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Does this kind of job exist?


marbel
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As a newly-retired homeschooler, I've been looking at employment options (btw I am 61 and haven't worked in 20 years).  People always tells me to go into teaching or tutoring, but I have zero interest in classroom teaching, and no educational or professional background in it.  I taught my kids; never had any desire to be in charge of anyone else's kids.  

 

So I've been focusing on updating my admin skills (Microsoft Office), seeing an employment service for help with my resume, etc., checking out a Toastmasters group to improve my public speaking skills.  (I have corporate training on my resume.)

 

Anyway, tonight after church one of the boys (I think a 7-year-old) was walking around with an encyclopedia-type book about aircraft, ships, stuff like that. You know those books, lots of pictures, little text. I asked him about it. He decided to show me a few of his favorite pages, and he read me some of the text. When he got stuck on a word I helped him sound it out, etc.  He loved it.  I loved it!  That was my one of my favorite parts of homeschooling - looking at books together, reading together.   

 

And that is what I'd love to do.  But I don't have time to go back to school for credentialing, and I don't want to be a teacher per se.  I don't know how to teach a child to read anymore.   One of my kids had a terrible time with phonics, and the other taught herself.  

 

So, would that be a classroom helper?  Instructional aid?    Would a tutor do that sort of thing?  I don't even really know what a tutor does, but it seems an after-school tutor would not be teaching reading (because the teacher would be doing that), but rather reinforcing what the teacher taught?  

 

Or should I forget that and focus on my Excel tutorials?   :-)

 

 

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You could self-employ as a reading tutor. With kids and with adults who are English language learners or just plain didn't learn to read in school. You don't *have* to reinforce what is learned in school (whole language vs. phonics/parts/syllibication). Tutoring is generally used by those who are not learning well by the teacher's classroom method.

 

Or you could focus on your excel skills. ;)

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Paraprofessional in a elementary school.

 

this was my thought.  some situations are really good- some they spread you thin.   dudeling was in one classroom where the para was there mostly to have a boy who was physically disabled - so she'd end up helping dudeling a lot.  (after he'd been mainstreamed - but still lots of support services.  just no personal para.)

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In our district there's a difference between paraprofessionals and instructional aides. Instructional aides can do small group instruction, they might help out at recess, etc. Paraprofessionals deal with the special education population and depending on hours, they might not get to choose where or with whom they will work. Paraprofessionals may work with kids who are medically fragile but also work with children who have behavior challenges. This may include children who bite, scratch, and hit. There is also a weight lifting requirement in case you have to transfer kids from wheelchairs and such.

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A friend of mine set up a private practice in town to help kids and adults with reading difficulties.  I'm not even sure what her background is, but she has built up a nice practice in town, and the local public schools now know to recommend her.  I don't believe she has any type of graduate degree.  She has just slowly built up a reputation and has had a lot of experience.  She started out as a homeschooler mom!  She has worked with a lot of children who have various levels of reading difficulties (I believe mostly reading-out-loud difficulties, though I'm not certain), and even adults who have reading or speaking difficulties.  She is not a speech therapist.  

 

Also, a member of my family has been through music therapy for speech following a brain injury, and I helped teach the person above the methods I learned myself from a speech music therapist initially -- so that she could continue to work with my family member --  and she then took off with it and learned so much more on her own.  She was never officially educated in this.  But she is self-educated in it, and has learned to incorporate some basic music therapy for speech with children and adults who especially have oral apraxia type problems that affect their speech. 

 

We have also hired different people (not professionals -- just anyone willing to learn!) to sit with my family member as he practices reading out loud and correct him when necessary, showing him the proper way to move his mouth, etc., when he is stuck on a sound or word.

 

In fact, that's a whole area you could get into if you are ever interested:  adults who are recovering from a stroke or brain injury and just need a little extra practice reading or speaking out loud as they are working toward recovering from aphasia -- someone to sit with them and listen and correct when necessary.  This is apart from a trained speech therapist of course.  It would be someone to help with the additional home-practice, or after speech therapy has ended.

 

ETA:  The friend of mine above doesn't have a website, but she has a Facebook page that I could send you the link to if you're interested in getting some ideas.  You can PM me if interested!

 

Edited by J-rap
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My sister works as an aide in a preschool. It started when a family at church asked if she could be their autistic son's aide at the church preschool. (My sister does have an MS in early childhood education with a concentration in special ed.) So she started following the child around preschool. The preschool loved her, and now she works directly for the preschool allowing them to take on more special needs preschoolers. It is a win win win situation. My sister gets to spend time with preschoolers, the school gets to serve special needs kids, and the special needs kids get to go to preschool and their moms get some time.

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Thanks for all the comments.  Now I have a bit of a starting point, what to look for.  

 

I hesitate to self-employ as a tutor.  I have no qualifications at all, really. My degree is in English, with no concentration.  I've done corporate training but that is quite different from teaching in an elementary school or tutoring in an academic subject.  I can't point to a method I used to teach my own kids to read.  One has a reading disability and never quite got phonics and the other taught herself after hearing me try to teach the first one.   I don't want to be the teacher, more of a support person.  

