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Old 07-03-2011, 09:21 PM
 
Location: Virginia
8,114 posts, read 12,684,219 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marie5v View Post
I think there are positions available even now that are not on the list, either because the principal hasn't gotten around to it or because he or she still isn't sure what the staffing needs are. I would not limit myself to this list if I wanted a job - I'd send resumes anywhere I wanted to work even if they didn't have a position listed.
I think that's true. Just think about kindergarten alone. With all of the schools that are moving to full day, I would think there have to be, or will be more openings than what are listed.
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Old 07-03-2011, 09:31 PM
 
Location: Northern Virginia
4,489 posts, read 9,580,300 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by expat123 View Post
I have heard about last minute hires, but how common is this?
Apparently the majority of my university's cohort was hired labor day weekend last year.

Bleh.

If I don't have a job offer by mid August, I'm going to start applying back to IT jobs (My previous career was IT consulting). I can't risk not working this fall, even though I'd much rather teach
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Old 07-04-2011, 05:49 AM
 
Location: Fairfax County
1,534 posts, read 3,322,497 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by expat123 View Post
I wonder if I would want my child's teacher to be hired just days before school begins with little opportunity to prep. Why would principals do this?
Because principals (particularly in elementary school) often do not have their final number of total students for each grade finalized until the very last minute, and they juggle class size requirements against these final numbers. Sometimes that creates mixed grade classes at the last minute, and other times it creates a new class for a grade level.
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Old 07-04-2011, 01:24 PM
 
696 posts, read 1,498,778 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tgbwc View Post
I think that's true. Just think about kindergarten alone. With all of the schools that are moving to full day, I would think there have to be, or will be more openings than what are listed.
I also heard that there were a number of people that still had to be picked up off the early hire list. Not sure exactly how that impacts the job postings.
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Old 07-04-2011, 01:44 PM
 
32 posts, read 135,564 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OrangeFish View Post
Because principals (particularly in elementary school) often do not have their final number of total students for each grade finalized until the very last minute, and they juggle class size requirements against these final numbers. Sometimes that creates mixed grade classes at the last minute, and other times it creates a new class for a grade level.
OK- that makes sense. I wonder what percentage of the overall jobs are in that category? I know that there are some areas with rapidly changing demographics, but schools do make efforts in the springtime to get an idea of how many students are returning and how many plan to enroll in kindergarten.
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Old 07-04-2011, 02:04 PM
 
Location: Fairfax County
1,534 posts, read 3,322,497 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by expat123 View Post
OK- that makes sense. I wonder what percentage of the overall jobs are in that category? I know that there are some areas with rapidly changing demographics, but schools do make efforts in the springtime to get an idea of how many students are returning and how many plan to enroll in kindergarten.
Here are the student mobility reports back to 1995 - I suppose it would be possible to do a trend analysis and add in some economic data, but I'm readying a picnic so we can head out to the fireworks.
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Old 07-04-2011, 05:43 PM
 
1,829 posts, read 2,597,382 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by expat123 View Post
OK- that makes sense. I wonder what percentage of the overall jobs are in that category? I know that there are some areas with rapidly changing demographics, but schools do make efforts in the springtime to get an idea of how many students are returning and how many plan to enroll in kindergarten.
Yes, schools do make an effort in the spring. The administrators go through a staffing meeting to know what they have been given for positions, but as it was said, the populations change. As I told someone on another thread, you can register up to and including the first day of school, but please don't if possible as this is what drives people nuts, figuring the numbers. Sometimes it only takes one more to tip to another classroom. Yes, parents would like their child's teacher to have more prep time - I saw it happen the day before back-to-school-night one year - but let's be honest, what parent will be upset if it means a smaller class size? Kindergarten can be very iffy, especially in areas where parents may not get around to enrolling until the last moment. Spring numbers can change. I don't know a percentage, don't think it's a common occurance in all schools, but hiring does happen through out the start of the year. As for job fairs, they aren't invitation only. They are advertixed on the website, people just need to register ahead of time, so that may be a problem if it fills up before everyone gets in. Better to know than just to show up.
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Old 07-04-2011, 07:42 PM
 
Location: Herndon
139 posts, read 281,058 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by expat123 View Post
I would just like to say a note to put this in perspective for those moving here. Those who are more in the know- please correct me if I have this wrong.

