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Old 01-17-2017, 04:56 PM
 
Location: Virginia
15 posts, read 8,449 times
Reputation: 23

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Hello:

I currently live in Central Virginia and am looking to relocate to New England to finish out my career. I currently teach high school social studies in the 3rd largest school district in the commonwealth. It is a massive school district in suburbia and I know I'm in for some culture shock.

I would like any information I can get regarding finding employment in Vermont public schools and what life is like in Vermont. I have been to Vermont and am enthralled by the beauty and of course the history. I am also very attracted to the cold, snowy winters and mild summers.

I am especially interested in hearing the best places to live, easiest places to get a job and anything anyone who currently teaches in Vermont can tell me about what it's like to work in the public schools and how I should direct my search. Pretty much any way you want to reply to this thread would be appreciated.

Thank you in advance.
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Old 01-17-2017, 05:17 PM
 
Location: Vermont
3,401 posts, read 9,251,498 times
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Schoolspring is where the vast majority of districts in VT advertise for positions:
https://www.schoolspring.com/

You will be in for some culture shock. There are only 60ish high schools in the entire state ranging in size from under 100 students to 1200ish students. It is small here. There is some administrative consolidation going on (google Act46) and some people fear that it may lose to some small school closing. We have the oldest population in the country and school populations are on the decline.

I don't mean to sound discouraging...just giving you the reality.

Chittenden County has the most schools and is also the most populated area of the state.

Hopefully some teachers will see this and chime in!
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Old 01-17-2017, 10:16 PM
 
3,111 posts, read 1,341,686 times
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I am not in the industry but I can tell you that Chittenden County is the only part of the State with population growth. It more or less counters the slowly falling population everywhere else.

I'm in a 4 town district with maybe 700 kids K-12 and received a notice today giving us data impacting the upcoming tax year. Our student enrollment will fall another 2% after falling year after year after year. It was posed as good news that they think they see signs of the student population stabilizing. Years ago we had more than twice this number of kids.

However, even in places like where I live there are new teachers hired every year to replace those who have retired or otherwise left, though sometimes fewer new hires than people that left given the declining enrollment.
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Old 01-18-2017, 07:21 PM
 
Location: Virginia
15 posts, read 8,449 times
Reputation: 23
Thanks so much for the info so far. Thanks for the Chittenden idea.

I teach social studies so I know I'm going to have to be aggressive to get a job. I'm also looking at NH and upstate New York and Maine.

I think there's 5-8% attrition in teaching most years so I know there will be openings around. It's just finding them.

I'm looking for a change and excited about the prospect of moving to where I've always wanted to live.
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Old 01-19-2017, 01:45 PM
 
3,111 posts, read 1,341,686 times
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Bunnys, good luck to you, and note it was Chittenden County I referred to, not the town of Chittenden (which is in Rutland County).
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Old 01-20-2017, 09:14 AM
 
809 posts, read 794,266 times
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Don't be afraid to do whatever it takes to hold on in the meantime. One acquaintance drove a dairy truck for three years, but he got the job-- and was a great influence on the schools and the community!
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Old 01-24-2017, 12:20 PM
 
4 posts, read 2,825 times
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I teach social studies in central Vermont. It took me three years to find a permanent position within a reasonable driving distance from the house.

Discouraging elements:

Social Studies is a rather competitive position in the state. With a small population there are only so many middle class jobs to go around and people want to live in Vermont for all the great qualities it has. Being able to have a creative and "cultural" kind of job AND be in the middle class bracket, rather than say being a starving artist out in the countryside, is a prized gig here.

While working towards my permanent position I was able to talk to a couple of principals about hiring and a theme about Vermont is that schools tend to hire known people. For one long term sub position that I got, thirty other people applied to it and it was basically because I knew someone in the school that got me to the top of the pile.

Other Elements:

Chittenden County will feel a lot like Virginia, but on a smaller scale. It's really the only part of the state that has taken on the suburbia vibe, has big box stores, etc. It's also highly competitive to get positions in schools around Burlington or Essex because you get more money, get to live in something akin to suburbia, but are also a half hour from a multitude of wonderful things Vermont has to offer. Go in one west and you're kayaking on Lake Champlain, go east and you're on a hiking trail to the summit of Camel's Hump, go south and you're eating gourmet cheese and drinking wine in the countryside, or go two hours north and you're in Montreal and feel as if you've just been teleported to Europe.

If you want to slow down though then there is the rest of the state which is largely small town rural. This is also where you're much more likely to get a teaching job. Rural poverty is the theme in much of the state and every year school spring's position that pop up almost inevitable look like a halo around the edges of the state. People rotate through these teaching positions because they can be far more remote and the issues over poverty can be challenging.

Another angle is to look at private schools that dot the state, or tap into the alternative therapeutic schools. You're becoming far more specialized in what you do in these schools, but there is also a lot more support in dealing with the challenges of poverty at these schools. The Howard Center and Washington County Mental Health Services are two larger agencies in the state that are connected up with these types of schools.

If you want to find some middle ground between Chittenden's suburbia and the remoteness of places like the Northeast Kingdom you might want to pay attention to the 89 corridor. The quick access the highway gives across much of the state can give you a balance between the two worlds.
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Old 01-24-2017, 06:29 PM
 
Location: Virginia
15 posts, read 8,449 times
Reputation: 23
Thank you contrapposto for your detailed response. Lots of good information.
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