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Old 05-24-2009, 09:13 PM
 
9 posts, read 18,712 times
Reputation: 11

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My wife and I are considering making a major lifestyle change in both locale and profession with a move to from SW Missouri. My wife has her degree but not in teaching so she will have to retake some classes. I only have about 15 hours of college complete. I was in real estate and banking and have made good money but absolutely hate it so, like my wife, would like to teach and give back. We have been fortunate enough to make good investments and been conservative so we will be able to secure good housing for cash and do our best to live within our means so that we can finish our undergrad degrees and hopefully teach in the local schools after graduation. We are people in our mid 30's with one kid in 2nd grade looking for a career overhaul. Does anyone have any experience with the job prospects for teachers in Bozeman? Advice in general on the topic such as pay, difficulty landing a job, area's of teaching to avoid or pursue? Lastly, I have heard that housing prices have come down but most people are still saying it is way overpriced. I am just curious - based on average wages for residents and other costs of living to be considered, how much more would real estate values need to drop to make it affordable to the typical Bozemanite? Thanks in advance for your help. By the way....don't worry; we are well prepared for the weather, animals, and other forms of deterrents. We will bring our guns, snow shoes, smiles, but most importantly our good attitudes and laid back personalities. We will respect your state and do our best to preserve its wonderful spirit. Again, thanks for any advice.

Last edited by mopanic; 05-24-2009 at 10:13 PM..
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Old 05-25-2009, 01:04 AM
 
Location: Montana
1,219 posts, read 2,976,451 times
Reputation: 687
I'm going to go out on a limb, and if it is offensive... bummer

I've often wondered where some of our teachers come from, and I've studied under good ones and bad ones.

The thing to me that strikes a nerve is when a person is having a hard time with a career, and wants to revert to teaching as a backup.

We need teachers that found a good way (so to speak) in whatever skill they teach, and have lived a life doing it, maybe even retiring into teaching. It's very frustrating to see people teaching that have not been able to successfully do what they want to teach.

To me a good leader is someone that will go with you into battle, not one that will explain how the battle works and then send you off on your own while sitting in safety behind the castle walls...

(Maybe this is a rant on the education system in general... so please don't take it personally.)
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Old 05-25-2009, 05:14 AM
 
9 posts, read 18,712 times
Reputation: 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Timberwolf232 View Post
I'm going to go out on a limb, and if it is offensive... bummer

I've often wondered where some of our teachers come from, and I've studied under good ones and bad ones.

The thing to me that strikes a nerve is when a person is having a hard time with a career, and wants to revert to teaching as a backup.

We need teachers that found a good way (so to speak) in whatever skill they teach, and have lived a life doing it, maybe even retiring into teaching. It's very frustrating to see people teaching that have not been able to successfully do what they want to teach.

To me a good leader is someone that will go with you into battle, not one that will explain how the battle works and then send you off on your own while sitting in safety behind the castle walls...

(Maybe this is a rant on the education system in general... so please don't take it personally.)
Interesting......let me give you my resume and then you can tell me if I am a leader or not. I started a real estate company in 1998 and built it up to be the #2 franchise out of 600 trailing only the home office, the original flagship location. This required recruiting, training, and inspiring sales associates. It also required all of the critical decision making skills of a small business owner. I sold the company in 2004 for a very nice profit because, after reading VOLUMES of material on a daily basis, I could tell that a major slow down was imminent. Turns out that was a good call. I then got into banking and am on the mortgage side of things now and was #1 in my company last year and in the top 5 for my state. Again, I have people on my team that help me. In both cases the team members around me have increased their incomes substantially from working with me and I too have learned a lot from them. I take very good care of them and they do the same for me. I certainly do not lead them from "behind the safety of castle walls." In my personal life, I have invested wisely although too conservatively I am sure. I have rewarded myself with things but not extravagantly. I just paid off my house and have never had a car payment or carried a credit card balance. We have 7 rental houses on 15 year notes and a decent amount in retirement accounts, etc. I do not have to worry about money now although I am not rich. I have not "had a hard time with a career" at all. Quite the opposite. I have been very successful but have never been fulfilled with the professions. I hope to teach kids to follow their heart for I believe in the old saying: "Find a job you love and you will never work another day in your life." What I want is to inspire kids to work hard, take nothing for granted, and be grateful. In my opinion we need to break this cycle of entitlement so prevalent in our country. If I can do this with a few kids in the next 10 years that would be great. I also feel a strong desire to give back to this country in some way. As a hobby/past time I have always enjoyed history very much and am going back to school to get an education degree in this field. I too have never liked teachers (or politicians for that matter) that can only hypothesize about success but have never had the guts to try their theories in the real world. Do you think that is me? Anyway - will someone please help me with original post questions? Many thanks in advance. I do appreciate it.

Last edited by mopanic; 05-25-2009 at 05:26 AM..
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Old 05-25-2009, 05:19 AM
 
Location: NW Montana
6,258 posts, read 13,721,627 times
Reputation: 3439
Hello and welcome to the board.
I did find this link for you to look at.
http://www.opi.state.mt.us/ (broken link)
I cannot speak for Bozeman as I am 500 or miles away, Montana is a huge state, but others do say the real estate is overpriced. Teaching jobs are here and there, I would research the fastest population growth areas as they would be adding teachers first. Also the reservations often have incentive positions but these come with their own set of considerations. Good luck, pursue your dreams. We are few posters here so someone else will come along.

