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Old 02-24-2007, 06:02 PM
 
Location: Des Moines, IA
21 posts, read 126,851 times
Reputation: 13

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Hi,
I am a new teacher trying to find a job. I currently live in Iowa and there are not enough jobs here for teachers, so I have been looking into some other states as well. I have looked into Forth Worth area in the past. I was wondering if anyone has any advice for me about finding an elementary teaching position, renting, moving to Forth Worth, things to do if your single and anything else that could be helpful. Also if anybody has any other towns or cities that they know about that I could look into that would be great too. I am a 24 year old single female and I have moved to Des Moines where I knew nobody, so I think I can do it again. So if anybody has any advice for me please let me know. Thanks.
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Old 02-26-2007, 10:16 AM
 
Location: The Big D
14,872 posts, read 39,043,192 times
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Check the school district websites for job fairs. I know the Garland ISD (on the Dallas side though) is having one in April and other districts will also be having some pretty soon. There is always openings for teachers as new schools are being built and opened every year. We have two new elem. schools opening this fall in Garland. Good luck.
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Old 02-26-2007, 09:42 PM
 
Location: Des Moines, IA
21 posts, read 126,851 times
Reputation: 13
Thanks for your advice. I know Fort Worth is have an job fair on March 19. I was wondering if you know of any places I should stay away from like any bad neighborhoods? I want to feel safe in the place I'm living and I'm not too familiar with the neighborhoods or schools down there yet. Thanks again.
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Old 02-27-2007, 08:35 AM
 
Location: The Big D
14,872 posts, read 39,043,192 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kblume View Post
Thanks for your advice. I know Fort Worth is have an job fair on March 19. I was wondering if you know of any places I should stay away from like any bad neighborhoods? I want to feel safe in the place I'm living and I'm not too familiar with the neighborhoods or schools down there yet. Thanks again.
I'd say that any school opening up this coming year is in a newer area as there has been a lot of growth throughout the DFW metroplex. The problem you will have though is some school districts do bus kids into newer areas from older areas and there can still be problems. You might also look on the school districts websites and get an idea of the locations of the schools and the area around them. It will take some time but you can see if the schools w/ openings are in rough areas or not and may go ahead and take the position but not live in that neighborhood. You might also look to see if they have any magnets that have openings. While these schools will be located in older areas they also attract the brighter kids w/ determination no matter the home/financial situation and usually have parents that care a lot more.
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Old 02-28-2007, 10:31 PM
 
Location: Des Moines, IA
21 posts, read 126,851 times
Reputation: 13
Thanks for your suggestions and advice. I haven't thought about magnet schools and I will have to look into those schools. My mom doesn't want me in a rough neighborhood and I told her the same thing that you said, that I don't have to live in the neighborhood and that they need teachers too. I have read about a lot of new schools opening. I didn't realize how many of the Texas schools have thier own recruiting fairs. The more I look into the schools, the more excited I get. I will have my work cut out for me looking into schools, but it will be well worth it. Thanks again.
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Old 03-02-2007, 11:01 AM
 
32,612 posts, read 51,207,313 times
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KBLUME
I don't want to shoot down your enthusiasm but you may have no more luck finding a teaching job in a "good" school or district here in TX than you are having in your state--What is your specialization---jobs working with the learning disabled are always posted--what type of specific skills can you bring to a district---can you do ASL--do you speak Spanish or another language fairly fluently? Are you math speciality---very desired specialization-

I am retired teacher and can say that TX education grads have a very difficult time getting a good job. My son and daughter both have teaching degrees---one for secondary and one in elementary--my daughter has moved to FL because of her marriage and is teaching in the Sarasota Co Gifted/Talented magnet school---she was surprised to find how many schools persued her after how difficult it was to get a job in this area. Here she managed to get a job teaching at the same school where she did her student teaching in the Arlington ISD but it was no sure thing---

My son (an English major) had to take a job at a charter school after he graduated and worked there for several years until he lucked into last-minute opening at Highland Park ISD in Dallas--considered a very prestigious district but not as highly paying as many others....

Right now some of the better districts in FW metroplex would be the following--Grapevine-Colleyville ISD, Southlake-Carroll ISD, Birdville ISD, Keller ISD, Westlake ISD. Eagle Mtn./Saginaw ISD received a good report from article in FTW paper which researched teacher turnover in Tarrant co districts...Denton, north of FTW, has good district and growing population as so Argyle and Frisco. I thnk Hurst Euless Bedford ISD is a older but still good district for most part and it pays high starting salary. Yearly raises are not much in ANY district in TX...

Arlington ISD varies by school--my daughter taught at West Elementary in the extreme southern part---had low socio-economic, minority student body but she really liked it better than where she is now because of the teaching staff and other factors...

http://www.esc11.net/escrxi/site/default.asp (broken link)

You can go to this web site for Tex Ed Agency Region 11 Fort Worth and neighboring counties and check links--it says Arlington ISD is having a hiring fair early May--go to map of all school districts so you can go to their individual web sites...The hiring fairs are terribly crowded and even if you register early you might not get scheduled appt for face to facenterview...

