U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > North Carolina
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 1.5 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
Jump to a detailed profile or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Business Search - 14 Million verified businesses
Search for:  near: 
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 11-18-2006, 06:32 AM
 
26 posts, read 83,206 times
Reputation: 25

Advertisements

NC teachers: I am contemplating a move to Western NC (Asheville area or Franklin area) and would like to know about life as a teacher. I teach HS (English) in an inner city school (Title I) in Queens. Do you also have Title I schools? Our kids are not media stereotypes, by the way--but we do have many kids with lots of problems. As a result, we have a severe absentee/ truancy issues, for example, and most kids are very deficient in skills. In addition, we have 120 languages spoken in our schools, and for too many of those kids, it's not English! Do you have ELL learners? What are your kids like? I understand you teach double periods, and kids take what used to be a year-long subject for half a year. How many classes do you teach, then? What's class size like? Are your schools overcrowded like ours are? Do you have your own classroom (we don't; we are nomads). What are your administrators like? Do you have unions? How long is your teaching day? Finally, what's the real difference in cost of living from here to there? Anything you can answer would be much appreciated! Maryellen.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 11-18-2006, 10:57 AM
 
Location: Northern NJ
4 posts, read 21,684 times
Reputation: 10
Can I broaden Maryellen's question to include the Wake County area as well? My wife is a high school Spanish teacher and we are days away from finalizing a decision on moving to that area (vs continuing to deal with life in northern NJ), and she has all those same questions about life as a Wake County high school teacher.

Thanks for any info anyone can provide!

- Bill
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-19-2006, 09:42 AM
 
26 posts, read 83,206 times
Reputation: 25
I am in suspense awaiting more responses. If anyone knows a NC teacher or someone who moved to NC from elsewhere, please put your two cents in. Thanks! Maryellen
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-19-2006, 10:11 AM
 
Location: Northern NJ
4 posts, read 21,684 times
Reputation: 10
The only thing I've heard from a friend in Asheville is that teaching (positions, responsibilities, pay scale, etc) varies _widely_ by the area in which you teach.

For example, his wife is a teacher in Asheville, and it apparently took a LONG time for her to find a job there where she had to only teach (vs teach plus drive a bus, teach plus coach a sport, etc). Also her pay (with several years of teaching plus having a Masters degree) dropped from $72K in CT to somewhere in the $30's in Asheville.

OTOH, from talking with the people at the WCPSS offices, the teachers primary responsibiliy in Wake County is teaching (although the normal after-school involvements is seen as either very good or required there too), with no requirement for them to also drive a bus or coach a sport (unless they want to). However, I'd LOVE to hear from anyone who can confirm that this is indeed the case. Also, the pay scale in Wake County, while lower than what she is making here in NJ, isn't too horrendous a drop.

But that's pretty much all I know at the moment ....

- Bill
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-19-2006, 03:56 PM
 
Location: Concord, NC
1,418 posts, read 4,989,622 times
Reputation: 581
My wife teaches middle school science here in Cabarrus County (near Charlotte). I'll try to answer some of your questions:

If I understand you, I think the "double period" thing is called block scheduling around here. They don't do that here in our county. Not sure about others.

Class size/overcrowded: As in most all areas with a lot of growth, the Charlotte and Raleigh areas do have some overcrowded school. But we're trying to build them as quickly as possible. Some of the good systems around the Charlotte area are Cabarrus County, Union County, Mooresville City, and Ft. Mill City.

Unions: We have the NEA, but that's all I'm aware of. Unions in general are not big around here.

My wife gets to school about 8am and leaves at 3:30.

The cost of living is MUCH lower here in NC. Yes, you'll make less here in than you would in NY, but the buyong power is greater here.

As far as the Asheville area schools specifically, I'm not sure about the individual systems. I don't think they have the high growth like Charlotte, so you might not have to deal with some of those problems. Asheville is a very nice area. I hope it works out for you.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-19-2006, 08:53 PM
 
26 posts, read 83,206 times
Reputation: 25
To Friend NC and billb:

Thanks for your responses. I am hoping we can get more people in this conversation. I would really like to find out more about the block scheduling and how many classes teachers are actually teaching with that method.

First: On salary--I think any of us who are moving from New York City, the New York City suburbs, or Conn. have to figure that, it we want to teach in another state, we are bound to take a tremendous pay cut. We are, I believe, the highest paid teachers on the block and probably the only teachers in the country who aren't underpaid. NY teachers are in the process of negotiating a new contract, and we will be getting a big raise if the union membership votes "yes". So I am aware of the pay difference. I'm figuring that I will not move until all my debt is paid, since I think that the cost of living will be considerably lower--but should be manageable on a lower salary--given the differerence in housing/rental costs. By the way, BillB, it's not as bad as what you said, though. Take a look at the NC teacher website (google: North Carolina and teacher salaries). A ten-year teacher gets about 40 or 41K. If you have National Certification (which is a huge pain in the butt to get), your salary is 5K more. So those are the fixed state salaries which apply everywhere, as far as I can tell. In addition, various districts can vote on adding to that salary if they so choose (and I guess, if they have the money).

From what I have found out so far, about 10% of the NC teachers have their national certification.

