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Old 10-19-2010, 09:55 AM
 
Location: Newark, DE
137 posts, read 227,952 times
Reputation: 53

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I am currently a School Counselor in Maryland. My husband is going to go to school where we live in Delaware and go through the hoops of getting certified in Massachusetts. We would love to live there.

Questions:

Is it more difficult to get a job as a School Counselor in certain areas?

Teachers may know this too: what is the process like for finding a job in a school system? There seem to be so many tiny districts, is there no overarching district for a region that one would apply to?

What are school systems we should not apply to because they are dangerous, too small and rural, or overtly corrupted? Or the pay is really low?

I am used to working in Title I schools so I don't mind working in a poor school, but everyone knows there are some places that nobody wants to work in...
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Old 10-19-2010, 01:40 PM
 
2,026 posts, read 4,969,725 times
Reputation: 1898
Quote:
Originally Posted by gosling357 View Post
I am currently a School Counselor in Maryland. My husband is going to go to school where we live in Delaware and go through the hoops of getting certified in Massachusetts. We would love to live there.

Questions:

Is it more difficult to get a job as a School Counselor in certain areas? Area as in geographic area or area as in expertise ie: high school guidance, elementary adjustment etc?

Teachers may know this too: what is the process like for finding a job in a school system? There seem to be so many tiny districts, is there no overarching district for a region that one would apply to? There are some regional school districts but many towns do have their own school system.

What are school systems we should not apply to because they are dangerous, too small and rural, or overtly corrupted? Or the pay is really low?There are some tough school systems out there but I am not sure I would call any of them overtly dangerous. It is rare you hear of extreme violence in a school. And sometimes when you do, it happens in a school system where someone wouldn't expect it: ie planned bombing at the high school in Marshfield, fatal stabbing in Lincoln-Sudbury, bullying death in North Hadley. Not sure of pay scale but it's all about the kids anyway isn't it?


I am used to working in Title I schools so I don't mind working in a poor school, but everyone knows there are some places that nobody wants to work in...
Nice that you do not to have an aversion to poor but I will also caution you that in some affluent districts, educators and support personnel are regarded as little more than public servants on the public payroll. I once worked with a Guidance Counselor who moved from a high performing affluent district to an a lower income area because he felt his services were more appreciated and he was able to make a difference in the lives of the students- which was why he went into the profession in the first place. Discipline problems were often handled by lawyers rather than parents and administrators were forced to back down and kids were not held accountable.


Just a suggestions: I think if you don't get much response, you might want to ask this question in a more positive way on another thread. Asking where to work vs. where NOT to work would probably yield more results.
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Old 10-19-2010, 01:45 PM
 
Location: Spring Hope, NC
1,553 posts, read 2,320,912 times
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In this market be thankful to get a job in any district.
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Old 10-19-2010, 04:19 PM
 
Location: Springfield and brookline MA
1,346 posts, read 2,907,627 times
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With the slim pickings for jobs as a teacher,the jobs are even more scarce for guidance counselor. There is literally 25-30 maybe more applying for each guidance position and generally those positions are filled from within. Best i can say is good luck with the job search.
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Old 10-20-2010, 08:18 AM
 
Location: North of Boston
3,516 posts, read 6,719,621 times
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My wife is a teacher with about 20 years of service. She has worked in 2 different public school systems during her career: the first was urban and poor, the current one is suburban and affluent.

She will tell you that she actually preferred teaching in the urban environment, those students need the best teachers and my wife appreciated the challenge. However, she likes her colleagues and the administration more at her current school and that makes for a better long-term work environment. The students move along every year, the staff and administration tends to stay around much longer.

As mentioned above, the current job market for teachers and guidance counselors is not good. Moreover, teacher hirings in MA are often a case of knowing the right people. The Massachusetts Education Reform Act gives school principals the sole reponsibility and authority to hire teachers for their school. Likewise, the School Superintendent for a town has the the sole reponsibility and authority to hire principals and counselors for their districts. New teachers are often former students from a town or related to a local police officer or town administrator, for example. Like in any profession, networking and building a personal brand to set yourself apart from the crowd is key.

Good luck with your decision making!
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Old 10-20-2010, 11:01 AM
 
Location: Newark, DE
137 posts, read 227,952 times
Reputation: 53
If there's a job for a school counselor to be found, we'll get it. My husband is a minority male veteran.
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Old 10-20-2010, 11:13 AM
 
2,026 posts, read 4,969,725 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gosling357 View Post
If there's a job for a school counselor to be found, we'll get it. My husband is a minority male veteran.
His service is appreciated but the criteria for getting a job as a counselor reaches beyond the attributes you've listed. He will not be a shoo in and a better qualified, more experienced candidate for the same job will trump him.
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Old 10-20-2010, 11:56 AM
 
Location: Newark, DE
137 posts, read 227,952 times
Reputation: 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beachcomber4 View Post
His service is appreciated but the criteria for getting a job as a counselor reaches beyond the attributes you've listed. He will not be a shoo in and a better qualified, more experienced candidate for the same job will trump him.
Unless Massachusetts is very different from every other state in the nation, the fact that he's a minority male will get him hired. I've watched it happen for years.
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Old 10-20-2010, 04:39 PM
 
Location: Springfield and brookline MA
1,346 posts, read 2,907,627 times
Reputation: 1384
The fact that he is a minority means nothing if he is not as qualified or has the expieriance of the other applicants. Plus as stated in another comment Mass relys heavily on the "good ole boy network". Meaning it's not in what you know it's who you know,regardless of being a minority or not.
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Old 10-20-2010, 05:55 PM
 
2,026 posts, read 4,969,725 times
Reputation: 1898
Quote:
Originally Posted by gosling357 View Post
Unless Massachusetts is very different from every other state in the nation, the fact that he's a minority male will get him hired. I've watched it happen for years.
Massachusetts has an excellent education system so I think it's different in that Affirmative Action does not scare cash strapped school districts into hiring less qualified employees in order to fill a quota. I've seen numerous hirings in towns I worked in or my children attended and the process of hiring staff was extremely competitive. There are many highly educated and qualified people vying for these positions and often the hiring comes down to best resume and best fit in regard to the needs of that individual school district . There is a great deal of planning that is done before someone is hired and as such, there is a paper trail of information about the goals and needs of the school, the strengths of candidates and the how they would fit the needs outlined in the overall master plan which all can be provided should that decision be scrutinized or challenged for any reason.

Your best bet is to plan on coming here to compete for a job based on merit and then work hard in whatever position you get so you could have positive references should you seek employment in another district.
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