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Old 12-28-2009, 12:05 PM
sz2 sz2 started this thread
 
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I was on another teacher's forum and I was reading the employment section which sadly seemed to convey a strong sense of despair for newly qualified teachers. I'm planning on finishing my teacher's certification by December 2011 and I'm really worried I won't find a job. Some were saying it might be 2-3 years of substitute teaching before a teacher can find one .. Is this generally true for today, given the recent economy? If it matters, I'm certifying in elementary education.

P.S. - If you happen to know about or live in Virginia, how would you say the teaching market is for newly qualified teachers? Thanks in advance for any insight.
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Old 12-28-2009, 02:21 PM
 
Location: Morgantown, WV
839 posts, read 1,115,363 times
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I'm from SWPA, but as a whole, VA usually has an influx of people moving in and out of the NOVA corridor and a good amount of hiring goes on in that area...Fairfaxx, Loudon, etc. Check in the bordering Baltimore/MD panhandle area as well. The entire DC/MD area is one of the better paying(but expensive) areas that also does a lot of hiring...VA Beach and the Hampton Rhodes area is another to check into, but you'll end up in Norfolk with terrible conditions before Virginia Beach. But...just because these spots hire a lot doesn't mean that there isn't a ton of applicants too. That's the problem with teaching, you have to be flexible and more or less won't end up with a job in your home town or maybe even your own state until you've made your rounds and gained experience to let you boomerang into a desirable district/area.

Teaching as a whole right now is a pretty crummy job market...states are under lockdown with hiring freezes in place, lots of teachers were let go for fiscal reasons, some districts issued salary freezes or pay cuts, etc, etc, etc. I really hate to say it, but elementary is especially tough and the hardest market to break into, it's saturated due to people's perception of it being an easy gig. I'd consider trying to get additional certification in secondary for something like math or science, or additional certification in special ed. Bilingual certs like ESL are really good to have. Dunno what the job fair scene will be like this year, or how serious gatherings like that will even be in terms of actually holding interviews(go to individual district fairs as opposed to state or university fairs..the big ones are crapshoots and a waste of time)....but you still have to put yourself out there. Point in case, this was during a record bad economy year...but out of college I applied to roughly 60-75 districts in PA, 40 in TX, I think 5 in WV, I don't remember how many in Ohio, probably 5 or so in NC, etc, went to a few job fairs in the Austin and Pittsburgh areas, submitted who the hell knows how many resumes, etc......hey I was open to moving. But due to economic slow down and what I explained to you above, I had something like 2 interviews in PA, 3 early phone conversations with Austin districts, one face to face in Pittsburgh with a Houston district that I didn't like, two face to face interviews with North Carolina job fair people that were nothing.....and the only job offer was for a local district down the road that I student taught with. Little rural district out in the middle of nowhere near Morgantown WV and about 70 miles south of Pittsburgh. Go figure, all that work and my local school district took care of me right out of the gate. But don't be fooled, I was the exception to the rule. My sister subbed for 4 years before landing a long term sub gig for half a year, and was hired upon her 5th year. My uncle subbed for 7 years before taking a low paying job in WV for 5 years, used that to springboard into PA where he taught for 8 years, and then jumped into principal work until he retired recently. I'm secondary English, they were both elementary and wanted to stay within the local SWPA area. My uncle had a good side job to tide him over, and my sister was married.

My point is...it was hard to find a teaching job before, let alone find a GOOD teaching job in a nice area that pays well, and with today's econimic and job-related climate it's even tougher yet. It'll probably be a good thing that you have another eyar or so to wait, just get started mapping out districts and where you're going to look into NOW so that you have something to go by. You need to apply everywhere...one or two districts will not lead to anything, and you're not going to land an offer from your hometown district of choice. You'll need to bend to find a job, hey...your only offer in this economic climate may be to teach in Alaska, I have a friend who actually did that for a year before getting a job back home based on experience. But either way, you need to network, try to sub with multiple districts and make "friendly" contacts out of principals and staff members, etc. It's tough...just keep an open mind, sub a few days a week, grab a fun side job doing something that you like to do to pass time and keep you sane while you wait, and don't let it get to you if you're unable to find a job. Unless you're completely desperate for money, just be happy with what you have and live accordingly...it's not the worst thing in the world to be young, fresh out of college, and without responsibilities attatched to you. Just make the most of whatever comes your way and enjoy your life. Having a teaching position = tons of work and many hours of devotion...if it comes down to it, it's not the worst thing in the world to have the free time to persue hobbies and live an active life while waiting tables and subbing. I know people outside of teaching who are going on year 3 of job hunting...things aren't easy for anybody right now and it's not worth letting it get to you.

