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Old 01-18-2012, 04:21 PM
 
Location: PA
71 posts, read 601,919 times
Reputation: 101

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I have become very interested in living and working in Northern Virginia and have heard they continue to hire teachers. I am wondering how difficult it is to get a teaching job? I am certified in elementary education and have 2 years experience teaching in a public school. I am from PA but moved away to teach for a few years and then moved back to PA (to be closer to family again). I have been having a very hard time finding a job here, the districts near me are not even hiring substitute teachers anymore because they have so many people applying for that as well. I know people who have been substitute teaching in PA for 5 years and still don't have a full time job and I'd rather not do that. I am wondering if VA is anything like this? I have seen job listings on the district websites in VA and know they continue to have job fairs each year, but how competitive is it to get one of those jobs? I plan on sending my application to the districts and attending job fairs as well. I do not have a teaching license in VA but I do have one in a few other states, is it possible to get hired without the VA license and only 2 years experience? Or should I arrange to get this as soon as possible in order to get hired (I've gotten a license in PA, NJ, and DE just because I have been looking for jobs in those states but have never actually used them so I am a little hesitant to pay for another license if there's little chance of using that as well)? I am half way done my Master's Degree program and am unsure if I should put this on hold after hearing that some districts don't want you to have it because they have to pay you more, since I have also heard some districts will only consider people with a Master's. Any idea which is true there? I am mainly interested in Loudoun County and Fairfax County or as close to Maryland as possible (my boyfriend was offered a job in MD and works from home but would need to drive to his office in Columbia, MD once in a while so I don't want to go too far from that). Any information on teaching in Loudoun or Fairfax counties would be appreciated! I'd love to hear about the hiring process and/or what it's like to work there. Thank you!
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Old 01-18-2012, 04:38 PM
 
Location: Northern Virginia
4,489 posts, read 9,553,761 times
Reputation: 3656
I'm not sure Fairfax is concerned about the masters either way for entry level candidates. Most people I work with have their masters, but many of them got it after being hired. I had it before I got my job.

Is it competitive? Sure. The school I was hired at said they had 100+ resumes for my middle school algebra position (two things the majority of the world wants nothing to do with--13 year olds and math!). That being said, every (non-picky) person from my graduate cohort found a job this year. The only ones who didn't were ones who limited their search to a very specific subset of schools, or who were only willing to teach K-2, or something similarly limiting. Everyone who said, "I just want a job teaching, at any level I'm qualified to teach at anywhere in Northern Virginia" found work.

We were all local though. I'm not sure how being out of state effects that.
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Old 01-19-2012, 06:28 PM
 
Location: PA
71 posts, read 601,919 times
Reputation: 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by CaliTerp07 View Post
I'm not sure Fairfax is concerned about the masters either way for entry level candidates. Most people I work with have their masters, but many of them got it after being hired. I had it before I got my job.

Is it competitive? Sure. The school I was hired at said they had 100+ resumes for my middle school algebra position (two things the majority of the world wants nothing to do with--13 year olds and math!). That being said, every (non-picky) person from my graduate cohort found a job this year. The only ones who didn't were ones who limited their search to a very specific subset of schools, or who were only willing to teach K-2, or something similarly limiting. Everyone who said, "I just want a job teaching, at any level I'm qualified to teach at anywhere in Northern Virginia" found work.

We were all local though. I'm not sure how being out of state effects that.
Thanks for the reply! Hearing that middle school math was competitive makes me think it will be harder, since I always hear math is more in need and elementary is not. I guess I will just try and see what happens. Did you have any teaching experience before you got your job? Did you get your job in the district you did your student teaching in or did you have any connections there at all? I don't think I can be too picky, since it's coming down to finding any teaching job or changing careers completely. Unfortunately, that's what many unemployed teachers I know around here are doing.
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Old 01-19-2012, 06:55 PM
 
Location: Virginia
8,106 posts, read 12,644,680 times
Reputation: 3760
FCPS currently has four elementary positions and one middle school math posted on the vacancy list.

Job Opportunities | Fairfax County Public Schools
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Old 01-19-2012, 07:07 PM
 
Location: PA
71 posts, read 601,919 times
Reputation: 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by tgbwc View Post
FCPS currently has four elementary positions and one middle school math posted on the vacancy list.

