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Thread summary:

Single 24 year old male seeking information on middle school teaching jobs in Northwest Arkansas, Bentonville, Rogers, hiring rates for teachers

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Old 11-02-2007, 07:06 PM
 
Location: AR
564 posts, read 2,064,468 times
Reputation: 605

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Howdy. I may have posted this about a year ago, I'm not sure.

As of 2009, I will have a bachelor's degree in Middle Level Education (grades 4-8) from Arkansas Tech University. I'm a guy, and I'll be 24 years old at graduation. I'm currently in the Russellville area, but even education jobs here are getting hard to come by. The pay is low, and I'm not very interested in staying in a rural school district (I don't consider Russellville THAT rural, but places like Atkins, Pottsville, etc not my cup of tea). After several visits, I've been very impressed with Northwest Arkansas, particularly with Bentonville, Rogers, and Fayetteville. Springdale didn't seem fantastic, but better than the alternative. I see that NWA teachers make on average about 40-43K in their first few years. I'm really interested in teaching there. What do you think my chances are of being hired in the area? I'm single, no kids, so all I want is a bachelor pad and a job. I just like everything about the area--the culture, the large size, the shopping, restaurants, everything. I think I'll have a better chance of advancing and finding a good job because of the constant growth. The more time I spent in Russellville, the more I realize it's time for a change.

So help me out, please, those who know.
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Old 11-03-2007, 06:27 AM
 
154 posts, read 595,645 times
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Undertheironsea - over the past 10 years there has been an abundant amount of teaching positions available in NWA - so much so that some districts were hiring non-traditional teachers to fill open positions. With the aggressive growth the area has experienced, it seemed like the main four towns you mentioned were opening a new school every year and there was a consistent need for teachers every hiring period.

However, that all seems to have started to change this year as the growth in NWA has tapered off and some school districts actually recorded a decline in student enrollment for the first time in years .... there were even reports back in September that some NWA districts had over-hired assuming the growth rate in the area was going to maintain such an aggressive course. Currently the demand for teachers has slowed and it seems that teachers with experience have the upper hand when it comes to filling open positions.

If you really want to set yourself apart as an educator and tap into the NWA teaching market, then become bilingual in Spanish while your still in college. Springdale and Rogers in particular have growing Hispanic communities and having the opportunity to hire more fluent bilingual teachers to help acclimate Spanish speaking students would be a huge plus for these districts.
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Old 11-03-2007, 12:50 PM
 
Location: AR
564 posts, read 2,064,468 times
Reputation: 605
I understand. It makes sense, considering the way the housing market has slowed.

I won't be leaving Russellville (or don't plan to) for another three years. I'm just one of those people who likes to plan, especially when it comes to matters of moving away and finding an apartment for the first time.

I guess you never know, in another 3 years, it could be growing again and the need for teachers will go back up again. I'll just play it by ear and see what happens. Good to know, though.

On that note, what about Fort Smith? Is it having the same problems?
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Old 11-30-2007, 11:06 PM
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12 posts, read 46,576 times
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Default still a need

There is still a big need for teachers in the NWA area. One district already has a few job postings for next year due to a new school opening. I know there have been alarming reports about slowing growth and declining student numbers, but that doesn't always show the true picture. One middle school in a district with a "hiring freeze" still had to hire 14 new teachers this year. You just never know what the need will be.

*I didn't want to mention any specific names, but the two districts I mentioned are part of what they like to call "the big four" (Bentonville, Rogers, Springdale, Fayetteville).
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Old 12-01-2007, 02:37 PM
 
Location: AR
564 posts, read 2,064,468 times
Reputation: 605
I took a trip up there recently by myself and I COMPLETELY changed my mind.

I'm sure it's great for some people, but it's just not for me.

I really appreciate everyone taking the time out to respond for me, though.
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Old 12-01-2007, 05:12 PM
 
Location: New York City
2,814 posts, read 5,857,192 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by undertheironsea View Post
I took a trip up there recently by myself and I COMPLETELY changed my mind.

I'm sure it's great for some people, but it's just not for me.

I really appreciate everyone taking the time out to respond for me, though.
Did you see Fayetteville? What didn't you like about that city?
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Old 12-01-2007, 05:18 PM
 
87 posts, read 75,422 times
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Default Yankees

Fayetteville seems cool, but I think this future teacher wants to live around southern accents. Read his post on "Californians moving to Bella Vista. I may move from Los Angeles.
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Old 12-02-2007, 06:16 AM
 
Location: The Great State of Arkansas
5,981 posts, read 15,900,945 times
Reputation: 7531
Quote:
Originally Posted by undertheironsea View Post
I took a trip up there recently by myself and I COMPLETELY changed my mind.

