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Old 10-07-2009, 03:25 PM
 
Location: VA
549 posts, read 1,666,274 times
Reputation: 334

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My thoughts... in no specific order because I just got out of work and am tired...

-The demand for teachers has shrunk, yes. The reason isn't because schools wanted to trick people into joining teaching programs and then stiff them when they complete it. Rather, the economy went down the toilet and it's hurting schools bad. Schools need more staff members and are doing "more with less". If it were up to individual schools, they're all hire an additional 5 teachers each, I'm sure. But it's not and they can't.

-The programs that advocate that teaching is a hot commodity and that if you are certified in ________, you'll easily get a job... Yeah, well... they either lied on purpose or didn't expect this to happen. Back when I started college (5 years ago), the economy wasn't where it is now and, as far as I knew, jobs weren't crazy hard to find. If you joined a 1 or 2 year program... then your program probably lied to get you to join. But honestly, it's their job to get people to join. If they went around telling people, "Hey... if you become certified from our program, there's a 5 percent chance you'll get a job," well... that's just not good marketing.

-In regards to people going to a four year program vs those that went to an alternative education program... I know that half of my cohort (9 out of 18) got jobs. We went to a four year college, graduated with honors, were dual-certified in special ed and general ed, and interned in the county we applied at (others applied at neighboring counties). Hey, it's tough for us too. I'm not saying that you guys are on the same playing field as us (I don't know what you did in your program). However, it was tough for my friends and me too.

-In regards to principals responding to requests... I applied to 25 individual schools. I went to each school and handed my resume to the secretary. I also followed up with an email to them as well. One school emailed me to let me know they weren't interested (which I appreciated) and four other schools called me in for interviews. The first two interviews went well (they both showed me around the school) but a week later, one school emailed me telling me they hired someone else while the other never got back to me. I got a job on my third interview and canceled my fourth.

Trust me, I know what it's like to be bitter about it. 20 schools didn't so much as respond to my email. My resume and cover letter that I dropped off? Probably in the trash that day. I spent hours writing different cover letters for each school to match their job description. I spent hours driving all around the county only to have most of the schools not even notice that I existed (and I dressed up in a suit n tie in the blazing summer heat).

But even then, I didn't take it personally. Each interview I went to, they were interviewing over 15 other candidates. That's 15 per position that they narrowed the search down to. Who knows how many they had that simply applied for the position. If principals spent time responding to all emails and resumes, they wouldn't have time to look at their closely watched candidates. That's my opinion anyway.
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Old 10-07-2009, 03:33 PM
 
Location: Whittier
3,007 posts, read 4,730,095 times
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Tough times. There was a drastic need for teachers until this recession hit. School districts are still planning on cutting millions from their budgets. There are spending and hiring freezes and 40+ kids per classroom.

If they could hire you I'm sure they would.
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Old 10-07-2009, 05:44 PM
 
Location: Whoville....
25,391 posts, read 29,120,690 times
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The really sad part is by the time they do hire, those who can will have gotten out of the profession. As the baby boomers retire, there will be a shortage of teachers and they'll have to hire anyone, qualified or not, to take the slots. To not hire when there are good candidates available is foolish. They'll end up doing what they did in the 70's and hiring anyone who can breathe to teach and then they'll be stuck with them once they're tenured. We all know how that worked.
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Old 10-07-2009, 06:13 PM
 
2,180 posts, read 3,145,095 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivorytickler View Post
The really sad part is by the time they do hire, those who can will have gotten out of the profession.
Only those who can and want to.
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Old 10-07-2009, 07:50 PM
 
Location: Whoville....
25,391 posts, read 29,120,690 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aconite View Post
There's a difference between doing an important job and being important. The brakes on my car are damned important, even though they can be replaced for a couple hundred bucks. It's the job they do that's important, not the particular bits of metal and padding.

Likewise, teaching is an important job. But if it's your own personal specialness you're hunting for, there are probably better ways of defining it than by your profession.
I'm not trying to find my own personal specialness. If I have to work, and I do, I want what I do to be important. Why would I want a job that isn't? I want what I do to matter. Whether I teach or not doesn't matter when there are 16 people lined up ready to take my job as soon as it's open. The job of teaching will get done whether I'm there or not. Given I can leave the profession and make an opening for someone who maybe can't, it's probably the direction I need to go. It's not like I have anything to offer over the next teacher. We're pretty much a dime a dozen these days.
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Old 10-07-2009, 08:09 PM
JS1 JS1 started this thread
 
1,898 posts, read 5,882,338 times
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It's sad that schools don't have the money to hire teachers, or having to lay off teachers, resulting in higher class sizes and fewer subject choices.