My suggestion would be to check out the individual districts and schools' web sites--almost all of them have one now---you need to get the names of specific principals and school addresses---while you can apply on-line at almost every district (and they prefer that because they really don't want to deal with applicants face to face) IMO --and the web sites tell you not to---
you should send an individual application and cover letter to ANY school/principal that you think you would like to teach at...make it interesting and unique because they get a lot...

MANY PRINCIPALS ARE REALLY THE ONES WHO DO THE HIRING--NOT THE PERSONNEL OFFICE--AND THEY TEND TO HIRE WHOM THEY KNOW--IF THEY SEE SOMETHING IN YOUR APPLICATION THAT MEETS THEIR NEEDS--THEY WILL MAKE SURE THE PERSONNEL OFFICE CONTACTS YOU---

From my experience--most teachers in good schools don't leave unless they have to --like marriage or job transfer---there are few vacancies in good schools---districts usually have turnover but maybe not where you need to be hired---if schools have to reduce staff because of low enrollment they usually move any unneeded teachers to another school in the district before they hire anyone from outside....

The best factor in your favor is that you have no experience so you are on lowest pay rung --- but there are many new grads who are applying, who may have student taught in the district or the school itself or have parents who teach there or go to church with the principal or someone on the district's board--you get the idea...

Teachers with jobs have until end of June usually to notify their districts if they won't return without encurring any prejudice---but contracts are usually required to be signed and returned around first of May--only teachers who know definitely they won't be back will notify their principals then---but many vacancies show up later in the summer----I would definitely suggest that if you do not get job by June that you keep trying -- some hiring is even done first week school starts---

There are many smaller towns with school districts in areas around Ft. Worth---like Ponder--they usually pay state minimum--not a lot--and have fewer vacancies because people who teach there are entrenched in community but you might prefer that type of environment---

Better to find out about your job before you try to decide on place to live, IMO unless you are willing to move and then find A JOB not necessarily a teaching job--and then you have to consider what skills you have that are bankable in the real business world--some people are reluctant to hire since they think you will leave as soon as you get a teaching job...

Best of luck--if you have other questions--just post
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Old 03-03-2007, 02:25 PM
 
Location: Des Moines, IA
21 posts, read 126,851 times
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Thanks for your reply. In the three years I've spent looking for teaching jobs, I have learned a lot. This is my fouth and I'm determined I'm going to get one. I have made some mistakes, like quit subbing to take a head start job that wasn't in the school. Yes it got me experience, but if I would have stayed subbing I would be much closer or even have a teaching job. Some people sub for 3-5 years before they land one. Most of the things you mentioned I already now. They have shortages in special needs and some secondary classes, but for what I'm looking for (elementary) they have a lot of applicants. I have early childhood and reading, and I wish now I would have gotten my special ed degree (I'm planning on doing that) that way I am more marketable. They are giving jobs to regular classroom teachers that have a special education endorsement. I am not only looking in Texas, but also Missouri, Iowa, Wyoming and Oklahoma. I think it depends where you go in Texas where they have shortages. Maybe I'm wrong. I have specific areas in each state to look into. I'm involved with the North Texas Teacher Job Network and have already talked to many principals. One thing that Texas grads may not know is that many texas schools look outside of Texas for teachers. They actually come to Iowa and Missouri to recurit teachers. I went to NW Missouri State and talked to many out of state school districts and I went to the University of Northern Iowa teacher fair and talked with many Texas school officials there. I wasn't as serious then as I am now and they told me after they looked at my resume that all I would have to do is call down there and then come down look at the different elementary schools they have positions open in and pick one. Of course now I'm kicking myself for not doing that (but at the time I wasn't as ready to move out of state and away from family and I have a cousin that is down there now). Up here they do the same thing as the Human Resourses gets the applications and then teachers send letters to principals. The majority of people do the hiring in Missouri and some in Iowa in the summer after they know all the positions they are needing. My goal is to find a teaching job and then move since I'm looking all over. I think all teachers have it hard unless you are one of the lucky ones that stumble into a good job through student teaching (which no one was retiring at my school) or subbing. If I don't find a teaching job I'm preparing to take my degree to use it for something else. By the way, they start teachers here at about 23,000 in the school districts, we are 40th in the nation on the pay scale which they are trying to raise it here. I want to be in a "good" school but chances are that I won't be. Don't worry I'm prepared, but I also know what I have to do to get prepared for these recuriting fairs. What is silly is that I'm headed down there for their teacher fair and then they are coming up here for the National Teacher Expo at the end of March. So for Fort Worth I'll be seeing these people twice in just a two week period. Hopefully that will be good. Its hard and hard work, but I'm going to give it all I have. Thanks again.
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Old 03-03-2007, 05:42 PM
 
7 posts, read 29,137 times
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Default looking to move to the fort worth area

