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

 

Win a copy of 'Breakfast, School Run, Chemo'

To celebrate the launch of EB member and contributor Julia's Watson's first book, we have five copies of Breakfast, School Run, Chemo give away.

Electronic tags may keep newborns safe

The possibility of using electronic bracelets for mothers and their newborn babies is being investigated by Adelaide's Women's and Children's Hospital. 

Baby steps: when your little one starts walking

As a parent there are so many milestones to look forward to. That first smile, first word - and, of course, that first step.

Julia Watson's new book 'Breakfast, School Run, Chemo'

Tomorrow my friend Julia launches her first book. And while we're all overjoyed, the success is tinged with sadness. You see, Julia has stage 4 bowel cancer.

How not to name twins

Call me boring, but I don't think that when it comes to choosing my twins' names is the right time to use a good pun.

Fun Sunny Life pool inflatables just for babies

The babies of 2015 will thus be thrilled to paddle their happy baby legs in these brand new flamingo and swan baby inflatables.

Breastfeeding basics for beginners

Here are 10 tips to help make breastfeeding successful and stress free for both you and your baby as quickly as possible.

Girl smothers baby brother with peanut butter

This mum had a big clean up job on her hands.

How to hide those under eye shadows

Pandas are the only ones who benefit from under-eye shadows. If you're not fluffy and cute, you'll just look tired.

Young mum dies after being denied pap smear

A mother has died after she was denied a pap smear because she was deemed "too young" to need it.

Birthday cakes banned at childcare centre

A childcare centre in Sydney has banned birthday cakes after parent complaints about excessive sugar and children with allergies being left out.

Triplet surprise for newlyweds

As the radiographer moved the wand over her abdomen, Shelley King got the surprise of her life.

3 yummy Thermomix baby and toddler recipes

Louise Fulton Keats shares her recipes for babies and toddlers, including corn and sweet pikelets, pumpkin and pea risotto, and cheesy bunny biscuits.

Man arrested over toddler Nikki's death

A 31-year-old man has been arrested over the death of two-year-old Nikki Francis-Coslovich in Mildura.

Adoption ban on pregnant women to be lifted

Pregnant women will no longer be barred from adoption waiting lists in NSW, after the Baird Government decided the practice was discriminatory.

Are you getting enough magnesium?

Magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral in the body, but we don't talk enough about it and the vital role it plays in great health and energy, as well as disease prevention.

5 workplace lessons for new parents

Take heart in these principles that will transfer seamlessly from the workplace into your new life as a parent.

Mums to follow on Instagram

A creative outlet for many, there are some savvy women complementing their blogs and businesses with riveting Instagrams feeds. We've chosen a few which have bucketloads of appeal; there are some big time players and some smaller local ones, and they each bring their special brand of magic to the Instagram experience.

Review: The Volvo 2015 XC90 SUV has all the safety features your family needs

The new Volvo XC90 SUV's focus on keeping you safe does not come at the expense of comfort in the XC90.

Kim Kardashian reveals she may have hysterectomy

Kim Kardashian has revealed complications during pregnancy means she might have to have a hysterectomy after the birth of her second child.

Why late night snacks wreak havoc on weight loss

 Loath as you may be to admit it, chances are that at some point you have found yourself in the kitchen late at night, devouring food.

Toddler twins pretend to be asleep to fool mum

They say twins have a unique connection. If this cute clip is anything to go by, these toddler sisters like to use their special bond to try to fool their mother.

Dad bags: 10 picks for out and about

Getting out of the house is a big priority in the early years of parenthood and you need to take a well-stocked kit with you. We've chosen 10 of the best nappy bags sure to appeal to dads in style and function.

Win a Mountain Buggy Swift

To celebrate Essential Baby reaching half a million Facebook fans, we have a Mountain Buggy Swift to giveaway to a lucky fan.

Get your FREE Baby & Toddler Show ticket!

Get your free ticket to the Sydney Essential Baby & Toddler Show for September 25-27 - register online now.

 
Advertisement
 
Advertisement
 
 
 

What's hot on EB

Dads who do their share have more sex: study

For women trying to encourage their partners to take more interest in fatherhood, it could be the ultimate incentive.

Think you might have IBS, coeliac disease or Crohn's?

Conditions affecting the gastrointestinal tract are common in modern humans, and many are on the rise - including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and coeliac disease.

Couple poses for newborn shoot with adorable puppy

Tired of being asked about their baby-making plans, Australian couple Matt and Abby decided to give a creative answer.

The exercises you know you should be doing (but probably aren't)

I bet your to-do list today is long. But somewhere on that massive list, are you making time for your pelvic floor?

This baby really loves the family cat

Some babies get excited when mum or dad come to get them from their cot after a nap.

Designer kids clothing good enough to eat by Oeuf

Even if you aren't heading to the Northern hemisphere in the next six months, you can't help but love the amazing food-themed knits for babies and kids by cult kids brand Oeuf.

Early exposure to peanuts recommended for allergy prevention

A paediatricians' group is recommending that infants at high risk of peanut allergies be given foods containing peanuts before they turn one.

Home brand foods contain less salt than pricier rivals

Supermarket home brand foods, long derided as cheap and inferior, contain far lower levels of salt than pricier, branded rivals, new research shows.

Nannies for hire, wherever you're flying

Ever dreaded the prospect of a long flight, dreaming about how wonderful it would be for a nanny to entertain the kids?

Couple poses for newborn shoot with adorable puppy

Tired of being asked about their baby-making plans, Australian couple Matt and Abby decided to give a creative answer: with an unusual photo shoot with their 'baby', a groodle (poodle/golden retriever cross) named Humphrey. The talented Elisha from Elisha Minnette Photography caught all the precious shots.

Is it okay to name your baby with a sense of humour?

My husband was sure that Danger was a good option for a boy. And as the pregnancy progressed, it actually started to sound really good.

Woman gives birth after having her own mother's uterus transplanted

In a world first, a healthy baby has been born from the same womb that nurtured his own mother.

So hot right now: double-barrelled baby names on the rise

It's one way to make your baby stand out from the pack – giving them not one, but two first names.

Second time around: is it really better the devil you know?

When I fell pregnant with my second child I was, naturally, very excited. Then it all started to come back to me - and I freaked.

Shopping with kids: breaking the pester-power cycle

You're out shopping with your little one and they're incessantly whining that they want a treat. It's easy to say no ... the first time, at least.

How did we have babies before apps came along?

Three months ago, my wife, Chrysta, and I were driving along Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles when she let out a harrowing cry.

When your toddler disagrees

There comes a time when your child starts having different views to you. I didn't realise that time would come so soon.

Win a Pacapod this Father's Day

To celebrate dads and families, we are giving away a Picos Pack from Pacapod Australia filled with a few extra goodies ENTER NOW

 

FREE TICKET

Discover the magic of the LEGOŽ DUPLOŽ Play Area in Sydney

Get your free ticket to The Essential Baby & Toddler Show and save $20 - register online now!

 
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.