Just make a plan to hit every county district in NOVA, accross the border in Maryland, around Baltimore, in the panhandle, around Philly, etc starting in March each year. It's as good of an area as any to try to find a job in and you do have teh advantage of waiting a couple years for the economy to turn around. But get your applications in, start checking for job fairs(district fairs), mail out resumes and letters to individual principals of schools with openings posted online, etc. You'll only get what you put into it, and yes it may take a few years...or you can get lucky and fall into something. Just remember that you can't be lucky unless you're involved with as many districts as possible and have given yourself the opportunity to BE lucky.

Last edited by TelecasterBlues; 12-28-2009 at 03:06 PM..
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Old 12-28-2009, 02:30 PM
 
Location: NYC
248 posts, read 660,453 times
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Finishing in December may give you an advantage in that you may have trouble finding something full time immediately- but subbing in several districts may give you an edge over the people who don't finish till May of 2012- a school will have time to check you out, so to speak.

I'd also suggest, if possible, that you look into adding to your elementary credential- maybe with special education or ESL. It may not be a lot more coursework to get an addtional certification and may open more potential jobs for you.

Keep your chin up- Dec. 2011 is still two years away and I really hope the economy improves by then, for all of our sakes. My school (NYC) will actually have a bunch of openings next Sept. because people are retiring. Also, being new, you will be CHEAP which will appeal to districts; if you were coming to NYC this would definitely be a point in your favor.
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Old 12-28-2009, 02:45 PM
 
3,766 posts, read 4,294,994 times
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The good news is that there is a huge bubble of baby boomer teachers preparing to retire!

It is to your advantage to be done in December for there are often a few openings for the new year.
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Old 12-28-2009, 03:30 PM
 
Location: Whoville....
22,296 posts, read 17,026,488 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bongo View Post
The good news is that there is a huge bubble of baby boomer teachers preparing to retire!

It is to your advantage to be done in December for there are often a few openings for the new year.
Don't be so sure. I'm reading article after article about how many baby boomers are rethinking retirement and now planning on working until they die. No one is in a rush to retire in a bad economy and we're years away from a recovery which will be a weak recovery. Now when the baby boomers start dying off, that'll be another story.
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Old 12-28-2009, 03:45 PM
 
3,766 posts, read 4,294,994 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivorytickler View Post
Don't be so sure. I'm reading article after article about how many baby boomers are rethinking retirement and now planning on working until they die. No one is in a rush to retire in a bad economy and we're years away from a recovery which will be a weak recovery. Now when the baby boomers start dying off, that'll be another story.
There are lots of baby boomers in my school & district who are getting ready to retire, including myself! We have worked long & hard for our retirement, and it's a darn good retirement with medical benefits for life. It's not all doom and gloom!
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Old 12-28-2009, 03:57 PM
 
Location: VAB
3,108 posts, read 3,550,513 times
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I'm in VA, and I had no trouble getting a job. I graduated in December, and I was a NCT by March. I did sub to get my foot in the door after I graduated. Anyway my NCT job was contracted the next year SY, and I'm on my 2nd year now. Mind you I teach SPED. My cousin's wife graduated December 2008 (with a BS), and she got a non-contracted 4th grade job (she had 2 offers from the district) which turned into a contracted job for the 2009/2010 SY.


