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Old 02-14-2009, 05:07 PM
 
25 posts, read 33,807 times
Reputation: 10
Default Recent PA teacher needs some advice...to relocate, or not to relocate?

I'm a recent graduate and need to figure out if I should try my luck at a few job fairs and attempt to relocate. First thing's first...I have no debt, I'm 23, single, and could use a change of scenery. I live about 60 miles south of Pittsburgh in what's literally a dieing part of the country with nothing but modern day ghost towns and farm land. But with that in mind, as many know, PA is a union state and has a great education system...nearly impossible to get into, but it's a nice career if you can do so due to tenure and high wages later on around the 10+ year mark.

My problem is this: I have a principal at a very small school that I student taught/sub at who really likes me and wants me to interview for an opening, he basically wants to do all that he can to see me get the job...only problem is that nobody knows when this particular teacher is going to retire, basically sometime within the next 3 years though.

So what should I do? Do I trust in what I've been told and sit around subbing for another possible 3 years, hoping to get this job while placing my life on hold, or should I go ahead as planned and look into relocation and attend the several job fairs that I had picked out?

It's basically down to the following:

1. Relocate to the south/southwest/west coast
PROS:
-Be in a part of the world that I like.
-Have a better climate.
-Better starting salaries.
-Being able to start my life and career now.
-Essentially doing what I think could very well make me happier in life.
CONS:
-No union perks
-much lower salaries later on
-no tenure
-not as great of an education system as PA/long term career opportunity.

2.Stay in Pennsylvania and wait for the job opening
PROS:
-Union perks
-tenure
-better benefits and much better long term salaries.
-one of the best state education systems in the country to work for.
CONS:
-I'd be stuck in a location that I hate.
-low starting salaries.
-I'm really not happy being here.
-I'd be wasting a possible 1-3 years waiting for the opening.
-Who knows if I can trust him or if this is really legit.


So what do you think I should do?
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Old 02-14-2009, 06:44 PM
 
Location: SE Florida
1,194 posts, read 2,320,154 times
Reputation: 731
First of all good luck in your selection.

I worked for the government in Philly PA for a number of years. My salary was very good due to my position. I have a graduate degree from an Ivy league school which helped me propel my career.

I also have 2 friends who were HS teachers ourside the city of Philly and now each are retired. Their retirements are just OK. They are happy but is that really good to be just OK?..

I now live in Florida where jobs in education for those with a PhD can only bring you a $60,000 starting salary. Education that costs well over $150k, without assistence, and a $60k starting salary seems to be where Floridians find peace and hope. I think it is nuts to stay in an area that pay teachers or Vice Principals $60k with a PhD in Education.... I am unsure about regular teachers but I am sure when comparing PA teachers salary to a Floridan teacher's salary it may be where you do not want to go.

Now the West coast (CA in particular) is great. Very high prices for a small home and renting is probably higher too. But the final product will be great for you and since we all understand that CA is going broke it would be good for you to apply to every location you may find desirable.

In the meantime try not to think about the "3 years" and "what ifs" problems because our economy if in a rut and if this person you want to replace says 3 years you may find him not able to retire. Please try not to think about a new place to live and work as a position that is enforced by a union. Unions are good but they are not the best for an independent person that seeks a life for themself. Dues can be as high as $20 every 2 weeks. Now take the $20 due for every two weeks and times it by 24 and put it in a safe place...Not a bad sum if you can avoid it. Now if you work for let's say 400 years - hahahaha - ..you will enjoy your own money....I always thought of unions as a safety net mostly for those who fail to follow...My dad thought the world of unions because they helped him increase his salary but not me so it is different for every job.

In addition try to gleen everything you can from this person and use his teachings to further your desires and asipirations onm the West coast. Not to get personal but it would be great if you can get back in school; have your current job pay for your schooling and maybe just maybe try to reduce all your debt before "gettin outta dodge"....

Have fun dreaming about where you would like to go and finally select using your desires where you want to finally call home....

You may find USA Jobs and the following links an interesting place to begin.
USAJobs.gov Tips

USAJOBS - USAJobs First Timers (http://www.usajobs.gov/firsttimers.asp - broken link) or

Education Employment Opportunities

Last edited by Synergy1; 02-14-2009 at 06:54 PM..
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Old 02-14-2009, 07:36 PM
 
Location: Tennessee
605 posts, read 1,472,877 times
Reputation: 472
If I were you, I would go to job fairs and see if I could get a job somewhere. Give your contact information to the principal and tell him to contact you when he has a job opening. You can move back in 3 years and you will have job experience. The longer you are out of work, the harder it is to get a job.
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Old 02-15-2009, 04:20 AM
 
Location: Southern California
3,370 posts, read 2,171,742 times
Reputation: 2441
What do you mean no union perks and tenure? Teachers here are in the union and have tenure. It isn't just PA.
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Old 02-15-2009, 06:46 AM
 
10,039 posts, read 15,423,477 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charz View Post
If I were you, I would go to job fairs and see if I could get a job somewhere. Give your contact information to the principal and tell him to contact you when he has a job opening. You can move back in 3 years and you will have job experience. The longer you are out of work, the harder it is to get a job.
Exactly what I was going to say.