However, when times were good, they blew money on flashy stadiums and crap like that instead of saving for a rainy day.

I don't want to hear the whining "we're so desperate for certified teachers" in a few years. They made their bed, now they get to lie in it.
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Old 10-07-2009, 08:33 PM
 
Location: Whoville....
25,391 posts, read 29,120,690 times
Reputation: 14461
Quote:
Originally Posted by JS1 View Post
It's sad that schools don't have the money to hire teachers, or having to lay off teachers, resulting in higher class sizes and fewer subject choices.

However, when times were good, they blew money on flashy stadiums and crap like that instead of saving for a rainy day.

I don't want to hear the whining "we're so desperate for certified teachers" in a few years. They made their bed, now they get to lie in it.
I don't know how it is where you are but here money for infrastructure comes out of a different pot than teachers salaries. Our local schools are not hiring teachers but they are building new football fields, with astroturf, and new tennis courts for all four high schools. That money cannot be used for anything but new constructions and maintenance of the existing buildings.
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Old 10-07-2009, 08:49 PM
 
2,180 posts, read 3,145,095 times
Reputation: 838
Quote:
Originally Posted by JS1 View Post
I don't want to hear the whining "we're so desperate for certified teachers" in a few years. They made their bed, now they get to lie in it.
Yeah, that will show those pesky students!
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Old 10-07-2009, 08:51 PM
 
2,180 posts, read 3,145,095 times
Reputation: 838
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivorytickler View Post
I'm not trying to find my own personal specialness. If I have to work, and I do, I want what I do to be important. Why would I want a job that isn't? I want what I do to matter. Whether I teach or not doesn't matter when there are 16 people lined up ready to take my job as soon as it's open. The job of teaching will get done whether I'm there or not.
Still a fallacy.

Your assumption is that every teacher has an identical impact.

It's wrong.
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Old 10-07-2009, 09:03 PM
 
Location: VA
549 posts, read 1,666,274 times
Reputation: 334
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivorytickler View Post
I'm not trying to find my own personal specialness. If I have to work, and I do, I want what I do to be important. Why would I want a job that isn't? I want what I do to matter. Whether I teach or not doesn't matter when there are 16 people lined up ready to take my job as soon as it's open. The job of teaching will get done whether I'm there or not. Given I can leave the profession and make an opening for someone who maybe can't, it's probably the direction I need to go. It's not like I have anything to offer over the next teacher. We're pretty much a dime a dozen these days.
I agree and disagree. There are two types of teachers in my opinion.

Some come in to school for the purpose of doing their job and that's it. It's not anything against them, but they don't and won't let school absorb their life. They are there only at the required hours (coming in no earlier and staying no later). They consider teaching a job and that's it. Some have very good reasons to consider teaching like this (maybe they have a family they need to get to after school). One of my mentors was like that. She was a fantastic teacher (and mentor) but had another life outside of school.

Some others consider their job their life. They are there to impact others' lives. I knew one teacher that would spend about a hundred dollars a month out of her own pocket just to buy snacks for each kid every day. She didn't want to ask her students' parents to buy them snacks because she knew most of them couldn't afford it. She had their respect and love.

Now, to go along with what you said... qualified teachers are a dime a dozen, I agree. However, teachers that want to make that "difference" in a kid's life... that's rare. I am one of five new staff members to my school. Every morning, I'm the first one there and every afternoon, I'm the last one to leave. So far, I'm the only one to attend a PTA meeting. I am one of two that's setting up an after school club. I have called each student's family from my class to introduce myself and update them on how their child is doing in the first week of school. I'll be calling every month (my next set of calls will be tomorrow). I've also given out my cell phone number and personal email address to the families. For Back to School Night, most teachers got around five families out of 20 students. I had 15 show up. After school, although I'm not required to, I help out for bus duty to show my face and make sure the kids are staying safe (not running around, playing rough, etc.).

Now, honestly, a big reason why I'm doing this is because I'm aware of the heavy competition I went against to get the job. I want my administrators to feel comfortable with their decision to hire me. However, a month into school, my kids are beginning to trust me. If they have an issue, they tell me. If parents have a question or concern, they come to me. A parent of another first year teacher was upset about something and went straight to the principal. They've had several conferences since then and the father wants his child switched out of her class. The support I get from the parents of my students is phenomenal and that (among other things) makes everything I do worthwhile.

So, yeah... there are plenty of qualified, well-educated people. However, there aren't many that are willing to devote so much to their school and kids.
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