My job is also paying for my masters as is hers. We are in two different cities in Hampton Roads.
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Old 12-28-2009, 09:48 PM
 
Location: NC
2,263 posts, read 3,717,407 times
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I too was told that December is a great time to look for work. I've worked in the education system in some capacity or another for four years, and December typically is one of the only times in which you can find a steal of a job. A few teachers retire, some get pregnant, and in some unfortunate cases, health issues come up. My first year, a teacher left and never returned after Christmas Break. No one knew she wanted to quit. So things like that can and do happen. I've never worked at the elementary level, though, so I can only speak from my unique and local experiences. If you can, I would encourage you to try to get your name out there now. Those two years will sneak up on you. If you can sub a day or two a week, like others have said, that would be a great way of networking and showcasing your skills. That may be your best bet, particularly if you're looking into NoVa. I'd imagine it's very competitive up that way (although that's a lovely part of the country!). Good luck in whatever and wherever you choose to do/work.
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Old 12-29-2009, 09:03 AM
Status: "NO MORE TURNING AWAY" (set 19 days ago)
 
Location: Heart of TEA country--Livingston County, MI
7,698 posts, read 10,494,822 times
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I found my position in January.

I would just send out e-mails and may be hard copies of your resume` to the places you would really like to be.

There may be an unfilled position that they would be hiring for in May and you might just get the spot...
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Old 12-29-2009, 09:35 AM
 
Location: Whoville....
22,296 posts, read 17,026,488 times
Reputation: 11741
Quote:
Originally Posted by bongo View Post
There are lots of baby boomers in my school & district who are getting ready to retire, including myself! We have worked long & hard for our retirement, and it's a darn good retirement with medical benefits for life. It's not all doom and gloom!
Don't count on that. Many people retired with "medical benefits for life" from my old company too. We were just notified that medical will no longer be offered to retirees and it's retroactive to people already retired (I knew when I left I wouldn't have medical in retirement so this doesn't affect me). Many of the promises that were made are unrealisitic as the baby boomers retire and will change.

From what I'm reading, it's becomming more the norm for baby boomers to decide not to retire. Some still will but many won't. I just don't think we can count on them retiring to fix this. I do think they'll start retiring enmasse before they are 70 but the oldest of the baby boomers are only 62 right now and many are worried that promises made years ago won't come to fruition so they're sticking around longer.

Any way you slice it, the retirement age is moving up. If predictions are correct, many of the baby boomers will choose to work until they simply can't work anymore. I'm a tail end boomer (50 this year) and have no plans to retire, ever. I can't see it. I have no desire to sit around and play shuffle board. Now, if I could retire the way many in the 1990's did with money to spare to go see the world, sure I'd do it but from where I sit now, my life will be better if I work until I start really slowing down. Instead of retiring to see the world, I'll just have to take some neat vacations after I get the kids through school.

While I do think baby boomers will retire, I think they'll do it later than many think they will so we're still a few years away from them creating any number of jobs by retiring. And when they do retire, there will still be a backlog of teachers who were unable to find work for years, so, what we really need is fewer people going into the profession and people who can moving out of it. While there would be plenty of jobs if the baby boomers retired today, they will retire in a trickle over the next 15 or so years so there will be 15 years of new grads to add to the line of unemployed teachers we already have waiting in line for jobs.

I'm debating going back into industry. I would rather teach but the right thing to do would probably be to vacate this job to a teacher who doesn't have the option of going into industry. When dh retires, in 5 years, I could move to a state that requires single subject certification for classes like chemistry and physics and go back into teaching. In the meantime, I question the logic of taking a job someone else is standing in line for when I can do other things. Anyway, my resume is going out in February and I'll start going to the engineering job fairs. Hopefully, something will come up before next September. I'm hoping I'm let go in the spring and I might be. There are 10 people who can start tomorrow in line for my job and I tend to be demanding. I think there's a right way to do things and a wrong way and I'll fight for the right way rather than just do as I'm told. They may, very well, choose to hire someone who is more on board with their program, which is fine as that way I can draw unemployment while I look for work and I won't have to feel bad if an opportunity comes up in October.
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