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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Why do people have to be so negative?

   
Author Topic: Why do people have to be so negative?
Belle
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I am student teaching right now. It's going well...and next month starts all the spring job fairs.

Now, I know our education system is under proration. I know the economy has gone south. I know it would have been better had I graduated a year earlier. I know it would be better had I graduated certified in math or science.

Yet, I am trying to be positive. There are still kids in this state who need to be taught. Kids don't get un-born when the economy gets bad.

So today, I'm sitting with other moms at my daughter's gymnastics practice and talking and one is asking me how student teaching is going because her daughter is in the school where I'm student teaching. I was talking to her and expressing my hopes that something might be open at the school because they have a job fair coming up on Feb 7th which I will attend.

This man turns around...he was not part of my conversation and I don't even know him...and said he is a teacher with the biggest system around (a county system) and that I could forget about getting a job. He then asked my certification area, and when I said English he said that was the worst one. I was angry at this point and snapped back that actually history is the area with the biggest surplus.

He then tells me that he knows people who are retiring and the teachers have been informed that those positions won't be replaced...so I won't get a job.

Well...I know not to listen to strangers who butt in to conversations where they were not invited but I would be lying if I said the incident didn't upset and hurt me. My family has been through so much, we've sacrificed a lot to pay my tuition and get me through school and I'm terrified I won't find a job. With the economy the way it is my husband closed his company...even though he did get another job we don't make as much as we did and I really, really need to start working next fall. I'm scared...and this guy fed my fears and made me feel miserable.

I don't even have a point to this post except to say something to somebody and because I can't really talk to my family about it because my husband just assures me over and over that I'll find something. I know he's trying to encourage me but all it does is make me think how disappointed in me he will be if I don't. And how disappointed I'll be in myself and how guilty I'll feel about all the money we've spent on my school the past three years.

Sorry for my self-pity.

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rivka
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Don't let him pass his bitterness on to you. *hug*

He's right that it won't be easy. But he doesn't know you. And even if they are hiring fewer teachers this year than last year, I find it hard to believe they aren't hiring a few. You just need one to be you.

Piece of cake! [Smile]

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ketchupqueen
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I agree with rivka-- I'm sure they'll be hiring SOME teachers. And I think if I was choosing, I'd choose you. (Now I feel like I'm on Pokemon. But it's true. [Smile] ) I think a lot of getting a job is having the attitude that you ARE the most qualified, best candidate, and that you WILL get a job. Being positive gives you a confidence that is definitely desirable (especially in a teacher) and helps you to present yourself well.
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Belle
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*sigh* I know. I am spending money I don't really have on a really good interview suit.

A friend of mine has told me to try and look at the other side...with proration all non-tenured teachers are automatically laid off at the end of the year. So...the principals HAVE to interview for those positions and they are not required to re-hire the ones they let go. They may find they like me better than a one or two year teacher they have but are not crazy about. There is also the really neat thing that as a first year teacher with only a bachelor's degree I'm a lot cheaper than people who get certified at the master's level.

In fact, her recommendation was to not get my master's until I'm tenured because having that master's degree makes me much more expensive to hire or to re-hire.

I'm trying to stay positive, but this jerk tonight did not help. I should have politely told him that I appreciated his input but I was talking to my friends. The problem is, he doesn't usually come to practice but his wife does and she's delightful - very sweet. I hated to be rude to her husband.

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breyerchic04
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The program my mom teaches in (title 1) sent teachers back to regular classroom and hired mostly 1st and 2nd year teachers to their program this year because they could only pay that much but still needed the same number of teachers.
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neo-dragon
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Belle, I started my teaching career a year and a few months ago in a region where there is quite a surplus of teacher candidates, even in the area of science. All it means is that competition will be fierce for you, but there will almost certainly be SOME job prospects. I heard exactly the same kind of talk when I was a student teacher, but I managed to land a position just one week before the school year began. Of course, the position was just for a year, but it was full time employment nonetheless, and it got my foot in the door.

Anyhow, I obviously can't say "don't worry, you'll definitely get a job!" but I can say that I've been in a similar situation and things worked out. Don't lose hope. [Smile]

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Tstorm
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My dad's been in education all his life. If there's one thing I've noticed through my exposure to the education system, it's this: positions come and go pretty consistently. The number of candidates varies by the area and by the discipline, of course.

