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Old 12-27-2011, 02:50 PM
 
361 posts, read 1,027,216 times
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I relocated from OH to CO for a teaching job about a year and a hallf ago. The job market in OH is impossible, but for special ed it's great in CO. For this reason, I have really tried to like living in CO. However, I really just hate it. The biggest reason is an 8-9 month winter and all anyone ever does is ski/snowboard. I'm looking at relocating to the southern east coast, so right now I'm just trying to gather as much information as possible so I can decide which state's licenses to apply for. If you could answer any of these questions, that would be great!

1. I will have two years experience at the end of this year. I currently teach students in k-5 with mild/moderate disabilities (cross-categorical). I'm willing to do any elementary grade, but I do want to stay in the mild/moderate realm (as opposed to severe/profound). I have good references, have never been fired or anything (I'm leaving by choice at the end of this school year), and have good data to show growth in my students. I only have a bachelor's- no masters. How likely would it be that I would get a teaching position? I actually had a friend that went to NC right after graduation, her OH license (same as mine) transferred easily to 4 difference licenses in NC, she got tons of interviews, and was offered a position within a month. However this was two years ago, she ended up in a very rural area with "nothing to do" according to her (New Bern?), and she had almost 40 students on her caseload. Maybe I should rephrase, how likely is it that I would get a "good" position?

2. I'm 24, female, single and would be moving alone. How easy is it to meet people/make friends as a non-local? I'm looking for somewhere preferably close to/in a city (can be a small city), near the ocean, and somewhere with good nightlife/lots of things to do for someone my age. Any specific areas I should look in?

Thanks so much!
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Old 12-27-2011, 11:39 PM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
10,522 posts, read 20,576,717 times
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I can't answer your questions on teaching jobs, but just wanted to say Thank You for actually posting a very informative "how is the job market?" post with details as to what job market and where you might be looking geography-wise, instead of the endless "How is the job market in NC?" posts with absolutely no details.

For a "Small city" with things to do and within good distance of the ocean, check the Wilmington and Greenville areas. Both are university towns so there will be nightlife for 20somethings. However, university towns means there will be fresh graduates in almost the same boat as you, going after the jobs. You might look in smaller towns near these two places. You also might look into Myrtle Beach, SC, which is more of a "city" though also more of a "resort town" with a mostly-tourist economy.

The Coastal subforum on this board (one level down) or the Myrtle Beach, SC forum (if there is a specific one) might have more specifics on those areas' special ed markets, though they do say special ed is one of the top subject areas it is easy to find jobs for in NC (though if your friend's experience is typical, high turnover could be the reason for that).

Thanks again for articulating what you are looking for in detail!
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Old 12-28-2011, 08:12 AM
 
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You will have no problem finding a special ed position. While I can't speak to the local job market in the eastern part of the state, I can tell you that the demand for good special ed teachers is pretty much universal. Of course, timing is important, so you may find that you have to take a less desirable position initially, but there's enough turnover and burnout that positions frequently come open in most any area of the state. You might also need to expand your area of consideration just to get your foot in the door, so to speak. For example, if you want to live in Wilmington you should consider positions in the surrounding counties, where you could have a relatively short commute while keeping your eyes open for something closer in.

Good luck!
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Old 12-28-2011, 10:43 AM
 
Location: On the brink of WWIII
21,093 posts, read 25,621,789 times
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As a special education teacher I can tell you the market is DYING! The state is switching to full inclusion / co-teaching. At the middle and high school level most resource rooms are closed or closing. EC teachers are in general education classes and mostly serve as para pros. THere are some self contained classss, but I am sure they will be included soon?

In NC EC teachers are all the same. There is a lot of cross cat settings. The exception being the life skills classes (below 50 FSIQ profound) and the Occupational Course of Study (55-70 FSIQ ID mild) at the high school level.
Some districts USED to have resource rooms for EC categories, but many are being phased out. Be prepared to be in a class and co-teach or be the designated disciplinarian / behavior mod teacher. If we are lucky, we will get to actually teach along with the teacher of record. That isn't likely as they have their career on the line with newly released STANDARD 6 of the teacher evaluation tool. This standard wil supercede the other 5 and says if your students are not demonstrating SIGNIFICANT GROWTH, your career and license may be on the line. So many general education teachers are reluctant to share responsibilities in the classroom as they are the ones accountable for adequate yearly progress.

IMHO EC / Special education will be eliminated within 5-10 years. They will have paper pushers with EC endorsements to write IEPs and that will be all we do..

While there are some EC positions throughout the state, they probably involve more support work than teaching.
Also, consider the $30K start pay and NO raise for the past 4 years. IF you are married the BC/BS insurance will cost you $452 a month for your spouse and kids. It will cost you $20 for the 80/20 plan and the 70/30 plan is still free to you as a state employee.

I am out in June...

Last edited by zthatzmanz28; 12-28-2011 at 10:56 AM..
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Old 12-28-2011, 11:56 AM
 
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^ Zt, I assume you teach in Harnett County? My wife is a special ed teacher at the middle school level here in Forsyth Co., and there are a lot of schools with self-contained EC classes here. There are some that use the inclusion approach, but I've never heard that resource is dying. Just for fun I checked the Forsyth open positions, and there are about a dozen EC positions advertised. I think much of what you're talking about depends on the principals. If you're lucky enough to have a principal who supports EC, then it can be very rewarding. But you're right that some see EC as merely a dumping ground for discipline problems, which is sad.