I think it's a question of weighing up the pros and the cons. I love my high-stress job in NYCity, and I love NYCity, but I have been dreaming of those Smokey Mountains, and I am tired of fighting the traffic, the dirt, the overcrowding, and so forth. I spent 7 weeks in the Asheville/Franklin area this summer (I have some family there), and there is something to be said for waking up to that view every day.

Two things that would bother me a lot would be a. if people are really that prejudiced against Yankees, esp. New Yorkers, and if they gave me a lot of grief about it, and b. if teachers have a lot less freedom and autonomy in their classrooms than we have up here. In NY, if you are a good teacher and you teach the kids the required material and meet the standards, and also prepare the kids for the state tests, your administrator leaves you in peace. So if anyone can weigh in further on those two issues, I would appreciate it. And also the block scheduling thing.

Many thanks, Maryellen
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-19-2006, 10:22 PM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
653 posts, read 2,128,953 times
Reputation: 166
Default former teacher

I'm not sure how I missed this thread, but I've posted on this subject before (search if you like...). I taught in Hillsborough County, Florida to at-risk middle schoolers, some real hard cases. I loved it, taught it for three years before we relocated to Raleigh. I taught here for one year, and left for family reasons, not because of the schools.

Block schedule: Can't really comment directly, since my school was traditional. Indirectly, for the advanced classes, I've seen students struggle at the high school level, because even if the number of minutes in the classroom are the same, there's only so much a student can absorb in 1 semester versus 2. Other end of the spectrum, however, are students who are near failing - even if they fail one course, they can still "catch up" by retaking that class, since the block schedule allows more flexibility, so they don't necessarily graduate behind.

Year round: Again, many threads on this subject, but I taught traditional while my own child was on year round. It worked out for us, we had vacations, and she loves it. As a teacher, I was given the option to move her to the school next to mine so we'd be on the same schedule, so the school system will accomodate teachers with kids. We didn't want to disrupt her schedule, since she was doing so well already, so we opted to leave her alone.

Salary: I took a 10% pay cut. Look, compare, make your choice.

Quality of the schools: I can say that the cross-collaboration in the department I taught was tremendous here. The county scheduled monthly (sometimes more) meetings with the teachers at our school during planning for our input on curriculum, and they used our suggestions. The teachers who were teaching the same classes (subject and grade level) had weekly planning meetings to sync curriculum and take some of the lesson planning burden off each other. At least where I was, the collaboration was excellent, so you had four people brain storming projects, spreading the workload, and offering suggestions. It's nice to only have to write 1/4 of the tests, you know?

Expectations: At my school (I can only speak for ONE SCHOOL) the parent involvement was very high, which can be a double edged sword. I have taught at both extremes, and while I was a more effective teacher here, there was more pressure as well, and I certainly put in longer hours.

For anyone interested in specific schools/subject/grade, pm me. I can also offer recommendations and websites for who to contact and what you need to transfer your certificate and get into the classroom.

Good luck, and THANK-YOU for teaching our kids! Even though I'm not in the classroom anymore, I still support the local schools, and I believe that education is critical for our children.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-20-2006, 06:56 PM
 
26 posts, read 83,206 times
Reputation: 25
To NC HomeFinder:

Thanks for your input. But I'm still trying to find out how many block periods a Carolina teacher would teach. I am guessing three. Do you have an idea?

Yes, there are different problems to be faced when teaching in a poor inner-city school (or a poor rural school, I imagine) vs. teaching in a well-heeled suburban school. That's true here as well.

Yes, I was thinking that it may not be the best thing for the kids to wait 8 months to get English or whatever subject again . . . but I'm guessing Carolina also saves money with the block scheduling as well, since you probably need fewer teachers if the teachers do three double-periods per day.

I am also still wondering about whether out-of-state teachers are welcomed (since I understand there is a teacher shortage in Carolina) or if they have a hard time fitting in . . . or being accepted . . .

Maryellen
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-24-2006, 10:49 PM
 
Location: Way back in the woods in,NC
131 posts, read 15,998 times
Reputation: 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maryelllen View Post
NC teachers: I am contemplating a move to Western NC (Asheville area or Franklin area) and would like to know about life as a teacher. I teach HS (English) in an inner city school (Title I) in Queens. Do you also have Title I schools? Our kids are not media stereotypes, by the way--but we do have many kids with lots of problems. As a result, we have a severe absentee/ truancy issues, for example, and most kids are very deficient in skills. In addition, we have 120 languages spoken in our schools, and for too many of those kids, it's not English! Do you have ELL learners? What are your kids like? I understand you teach double periods, and kids take what used to be a year-long subject for half a year. How many classes do you teach, then? What's class size like? Are your schools overcrowded like ours are? Do you have your own classroom (we don't; we are nomads). What are your administrators like? Do you have unions? How long is your teaching day? Finally, what's the real difference in cost of living from here to there? Anything you can answer would be much appreciated! Maryellen.
I think english teachers in this region are required to teach kids that an r sound
is eirr not eye
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-26-2006, 07:18 AM
 
26 posts, read 83,206 times
Reputation: 25
I imagine this last post is supposed to be a joke that refers to the difference between Northern and Southern accents, but your phonics are off, so that ruined the punchline.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:




Over $84,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > North Carolina
Similar Threads

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2014, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25 - Top