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Old 09-29-2013, 12:51 PM
 
30 posts, read 40,859 times
Reputation: 29

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After having done extensive research on North Carolina we believe that the Triad area is the place for us. Currently we live in Colorado; we being myself, my husband, and our four children (17,15,10,and 6).

My husband is just finishing a BS is Chemistry with Secondary Education Licensure to teach high school chemistry. This is a second career for him (he was in the Air Force for 15 years) and we are thrilled to be choosing North Carolina as our new home! I've checked out teaching job boards in NC, as well as around the country, and I've seen that NC has at least as many Science teaching jobs as anywhere else, if not more. Also, in an teacher's income to cost of living ratio NC comes out decently (a little better than CO). Lastly, we have a little income that isn't attached to any job and Greensboro's cost of living is significantly lower than where we currently are. So, even though his new profession isn't about to make us well-off, we believe we'll do OK in NC (I once posted on the Connecticut forum looking for info and was misunderstood then got lambasted heavily, so if this is a lot of info, I apologize).

Here is my point (then on to my question, I promise):

We are tempted to move prior to finding a job. Oh No!!! Why would we do that, right? Simply put, we have family in NC and we are ready for a change. We definitively wish to call NC home. Plus, if we move first we save money on commuting costs for interviewing. Our rent here is over 2500 a month and looking at comparable homes in comparable neighborhoods (including schools etc) we would certainly be ahead in living costs there. In other words, our income that's unattached to a job would go farther there while he looks for a job. I am concerned about this course of action, certainly.

The grapevine, so to speak, usually has more information on the job market than you can find online. I can crunch numbers and read articles all day, and I still won't know how it really "feels" to be there.

So.....

1) Science teachers (especially chemists) are usually harder to come by for districts than other subjects (excluding math). How does the market there feel for science teachers? Do districts struggle to fill their spots or are there hundreds vying for each one?


2) Great Schools website has very low scores for the majority of NC schools (certainly not all, but a pretty high percentage). Is the educational system struggling there? Should I be concerned about my children's educational opportunities? Alternatively, are the websites I'm looking at choosing the wrong criteria for rating NC schools? After all, test scores are NOT the end-all, be-all.

3) I've noticed that there are some 4 bedroom apartments listed online. This is interesting to me as here in CO they only go as large as 3 bedroom, at least in my experience (and those cost upwards of $1600). I think we will choose an inexpensive short term lease somewhere while he looks for a position and while we check out the neighborhoods to find the match for us. Are these apartments I'm looking at mainly for younger college students? Are they in decent neighborhoods?

This list contains some towns which may not be considered part of the Triad. However, if they are within a an hour or so they seem close to me (CO has twice the sq mileage of NC and driving an hour or more to see friends or commute to work is not at all unusual). If I've included any towns that ought not to be, I apologize and respectfully ask if anyone has an opinion anyway.

A)Willow Ridge
2031 Willow Rd.
Greensboro, NC 27406

B) This one looks to be roughly an hour from Greensboro...is that accurate?
Laurel Pointe
100 Laurel Pointe Cir.
Salisbury, NC 28147

C)Roughly 1.5 hours, if mapquest is right
The Clusters
816 Brawley School Rd.
Mooresville, NC 28117

D) Stone Creek Apartments
130 J.C. Cir.
Mooresville, NC 28115

E) Roughly an hour...
Windrush Apts
2101 Windrush Ct.
Statesville, NC 28625

F) Creekside at Bellemeade
2350 Bellemeade St.
High Point, NC 27263

I realize there's a lot of info here, as well as a fair amount of questions.
Thank you for your time.
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Old 09-30-2013, 07:11 AM
LLN
 
Location: Upstairs closet
4,981 posts, read 8,756,621 times
Reputation: 6451
Salisbury High School is an excellent high school, dont know about others, but I would think if your spouse is licensed for high school science he will be one of the few folks with no problem finding a teaching job.

Now please listen. This forum is full of threads about people that moved to NC for the cost of living. Many, many are disappointed. Lower cost of living means lower salaries and normally lower property tax. It also means much fewer government provided amenities. So many folks expect to move here and that they will have the best from home and the best from here. You need to consider very very carefully, things you take for granted in your current location, and then see if they are available where you are moving, and if you are willing to live, long term without them.

