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Old 07-28-2013, 03:29 AM
Location: Charlotte, NC
3 posts, read 7,066 times
Reputation: 15



I'm looking for some advice on the possibility of a future move to Boston.

I'm a southern guy currently living in Charlotte, NC, where I've lived all my life. It's a beautiful city and I love it, but the politics, closed-mindedness and backwardness of rural NC has unleashed its full wrath in our state legislature (if you haven't already heard of their antics).

I took a weekend trip to Boston earlier in April to see a friend of mine, and I loved the city. The people were so nice and open-minded, and I love the history of the city. I'm looking for an urban area to settle down where the people are educated, open-minded, and friendly. From my limited experience, Boston fits that pretty well.

I'm currently an 8th Grade U.S. History Teacher and my NC Teacher's License is in History/Social Studies (grades 6-12).

My B.S. is in History, Secondary Education and my M.A. is in Higher Education, University Leadership.

Any advice on the job market in either of those fields is much appreciated. What is the public school setting like up there? From my research, it seems very diverse in the city itself. I admit I'm unfamiliar with the organization of school districts there. In NC, each county has their own district with a few having city school districts. In MA it seems like each town has their own district, which makes it a bit overwhelming to research every last one.

Secondly, cost of living... I'm assuming there's quite a difference...

In NC, my household expenses run:
$600/mo. for a 2 bedroom, 1 bathroom home.
About $175/mo. for utilities (electric, gas, water)

My salary as a teacher in NC is a dismal $30,800 before taxes.

As a teacher in NC, we're being treated lower than dirt, taking away pay for M.A. degrees, no raises in 5 years (not even for cost of living increases), we've lost tenure now... and it's becoming a very hostile state for teachers to work in. One of the many factors for wanting to get out.

Does anyone have a ballpark estimate of the cost of living increase and salary of a 2-year teacher in the Boston area?

As far as where I want to live, I'd want to live in the urban area of Boston preferably in walking distance to the T. The neighborhood doesn't matter so much, as long as it's safe and has nightlife and entertainment fairly close-by.

Thank you so much in advance for your help!
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Old 07-28-2013, 09:21 PM
Location: Dallas
4,625 posts, read 8,530,078 times
Reputation: 3804
Teacher salary = $50k

2 bedroom urban = $2k / month
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Old 07-29-2013, 11:22 AM
214 posts, read 456,412 times
Reputation: 166
I moved from Charlotte to the Boston area in the summer of 1978 and lived there until the fall of 1980. It was an extraordinary experience. If you love history, especially US history, you'll have a lot of fun exploring all the historical places in and around Boston. From the Tea Party Ship to Lexington and Concord and all in between, it will be fun and educational.

We had season tickets to the Red Sox at Fenway. If you love baseball check into it. We had seats up in the stands, not the most expensive but still good seats and just being there was the thrill. Carl Yastrzemski, Jim Rice, Dennis Eckersley, Carlton Fisk,,,,,, WOW! One of those years we lost the pennant to the Yankees.

The Celtics were just getting started towards their future National championships with Larry Bird, Dave Cowans, Cornbread Maxwell (UNC! I think), Kevin McHale, Robert Parrish, M.L. Carr, Chris Ford, etc. Ahhh, the good ole days!

Patriots were building then. They were pretty pathetic. Today, I would check into some game tickets.

Apartment? Your thinking needs to go way up. Like NYC up. Think of sharing to get what you get now in Charlotte. Check out Craigslist to start to familiarize yourself: boston all apartments classifieds - craigslist

Forget the four seasons. In New England there is only summer and winter. Summer starts in June, runs through August and winter starts in September. (I might be exaggerating here just a bit:-)

I left a lot of friends there when I moved back to Charlotte but for me, I like warm weather, a more conservative environment, more open spaces and lower prices.