Fairfax County has 175,296 students (projected 2010-11 data from the FCPS website) and covers 395 square miles. Assuming class sizes in the high 20's, that is approximately 6000 classrooms. In the past 5 years, I have seen figures ranging from 1300-1700 for new teachers hired each year (probably to cover change in enrolment or teachers retiring or resigning). This includes teachers who are not primary classroom teachers, such as special ed teachers, ESOL teachers, specials teachers, etc. I am not sure how many of these 1300-1700 hired each year are classroom teachers, and I am not sure what the number breakdown is between elementary and secondary. I am assuming that there will be more classroom teacher hires this year because the whole district has gone to full-day kindergarten, whereas previously a portion of the schools had full-day kindergarten.

The instructional vacancy list for "outside hires" is published on July 1. Outside hires can put in their applications earlier, but principals are not allowed to interview and/or hire these "outside hires" until July 1. This year the list has 36 elementary (K-6) classroom teacher positions. Doesn't this seem like a small number considering the size of the district? For all the currently unemployed teachers living in or moving into this large county, there are only 36 classroom positions available. This is a very large county, so where ever you live, about half of those jobs will be a significant commute away (although it appears that a large proportion of the jobs are in one particular area of the county). For example, in my case, only about 10 of those jobs are within a 10 mile radius of my relatively centrally located house (about 25-30 minutes without traffic but during morning rush hour 10 miles can be closer to an hour of driving).

It appears that FCPS does a good job of filling classrooms with "early hires" before July 1. But who are these early hires? I know that FCPS recruits out of colleges and also holds a job fair. The job fair is by invitation only. Who is getting these invitations? Do student teachers in the district get special consideration (I was told no- at least as of last year's hiring season)? Can principals hand-pick acquantiances/substitutes/etc before the jobs are open to others? Why doesn't FCPS allow everyone to apply to positions as soon as they become available, giving principals a wider choice? If you are coming from the outside, it appears to me that the door is closed until July 1, and for some reason by then there are very few elementary classroom jobs left. How many applicants do these positions get? I would love to see more diversification in the applicant pool to allow principals to not only have access to college grads and mysterious "early hires" and rather have the choice to fill positions with highly qualified "outsiders."
I am an early hire (was hired back at the end of March) and I have 15 years of teaching experience. My husband's job brought us here from another state. I was invited to the job fair because I applied online in early March and sent my resume in as well. I was told that it is invitation only and that they use this job fair to weed through the potential new hires, to try to get the best they can EARLY. I was very impressed with the entire hiring process and have not seen anything like it in the other three states in which I am certified. It is my impression, from everything associated with my hiring process, that Fairfax County definitely has it together. JMHO...
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Old 07-04-2011, 07:53 PM
 
Location: Herndon
139 posts, read 281,058 times
Reputation: 45
Oh, and another thing, I forgot to answer, as early hires we are not offered a particular job when we are offered the early hire option. We are just pretty much guaranteed a job. So, at the job fair, principals do not offer positions. They screen the applicants and, if they appear to be what FCPS wants, they send them to a second interview with HR people. After a few days, once they have checked references, etc. they call to make the offer of employment. Even though I am an early hire, I have chosen to apply to the schools close to our new home, so it took me some time (and many interviews) to find the right position for me. However, Title 1 Schools and Priority Schools are given first shot at early hires, for obvious reasons. I was contacted by many of these schools but they were too far for me to commute so I did not do many of the interviews. As I said before, I did contact principals early to let them know that I was interested if they should have any positions come available and I got quite a few interviews this way. Even as an early hire, you have to be proactive if you want to have some input or choice as to the city or school in which you get a offered a position.
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Old 07-05-2011, 05:53 AM
 
32 posts, read 135,564 times
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Yes, early hires are guaranteed a job, although the particular job isn't specified until the TransFair/early hire domino shuffle is done.

The spring job fair is by invitation only, even though the wording on the FCPS web site indicates that all you need to do is fill out an application by the deadline. When I called and asked about job fair details, and the HR people told me it was by invitation only. Last year I had less than one year experience, and this year I have one year of experience, so perhaps they are looking for people with significantly more experience. However, I know they hire new grads in the spring out of particular universities. I do have practical first career experience directly relating to education, so I am not sure what the criteria is used for job fair invites and early hiring.

I have just been surprised at how hard it is to find a job in this large district, and I thought that this info might be helpful to those moving in. I have heard that it is easy to get teaching jobs here, but it doesn't seem to me to be as straitforward as it seems. I hope I am wrong about the lack of opportunities, but I guess that the bad economy affects teaching as well as other professions. I would be interested to know the percentage of unemployed job-seeking teachers in the DC area.
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