Looking for a great job working with kids? Consider a career as an educational technician for the Bangor School Department.
School vacation has arrived and children and teachers are enjoying some well-deserved time off, but that does not mean the schools are closed. Summer is the time of year when school administrators plan for the September 4th return to school. If you walk into any local school you will see custodial staff cleaning classrooms and principals interviewing candidates for a variety of school positions including teachers, secretaries, custodians and educational technicians.
We all know that secretaries and custodians play important roles in keeping schools running efficiently and teachers provide the instruction; however, the role of the Educational Technician may not be as familiar. In the past, this position may have been called a Teacher’s Aide or para professional. Educational technicians provide supportive educational services for students in K-12 schools and often provide instruction for children with disabilities.
Educational Technicians who assist in the special education classrooms are supported by the special education teachers. They are taught how to provide individualized or small group guided instruction, assist in the special education or regular education classrooms and manage student behavior. Educational Technicians find their work enjoyable and challenging. One veteran who has been an Ed Tech for 21 years reported “Each year the needs of the students may be different. Ed Techs get to learn about students’ disabilities and having the summers and school vacation weeks off is a plus.”
Some regular education teachers and special education teachers begin their careers as Educational Technicians. It is a position which provides a novice teacher with opportunities to expand teaching skills, improve behavior management techniques and learn instructional strategies needed for teaching diverse learners.
Casey Pray has been an Educational Technician at the Bangor Regional Therapeutic Day Program for three years and works with children who have emotional and behavioral disabilities. When asked why she likes being an Ed Tech she quickly responded, “I love going to work every day! I look forward to seeing the kids and I know that I can have a great effect on helping them to change into the person I know they can be!”
Susan Burke has been an Educational Technician at Abraham Lincoln School for 18 years. She says “It’s the perfect job. I get all of the rewards of educating kids without the homework! The kids are wonderful. The staff is wonderful. It’s a great job working with great kids. I love the hours.”
To become a certified Educational Technician, candidates must first apply for certification through the Maine Department of Education. Educational Technician III’s require 90 semester hours of approved study. Approved study can be college credits or continuing education units (CEUs) issued by a college institution or in-service credits/contact hours issued through workshop attendance. There is an application fee for the certificate and all applicants must register for a Criminal History Record Check. The background check and fingerprint requirement entail an additional fee. A copy of your original college transcript and/or CEUs must be sent to the Maine Department of Education when your application is submitted. For more information about becoming an Educational Technician please visit http://maine.gov/doe/cert/initial/edtech/index.html
In Bangor, depending on the assignment, Ed Techs can expect to work between 25 and 39 hours per week. Hourly wages start at $14.70 per hour and Ed Techs are eligible for some employee benefits as well.
School principals are now reviewing applications to fill fall vacancies. If you like children, enjoy being in an educational environment and have some post-secondary education, consider pursuing employment as an Educational Technician and start the process now. The certification may take the Maine Department of Education 4 to 6 weeks to review your application. Information about various Educational Technician positions available through the Bangor School Department can be found at the Employment page.