teacher or teach another year level.

The job is no more family friendly than nay other job during term time, in fact it is probably less family friendly. You do not have to rely on vacation care much if at all however. The hours are inflexible during term time as a general rule.

Non contact hours are a set amount of time when other teachers take the children so you can do administrivia and planning. It is not sufficient time to do all your prep etc and you will have to do some of it from home.

A normal day/week with FYOS of pre school children is exhausting, 40+ hours and you end up with sore feet.

Part time work in contract teaching relies on the availability of days left over from other teachers or specialist teacher options. It's not all that common IME.

#5 baking101

Posted 21 November 2012 - 07:34 PM

Your definition of kindergarten is important here.

If you mean pre-school, from my understanding, part time work is an option.

If you mean first year of school, you need to consider that the training you would need to do in order to qualify for this role actually qualifies you from 0-8 years (early childhood) or Kinder-Year 6 (primary). The chances of you getting work in a kindergarten classroom is relatively low. I am K-6 trained and have taught upper primary the whole of my career thus far.

Hope this helps!

#6 peach*face

Posted 21 November 2012 - 07:39 PM

I don't think you can just chose what stage to teach iykwim. Also it is very difficult getting a job as a primary teacher if you are in NSW. The average wait for contract is 7 years. Some degrees combine early childhood with primary but I'm not sure how  this works post grad.
My parents are both teachers and I can tell you it is not family friendly as the perception seems to be.

Edited by peach*face, 21 November 2012 - 07:42 PM.


#7 Elizabethandfriend

Posted 21 November 2012 - 07:50 PM

If you mean kindergarten in the Victorian sense, you can definitely do the job part-time.  Most community based kinders only have part-time work as the 4 year old teachers do 15 hours teaching plus prep and the 3 year old teachers do around 4-8 hours teaching plus preparation.

Childcare centres also struggle to find qualified kinder teachers so I imagine job-share options would be out there.  




#8 mum2jp

Posted 21 November 2012 - 08:02 PM

In the school system it is not easy to get part time work as a graduate. You will need to do some casual work, get into a school and hopefully get a contract for a year so it is more stable. It is an option to work part time after returning from mat leave when are a permanent employee. I share my class with another teacher, 2 days/3days.

In terms of having school holidays at home with your own children i guess it is somewhat family friendly (but there is prep work to be done in the holidays and most teachers go into school for at least a few days). During school terms it is really no more family friendly than your average job. I am at school by 8 and leave usually between 430-530 so when DS does go to school he will still need B&A care. Once DS is in bed at least a couple of nights a week i am doing paperwork or following up on emails for work. So there is the extra work you will do at home, working part time this is even more so because you are constantly communicating with your job share teacher.

All that said. It is a wonderful rewarding job. You really are invested in the children and share such a large part of their life. You engage them in the wonderful journey of learning new things and developing confidence in their abilities. Of course not all children are this responsive to learning and you will come across your fair share of challenging children, but those are the ones that by the end of the year have often come so far. It is a job that is hard to do when you are not feeling 100% (like lack of sleep dealing with your own little ones, stressed, upset about something). Its face to face all day and you have to be very good at putting on your teachers hat so to say and getting on with the day. Hope that helps original.gif

#9 Elemenopee

Posted 21 November 2012 - 08:10 PM

QUOTE (baking101 @ 21/11/2012, 08:34 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
. I am K-6 trained and have taught upper primary the whole of my career thus far.


I am the opposite, I am primary trained and yet always seem to end up working Early Childhood, including a stint as a director of a centre. But obviously it depends a lot on where you are, I am rural SA and always can find work/get offered contracts. Plenty of work around here.

OP, I just wanted to add that if you are thinking of relief teaching, that is not family friendly as you often only get rung at 7am to work that day - it makes organising childcare etc tricky.

I wouldn't want to dissuade you though OP, I love it (atm I relief teach at 2 different centres).



#10 beakie

Posted 21 November 2012 - 08:55 PM

Hi. I work as a Kindergaten assistant (diploma qualified) and looking to start my degree next year to become a teacher. In my area in Central Vic, it is easy to work part time, as there is a huge shortage of qualified EC staff. I work in a council kinder where all the groups are sessional, so it really is quite conducive to part time or job share arrangements. With the shift to 15 hrs next year there is tonnes of work around ATM, but you'd probably have to start off as a casual.

Teaching pre-school is rewarding and fun, but also bloody hard work. In fact teachers are leaving the sector in droves due to newer and higher demands coming from the Early Years Framework. Anyway, it's worth a thought, but not something I'd undertake just for the school holidays. Goodluck!

#11 bearmum

Posted 21 November 2012 - 10:25 PM

Thanks everyone for replying! I am in Victoria so am talking about kindergarten in the sense of pre-school rather than school. It would be in either a council kindergarten or ELC/childcare setting that I was thinking of working in.