It's pretty rude for a stranger to try to predict another person's future, especially when it's unsolicited. Saying, "You will" or "You won't" is pretty naive. The truth, as usual, is in the middle somewhere..."Who knows?"

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Armoth
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People like that tend to be bitter themselves. He was likely trying to make you feel bad because he himself was feeling economic stress and needed you to feel it too to make him feel better.

Believe in yourself. Don't let strangers influence your emotions. Stupid jerk...If I meet him, i'll punch his lights out!

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Tresopax
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You'll get a job. There are lots of kids that need to be taught, and there's lots of turnaround in education - and they would not be holding a job fair unless there were actually jobs available. It might take a bit longer this year than other years, but you'll work around that and eventually have no problem. So, don't worry.

If you do want to worry about something, worry about the fact that a guy who makes such negative predictions so casually is teaching kids.

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AvidReader
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The thing my mom's noticed is that for all their rules and policies, the schools pretty much do what they want. They claimed they couldn't hire her for an English classroom because she wasn't reading certified and then put in my former-beauty queen cousin who hadn't finished passing the Clast yet.

She did, and my mom realized she's happier with the job she has now than she would have been with a full classroom (she coordinates and helps 20 ESE kids with their math and science classes)and all that paperwork. She didn't even apply for the new English position that opened up this year because of all the extra work it would have been.

You're going to find something. Just be aware that what the schools claim and what they'll do will be two different things. Kind of like Army recruiters. If it ain't in writing, don't believe them. And even that's a little sketchy.

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The Rabbit
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Don't listen to the naysayers Belle. There may not be a lot of jobs available in your specialty, but you don't need a lot of jobs -- you only need one.

One thing that may help is if you are willing to consider non-standard teaching jobs. My niece, who is also in English education and lives in an area where there is a big surplus of English teachers, started out by teaching in a charter school for kids in a drug rehabilitation program. Classes were at night and and she didn't get full benefits, but she got in the system and the next year the experience helped her get a regular full time teaching job. If you are willing to think outside the box there are more options

There are ways into the system even in bad economic times, keep your hopes up and be flexible.

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DarkKnight
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I work in a school district and there are always jobs available. There may not be a job at the exact school you wish to teach but there are lots of teaching jobs out there. Try to be positive and apply to lots of local school districts.
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Orincoro
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I could give you some phone numbers in the Czech Republic... and I would buy you Stirji Piva (four beers), to drown your woes.
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Traceria
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Perfect example of Proverbs 15:1: A gentle answer turns away wrath,
but a harsh word stirs up anger.


Don't let his nasty words and attitude undermine your determination. Do your best, and rivka said, you only need one to be you!

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Darth_Mauve
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Belle, remember Cheers, the TV show.

Remember the Mailman Cliff?

Cliff was the expert on nothing that spoke endlessly on everything.

That guy was Cliff. He loves hearing his own voice, and being considered the expert on things he doesn't know about.

And he's probably about as knowledgeable as Cliff.

My son is the same way. He's also 8 and I believe he'll grow out of it. Its a shame that this guy didn't.

Imagine this conversation:

"I tell you, you have to be nuts to sail past the shore line off into the west. Theres nothing out there but starvation and the end of the world. No, Chris, you be smart and sail your boats right here."

or

"I tell you, you have to be nuts to try and fly. Men are heavy, not like birds. Its been proven scientifically, politically, and theologically, that man will never fly. So Wilbur, you and Orville go on back to making those nice bikes."

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ClaudiaTherese
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Belle, you exist to prove wrong those who would underestimate you.

[Smile]

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Uprooted
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Belle, you go prove that man wrong.

Right now I'm living with my mother, and I'm looking for work. Mom's also on the pessimistic side, and I have to work at not letting it get me down. I figure that we each have the chance to be the exception to the trend.

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Achilles
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Wow! My own thread!

Oh, wait a minute....