 

So this is all helpful!  Thanks!

 

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Self employing as a tutor really depends on the area. In mine, you'd have to have proven ability, as the market is flooded with public school teachers. ENL is flooded with government funded free classes....you might look for a job with the nonprofits who are the providers.

 

Here, paras need 18 credits of specific college classes. No one was grandfathered when that requirement was put in place. The district does pay for it via tuition reimbursement.  These are the people who work with students with behavior isssues.  They do not teach lessons, but they do answer individual academic questions and serve as partners for practice activities. They make less per hour than fast food employees.

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If you are interested in tutoring, many tutoring places will train you. You will probably get the most hours over the summer and during afterschool time (3-6pm or so).  The pay is pretty good, but not professional level.

 

Are you looking to work for a little extra money on the side or to make enough to support a household?

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In our district there's a difference between paraprofessionals and instructional aides. Instructional aides can do small group instruction, they might help out at recess, etc. Paraprofessionals deal with the special education population and depending on hours, they might not get to choose where or with whom they will work. Paraprofessionals may work with kids who are medically fragile but also work with children who have behavior challenges. This may include children who bite, scratch, and hit. There is also a weight lifting requirement in case you have to transfer kids from wheelchairs and such.

 

That's one of those things that really varies by area. In our current area, all of the above are called paraprofessionals in writing, parapros orally. In our last location, it was more like you describe it, as being different things.

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Check with your local library and see if they are doing any latch key programs where they pay people to supervise homework, read with youngsters, and do story times with younger kids. It would only be part time, but if you do not need higher income, it sounds like it would be a good fit.

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I like the library idea a lot, but they are never looking for anything like that.  I would be happy to start as a volunteer in the hope it would lead to something more.    

 

I had always rejected the idea of tutoring.  But I'm wondering if I can somehow find a tutor to shadow.  Honestly, I am not sure what a reading tutor does.  I don't assume it would look like my homeschooling.   I've been looking at tutoring centers a bit and so far all have required a teaching certificate.  

 

Not looking for enough $$ to support a family, but more than pocket change, kwim?  More for college help, increasing the retirement account.  I've thought about starting to collect SS next year, but don't really want to do that already and settle for the lower amount.  (I have SS from 20 years of working before I had kids.)   It's tempting though. :-)

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I know that in my area, there is a big demand for someone to pick up kids at school, drive them home, help them with homework, keep them safe etc . . .  I also know that the going rate for that kind of work is $20 - $25/hour, whereas paras in the public schools get minimum wage or a tiny bit more.  

 

Would that interest you?  It's not exactly tutoring, more like homework support, and it wouldn't be full time.  

 

I can also tell you what my practice as a reading tutor looks like, but not right now as I'm heading out the door.

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I know that in my area, there is a big demand for someone to pick up kids at school, drive them home, help them with homework, keep them safe etc . . .  I also know that the going rate for that kind of work is $20 - $25/hour, whereas paras in the public schools get minimum wage or a tiny bit more.  

 

Would that interest you?  It's not exactly tutoring, more like homework support, and it wouldn't be full time.  

 

I can also tell you what my practice as a reading tutor looks like, but not right now as I'm heading out the door.

 

Yes, homework support could be good.

 

I'm going to do some more in-depth research on tutoring and the local tutoring centers today. Who knows, maybe I'll find one that doesn't require a credential and apply.  Maybe they'll let me sit in on a session.  OK, I doubt it.  I may also spend some time hanging around the library and try to speak to one of the tutors there if one seems idle and approachable.  Or just sit at a table next to one and eavesdrop while I pretend to read?  :-)  

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You might want to check out VIPKID. https://t.vipkid.com.cn They have a set curriculum, and you don't have to do any prep. It could be a good way to gain experience as a tutor. You may also be able to teach at a place like Sylvan with a bachelor's degree and your experience homeschooling. I also agree that you might enjoy working as a paraprofessional. One of my son's paraprofessionals was a retired homeschool mom, and she was fantastic.

 

I've tutored privately for years, and I found students on local Facebook groups. I come up with my own lesson plans and teaching strategies. Most of the kids I see have some type of learning disability, just because those are the kids who need tutoring the most. I also help with homework as needed, which can be challenging at times because I don't have access to the whole curriculum. Most of my students stuck with me for years, and I loved helping these families. I recently let all of my students go because I don't have the time anymore. I do miss it though because it was very fulfilling work.

 

Based on your posts, I think teaching at a center, VIPKID, or as a para would be the best fit, at least at first. After you gain some experience you might find that you want to strike out on your own. Another idea is to look on a caregiver website, like care.com and see if any of the jobs fit what you're looking for.

Edited by 6wildhorses
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I know someone who works as an instructional aide in an elementary school. She works with kids on their reading and math in small groups. She works all school year, all day. She does not have any type of degree, and she was trained on how to work with the kids. Look for a Title 1 school, they often have more money for these types of aides. Or a school with a high ESL population.

Edited by wonderchica
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