Additionally, NC will not be much like Colorado. If the NC Legislators passed a gun ban of any sort, we would not recall two, we would lynch the whole lot of them. Just an extreme example but Greensboro is a long way from East Denver.

Good luck, I recommend going to the county school districts thread from each county above, and look at employment. Just checked our county...two high school science teacher and two middle school teacher positions open, plus one science/health and one STEM. So, on a random search in one county I found six openings.

I teach near the coast. I sit in on most interviews and we do a lot by phone. We pick the best person we can find, whether local of distant. Common Core, project based learning, align, formative assessment, STEM are the buzzwords of today. Make sure you husband is ready to sprinkle those around the conversation.

Good Luck.
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Old 09-30-2013, 07:53 AM
 
30 posts, read 40,859 times
Reputation: 29
I would think if your spouse is licensed for high school science he will be one of the few folks with no problem finding a teaching job.

That's what we hope. It seems pretty standard around the country that if there is a shortage, it's in the math and sciences departments.

Now please listen. This forum is full of threads about people that moved to NC for the cost of living. Many, many are disappointed. Lower cost of living means lower salaries and normally lower property tax. It also means much fewer government provided amenities. So many folks expect to move here and that they will have the best from home and the best from here. You need to consider very very carefully, things you take for granted in your current location, and then see if they are available where you are moving, and if you are willing to live, long term without them.

I appreciate this information. To clarify: we've done our income homework on teaching salaries and NC pays better than CO. Also, we have income that is not attached to work, so there won't be a change with it. HOWEVER, I would love more information on what you are referring to in the way of government provided amenities. FYI, we are hard workers and contribute to the communities we live in through supporting local businesses, community involvement, and volunteering. I believe we would add something to your state, not just come and live there because it's "cheap".

Additionally, NC will not be much like Colorado. If the NC Legislators passed a gun ban of any sort, we would not recall two, we would lynch the whole lot of them. Just an extreme example but Greensboro is a long way from East Denver.

Is there an inference I'm supposed to make here? That NC is really liberal? Or that the citizens really support their right to self-protect? In text it's really hard to not sound "snarky" sometimes, I promise I'm not being so, or trying to be rude. Just curious.

Good luck, I recommend going to the county school districts thread from each county above, and look at employment. Just checked our county...two high school science teacher and two middle school teacher positions open, plus one science/health and one STEM. So, on a random search in one county I found six openings.

Thank you for the suggestion! We've done just that, as well as the public school job board operated by the state. I've noticed though that it's not always updated, so it's hard to ascertain how many are truly still available.

I teach near the coast. I sit in on most interviews and we do a lot by phone. We pick the best person we can find, whether local of distant. Common Core, project based learning, align, formative assessment, STEM are the buzzwords of today. Make sure you husband is ready to sprinkle those around the conversation.

I'm hoping our distance won't be a factor. However, it is part of why we are considering a move prior to finding a job. It sounds like you're saying that if he is the best candidate the distance won't matter. I can only hope. My concern is that if there are two candidates fairly similar, and one is there and one is in CO...well I would think the one there would be a no-brainer. So, to cut out one more obstacle to finding a job, perhaps a move is in order. As I said before, with family there we plan on moving anyway. Unless through this board (or other research I am doing) I learn something that would make it seem like NC isn't the place for us.

Good Luck.[/quote]

LLN, I truly appreciate you response and all the things to think about.

P.S. CO is about to implement Common Core and there is SOOOOO much dissent over it. How is it going there?
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Old 09-30-2013, 08:21 AM
 
Location: The Triad (NC)
28,537 posts, read 62,270,607 times
Reputation: 32277
Quote:
Originally Posted by crystalreedy1 View Post
To clarify: we've done our income homework on teaching salaries and NC pays better than CO.
Really? Check out what the several benefits, work rules, training and retirement deals are too.
Then check again at the County level.

Teacher Salaries By State | Average Salaries For Teachers | Beginning Salaries For Teachers | Teacher Raises | TeacherPortal.com
NEA - 2011-2012 Average Starting Teacher Salaries by State
Quote:
Is there an inference I'm supposed to make here? That NC is really liberal?
Like most states, NC is more liberal in/near the cities and it is more liberal than the current
news reports and gerrymandered legislative actions imply. LINK

Quote:
My concern is that if there are two candidates fairly similar, and one is there and one is in CO...
Correct. As with any job, well most good jobs, if they aren't out head hunting you in particular
then the job search really cant even start until after you have shown up. It's a conundrum.