And yes, the starting salaries are atrocious. It really disgusts me that we pay athletes millions per year to play a silly game, while the responsibility of preparing our kids for the future earns a pauper's pay. Fortunately my wife has a master's and has lots of years in, so her salary is respectable. But for those just starting out it's really tough to make ends meet.
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Old 12-28-2011, 01:28 PM
 
Location: On the brink of WWIII
21,093 posts, read 25,621,789 times
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Yes I am currently in Harnett. I know Johnston has made the shift from resource to full inclusion starting last year and Harnett had done it 2 years ago. Both shifts have come from the superintendent's office. Some admin I have talked with say it will be happening across the state in some way shape of form. It reduces the ec teacher from 1 for every 10-15 students to 1 for every 35-40 students. In Johnston County they lost 3-4 EC teachers at one school and only replaced 2-3 of them with new graduates.
My advice would be if a teacher can live on the salary (we are living way below our means in what is basically a section 8 development) and is prepared for the real possibility of being in an inclusion setting some time, then find a position before you move and come on down. Forsyth is near Winston-Salem?

Even with 13 years and a master's I am struggling. I will be heading back north soon and taking a 30% increase in pay.

SALARIES for NC certified teachers

REALLY REALLY interested teachers can search WORK 4 NC SCHOOLS


COunties like Cumberland, Durham and Guliford are ALWAYS looking for EC teachers, gotta ask yourself why?

Last edited by zthatzmanz28; 12-28-2011 at 01:40 PM..
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Old 12-28-2011, 02:10 PM
 
361 posts, read 1,027,216 times
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That's good information about the full inclusion settings. I would agree that I don't like full inclusion as you are mostly treated as a para. The problem is that's happening everywhere- OH was like that years ago, CO is shifting that way, I'm sure most other states are the same...for this reason alone, I'd love to get a regular ed job, but the market in elementary is so tough and I haven't taught regular ed since student teaching two years ago. I am certified in it, but I also assume that once places see I also have the special ed. cert they'd want me to do that instead. Does anyone know of places that actually have resource settings? I also find the comments about cutting teachers interesting- to me, it seems like full inclusion takes MORE teachers. Right now I'm the only special ed teacher for about 25 students in k-5. I'm in a resource pull out program, so I can take them all throughout the day and I see them for reading and math every day. If I were to switch to full inclusion, just having one teacher for so many grade levels wouldn't work. I'd literally be able to "push in" to their regular ed reading class once every 2- 2 1/2 weeks...obviously that wouldn't work. Yet in the resource schedule, I can see all of them for reading every day since I'm pulling them out.

As for the pay, CO is actually 50th among the states for teacher pay vs. cost of living, so I have absolutely nowhere to go but up. It is a shame that salaries are so low, but I could definitely do just fine on a NC teacher's salary as that's actually an increase for me. We also have merit pay, no tenure, no union, and salary cuts every year here in CO. I'm used to all of it!
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Old 12-28-2011, 08:04 PM
 
Location: On the brink of WWIII
21,093 posts, read 25,621,789 times
Reputation: 7812
A PLUS is being SpEd endosed. Especially with all the inclusion. It could be easier to land a general education position now days..cutting SpEd teachers because the IEP kids are in gen ed classes (6-12 in same class) so the school did not need as many SpEd teachers..just added to IEP case loads (mine is 23 students)
NC was identified as being 48th in pay not considering COL. Depending on where you find work (Fayetteville should be easy, BUT...) there will be housing within 20 miles that is affordable and safe. Guliford County includes Greensboro and has been looking for Sp Ed teachers for awhile. Our school hired a teacher who left Guliford and moved the 100 miles.
Unless you are desperate, I would come out and tour the state (as opposed to a telephone interview and taking a job sight unseen) and see where you would like to be. Every area has a disctinct personality and culture.
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Old 12-28-2011, 10:44 PM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
10,522 posts, read 20,576,717 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zthatzmanz28 View Post
Forsyth is near Winston-Salem?
Yes, Forsyth is the county where Winston-Salem is.

Quote:
Even with 13 years and a master's I am struggling. I will be heading back north soon and taking a 30% increase in pay.
Sorry to lose you here ("here" = NC and this forum), Z.
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Old 12-28-2011, 10:55 PM
 
361 posts, read 1,027,216 times
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Francois- You're welcome Thanks for the information on those areas!

arbyunc- I just had to say, I say the exact same thing about athlete's salaries all the time! Sports are HUGE where I grew up, so I've never really had anyone agree with me!

zthat- That's good to know! I love teachin sped because I do have a passion for the "low" kids, but when they don't let you teach anything (in full inclusion) it takes all the life out of it! I do enjoy classroom teaching as well, and at least in that case I'd know no one would be expecting me to act like a para! It sounds like if nothing else there is a lot of potentional for landing a job. I think I'm going to go ahead and apply for the license and then start looking into specific areas.
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