TW I hear you and do agree on points. Personal experiance in my family is you gotta love it or you will have to hang it up.
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Old 05-25-2009, 09:15 AM
 
Location: NW Montana
283 posts, read 694,730 times
Reputation: 261
I lived in Bozeman from 2002-2006 (going to college at MSU for a Biology teaching degree), and I can tell you what I know from that time. While my family and I were living and schooling there, it was a boom time. Housing went up everywhere, prices skyrocketed, even McDonald's was paying $10/hr. There were not a lot of teaching positions available in the Bozeman school district, however. Most graduates went out of state for jobs. According to friends, they are now experiencing the side effects of overgrowth. Wages have declined, housing prices are still on the high side, but dropping. But, there are still very few positions in the schools in Bozeman. You may get lucky and find one come up after your degrees are complete. I would definitely be prepared to find a job in a smaller town once you are done, though. The post that mentioned working on a reservation is correct. Most of the better paying teaching positions are not in the most desireable areas of Montana. Consider it "hazard pay" of sorts. But, I live back in my hometown of Polson, which is on one of the nicest reservations in the state. I am not working in my degree field, though, so I am not sure about the job prospects here either. Good luck in your possible transition to Montana. It really is a lovely place to live, great for the kids, and the people are MOSTLY friendly if you have the right attitude when moving here.
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Old 05-25-2009, 06:59 PM
 
Location: Montana
1,219 posts, read 2,976,451 times
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mopanic,

I didn't mean to offend you, we've just run into several professors at MSU that seem to "hide" in the education system.

Wish I could help you in your search, but I'm a bit far from that system.

I do appreciate the teaching of the attitude "Find a job you love and you will never work a day in your life."

I was the kid that didn't do as good as some, but was inspired by a really good teacher, and here I am, where I want to be, doing what I like to do. (mostly)

Where do you live now?
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Old 05-25-2009, 07:07 PM
 
Location: In The Outland
6,023 posts, read 12,872,506 times
Reputation: 3535
There are very often perpetually open teaching positions on some of the Indian reservations in Montana for what's that worth.
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Old 05-27-2009, 10:25 AM
 
Location: Brendansport, Sagitta IV
7,914 posts, read 13,765,612 times
Reputation: 3431
Quote:
Originally Posted by mopanic View Post
What I want is to inspire kids to work hard, take nothing for granted, and be grateful. In my opinion we need to break this cycle of entitlement so prevalent in our country. If I can do this with a few kids in the next 10 years that would be great. I also feel a strong desire to give back to this country in some way. As a hobby/past time I have always enjoyed history very much and am going back to school to get an education degree in this field. I too have never liked teachers (or politicians for that matter) that can only hypothesize about success but have never had the guts to try their theories in the real world. Do you think that is me? Anyway - will someone please help me with original post questions? Many thanks in advance. I do appreciate it.
You are in a unique position in that you won't have to rely entirely on a teacher's salary to survive -- in which case, somewhere economically distressed, or in dire need of good teachers, would be a great place to "give back". Some of the small towns have trouble keeping teachers, or can't get the cream of the crop -- if you don't need a larger town's higher salaries then these smaller venues may be a good fit for you. And kids in distressed areas may be those most in need of inspiration.

History is an important subject, but is typically very boring to the kids-- too often it is presented as a lot of dry unconnected facts, and meanwhile the kids are thinking, "Why should we care who was elected president in 1856?? What difference could it possibly have made??"

But it doesn't have to be that way. My 11th grade American History teacher regaled us with all sorts of political dirt from bygone eras, which made us sit up and pay attention -- and also made us remember stuff better and think about history in terms of human interaction, not just the bald facts of events. Another thing that made it fun was following the consequences of some apparently-trivial decision or incident (such as the "wrong person in the wrong place" assassination that triggered WW1), and seeing how it influenced the next couple decades.

As to the entitlement mentality -- it is destroying our future, and anything that can help reverse that tide is welcome, in my book.

I had excellent to wonderful teachers all through school (the only one who was really not good was my 8th grade American History teacher, mainly because he made the subject so deadly dull). So I've got high standards and expectations for educators. I'd say you've got a good shot at making it.
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Old 05-27-2009, 11:21 AM
 
8 posts, read 40,140 times
Reputation: 24
I am a teacher and Moved to Montana in December. I have a masters degree in curriculum and instruction, a BS in elementary education with middle school endorsement and am a reading specialist. I am a published author in my field and have an impressive resume, having graduated in the top 3% of Texas Christian University. Not even I can find a teaching job. Teachers sub in districts for YEARS before an opening comes available. Most every job around Great Falls is for in-district tranfer or a coaching position. The best source after you check the websites for big towns is going to the website for the office of public instruction www.opi.mt.gov (I think). They have listings for rural schools. Beware the pay though. Some districts pay as little as 22,000/year with little or no benefits.
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Old 05-27-2009, 04:50 PM
 
Location: In The Outland
6,023 posts, read 12,872,506 times
Reputation: 3535
I could be mistaken but I think that if you commit to a 2 year stint on "The Rez." and complete the commitment, your student loan will be forgiven. I think it's pretty rough on the teachers hence the incentive program. Some of the schools on Montana's reservations are a bit unruly.
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