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T:man
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*hug*
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Kama
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Belle, I'm positive you'll find a job. You're an amazing person and if I had children, I'd definitely want you to teach them [Smile]

That man is probably bitter for some reason and was taking it out on you.


btw, Ori, four in Czech is čtyři. [Wink]

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FlyingCow
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I wish you luck, Belle.

My only advice would be to keep an open mind about what sorts of schools you apply to. The best schools may be able to old onto their teachers and have less turnover, or better ability to absorb teacher attrition without rehiring. Schools that are already at capacity in terms of students per classroom, or with less competitive pay scales, or more difficult classroom environments are more likely to have openings and be willing to hire recent grads.

There is some merit behind the man's message, if you can get past the way in which it was presented. It *is* harder to get a job teaching English right now, and it has been for several years. While there is a national teacher shortage, the liberal arts (English/History) have not been hit nearly as hard as math/science departments have.

If you had your heart set on teaching in that upper middle class school on the hill, you might be well served considering that lower middle class school in the valley as well.

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Belle
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I don't have my heart set on any one school. In fact, I've already uploaded my application to the state department website and have included every possible district within reasonable driving distance and I defined reasonable as "less than an hour" That includes dozens of schools.

If it takes me less than an hour to get there, it's on my list. That includes some pretty affluent schools and some that are middle class to lower middle class. I am not including any of the urban schools in Birmingham mainly because of the distance to drive and the terrible reputation they have of laying off teachers - they're experiencing major population decreases and their enrollment is dropping so they are not the system to hire on with right now. Other than that, I'm open.

I'm attending one job fair in February with the affluent system that I'm currently student teaching in. Then in March I will go to one for the largest county system around. April 1 (no fooling!) I will go to a university sponsored fair that will have 50 districts represented.

So, I should get my face in front of quite a few principals and assistant principals in the next few months. I'll just try and be positive and project more confidence than maybe I feel. [Razz]

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Paul Goldner
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Also, don't be discouraged if nothing happens fast. My first year, I got hired 3 days before school opened. This isn't abnormal. Most people i know who teach have similar horror stories.
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neo-dragon
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btw, is substitute teaching an option if you don't get a full time position? Believe me, I know that it's not the most desirable outcome when you have your heart set on full time, but around here that's how many teachers start out, and there's pretty much always a need for good subs.
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scifibum
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Good luck! The dude was being pretty silly, thinking he was offering anything of value. You've got the degree and the desire, what are you going to do, not even try? You've got to try whether he thinks you have a chance or not. So why taint the effort with pessimism?

In fact I bet he was trying to improve the market selfishly by trying to deflect an applicant from the hiring pool. [Wink]

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T:man
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SUPER HUG!

[Smile]

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Belle
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Subbing is most definitely an option, especially since as a certified teacher I will qualify for long-term sub positions which pay the same as full-time positions. So, I could fill in for people on maternity or medical leave.

I would find subbing frustrating when I'm ready for my own classroom but it would be better than nothing and an option to get my foot in the door somewhere.

My mom reminded me that if systems weren't going to be hiring new teachers, they wouldn't go to the trouble and expense of having hiring fairs. There are three fairs I'm registered for right now, all of them coming up in the next few months.

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BlackBlade
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But without all the negative people there wouldn't be anybody for the positive people to be attracted to!

Don't listen to naysayers Belle, that guys aim certainly wasn't to try and help you, so don't subscribe to what he was selling.

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Stephan
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quote:
Originally posted by Belle:
Subbing is most definitely an option, especially since as a certified teacher I will qualify for long-term sub positions which pay the same as full-time positions. So, I could fill in for people on maternity or medical leave.

I would find subbing frustrating when I'm ready for my own classroom but it would be better than nothing and an option to get my foot in the door somewhere.

My mom reminded me that if systems weren't going to be hiring new teachers, they wouldn't go to the trouble and expense of having hiring fairs. There are three fairs I'm registered for right now, all of them coming up in the next few months.

What state do you live in, if you don't mind me asking? My county is desperate for English teachers.
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FlyingCow
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Subbing is an excellent way of getting your face and work ethic known to department heads and principals, as well.

I got my job teaching math purely through the connections I made subbing, and then long-term subbing in a district. When it came time to hire, I wasn't the most qualified on paper, but they knew I produced results in the classroom.

