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Old 06-25-2012, 03:29 PM
 
Location: New York State
1 posts, read 4,914 times
Reputation: 15

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I am currently a New York State teacher certified in Elementary Education and Literacy. I am currently teaching at a Catholic School in Western New York and things are not looking any better to get a public school job here; due to layoffs, closing schools, and declining population. Therefore, my husband and I are looking to move to Colorado July 2013. Does anyone know a good area in Colorado that is growing and will be hiring teachers in my area over the next few years (not laying off)? I checked out the different school districts in Colorado and a lot of them are hiring right now. However, I am not familiar with the areas and financial situations of the school districts since I am not from the area. Since I can not move there until July 2013, I am not sure where I should be looking when I visit. I am planning a trip there August 16-22, 2012 to look at potential areas to live and work in. I am looking for a district that is strong and does not look like they are going to lay teachers off. I would love to live in the suburbs around the Denver area or anywhere within an hour or two of Denver. I am 25 years old; I would like a safe area where I can walk/bike ride to shops and restaurants. I am looking to pay $800-$1200 max to rent a 2 bedroom. This is a HUGE change in our life and we do not know anyone in Colorado to ask these questions. Any information or suggestions are greatly appreciated, thank you!
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Old 06-25-2012, 04:10 PM
 
8,317 posts, read 25,116,625 times
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This has been addressed numerous times. Colorado, thanks to both the current economy and its restrictive Constitutional provisions, faces continual and escalating fiscal problems. Both higher education and the regular school systems are being affected and will be for the foreseeable future. Unlike many states, Colorado also has a surplus of people looking for teaching employment, in part because the state is perceived as an attractive place to live. Particularly in rural Colorado, teaching jobs actually are some of the better paying jobs that are available and competition for them is fierce. Many current teachers are holding on to their existing jobs for dear life--often past their retirement date--because they are worried about the long-term prognosis for the state pension fund and because they know that finding another job may be very difficult if they quit.

Young teachers have an especially tough time because, for the first couple of years of employment, they are often the first to be laid off if budgets have to be tightened. These days, if there is a lot of turnover and vacancies in a particular school district, there is probably a good (but usually unpleasant) reason for it.

If you are looking for teaching employment in this region, Wyoming is likely a better bet. At least Wyoming is in reasonably decent fiscal shape and continues to fund its schools at some level of adequacy.
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Old 06-25-2012, 05:44 PM
 
9,817 posts, read 19,033,460 times
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One thing I have always heard from teachers is many school districts are obliged legally or by some other rule to post "open" jobs when actually they already have their candidate selected, usually a teacher with the political or nepotistic connections to get the job.

I suspect strongly that getting a job is the number 1 key and that will dictate where you live. Best thing you can do is apply for open jobs, try to get several offers and then decide from there. I recommend to people living on the I-25 corridor/Front Range that they just find the best job possible and then locate a good suburb within a 20-30 minute drive. At the end of the day, most of the suburbs around Denver and Colorado Springs are not radically different from one another. They all have subdivisions with tract homes built by large developers, Wal Marts, Subways and all of the rest.

The other thing to do is before you worry about all that, visit and spend time in the area, not as a tourist, but with the view towards living there. It's a different culture and way of life with higher elevation and dry air, so best to experience it first and then go from there.
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Old 06-29-2012, 10:25 PM
 
Location: Littleton, CO
3,108 posts, read 4,666,638 times
Reputation: 5389
Quote:
Originally Posted by wanneroo View Post
One thing I have always heard from teachers is many school districts are obliged legally or by some other rule to post "open" jobs when actually they already have their candidate selected, usually a teacher with the political or nepotistic connections to get the job.

I suspect strongly that getting a job is the number 1 key and that will dictate where you live. Best thing you can do is apply for open jobs, try to get several offers and then decide from there. I recommend to people living on the I-25 corridor/Front Range that they just find the best job possible and then locate a good suburb within a 20-30 minute drive. At the end of the day, most of the suburbs around Denver and Colorado Springs are not radically different from one another. They all have subdivisions with tract homes built by large developers, Wal Marts, Subways and all of the rest.

The other thing to do is before you worry about all that, visit and spend time in the area, not as a tourist, but with the view towards living there. It's a different culture and way of life with higher elevation and dry air, so best to experience it first and then go from there.
It is true that all jobs must be posted, but in 20 years of working in education I have never seen a less-qualified known teacher hired over a more-qualified "outside" teacher.

Like all businesses, the person is who is known to the employer is more likely to get hired if everything is equal. I had mentored an extremely strong student teacher one year, and when an opening came up at the end of the year, that person lost out to a more qualified candidate. He was, however, hired by another school in the district because, with all things being equal, that school trusted the recommendations of the people they knew (me, my department chairman, our assistant principal) over the recommendation from people they didn't know.

