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Old 04-27-2012, 03:41 PM
 
Location: Dallas,Texas
1,378 posts, read 1,462,060 times
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Those that teach or have children in the S.A. area. What are the strengths and weaknesses of each of the below in your opinion? I have full Texas certification up to middle school in core subjects and am looking to expand my job search outside the Dallas area where I live. YES I KNOW there are budget shortages and hiring freezes throughout Texas in areas. Just looking to maximize my possibilities. I DID NOT go through a ALT CERT program. I have full Texas certification and a Bachelor degree in Education.

San Antonio, Northside, Harlandale, Edgewood, Southside, North East, East Central, Alamo Heights. Any others I missed?
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Old 04-27-2012, 10:35 PM
 
Location: San Antonio, TX
872 posts, read 2,600,316 times
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I have taught in Edgewood for 5 years. I teach at one of the elementary schools.

Strengths:
-You might have a better chance getting hired there than some of the other districts.
-Schools are supposed to be using PBIS. Those who implement it well and are consistent (such as mine) have seen improvements. When our kids go on field trips, they are often surprised by the inappropriate/disrespectful behavior by students of other schools.
-Some of the parents/guardians are truly supportive of their child's education, the teachers, and the school. My school is blessed with a few wonderful parent volunteers. (However, with a student body of 500+, more than a few parent volunteers would be expected.)
-I love my students.
-Most campuses have access to a variety of technology items. Speaking specifically of my campus, the majority of classrooms have document cameras and projectors (you are supposed to pass a few technology tests before getting them) and 5 student computers. The 5th grade classrooms have SMART Boards.
-I feel as if I am making a positive difference in the lives of many of my students. I don't know if I would feel that way in all of the districts you mentioned.

Weaknesses:
-You need to be prepared for our population of students and parents/guardians. My school is 99% Hispanic. All students receive free breakfast and lunch (even those that would qualify for reduced-lunch or wouldn't qualify for the program at all elsewhere automatically receive this). Breakfast takes place in the classroom in elementary and possibly also in middle school. For some of our students, these 2 meals are the only meals they will have that day. This is not true for all of our students, but it is true for some. Many students are from single parent households or do not live with parents at all, but rather aunts/uncles (tías/tíos) or grandparents. In my classroom, I currently have 5 students who have a parent who has a job. It is sometimes difficult to contact parents via phone (and I know the message for disconnected Cricket phones by heart), so home visits are conducted as needed by the teacher and a member of administration. We have one bilingual class per grade level, and the rest are monolingual. Most of our monolingual classrooms have from 3 to 5 students who are parent denials and need to be assessed with TELPAS in addition to other assessments such as STAAR.
-Our district is very focused on STAAR. I will not get into more specifics here.
-Our new superintendent started this school year. There have been a multitude of changes. One recent change is that the school board eliminated a number of positions mainly at the district level (such as specialists). Some of these positions will exist in a new format next year. For example, previously there were Language Arts specialists for early childhood, elementary, and secondary levels; next year there will be just one Language Arts specialist for K - 12. Again, I will not get into more specifics here.
-We use CSCOPE for Math and Social Studies. Depending on what you know about this curriculum and/or any previous experience you may have with it, you may see this as a strength or a weakness.

This is not a complete list on either side (strengths or weaknesses). If you have specific questions, DM and I will answer if I can (and if I feel it is appropriate).
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Old 04-27-2012, 10:41 PM
 
Location: San Antonio, TX
229 posts, read 587,298 times
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The first choice for most new teachers will be NEISD, NISD, AHISD, and perhaps SCUCISD. those are probably what are considered the "better" districts in SA. However, if you don't mind teaching for a lower income school district, or are used to teaching for one already, you will probably have better luck getting a job. These districts would be SAISD, EISD, HISD, SSISD, SWISD, SISD, and JISD. I'm sure I probably missed a couple. Good luck.

Here is a link to a list of the SA area districts.

Last edited by elmariachi; 04-27-2012 at 10:42 PM.. Reason: Add link.
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Old 04-27-2012, 10:44 PM
 
Location: San Antonio, TX
872 posts, read 2,600,316 times
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Also, you missed a few ISDs in the area. Region 20 lists the following districts in Bexar County:
Alamo Heights ISD, East Central ISD, Edgewood ISD, Ft. Sam Houston ISD, Harlandale ISD, Judson ISD, Lackland ISD, North East ISD, Northside ISD, Randolph Field ISD, San Antonio ISD, Somerset ISD, South San Antonio ISD, Southside ISD, and Southwest ISD. Here is a list of all districts within Region 20, although some are much smaller and more of a distance away from San Antonio... Region 20 Districts Schertz-Cibolo-Universal City ISD is also in the San Antonio area, but is serviced by Region 13 so is not on this list.

We do also have charter schools in the area, some good and some not so good. If you believe in the program, consider looking into the KIPP schools. (Extra hours in the school day and also one or two Saturdays a month, I think, but also extra compensation)

Last edited by buffy888; 04-27-2012 at 10:48 PM.. Reason: added SCUCISD info
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Old 04-28-2012, 02:40 PM
 
Location: San Antonio
4,148 posts, read 4,705,844 times
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Boerne ISD! One of the best in the state.
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Old 04-28-2012, 02:57 PM
 
Location: NW San Antonio
1,074 posts, read 1,582,960 times
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If you are mobile I would look at some of the smaller districts south of SA. It is very hard/competitive to get hired with one of the major districts in town. It is not impossible, but the odds are slim. As you can see from the link above Region 20 stretches almost into Laredo. I have many friends who work down south and love it. It is definitely slower paced.
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Old 04-28-2012, 05:21 PM
 
Location: The "original 36" of SA
816 posts, read 1,474,961 times
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Of the "poorer" districts, Harlandale is similar to Edgewood in many respects. South San and SAISD seem to be routinely featured in the local newspaper for School Board troubles.

Another downside to teaching in SAISD is that they are the only district (I believe) in San Antonio to take out $ for Social Security AND for TRS. If teaching is your "second career", this fact may actually be beneficial.
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Old 04-28-2012, 06:22 PM
 
Location: Mid South Central TX
3,183 posts, read 7,416,288 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Montirob View Post
Another downside to teaching in SAISD is that they are the only district (I believe) in San Antonio to take out $ for Social Security AND for TRS. If teaching is your "second career", this fact may actually be beneficial.
They do deduct for SS, but IIRC, they do not participate in TRS.
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