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Old 05-11-2012, 08:33 PM
 
Location: New Orleans, LA
32 posts, read 112,842 times
Reputation: 56

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Hello Everyone,

About a year ago, I was offered a teaching job here in New Orleans, so I made the decision then to relocate from the Dallas area. I relied on this forum to really help me get a feel for the city, figure out the great and the bad, and to really get an idea of what to expect. I appreciate all the feedback and advice I received. I haven't posted in a really long time, so I thought that I should at least give an update of my experience thus far.

The threads helped me out a lot, but I admit some things did make me a little shaky, such as the crime, the schools, etc. With me being new to the city, I moved to the West Bank so that I could be close to my school in Algiers. I got a feel for the area really fast, and quickly became comfortable driving around both sides of the river and getting adjusted to the city as a whole. I admit the one-way streets, u-turns and whatnot confused the hell out of me! I've been to a lot of really cool restaurants and bars, but I've also come to appreciate the more culturally authentic aspects of New Orleans that are not as hyped up as Bourbon Street and the French Quarter. There are a lot of really neat things to do, and I am anxiously trying to get to all of them. I have not made it to the World War II Museum yet, unfortunately. I love to go to the Theatres at Canal Place, as well as walk Magazine Street to visit the shops and boutiques. There are coffee shops everywhere; I've grown addicted to PJ's Coffee. Oh and Mardi Gras was an insanely great time, especially seeing Will Ferrell as King of Bacchus. By the way, it was my first Mardi Gras and it was nothing what I expected it to be. My friend stays off a parade route, therefore I stayed with her most of the week. Another shocker...I am a teacher and school was out just for Mardi Gras! Anyway, it wasn't wild or crazy, but very crowded and just a good time. I did limit myself to a specific area within the city during this time, so maybe that's why I didn't get to experience the "wilder" side of Mardi Gras. It was extremely hard to drive around. Other than that, I loved every minute of it!

Louisiana itself is such a unique state. Ponchatoula Strawberry Festival...loved it! There are so many festivals here it's crazy. Once every other month or so I even take a ride to Biloxi/Gulfport to go to the beach.

So far, I have not had any bad experiences from just living here. I think I have learned where I should and shouldn't be, and I haven't been in a place yet where I have felt unsafe. I made friends quickly, and they helped me out a lot with learning the city. The only thing that I have really had a hard time grasping here are the schools. Prior to this, I taught for several years in public school. The transition to the charter school system has been difficult yet rewarding. I feel it has been the hardest teaching experience that I have done in my career. The school system here seems very political, if that's the right word. Instruction is very test-centered. Schools are almost ran like businesses, if that makes sense. I don't like what I see or hear sometimes; in the beginning I felt like a fish out of water. I worked hard to adjust my teaching style and approach. Even though it took some of the originality from my instruction, I do feel that I have great gains with my student who began the school year more than 3 grade levels behind. Yet my desire to teach is diminishing, which is unfortunate.

For now, my plan is to stay in New Orleans another year or so. I was accepted into a PhD program at LSU so I will begin studying part-time in the summer. I am extremely excited about this, and I am trying to decide whether I want to do one more year of teaching before officially relocating to Baton Rouge. Overall, I have been very happy with my decision to move here.
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Old 05-12-2012, 07:41 PM
 
4,855 posts, read 6,392,107 times
Reputation: 9969
I sent you a private message.
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Old 05-17-2012, 01:38 PM
 
268 posts, read 667,384 times
Reputation: 247
I loved your post, but THIS WAS MY FAVORITE PART, lol....

I am a teacher and school was out just for Mardi Gras!

Of course they do, baby...........
While Baton Rouge will be much different from New Orleans, you will be just 1.5 hours car ride away,
but you will be amazed at how you stop going to NO, and don't really miss it anymore. For this reason
I would avoid moving to BR to be a teacher, if that is your goal, and think instead about moving out to
St. Charles Parish and trying to work in THAT school system. The rewards will be worth it, and you might
begin to enjoy teaching again. Plus you will be outside the city, but a quick jaunt in the jitney away if you
want to have some fun.
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Old 05-17-2012, 11:29 PM
 
Location: New Orleans, LA
32 posts, read 112,842 times
Reputation: 56
Thanks BradfromNO! Yes I was shocked that we were out a whole week for Mardi Gras...and we still got a Spring Break! All of my teacher friends back home were jealous.

I did not consider St. Charles Parish because I have not heard much about it. I am still learning the Parishes and what is where and all that good stuff. I go back and forth about teaching next year. This year has seriously exhausted me. Yet, I think that if I find a good school system then maybe I can enjoy it again, like you said. I'll start to look into my options. Thanks a bunch!
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Old 05-18-2012, 07:20 AM
 
Location: Metairie, LA
1,087 posts, read 2,004,205 times
Reputation: 1448
Quote:
Originally Posted by BradfromNO View Post
...you will be amazed at how you stop going to NO, and don't really miss it anymore.
There is a very short list of cities that make me feel that way, and Baton Rouge aint one of them. Not even close.
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Old 05-18-2012, 01:44 PM
 
268 posts, read 667,384 times
Reputation: 247
Haha, I ain't saying BR is so good it will make you forget NO, I am saying that if you leave NO, you are likely to find fewer and fewer reasons to go back and visit.
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Old 09-07-2012, 11:53 AM
 
19 posts, read 51,401 times
Reputation: 44
I'm glad you got to experience THE REAL NEW ORLEANS instead of just the tourist traps. I'm also glad you got to see that the violence here is completely over-hyped by the media. It's a relatively safe city if you don't get involved with the wrong crowd.
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