This is what I know:
1. There will will always be job openings as teachers leave the profession, take leaves of absence, move out of state, and retire every year. This spring my department was not expecting to hire any new teachers, and we ended up hiring three teachers because one teacher decided to take maternity leave, a second teacher moved unexpectedly out of the state, and the third teacher decided to switch schools.

2. A few districts are asking the voters for mill levy increases. These districts include Cherry Creek School District and Jefferson County Schools. A few more districts are in the process of deciding whether or not to go to the voters in November.
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Old 06-30-2012, 09:08 AM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
85,021 posts, read 98,892,281 times
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^^A bit off-topic, but St. Vrain SD (Longmont) is considering some sort of tax this fall.
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Old 07-01-2012, 07:54 PM
 
Location: Everywhere and Nowhere
14,131 posts, read 26,274,712 times
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Does it have to be Colorado? Loudoun County Virginia has a growing student population.
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Old 07-01-2012, 11:12 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
20,835 posts, read 37,517,121 times
Reputation: 20894
As a teacher I would head to:
1). Dept of Defense School (international (preferred) or on a base in area of choice).

or for Public Schools with decent pay / financing, and GOOD kids (with education / work ethic).
2). Alaska
3). Wyoming.

All have redeeming qualities superior to teaching in CO (IMHO have spent 25 yrs in CO).


BUT... if you HAVE to do CO, I would look to being OUTSIDE of Denver. I much prefer Ft Collins/Loveland or Colorado Springs.
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Old 07-02-2012, 05:57 AM
 
Location: Everywhere and Nowhere
14,131 posts, read 26,274,712 times
Reputation: 6815
With the big energy boom in the Dakotas and Texas you might want to look there. You should probably be open to anywhere you can find a job.
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Old 07-03-2012, 03:40 AM
 
320 posts, read 847,921 times
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I actually disagree that the job market is bad for teachers here. I'm a teacher who moved here solely for the job opportunities- I knew there was no way in heck I was ever finding anything in my home state as a teacher fresh out of college. It's not so fantastic that you're guaranteed a position or anything, but it is SO much better than many states out there and I know for a fact that it would be a land of golden opportunity in comparison to the awful job market in NY. I think locals think the market is bad b/c they just haven't had a chance to see what it's really like in other states. My dad is a teacher in my home state and his school regularly gets 5,000-6,000 applications for each elementary position, and he's not even in one of the "better" districts in the area. Here, I would say it's a couple hundred at best in some of the best areas. I started up in the mountains and we would only get 10-20 applicants for most positions, and some we even had a hard time filling. We were looking for a title 1 teacher earlier (only need an elementary cert.) and had to post it multiple times b/c we literally couldn't get any applicants! Many of the teachers I worked with were transplants who came from other states due to the better job market- which the CO natives have a hard time understanding.

Elementary ed is the most competitive certification area, so be willing to expand your search. If you're okay with working in low ses schools, that will help you out a lot. I started in sped, so I got snatched up from out of state very quickly (I even got a "signing bonus") after a short phone interview. However, I wanted to go back to regular ed and also wanted to move to Denver, which I would say is probably the most competitive area in the state, and still had few problems landing a job. I actually prefer low ses schools so that wasn't a problem for me- I found a 3rd grade position in Denver after only about 6 weeks of looking last April. My only experience with that type of position was in student teaching 2 years prior- I would have never, ever been able to land a job like that back in my hometown area. If you're willing to look outside of the Denver area, that will help out a whole lot too. If you want a high ses school with great test scores in the metro area, you're going to have a hard time- so it really just depends on what kind of job you're willing to take on. Definitely get your CO license ASAP if you're serious about moving here. The CDE is SLOW. I applied for mine in July right before I moved out here and got it halfway through the school year. If you have it in-hand when you start applying next year, districts will take you more seriously as an out of state candidate. Feel free to pm me if you have any questions- I would be happy to tell you more about the district I used to work in. I moved b/c I hated the area and the salary was very low compared to the cost of living (but many people actually LIKE the area so much that the low salary doesn't bother them), but I actually liked my school a lot. We were a lower SES school and our test scores weren't the best, but that was mostly due to the fact that we had so many ELL students. The kids were great and extremely well behaved and respectful. I will miss them dearly- I was just thinking that it's going to be rough for me to rebuild my classroom management skills when I start working in Denver, b/c my previous students were SO good I just didn't really need them!

Last edited by harrison21; 07-03-2012 at 03:51 AM..
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Old 07-03-2012, 09:20 AM
 
8,317 posts, read 25,116,625 times
Reputation: 9066
The reason many mountain districts have difficulty finding teachers is because teachers simply can not possibly afford to live there on a teacher's salary. I wouldn't lightly dismiss Colorado's festering long-term fiscal problems, either, which absolutely will affect many school districts.
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