I completely agree that it isn't a role/profession that would be appropriate to undertake just for the sake of flexibility. I would never want to do that to myself either - I don't like the field I am currently working in although it is quite family friendly. My primary aim in my next career move is to find a job that I do feel passionate about and engaged in and can look forward to going to each day (or at least most of them wink.gif). However, as I also have family commitments, I am not in the position I once was to only think of how things like this would affect me solely -  I have to take into account the impacts on my family as well.

Thanks again for replying - there are some interesting thoughts for me to think about more. I am at the start of my thinking process at the moment - a big change requires a lot of soul-searching!

#12 bearmum

Posted 22 November 2012 - 10:31 AM

I'm back with more questions!

QUOTE (beakie @ 21/11/2012, 09:55 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Teaching pre-school is rewarding and fun, but also bloody hard work. In fact teachers are leaving the sector in droves due to newer and higher demands coming from the Early Years Framework. Anyway, it's worth a thought, but not something I'd undertake just for the school holidays. Goodluck!


Do you know what it is about the Early Years Framework that is so off putting for people in the industry? I have been reading up on it and conceptually I'm sure it is something everyone basically agrees with? I mean it all seems focused on the right ideals for happy engaged kids original.gif is it to do with how it is implemented? In what way? Thanks!

Also I guess I would love to hear some of the most difficult parts of working in this field - I can see the positives (enjoying the interactions with kids, motivating and developing them, being creative etc) for me based on my interests and personality etc. I would love to explore the side of the job that people don't see and don't realise goes on - does that make any sense? I don't want to look at the idea through rose-colored glasses...

All thoughts welcome original.gif thanks!!

#13 Overtherainbow

Posted 22 November 2012 - 10:43 AM

QUOTE
Do you know what it is about the Early Years Framework that is so off putting for people in the industry? I have been reading up on it and conceptually I'm sure it is something everyone basically agrees with? I mean it all seems focused on the right ideals for happy engaged kids (IMG:style_emoticons/default/original.gif) is it to do with how it is implemented? In what way? Thanks!


Most teachers agree and support the ideals of the programme.  The issue is the massive amount of extra paperwork and time needed to proove that they are covering everything well, despite the fact that most are already covering this.

#14 julzely

Posted 22 November 2012 - 11:36 AM

Hi Bearmum,

Why don't you contact a couple of Kinders in you area and see if you can volounteer for a couple days to get an idea of if you would enjoy it as a career.

Many Kinder's are happy to take on volounteers, however you would need to get a working with children's check before you do.

Then you can also have a chat to Kinder teachers about what they are struggling with in terms of framework.

My understanding is that for current kinder teachers there has been little to no support about how to carry out the new framework and the amount of admin work has increased 10 fold, however they are given no extra admin hours. As I am not a teach I am sure there is more to it then that, but it probably would be easier if you were training now and were taught about the current framework and they were not new expectations

#15 bearmum

Posted 22 November 2012 - 01:52 PM

Thanks Round the twist and Julzely. I suspected it was the paperwork side of things - I know from what I'm given in respect of my own kids that it would take a long time to prepare those for all the kids in the class (but I do love reading them and seeing the photos original.gif)

Julzely - I think you are right. Thanks for the advice - I didn't realise that kindys would be happy to have volunteers. It would help to give it a try and discuss things face to face with people doing this job every day. I'm going to look into it original.gif

Thanks again!




1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users

 

Share the little things that make you smile

We're giving away a Mountain Buggy nano, the ultimate travel stroller - and here are some of the great entries so far.

Toddler pleads for return of "stolen" nose

A two-year-old's reaction to a game of "got your nose" shows it doesn't take much to make a toddler cry.

The 15 photos new parents share (and five they don't)

From the first scan photo to the baby covered in cake at their first birthday party, there are 15 photos most parents seem to share - and some they don't.

Doctor sings first Happy Birthday to newborns

His job is to deliver babies, but this US obstetrician also has a unique way of celebrating the miracle of life.

Breastfeeding friendly café goes viral

A photo of a breastfeeding-friendly sign in a cafe has been posted to Facebook and shared by hundreds of mums around the world.

First look at the Bugaboo Bee3

The newest Bugaboo Bee ? the Bee3 ? offers a variety of improved features, including a much asked-for bassinet and a rainbow of colour combinations.

Childcare costs, not paid leave, the real issue for parents

Given the choice between maintaining their wage for six months to have a child, or having a reduced rate of pay for a time but a better deal on childcare when returning to work, there are no odds on what most working parents would choose.

Win a Mountain Buggy nano

We?re giving away the new Mountain Buggy Nano - the lightweight travel buggy! So show us the little things that make you smile for your chance to win.

We lost three babies in two years

Our first pregnancy ended the way we all expected it to - with a healthy, happy baby in our arms. What a true blessing he was, for we were not to know the heartache we were about endure.