Things I miss: lobsters and steamers, Faneuil Hall, York Beach, Me. fishing off the coast, friends I left behind.
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Old 08-13-2013, 04:37 PM
4 posts, read 8,108 times
Reputation: 18
Do a lot of research! I just moved here from Richmond, I got a job transfer and it was that or unemployment. I had been visiting up hear for years and trust me, visiting is not the same as living here. $50k would be OK money here for a single person (again research!). Apartments are very expensive, especially if you want to be near the T. The traffic here is every bit as bad as people say it is. My friend leaves at 7:30 every morning to be at work by 8:30 and she works 12 miles from her house. I don't want to discourage you from moving, there are a lot of great things up here and I have had a lot of fun in the 3 months I have been here but again it's a very different lifestyle. My move was made much easier by having a "built in" place to move into, I can't imagine trying to find a place long distance. Feel free to ask more questions, as a newbee here I will do my best to answer. Good luck!
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Old 08-13-2013, 05:08 PM
Location: Up North
3,404 posts, read 7,252,467 times
Reputation: 3036
If you want to live in a walkable, progressive, urban area I suggest applying to work in Brookline Public Schools. These are well-funded and JUST outside of Boston that they are practically in Boston.

Newton Public schools are also very nice and well-funded but not as close to the true urban areas.

I'm actually from here and considering moving to Charlotte for the warmer weather and cheaper rent. Go figure
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Old 08-13-2013, 05:10 PM
Location: Up North
3,404 posts, read 7,252,467 times
Reputation: 3036
Originally Posted by xS☺Be View Post
Teacher salary = $50k

2 bedroom urban = $2k / month

2k a month is conservative/not in the most desirable parts of the city. A 1 bedroom in Beacon Hill costs $2,000 a month. My friend who has roommates in Back Bay pays either $1,100-1,300 per month.

2k a month is doable in Brookline and Fenway.
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Old 08-13-2013, 06:00 PM
Location: Charlotte, NC
3 posts, read 7,066 times
Reputation: 15
Thank you all for your responses, they have helped shape my ideas about moving. I'm still enthusiastic about moving up there in the next 4-5 years if the state doesn't get back on track.

$50,000 is almost double my current salary... which in Charlotte, I'm not able to save money after it all goes to utilities, rent, and student loan payments. And I'm sure I'd get a raise after the first year in Mass., but in NC it would take more than 5 years on the current pay scale to get a raise to $31,000 from $30,800. It'd take more than 15 years experience to break $40,000. So, I think I'd have a better quality of life up there.

Unless the state makes a change, most beginning educators will have no choice but to either leave the profession or move to a place that they could make a life for themselves. If I had ONE child, then I'd qualify for food stamps, and medicaid, which is very sad.

I'm not quite sure why people are wanting to move to North Carolina. Yes, the rent is cheaper but everything else is just the same with a lot of close-minded, ignorant, evangelical "christians" who'll berate you about where you go to church until you either answer them or join them. God forbid you be anything different than southern baptist. The cultural trade off isn't something I'd be willing to give up if I was a Bostonian looking to move down here. I was just talking with a fellow teacher who moved from Long Island 10 years ago and she said she had no idea what she was getting into when she moved down here, and assumed that it was a cheaper utopia and boy was she wrong. People who moved to NC from the North are beginning to move back because we have become more backward than Texas. I was in an MA program for History, Secondary Education and switched to Higher Education because the state legislature just voted to cut eliminate pay step increases for teachers with MA degrees. Yep, that's right, teachers with BA and MA degrees are on the same scale... $30,800 a year. I'd rather stay in Mass. where the community funds education and has a more educated populace with a live and let live attitude. I apologize for the negativity because I love NC dearly, but it's become such a backwards and hostile place for anyone that's not white, male, heterosexual, born in the USA, and evangelical christian.
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Old 08-13-2013, 07:28 PM
288 posts, read 488,904 times
Reputation: 548
I love history myself and my friends are history teachers. But to be honest, everyone wants to be a history teacher. A lot of disciplines in college (Sociology, Anthropology, Political Science, etc) have graduates interested in becoming social studies and history teachers. It's extremely competitive in Massachusetts. I had a friend who was competing against hundreds of applicants. She only won out because she also taught a section of special ed and went to a top notch local liberal arts college. You also have to remember that the area around Boston has tons of colleges with new graduates churned out every spring. These wannabe student teachers intern at local schools as part of their education, and they often come to know the administrators or at least have a veteran teacher mentor who might speak up for them. It's not a guarantee, but they do increase their chances of getting hired. I think the fact that you have a masters help, but if I were you, I would find some MA history teachers and have a long talk with them about the job market. There have been a lot of layoffs of teachers lately, even in Massachusetts. My hint would also be to get into getting special ed certification to get a leg up over the other candidates. There's also a tenure system here where after a certain number of years, you generally don't get laid off. I don't know if you have that in NC, but I know my friends once they get tenure don't like the idea of moving somewhere else and starting over again. Good luck!

