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Old 03-14-2013, 07:58 AM
 
Location: Malvern, AR
15 posts, read 30,852 times
Reputation: 51

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArkansasSlim View Post
I lived in Malvern for 40+ years before moving to L.R., and if circumstances permitted, I'd still be there. I don't agree with jtsanda that it's a crappy town, but it is small (10,000 Pop) with not much going on, but as jtsanda mentioned it is in a great location by being near L.R. and Hot Springs and if you are into outdoorsy stuff it is surrounded by lakes, rivers, and other stuff. Dating - it seems the local guys went to H.S. and the H.S. guys came to Malvern. Anyway, good luck in your quest and as posted above, thanks for staying in Arkansas.
What I mean by "crappy" is extremely boring. Some people like it that way, which is fine with me. However, due to its close proximity to larger cities, I do think it has great potential for future growth. In fact, when the OMB releases its data next month, look for Hot Spring County (Malvern) to be added to the Hot Springs metro area.
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Old 03-14-2013, 09:26 AM
 
Location: MS
3,949 posts, read 3,853,872 times
Reputation: 1370
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fayettechill14 View Post
You are probably correct. I've got Little Rock and Pine Bluff at bottom of my list. Based solely off the facts from this website, I'm sensing that plenty of towns around Pine Bluff and on down 65 are some of the areas of greatest need.

Anywhere in the Ouachitas would be fantastic. I've looked at places west of Hot Springs like Mount Ida, Glenwood, Bismarck, along with places like Malvern to the south. Like I said to jtsanda who recommended Malvern, I'm keeping my fingers crossed that region is what has availabilities.

Monticello is high on my list. I'll have to look more into the others. Thanks for your input!

Thanks again ArkansasSlim. I'll need to take a trip down by Hot Springs and the Ouachitas soon, plenty on here seem to recommend that region for its natural beauty and proximity to larger cities.
Highway 65 and the delta area are probably in the biggest need. I also know a few teachers in that area as well. My fraternity brother is the head football coach at McGehee. My cousin taught at Dermott and now teaches at Lake Village. I think it is high school level business and computers.

On the other hand, delta towns are depressing as can be if you are looking to start from scratch. I have very close friends and family from Dumas to Eurdora and they have to leave the area for any kind of outing other than hunting.

Another cousin recently got back into teaching and is the head wrestling coach at Bismark and lives in Hot Springs near the race track.

If I were to move back to the area, Monticello would be high on my list. I spent four great years there in college before moving to Fayetteville for a graduate degree. I don't know any current teachers but I know everyone from the IT Director at the local hospital to the manager of a paint store to the owner of the AT&T cellular retail store.
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Old 03-14-2013, 09:54 AM
 
327 posts, read 513,731 times
Reputation: 318
Helena is another possibility.
Not many "nice" towns in the southern half of the state and the program the op is in probably leans toward what might be the most undesirable.
Arkansas County - Stuttgart and DeWitt are possible.
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Old 03-15-2013, 03:44 PM
 
Location: Hillsboro, OR
2,200 posts, read 3,673,467 times
Reputation: 1359
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert_J View Post
Highway 65 and the delta area are probably in the biggest need. I also know a few teachers in that area as well. My fraternity brother is the head football coach at McGehee. My cousin taught at Dermott and now teaches at Lake Village. I think it is high school level business and computers.

On the other hand, delta towns are depressing as can be if you are looking to start from scratch. I have very close friends and family from Dumas to Eurdora and they have to leave the area for any kind of outing other than hunting.

Another cousin recently got back into teaching and is the head wrestling coach at Bismark and lives in Hot Springs near the race track.

If I were to move back to the area, Monticello would be high on my list. I spent four great years there in college before moving to Fayetteville for a graduate degree. I don't know any current teachers but I know everyone from the IT Director at the local hospital to the manager of a paint store to the owner of the AT&T cellular retail store.
I always thought Lake Village/Lake Providence area was pretty to drive through, at least.

Dumas... I remember hearing stories from my band friends on the way back from camp who stopped at the McDonald's there (I think it was this one)... and the ice from the soda machine had bugs in it :x
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Old 03-16-2013, 10:42 AM
 
4,748 posts, read 6,144,281 times
Reputation: 6711
The McDonald's in Monticello used to be nasty. We haven't stopped there in years, so it may have improved.

Sheridan seems to be a pretty neat little town, what I've seen of it. So is Benton. But, as someone else said, it's doubtful you'll be sent to a "nice" town, because of the nature of the program.