Family turned back from doomed flight MH17

'There must have been someone watching over us and saying, 'You must not get on that flight,' says mother who narrowly avoided boarding the Malaysian Airlines flight which exploded in mid-air over the Ukraine last night.

The myths and facts about "normal" breastfeeding

When it comes to successful breastfeeding, there is a wide variety to what is "normal", according to new research.

Adorable Skeanie loafers for kids

Your little toddler or preschooler can now get their nautical on with a new range of classic loafers by Australian show brand Skeanie.

My baby is hypermobile

For months, I have been telling myself not to worry that Jasmin isn't crawling or walking. This week I heard the term hypermobile for the first time.

When you don?t bond with your baby

They say that there is no bond greater than the bond between a mother and her child. But for some women, the mother-baby bond takes more time and effort to develop.

Yumi Stynes: Having a baby after a 10-year break

After a long break, Yumi Stynes gets a reminder of the pain - and the pleasure - of giving birth.

Grieving father asks for help to Photoshop his daughter's image

When Nathan Steffel's daughter Sophia died from a liver condition at just 6 weeks old, he reached out for someone to create a beautiful image of his little girl.

Raising kids in a 'low media' home

Can you imagine a life without TV or computers? Some parents are opting for a low-tech, screen-free life for their kids.

Download now: Essential Kids Activity Finder app

Got bored kids? Quickly find the best activities for kids wherever you are in Australia with the Essential Kids app.

 
Advertisement
 
Advertisement
 
 
 

What's hot on EB

Win a Mountain Buggy nano

We?re giving away the new Mountain Buggy Nano - the lightweight travel buggy! So show us the little things that make you smile for your chance to win.

Be careful what you say, your baby is listening

The importance of speaking to your baby even if they are not old enough to answer back has been highlighted by new research.

The beautiful moment a baby was born at the side of a road

It's not where she expected to give birth, but mum Corrine Cinatl is delighted that her daughter's roadside arrival was captured in a series of beautiful photos.

Doctor sings first Happy Birthday to newborns

His job is to deliver babies, but this US obstetrician also has a unique way of celebrating the miracle of life.

The Nappy Collective starts new drive

It's that time of year when the dedicated volunteers at The Nappy Collective do their bit to help out mums and children in need - and they need your help.

Baby shower cake wrecks

From misshapen cake babies to questionable text, from odd colour choices to internal organ recreation, these are the baby shower cakes that taste forgot.

Photographer captures the beauty of adoption

The love of a family is usually tough to capture on camera. This is an exception.

Pregnancy progression photo ideas

Want to record your pregnancy as your belly grows? Here are some creative, fun ideas for photo shoots along the way.

The myths and facts about "normal" breastfeeding

When it comes to successful breastfeeding, there is a wide variety to what is "normal", according to new research.

Tin can craft and DIY ideas

Got a few old formula, Milo or coffee cans around the house? Use these fantastic upcycling ideas to create items for around the house and yard.

Dads meet their newborn for the first time

Emotional photos of two fathers meeting their newborn son have resonated with viewers worldwide, attracting thousands of Facebook likes and shares.

Skin safety isn't just a summer worry

Lax about the slip slop slap with your kids as weather turns cooler? Here's a reminder as to why we have to remain vigilant for our children?s future health.

Personalised baby gifts

We've scoured the internet to find gorgeous personalised keepsakes and nursery decor to record baby name and dates. They make great gifts for christenings, name days and birthdays! (All prices in AU.)

Creative sleeping baby photoshoots

See how some parents and photographers have captured sleeping babies in unusual positions and using different props.

DIY kitchen and food hacks

DIY your way to a better kitchen and make cooking easier with our clever hacks. (Some content reproduced with permission from mashable.com.)

Winter warmers for babies and toddlers

Your baby or toddler will be nice and snug in these beautiful and fun winter pieces. Most are hand-made or knitted, and they're all designed to keep your little one toastie - and adorable!

 

Mind, body, beauty, life

Making time for me

We look at your wellbeing, covering health, relationships, beauty and fashion, mind and body.

 
Advertisement
 
 
Essential Baby and Essential Kids is the place to find parenting information and parenting support relating to conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids, maternity, family budgeting, family travel, nutrition and wellbeing, family entertainment, kids entertainment, tips for the family home, child-friendly recipes and parenting. Try our pregnancy due date calculator to determine your due date, or our ovulation calculator to predict ovulation and your fertile period. Our pregnancy week by week guide shows your baby's stages of development. Access our very active mum's discussion groups in the Essential Baby forums or the Essential Kids forums to talk to mums about conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids and parenting lifestyle. Essential Baby also offers a baby names database of more than 22,000 baby names, popular baby names, boys' names, girls' names and baby names advice in our baby names forum. Essential Kids features a range of free printable worksheets for kids from preschool years through to primary school years. For the latest baby clothes, maternity clothes, maternity accessories, toddler products, kids toys and kids clothing, breastfeeding and other parenting resources, check out Essential Baby and Essential Kids.