Last edited by sharencare; 08-13-2013 at 07:43 PM..
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Old 08-13-2013, 08:17 PM
Location: Massachusetts
5,944 posts, read 6,742,771 times
Reputation: 4277
From what I'm reading and hearing, there seems to be a push to improve the Boston city schools. There is also a emphasis in all the schools for STEM curriculum. If you have an interest in teaching in an urban school, you may be able to find work there. As a history teacher in a suburban school, your chances are likely slim to none.
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Old 08-14-2013, 01:08 PM
64 posts, read 65,755 times
Reputation: 37
I moved here last year from Charlotte, NC to Boston. The cost of living is going to hit you hard not so much the winter. It is going to cost you $2000+ for a 1 Bedroom on the Green line that is NOT near student living and trust me you want to avoid the student living areas like Allston and parts of Brighton. Then you have to pay for parking in some places like Brookline because you can't park on the street at night (But it is a beautiful town.) That can be $100-$400 a month, if you have a car. My advice don't ditch the car. Now if you live way off the green line or on a different line like the red line, it can be cheaper such as near Cambridge, Davis Square is nice but not necessarily the cheapest. Side note being from Charlotte this is where you are going to want to get your ribs at a place called Redbones. Oh how I miss Sweet Tea. But my advice to you is try a town like West Roxbury. You can get into the city very quickly and it is a beautiful town right by Chestnut hill area which has (Brookline, Newton, Parts of West Roxbury.) I use to live in Revere, that was a quick route into the city and the place I lived at had transportation to the Orange line and quick access to Route 1. My advice is to stay West of the city within the 495 loop, the towns are nicer, and have more of a New England feel to them. Watertown, Somerville, and Waltham are cheaper but at the same time don't have access to the city. A really nice little town would be Arlington (Near Cambridge.) The economy is Great here IMO compared to Charlotte. I could never get a job in Charlotte and I am an Accountant with a Master degree. I got a job here asap with State Street and then moved onto another company. Education system is great too incase you ever want to have kids or currently have kids and need to enroll them in school. I would say the major downfall of Boston, is the price of buying a home. $650k gets you a 5 Bedroom 3 Bath home in Charlotte, here 2 Bedroom 1 bath condo in Brookline, maybe 3 bedroom. As far as buying food and supplies it is about equal. Bills on an apartment are equal as well except the water bill for some reason is a lot more here, then again I could just have bad luck with that. In the end I don't mean to scare you away from moving here with your budget on an apartment you can do it, but there will be sacrifices. 1. Live in the college area the places are cheaper or Live further away from the city. 2. Get a 1 Bedroom. 3. Look on Craigslist and don't be afraid of the dirty apartments for some reason in the NE they take pictures of all these apartments with clothes everywhere and dishes everywhere, big turn off. You'll see what I mean, and don't and I mean don't get a realtor. The fees alone will kill you. 4. Best advice is if you have a car keep it and live off the line the apartments are cheaper, keep your address on your insurance with your NC address and pay NC fees. Good luck my friend.
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