There are good people in every place....just find those and if you get sent to a depressing town, let them be your lifeline until you can fulfill your 3 years. That's what I've done in this "crappy", depressing little town I live in.
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Old 03-17-2013, 04:16 PM
 
Location: MS
3,949 posts, read 3,853,872 times
Reputation: 1370
Quote:
Originally Posted by psulions2007 View Post
I always thought Lake Village/Lake Providence area was pretty to drive through, at least.
When you drive through Lake Village on Highway 65, you are only getting about 1/4 of the lake. It's 22 miles long. The drive through town and to the state park is the best part of the lake.

Quote:
Originally Posted by psulions2007 View Post
Dumas... I remember hearing stories from my band friends on the way back from camp who stopped at the McDonald's there (I think it was this one)... and the ice from the soda machine had bugs in it :x
There was a stretch of many years back in the 90's where that McDonald's had the worst reputation. Since moving from Little Rock to the Memphis area, I now drive through MS to get to southeast AR.
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Old 03-17-2013, 04:32 PM
 
Location: MS
3,949 posts, read 3,853,872 times
Reputation: 1370
Quote:
Originally Posted by Luvvarkansas View Post
Sheridan seems to be a pretty neat little town, what I've seen of it.
I lived in Sheridan for 3 1/2 years and never felt at home there. On day I went to the grocery store and I happened to be wearing a shirt that had University of Arkansas - Monticello football and the Boll Weevil logo on it. The woman at the check out said "That's that school where all them n*****s go to. Right?" It was one of those moments were I was completely speechless. Everyone knows the obvious issues with it. She was also wrong in that U of A - Pine Bluff is the HBCU (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) not UAM. Finally, she had probably peaked in her career at the cashier level at the approximate age 20 due to her meth mouth and lack of grammar skills and she criticizes the college I went to.

There was also the incident with the racist and the Chinese couple at the convenience store. The horse poo at the front door of the grocery store in the paragraph above. The chickens that ran loose around Subway. Although I did see Elvis there one Sunday morning. And the two car wrecks in town we had while living there out of a total of 4.

Now that I think about it, we either stayed at home or went to Little Rock (work for me, grad school for the wife and all entertainment). All of those incidents happened in the rare times we interacted with other residents.
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Old 03-18-2013, 09:26 PM
 
Location: Fort Smith, Arkansas
1,466 posts, read 3,695,746 times
Reputation: 1045
As someone in the education field, I can clarify what the OP is referring to and where he/she will be living. It won't be "south Arkansas." No schools in southwest Arkansas will need help from this program to find teachers. It will be in the delta (southeast Arkansas) in very poor school districts in areas where nobody in their right mind would willingly move to unless they had to. Helena-West Helena, West Memphins, Pine Bluff, ect. NOT Sheridan, Hot Springs, Texarkana, ect.

I honestly am concerned that the OP has no clue what he/she is getting in to. It will be nothing short of the worst possible job for a new graduate.

And not to crush your excitement, but the minimum teacher pay in Arkansas is just under $30k a year. I work in a district where a first year teacher makes about $35k a year and that is very average for Arkansas. The $5k stipend will still put you below the state avg on teacher pay scale at 99% of the districts that will be getting teachers in your program.

Edit: I realize that this post sounds very negative. I'm not the type to post negative replies, but I feel like you need to be very clear about what you could be in for. I accepted a teaching job in Pine Bluff and turned it down after I realized what the city was like. I have a friend who accepted a teaching job in Pine Bluff, bought a house, taught one year, and left. She still owns the house because she can't sell it. Just make sure you are fully aware of the situation before you commit.

Last edited by Dr. Foosball; 03-18-2013 at 09:36 PM..
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Old 03-19-2013, 01:02 AM
 
Location: Fayetteville, AR
7 posts, read 11,942 times
Reputation: 13
Thanks again to everyone for the replies. I'll try to address a few of them.

It is worth noting that the ATC has announced where the first "fellows" will be sent in the Fall of 2013...[drumroll please]...Dermott, Arkansas. Not at all surprising; in fact, I figure many of its neighboring towns will receive ATC fellows as well.

Speaking of Dermott, the Lake Village debate is interesting. I have never visited the lake, but I am aware of the state park. My grandfather--a retired coach and superintendent in Arkansas--used to own a one-man school supply company that sold and delivered discounted school supplies to needy districts. I went with him for a run to Lake Village High about six years ago. The school was much nicer than I expected. I'm an avid fisher...can you fish the lake or the river anywhere near there?