It's not the same as having your own classroom by a long shot, but it does give you a chance to "cut your teeth" on a lot of different types of students and situations. I learned a lot subbing - especially on how to handle "first meetings" with students and how to deal with classroom management issues. I also was exposed to hundreds more students in my year subbing than I was in the next three years teaching.

I hope your interviews go well! A lot of times they are won and lost on "cold" sample lessons where you are observed with students you don't know. Subbing helps in these situations, too!

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neo-dragon
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I guess you'd call what I'm doing now (and did last year) long term subbing. We call it long term occasional (LTO), Although I don't really think of it as subbing at all. It's the same pay, same benefits, same responsibilities, etc. I think of it more as being on a temporary rather than permanent contract. In these parts it's how most teachers start out. We don't have a distinction between tenured/non-tenured teachers. Essentially, once you have a position that's not an LTO, you can't be layed off.

So anyway, if what you guys call longterm subbing is the same as what we call an LTO, starting out that way isn't bad at all. The only downside is that you know you'll be job hunting again at the end of the semester or year.

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Scott R
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No advice, but good luck. From our interactions here, I imagine any school that hires you would be lucky.
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Artemisia Tridentata
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quote:
Originally posted by Paul Goldner:
Also, don't be discouraged if nothing happens fast. My first year, I got hired 3 days before school opened. This isn't abnormal. Most people i know who teach have similar horror stories.

This is the truest post here. There is a big shuffle dance after the end of school. As an example, one year I was hired at a middle school to teach band and orchestra three days before classes started. Later the principal told me he had over 200 applicants for the position. He had narrowed it to one, and made an offer, which was accepted. The new teacher called him three days before the start of school and told him that he had also applied at a high school. The high school teacher had applied at a bigger school and had been offered that job just a week before the first day. So, as the dominos fell, the last principal hired me, the next guy in the door, rather than reopen his file of 200+ original applicants.
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Scott R
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quote:
Originally posted by Artemisia Tridentata:
quote:
Originally posted by Paul Goldner:
Also, don't be discouraged if nothing happens fast. My first year, I got hired 3 days before school opened. This isn't abnormal. Most people i know who teach have similar horror stories.

This is the truest post here. There is a big shuffle dance after the end of school. As an example, one year I was hired at a middle school to teach band and orchestra three days before classes started. Later the principal told me he had over 200 applicants for the position. He had narrowed it to one, and made an offer, which was accepted. The new teacher called him three days before the start of school and told him that he had also applied at a high school. The high school teacher had applied at a bigger school and had been offered that job just a week before the first day. So, as the dominos fell, the last principal hired me, the next guy in the door, rather than reopen his file of 200+ original applicants.
As a manager, I'm appalled.

EDIT: Why would anyone tell an employee this? It seems to me that it would crush their morale fairly effectively.

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FlyingCow
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It might be some bizarre way of hoping the new hire feels they're "lucky" to have the position, and would work extra hard to keep it.

Still, I think it's silly, too.

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scholarette
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My sister was temping once and there was a full time position open. Her boss looked at the pile of resumes and then said, I don't want to do interviews. Do you want the job?

Right now, my husband is looking for a job (in a different field- he used to teach though). When I talk about it, I usually say something about with this economy it'll be hard, but we are hoping. And applying for everything. Though right now, I am wishing it was next week. My husband had an interview earlier this week and thought it went well. The interviewer said he had to file paperwork with HR and then HR would call next week.

Generally, when I have talked to people about my husband applying, they have been really supportive. People try to think of places we have not thought of, think about whether or not their work is hiring, who they could put a good word in with, etc.

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Belle
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Well I have had some encouragement recently. I was in a meeting with my supervisor who is also supervising a teacher who is working now, even though he's not certified (he was hired on an emergency certificate and still has to complete "student teaching" even though he has his own classroom). She made a joke about him having to do this and I joked that at least he was getting paid, while I was not. She said that she would fix that very soon, because she knew every principal in the county and based on my performance so far she had no problem recommending me for a job. So that helped brighten my day.