Job Opportunities | Fairfax County Public Schools
I have seen that and because they are at least posting jobs, it made me more hopeful it wouldn't be too difficult to get them. I was mainly interested in getting a job there for the 2012-2013 school year but it makes sense to apply to jobs for the rest of this school year and see what happens, if it meant getting a long term position, it would be worth moving there right away! That is also why I was wondering if I needed a Virginia teaching license before getting hired, in case I wanted to apply for this year. Though job postings don't come up often in my area, I have applied to every job I've seen and have never heard back from any. I'm wondering if even though Fairfax County has job postings, what the chances are of getting one.

Thanks for your help!
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Old 01-19-2012, 07:35 PM
 
Location: Northern Virginia
4,489 posts, read 9,553,761 times
Reputation: 3656
Quote:
Originally Posted by QuartB View Post
Thanks for the reply! Hearing that middle school math was competitive makes me think it will be harder, since I always hear math is more in need and elementary is not. I guess I will just try and see what happens. Did you have any teaching experience before you got your job? Did you get your job in the district you did your student teaching in or did you have any connections there at all? I don't think I can be too picky, since it's coming down to finding any teaching job or changing careers completely. Unfortunately, that's what many unemployed teachers I know around here are doing.
I did student teach in the county, but I was hired by a principal at a school I had no connections to.

I had no prior teaching experience, but I had 4 years in the IT consulting world, as well as significant tutoring, coaching, and mentoring.

If you're unemployed now, I'd come down and start subbing here (very easy to do), and hope to make some contacts within the school. Another option would be to apply as an IA, and then transition to teaching next year. Then when job openings become available later, you'll be more than just a faceless resume!
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Old 01-19-2012, 07:58 PM
 
Location: Virginia
8,106 posts, read 12,644,680 times
Reputation: 3760
My wife was hired provisionally 6 years ago.

While it doesn't hurt to be a sub or student teacher as a principal can recommend you to HR for hiring, the district is so large you don't need to "know somebody" to get hired. In 19 years I don't think I've ever known somebody who was substitute teaching while waiting to land a full-time position. The substitutes sub because they want to, not because they are putting in time until a position opens. I also don't feel that a Masters degree would put you at a disadvantage at all.

FCPS is projecting an increase of 4,000 students next year. So is it possible to get a job? Sure. There will be competition, but you probably have a better chance here than many other places.
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Old 01-19-2012, 08:11 PM
 
Location: Northern Virginia
4,489 posts, read 9,553,761 times
Reputation: 3656
Quote:
Originally Posted by tgbwc View Post
The substitutes sub because they want to, not because they are putting in time until a position opens.
I wonder if that's a difference between elementary/secondary? I've met a good number of subs who are hanging out waiting for full time work--albeit often in the rarer subjects like French or physics.

I do know quite a few retired/former teachers who are subbing too, or several self-employed people who do it just to spice up the day. My favorite sub is a self employed computer programmer who just loves the energy of middle school.

Regardless, I agree with your assessment that it's not necessary to sub to get a position. I also don't think it could hurt to have that on your resume if your options are "bide time in PA and cross your fingers" or "come network in NoVA" until the hiring begins.
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Old 01-19-2012, 08:38 PM
 
Location: Virginia
8,106 posts, read 12,644,680 times
Reputation: 3760
Quote:
Originally Posted by CaliTerp07 View Post
I wonder if that's a difference between elementary/secondary? I've met a good number of subs who are hanging out waiting for full time work--albeit often in the rarer subjects like French or physics.
That could be.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CaliTerp07 View Post
I do know quite a few retired/former teachers who are subbing too, or several self-employed people who do it just to spice up the day. My favorite sub is a self employed computer programmer who just loves the energy of middle school.
I also know a few retired elementary teachers who are subbing. Two of them told me they are doing so to help pay for their health insurance.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CaliTerp07 View Post
I also don't think it could hurt to have that on your resume if your options are "bide time in PA and cross your fingers" or "come network in NoVA" until the hiring begins.
Agreed.
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Old 01-20-2012, 04:46 AM
 
90 posts, read 137,309 times
Reputation: 94
Bear in mind too that it's a tough time of year to see all of next year's opportunities yet. I'm not in one of your preferred districts, but where we are, schools haven't even had their staffing meetings with Personnel yet. Most of our vacancies are posted and filled starting at the end of May at the earliest, with most hiring happening in June and over the summer. That doesn't make it easier for you now when you're anxiously wondering what will be available for you, but things being quiet now shouldn't be taken as a reflection that no positions will be opening. At least in my opinion...
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