Quote:
As someone in the education field, I can clarify what the OP is referring to and where he/she will be living. It won't be "south Arkansas." No schools in southwest Arkansas will need help from this program to find teachers. It will be in the delta (southeast Arkansas) in very poor school districts in areas where nobody in their right mind would willingly move to unless they had to. Helena-West Helena, West Memphins, Pine Bluff, ect. NOT Sheridan, Hot Springs, Texarkana, ect.
Texarkana was specifically mentioned by a rep that spoke at my fraternity house a few months ago. Of course Fall 2013 is the first year for the program, so there's no history to go off of, but we were told that Little Rock, Pine Bluff, Texarkana, and a handful of Delta towns will be the major applicants. I wasn't expecting Hot Springs, but did figure some of those Ouachita towns not far from there may need teachers. Beautiful area.
Quote:
I honestly am concerned that the OP has no clue what he/she is getting in to. It will be nothing short of the worst possible job for a new graduate.
Depends on what the new graduate is after. I don't care about money or networking for a career. After my 3-year commitment is up, I'll either:
-decide I love teaching and go get my Master's from UCA or UA (this program means I only need 1 year to get a Master's of Education) and teach somewhere like Conway or Fayetteville
-go to Dallas Theological Seminary like my father and become a pastor or work for a ministry organization
-go to law school
-work for a local high school ministry in Conway with which I am well-connected, and eventually work my way up to administration at a ministry organization

I don't think spending 3 years in this program will inhibit what I'll be doing in ten years, in fact it can help it and the self-discovery will be good for me. The time itself isn't a big deal to me. Even the dating issue that I've brought up isn't a big deal. As for daily life in some of these places? Now that's where I may be in over my head!

Quote:
And not to crush your excitement, but the minimum teacher pay in Arkansas is just under $30k a year. I work in a district where a first year teacher makes about $35k a year and that is very average for Arkansas. The $5k stipend will still put you below the state avg on teacher pay scale at 99% of the districts that will be getting teachers in your program.
Money is not an issue for me. I don't mean to snobbily insinuate that I'm wealthy (I'm not particularly wealthy), but a combination of me not being very materialistic (I don't spend much at all, most of my spending is on food because I'm an avid Paleo diet guy...more rural areas actually make adherence to it easier!), money I've saved up, and land owned by my family have ensured my financial future.

FWIW the state minimum salary is $29,500 so the minimum I'd make is $34,500, and the average would be near $37,000. Given the cost of living in these areas, I can live pretty decently and save some money up.

Quote:
Edit: I realize that this post sounds very negative. I'm not the type to post negative replies, but I feel like you need to be very clear about what you could be in for. I accepted a teaching job in Pine Bluff and turned it down after I realized what the city was like. I have a friend who accepted a teaching job in Pine Bluff, bought a house, taught one year, and left. She still owns the house because she can't sell it. Just make sure you are fully aware of the situation before you commit.
I'm still 13 months from committing to this and I'm here asking questions. I'm constantly talking to program reps and asking for advice and experience. I will certainly visit any town and area before I commit. I do appreciate your caution, it is important for me to have.
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Old 03-19-2013, 03:31 AM
 
Location: The Great State of Arkansas
5,981 posts, read 15,895,915 times
Reputation: 7531
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fayettechill14 View Post
The main thing I'm looking for is a quality dating scene for 20-somethings. I doubt I'll see anything quite like Fayetteville, but surely some areas are better than others. Obviously areas such as Magnolia and Monticello with their college campuses would be ideal, but usually college towns don't have teacher shortages.
If this is one of the main things you are seeking, then - I'm so sorry to say this - I think you have a problem. I see where you've subsequently discounted this part of your life, but I don't think I'd be quite so quick to write off my social life if I were you. I'm betting Delta as well - and the lack of things to do and an educated population could hamper this aspect of life.

If you're wanting to get your Master's, I wish you the very best. Higher education never hurt anyone - and of course we don't know your financial situation, but I'd caution you about making sure which direction you are headed before embarking into seminary and then finding you always wanted to be a lawyer, or the other way around. As a matter of fact, as the parent of an attorney, I'd probably warn you against law school all the way around :-) The costs are astronomical in a glutted profession. My son chose to go to a top tier law school (Michigan) and racked up $150K in undergrad and grad school fees, only to find the job market to be seriously flooded here. Oh, he got a job - and then discovered that while he loved law school and the concept of law, practicing law was a whole 'nother ball of wax. He hated it and is now doing HR administration in Atlanta. With student loans out the wazoo that will expire long before he could pay them off unless he inherits money from ...... someone, not us.

Here's the parent talk - while 10 years seems a faraway time in space, it will fly by and you will be in your early 30's before you know it. Where you are over the next 3-5 years will certainly determine a lot of your future. Don't get me wrong - I think what you are considering is needed, necessary, and noble. But 3 years in a place that really holds no future for you (unless you fall in love with the Delta) and where you have no social life can be a very, very long time for someone settling into adult life.

All that being said, go where your heart leads you. It sounds as if you have a religious background - I'd do some hard praying on this one.
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