The worst part though, is that your PA certification may not easily transfer to another state, and as you know, the Praxis tests are not inexpensive.

There is no good reason to live in a place that you don't want to live if you can get a similar job somewhere else.
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Old 02-15-2009, 12:05 PM
 
Location: Virginia
5,028 posts, read 6,134,177 times
Reputation: 1720
Check out schools in Northern VA. or districts such as Montgomery County Md. or Frederick County MD. I don't know about what the "salaries later on" are compared to where you are now, but salary scales seem to move up decently.

Fairfax County Public Schools-Human Resources

http://www.pwcs.edu/HumanResources/salaries.pdf
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Old 02-15-2009, 03:52 PM
 
Location: VA
549 posts, read 1,156,863 times
Reputation: 319
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stratocaster86 View Post
1. Relocate to the south/southwest/west coast
PROS:
-Be in a part of the world that I like.
-Have a better climate.
-Better starting salaries.
-Being able to start my life and career now.
-Essentially doing what I think could very well make me happier in life.
CONS:
-No union perks
-much lower salaries later on
-no tenure
-not as great of an education system as PA/long term career opportunity.
I'm not entirely sure how well PA pays. However, much of the west coast salaries for teachers suck. By that, I mean much of CA (including the San Fransisco area) and Washington. The south also pays poorly. Also, don't neglect the fact that the west coast has earthquakes and forest fires. The south has hurricanes. The north east is the best in regards to teacher pay and natural disasters. A few blizzards and minor floods. That's about it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stratocaster86 View Post
2.Stay in Pennsylvania and wait for the job opening
PROS:
-Union perks
-tenure
-better benefits and much better long term salaries.
-one of the best state education systems in the country to work for.
CONS:
-I'd be stuck in a location that I hate.
-low starting salaries.
-I'm really not happy being here.
-I'd be wasting a possible 1-3 years waiting for the opening.
-Who knows if I can trust him or if this is really legit.


So what do you think I should do?
Montgomery county, MD has one of the best starting salaries (46,000). It pays better than Loudoun and Fairfax, VA. Although, the three counties are comparable by demographics, expectations, and salary. Montgomery county, MD is very competitive to get a job. MC, MD also has a teachers union where as VA does not.
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Old 02-15-2009, 04:43 PM
 
10,039 posts, read 15,423,477 times
Reputation: 4570
I wonder how one goes about a National search like this. If the OP is not certified in any state but PA and if she's looking at already popular school districts (where she's not certified) would she really have more of a shot then say a local person that is certified? I would almost first figure out where I would want to live, check out the job market and then do everything possible to get hired. In our district the trend seems to be to hire grads that went through our K-12 schools, went to college, and then moved back to the area. I would give someone out of the area much less of a chance unless they have a hook in their resume. So, here's hoping you have a hook Stratocaster86!
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Old 02-15-2009, 05:57 PM
 
Location: Virginia
5,028 posts, read 6,134,177 times
Reputation: 1720
Quote:
Originally Posted by endersshadow View Post

Montgomery county, MD has one of the best starting salaries (46,000). It pays better than Loudoun and Fairfax, VA. Although, the three counties are comparable by demographics, expectations, and salary. Montgomery county, MD is very competitive to get a job. MC, MD also has a teachers union where as VA does not.
There are teachers' unions in VA. Fairfax County, for example, has the Fairfax County Federation of Teachers. It is a true labor union affiliated with the AFT and AFL-CIO. There are also associations such as the Fairfax Education Association. The difference between VA and MD is that VA is a right to work state, so an employee cannot be required to join a union to work for the district. Also, VA does not have collective bargaining as MD does. But YES, VA does have teacher unions.
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Old 02-15-2009, 07:17 PM
 
10,039 posts, read 15,423,477 times
Reputation: 4570
I think I read somewhere that there are teacher unions in all states NEA - State Affiliates (http://www.nea.org/home/1621.htm - broken link) but how powerful they are is what makes the difference. PA is a right-to-strike state and that wields a big stick along with the collective bargaining.
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Last edited by toobusytoday; 02-15-2009 at 08:08 PM..
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