I have been told many times not to panic if I'm not hired during the spring hiring season - that many administrators find themselves hiring in July or even early August. My supervising teacher from last semester told me she was at home crying because she hadn't found anything, was desperate because she was now off her parents insurance and not sure how she was going to make it when a principal called in late July and said "Hi, this is principal A, you interviewed with us back in March at the job fair. I have a position open in 10th grade English do you want it? I have to know now because I want this filled today."

So, she said even if no one at the job fair indicates they want to offer a contract that day, it doesn't mean they won't call later. At the same time, my supervisor said she had five student teachers last year, and all five got contract offers the day of the job fair. So...I guess it can work both ways, but I definitely don't need to panic at the end of the job fair if no one seems interested. I admit, it will be hard not to though!

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Teshi
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English and History teachers are in a surplus everywhere. Of course, those are my two majors.
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katdog42
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Where I'm from, a lot of schools don't hire until July and the biggest school corporation is notorious for not hiring some positions until the week that school starts. Definitely don't start getting worried if you haven't heard anything by June, there's a lot that can happen in two months.

When I interviewed for the teaching position that I have now, I had a lot of things working against me: young, female (at an all-boys school), inexperienced (one year teaching at another school), having quit my last assignment for no reason other than just plain disagreeing with the educational philosophy of the administration and half of the teachers. My friend, who works at my current school, was convinced that I would NOT be hired because of all these factors. He called me, nearly in tears, when he found out that there were five other people applying for the position. He didn't think I'd have a chance. But I went in, told them what I believed about education, what I want to do as a teacher, and I showed a passion for this profession. I was called the day of the last interview and offered the position.

Don't give up hope. There ARE jobs out there and they will HAVE to be filled. Just focus on being the best teacher you can be.

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neo-dragon
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Wow, until this thread I hadn't realized how many teachers there are on hatrack.
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breyerchic04
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Yeah, early august is nice. I know three teachers that got assigned to sub at 2pm tuesday when school started at 9am the next day and weren't hired as full time teachers until the next tuesday.
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Tstorm
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quote:
that many administrators find themselves hiring in July or even early August.
Ahh, yes, the dependable rhythm of education. In my experience, the schools where my dad has worked have done more hiring in the summer than in the spring. It's true that they'll start looking to fill a position when they learn about it, but many teachers don't know they'll be changing jobs, or leaving their current one, until they're hired by another school. Barring unusual circumstances, it seems that teachers try to finish out the year before changing jobs. Summer is the most convenient time to do job-changing, or job-hunting, in most school districts.

As an aside, this discussion about education took me down memory lane for a while. I have a summer birthday, and to a certain extent, that has affected the way I note the passage of time. With school years split roughly around my birthdate, I know how old I was for any given year I was in school. During any given school year, I was a certain age, there was never any split, like there was for students with September-April birthdays. This, in turn, also led me to mark years the way a school does. I know '98-99 was the year I graduated, I was 18. '88-89 was the year my family moved, because that was the start of my second grade year and I was 8. I don't even have to think about this, it's just ingrained in me. [Smile]

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Dobbie
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You know, Alex Trebek always says that teachers and students are two of the top three most successful groups of contestants on Jeopardy!, so a student teacher could probably really clean up.
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FlyingCow
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Another reason teaching jobs don't open up until the summer is that even when a teacher knows they are leaving for a new school, they will not notify their administration until July 1st.

They give their 60 days notice on July 1st so that their benefits will carry them through the summer until their new job picks them up in September. A lot of times schools will know a teacher is leaving, but they cannot post the job until the outgoing teacher has officially given their notice.

I've also found (at least in math) that the later one gets hired in the summer, the better level they can get. For instance, we had a very good teacher hired at the start of the summer (early June) while there was still plenty of time to interview/hire others. Over the summer, another two math teachers left, and they had to scramble in late August to fill all the spots. A teacher with less qualifications was hired higher on the scale in August, simply because the district was more desparate at that point.

Ultimately, they ended up with a teacher with 8 years of experience on step 6, and a teacher with 2 years of experience on step 10. Simply madness. It didn't help the internal relationships of the department when this was discovered half way through that year... especially since the first teacher was also about 200x better than the second.

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