I'm sure it's great for some people, but it's just not for me.

I really appreciate everyone taking the time out to respond for me, though.
And a perfect time to reiterate - what you think you want isn't always what you want. Before making a major move anywhere that is unfamiliar to you, an extended trip is probably a great idea. Sounds like under decided relatively quickly that wasn't his place in the sun, but it doesn't always happen that way.

Arkansas is experiencing a large growth from people outside the state who know nothing more than passing through or what they are told or is on t.v. I'd daresay some of the transplants we lose just aren't used to the south. But there are so many different areas and each of them has a different "feel" to it - I absolutely love the delta and my husband would rather live anywhere else. He thought he could learn to love it but it just hasn't worked out for him (so there goes my dream of living on the flat, rich earth of God's country, but I digress).

Everyone moving to or within the state of Arkansas needs to take heed of undertheironsea's advice. See for yourself and don't believe all the pie in the sky stuff. We all love our state and the different areas for different reasons - only you can decide if it is right for you.
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Old 12-02-2007, 04:23 PM
 
Location: AR
564 posts, read 2,064,468 times
Reputation: 605
Quote:
Originally Posted by gimme it View Post
Did you see Fayetteville? What didn't you like about that city?
It was just TOO busy for me. I don't drink, don't party, keep to myself, never been used to traffic (the largest town I've lived in has been 25,000), never been used to being in really large crowds...I just felt really weird there. For someone from rural southcentral Mississippi, it was a completely different atmosphere, and I just felt really, really uncomfortable. Almost claustrophopic (sp?). I grew up on 100 acres, so, as I said, totally different. The whole area is just one big metro now, and it was just something I couldn't get used to.

Pertaining to the accent thing, I can't help it, but it's true. I have no problem with people from the north, but when I'm the minority, it makes me nervous. I went to high school in Nebraska, and my accent was thick as any you've heard. Even at 18/19 years of age, I was being taken apart on a daily basis because of the way I talked, almost to the point where it was making me nuts. The jokes, the mean spirited comments, having my intelligence questioned with every sentence--it nearly drove me and my parents crazy. In Northwest Arkansas, walking around, I felt like I had the only Southern accent in town. That's fine when visiting, but you have to understand, as a teacher, I'm going to be HEAVILY scrutinized. In a perfect world, we want to believe that people wouldn't judge a person solely based on skin color, nationality, what state they're from, how they talk, etc., but it happens. The last thing I want to do on a daily basis is defend myself like that again. Can you imagine, as a teacher, having to argue with a parent because their 4th grader is picking up a couple of "ain't's" and "yonder's?" I don't say them in the classroom while teaching, but outside, talking to faculty members or even the students when I see them at any local store or restaurant, it streams out of me. It's part of who I am and where I came from, so I shouldn't part with it. As bad as it may sound initially, you can't really blame me for wanting to be in a place where I feel comfortable.

I just wanted to clear that up.
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Old 12-02-2007, 04:27 PM
 
Location: AR
564 posts, read 2,064,468 times
Reputation: 605
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam I Am View Post
And a perfect time to reiterate - what you think you want isn't always what you want. Before making a major move anywhere that is unfamiliar to you, an extended trip is probably a great idea. Sounds like under decided relatively quickly that wasn't his place in the sun, but it doesn't always happen that way.

Arkansas is experiencing a large growth from people outside the state who know nothing more than passing through or what they are told or is on t.v. I'd daresay some of the transplants we lose just aren't used to the south. But there are so many different areas and each of them has a different "feel" to it - I absolutely love the delta and my husband would rather live anywhere else. He thought he could learn to love it but it just hasn't worked out for him (so there goes my dream of living on the flat, rich earth of God's country, but I digress).

Everyone moving to or within the state of Arkansas needs to take heed of undertheironsea's advice. See for yourself and don't believe all the pie in the sky stuff. We all love our state and the different areas for different reasons - only you can decide if it is right for you.
One trip is all it takes. Pie in the sky usually never works until you sample the pie, haha.

The delta is really the last remaining piece of the "Old South." The sad thing is, the economic depression that comes with that distinction is there, too. I love the atmosphere, the look (especially Louisiana, near where I grew up)...but jobs are so hard to come by. Haha, I'd honestly trade the flatness of Louisiana and Mississippi for the mountains of Northwest Ark. and the River Valley. I'm nuts, but oh well.
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