This is the warning: If someone has savings to last a year and/or are willing to take something less
than the target job until that target job is ready/able to hire you (and frankly too few seem willing
even to consider this)... then they might be able to justify uprooting 4 kids and so forth.

On the point of a house though...
don't plan to buy until a year after you've found the sort of job that you think you want
and have that time to be sure, to make a few friends and to look without being rushed.

Good luck.
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Old 09-30-2013, 09:11 AM
 
30 posts, read 40,859 times
Reputation: 29
[quote=MrRational;31612102]Really? Check out what the several benefits, work rules, training and retirement deals are too.
Then check again at the County level.


Retirement is kind of irrelevant to us because my hubby is a late start teacher (second career @ 43) and so we will be mostly using the retirement benefits from prior employment and savings we've been gathering since young. However, the medical benefits are important to us, thanks for pointing that out. I understand NC is a right-to-work state (if that's what you are referring to by "work rules"). As far as training goes, it does vary widely by county, and we will kind of be stuck with whatever we get, wherever we land; whether that's here or there.



Teacher Salaries By State | Average Salaries For Teachers | Beginning Salaries For Teachers | Teacher Raises | TeacherPortal.com
NEA - 2011-2012 Average Starting Teacher Salaries by State


With all due respect, the NC starting wage is only $2,000 less than in CO. If you factor in the cost of living as teacher portal does here: (note the last column which is salary comfort and that NC stands a lone one slot above CO).

Teacher Salaries By State | Average Salaries For Teachers | Beginning Salaries For Teachers | Teacher Raises | TeacherPortal.com

Then factor in the subsidies that a lot of districts in NC offer (above and beyond the salary listed on Teacher Portal) which CO doesn't offer. In the end, on a side by side comparison, NC comes out ahead (as far as I can tell).

Also to be considered: teacher loan forgiveness. A portion of a teacher's student loans will be cancelled out if they work for a certain amount of time in low-income and/or high need districts. Colorado has 5 such schools. North Carolina has 1,333. The chances of being able to utilize that program is obviously much greater in NC than in CO. I believe in our particular situation, we are better off there. Still... I do want to know if I'm overlooking anything. I promise, I'm not trying to be argumentative or stubborn, just putting out there the work I've done so far.

One last thing we factored in...from visiting family there, adding in their experiences living there, coupled with online data; here is what we noticed.

If you compare standard of living and quality of life (things like sq footage and upgrades in homes, nearby parks and recreational activities, crime rate, community involvement) and find comparable suburbs between here and there...it's quite a bit less there.

Moderator cut: link removed, linking to competitor sites is not allowed

That is, unless I'm missing something, which is why I asked LLN about government offered amenities.

Last edited by Yac; 10-10-2013 at 06:31 AM.. Reason: Typos
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Old 09-30-2013, 03:33 PM
LLN
 
Location: Upstairs closet
4,981 posts, read 8,756,621 times
Reputation: 6451
Quote:
Originally Posted by crystalreedy1 View Post
I would love more information on what you are referring to in the way of government provided amenities.
Things like bike lanes, bike paths, hiking trails, decent roads in many cases, limited libraries, limited hours, city or state parks (the ones we have are frequently awesome, just not a lot), government subsidized arts, the niceties, of life, if you will.

In regard to common core, I teach math and it was a non event as far as I am concerned.

Good luck

lln
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Old 09-30-2013, 11:41 PM
 
Location: in a house
3,574 posts, read 13,124,540 times
Reputation: 2341
Quote:
Originally Posted by LLN View Post
Things like bike lanes, bike paths, hiking trails, decent roads in many cases, limited libraries, limited hours, city or state parks (the ones we have are frequently awesome, just not a lot), government subsidized arts, the niceties, of life, if you will.

In regard to common core, I teach math and it was a non event as far as I am concerned.

Good luck

lln
and many of the counties have suspended or severely curtailed the "subsidy" to which the OP refers to, the "vacancies" may be old or posted, but with the budget issues, aren't being filled. While I personally think my insurance benefits are adequate for me, the costs keep going up. I don 't have any dependents to worry about, thankfully.
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