I am looking to re loacte to the Fort Worth area. I recently became a widow at age 53. My daughter lives in Fort Worth & My other daughter will be moving to Dallas in Aug. I now live in New Mexico but have no family here. My concern is that I will not be able to meet people my own age & have enough sociel activity.
I am finding out that married or committed relationship friends seem to like to
socielize with the same. Anyway, Iwould like to find a community with a lake view or on the lake. Does anyone know of a newer community that is not all families with children. I don't oject to kids at all but I do need to be in area where there are people my own age so that I can meet friends.Also, does anyone know what the projected growth rate is in the Fort worth area? I a know that I did not like Dallas. I have lived in the mountains for the passed 10 years & near some nature around me but be close to some activity.
Thank you
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Old 03-03-2007, 09:25 PM
 
32,612 posts, read 51,207,313 times
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Default sounds like you do know what you are up against

I know my reply sounded very negative but when the media insists on headlining "Teacher SHortage" all the time and there is really only a shortage in such a few special catagories or else in some really bad, dangerous, demoralized schools, most people don't have a clue...

Yes--I knew that TX schools job shop out of state--it is to make their faculties look more "worldly" and well-rounded...but I really don't know anyone at my school or in my district that was hired in that matter--I think they are shopping for hot specialities---Your reading speciality is probably your strong point and you should emphasize specific talents that you think you can offer---reading is so important in elementary schools because we have a growing number of minority speaking children coming into our schools that will have to take/pass their TAKS in third and fourth grade to be passed to next level....different districts follow different reading programs and they can be really insulated from any other method so you might check and see which ones use the method you are most familiar with....

Many of the districts in the Mid-Cities area pay well--starting at 43-45,000...Fort Worth is less but still above state minimum--but many of the outlying districts like Bridgeport ISD and Ponder or Aledo I don't think pay much above state base but I am not sure about that...Arlington ISD paid less than new teachers in my district when I was teaching and my daughter was hired...

Even districts like Fort Worth/Dallas --which I would never want to teach in-- can usually find enough teachers but the start of school but as you probably know it will be more likely to get hired there...From my son's experience I would say do not take a job with a Charter School--not same thing as a Magnet School--charter schools are independent--and the regular ISD hate them because they take tax money from the regular ISD's state allotment as their funding source...
There are several excellent private schools in this area in Dallas and FTW--but pay there is not that great and again very competitive for hiring despite the low earnings...

My daughter has friend with elementary degree who is teaching at a Primrose Day Care--she has the kindergarten class and loves it--has made noises about getting job in real school but this is really easier situation in many ways--just not as well paid--the times that she has gone to apply for vacancy at regular ISD, I think they don't give her any credit for teaching years at Primrose, even though they follow the state's curriculum for most part, because it is commercially run--no cred w/the "real" school...and she is a great teacher--would be addition to any school she taught at....

One thing I might suggest ---and I know this might not work for you and sounds a little off the wall---but have you considered applying for job as nanny---I know that does not sound like it would be any kind of a good solution but the Dallas Fort Worth area has some very wealthy people who have younger children---some of them are self-employed and run their home employees through their company books so you get health ins and decent pay---think those jobs might be as hard to find as teaching job but something to mayby check out on Monster.com...

There are teachers who teach in Dallas or Fort Worth and live in suburb like Lewisville or Arlington or Carrollton --- depending on what school they are at--school starts early enough that you can miss some of the freeway traffic--so finding a safe place to live would be relatively easy if you could get teaching job...

Start checking the web sites and troll for new postings...have you checked your college registrar or education professors to see if any grads have gone to work in TX--maybe they could give some help---good luck
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Old 03-04-2007, 02:58 PM
 
Location: Des Moines, IA
21 posts, read 126,851 times
Reputation: 13
Don't worry about sounding negative, most college kids think it will be easy finding a job after college (I was one : ) ) But after reality sets in, they realize it might not be so easy. I got asked once "there is a teacher shortage, why are you having a difficult time finding a job." I looked at them and said there are only teacher shortages in certain areas and what I'm certified for there is not, there are more teachers than jobs. One of the teachers that I work with at the preschool has friends that moved to Texas after college to become teachers. I really don't like charter schools and I have no real desire to become a teacher in one. Are magnet school part of the school districts, aren't they specialized in some way like science and math or something like that? I don't know too much about them. I have thought about becoming a Nanny up here, but then hours might not be flexable and time off might be hard.

Even up here some people want to hire teachers that can speak spanish, because there are a lot of immigrants that move up here. At least I have learned a lot from my job searches in the past. All I can do is atleast try and not look back and say I wish I would have done this or that. I am still keeping my options open and reality in check. I just have to stay postive and keep trying. Don't worry I have a fall back plan too, if I don't find a teaching job I will go back to subbing and try again and again and again. : ) OR find another job that I will like. I don't know about Texas, but we have 4-h extention offices that will hire people to work with children and we also have a program called Ag in the Classroom which I have worked with before. I am from a farm and showed horses and would love to combine agriculture and teaching togheter. So I have options if I don't find a teaching job.

I do appreciate your suggestions and ideas on where to look. And thanks for helping me keep my reality in check. : )
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