I got an offer, but I'm conflicted!

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by madderhatterme, Apr 6, 2012.

  1. madderhatterme

    madderhatterme Rookie

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    Apr 6, 2012

    Okay, so here's the brief backstory:

    I'm a recent grad degree recipient in English Ed who will be a first year teacher. I have been striking out all over the place, including my home state of NH. I know it's too early to start panicking, so I haven't yet.

    Because I am single and not tied to any one state, I sent out applications all over. Less than a week ago, I received an email from a principal in KS who received my app and wanted a phone interview. "Yay!" I thought... First interview! We emailed back and forth a few times and was eager to answer any questions I had.
    My phone interview was this morning, and she asked me towards the end "okay, what do I have to do to get you down to (town name)?". So shocked, I asked for some time to think. Everything happened so fast! We'll talk again next week.

    It is a very small school, and I would teach 8-12 English. Very small! I have a great rapport with the principal. She is keen to hire me because they are building a theater program and I have performance experience. The school is tech savvy and close-knit.

    The cons are fewer: I would be far away from family, and in the middle of nowhere. The nearest reasonably priced airport is 3 hrs away.

    Honestly, those are the only cons I can see. I know this is a lot to read, but I am feeling a bit overwhelmed! Any info on Kansas schools or living, or just advice in general would be SO helpful!!
     
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  3. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Apr 6, 2012

    I think that you should take the job. If you don't like the position or the location, you can always look for new jobs for the following school year.
     
  4. gemgirlxoxo

    gemgirlxoxo Rookie

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    Apr 6, 2012

    I don't know how long you have to give her an answer but if you don't find anything else I would take it. Im also looking for jobs out of state because there's no jobs where I live. Stick it out for a year or two and then you will have a better chance of getting a position in your home state.
     
  5. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    Apr 6, 2012

    I relocated for a job in an area I was less than thrilled about to get some experience. I don't regret it. The area didn't turn out to be somewhere I want to stay long term, but that was something I pretty much knew coming out here. The school has been a great fit and I'm actually really glad I started here. I feel like I knew little about sped when I started (I was a dual major, but 90% of my classes were for gen ed.) and this was the perfect place to "learn on the job." It sounds like the school would be a good fit for you, which is a huge plus.

    I also live about 3 hours from the airport- not a huge deal except for the weather. I often have to spend as much as I do on the plane ticket simply getting to the airport (transportation down the mountain, as I don't feel comfortable driving myself down in a snowstorm, which is pretty much all of the time in the winter, and then a hotel in the city the night before my flight). Being away from my family doesn't bother me as much as it might some people- I've never been a "home body". Also, the great thing about teaching is how many breaks you get- I have manged to make it home for about a week four different times per year- Thanksgiving, Christmas, Spring Break, and a week in the summer. Honestly, that's about as much as I was home in college so it's really not all that different. I do miss being close by to my hometown friends. We went to different colleges but were close enough to drive for visits on weekends. Of course I see them when I go home and they also come out to see me for a week in the summer.

    The thing I'd personally be concerned about shipping off to Kansas would be making friends...how small of a town are we talking? Do you know anything about the rest of the staff? I live in a "small town" which can't really be considered rural, but I find it hard to meet people outside of work. Luckily, I've made a few good friends through work and found that the district employs a lot of young teachers my age. I also took my current job at the very end of July when the hiring season in my home state was essentially over. In my area it was so saturated that they weren't even hiring subs, so I pretty much knew it was either this job or live with my parents and have some minimum wage job. I feel like if I'd had this offer in April, I'd constantly be thinking "what if" wondering if I could have found something better had I allowed myself to really get into the hiring season. I guess you would have to base that decision on the market around you- how likely is it that you'd get another offer?

    I'm currently looking for positions in more desirable locations and really hoping that the 2 years experience I now have on my resume will really help me land something. The nice thing about relocating is you always have a good "excuse" for looking elsewhere without having to say anything bad about the school. When applying to my home state I'm saying I want to be closer to home, and when applying to cities in this state I say I've realized mountain living isn't for me (which I've found city people to be very understanding of!) I do feel a little guilty because my district has a huge turnover rate (most other people don't like living here either), especially within the sped department. Part of me would have liked to be that person that was really stable for the school/kids, but life isn't all about work- I have to at least look for somewhere I'd be happy living also!

    Good luck with your decision!
     
  6. chasisaac

    chasisaac Comrade

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    Apr 6, 2012

    IMHO.

    Based on the job market, you take the job. GO there and do well. Rack up the experince, keep in mind you get all the grades to practice on. Personally, I like that far better than teach the same class 5 or 6 times.

    You can look at another school for next year.
     
  7. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Apr 7, 2012

    I think you should fly out there and see what you would be getting into before you accept. See what housing would look like, how far it would be to the supermarket, where you might meet other young singles.

    The internet is great for a first look, but I think you need to see the actual town and school for yourself before you commit.
     
  8. HeartDrama

    HeartDrama Connoisseur

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    Apr 7, 2012

    I agree with Alice. Call the principal and let them know you'd like to visit the town before you make a decision. That will buy you more time for another interview/offer, and also allow you to scope out the city you may be living in for the next few years. Congratulations on the offer!
     
  9. swansong1

    swansong1 Maven

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    Apr 7, 2012

    I agree that you should visit first. During emails and phone calls, you are getting a one-sided view of the school-from the Principal. You need to visit the school, talk with the teachers, observe the students, look at the town. Tell the Principal that you need to not only see if you are a good fit for the school, but also see if the school is a good fit for you.
     
  10. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Apr 7, 2012

    Check it out...could be a grand adventure.:D
     
  11. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    Apr 7, 2012

    I agree, go visit, but be prepared for the culture shock. There are somethings that just don't happen in small towns that happen in larger areas.

    I grew up in a smaller town. Downtown was, maybe still is only open 1 night a week. Fast food did not arrive until I was a Junior in high school, Walmart when I was in college.

    Depending on how rural it is 3 hours to something is nothing. I interviewed where that was a common drive to play a football game!

    The Omaha, NE airport has a van that drives out to various locations to pick up/drop off travelers, or least it did when I lived in Nebraska. So, maybe does the airport that you are thinking of.

    If you have no ties, I would think carefully before turning down a job. In today's job market teaching jobs are hard to find.

    Someone once told me that if you take a teaching job out of state you need to be prepared to give it at least 2-3 years. 1 year to get used to the school, another 1-2 years to get used to your new surroundings.

    My DH & I moved from small town Nebraska to the Detroit. It took me a good 2-3 yrs. to get used to not having family around. Yes, I miss my family and not having the support of grandparents when my kids were little. But, then again, my parents are snowbirds so they wouldn't have been around during the school year to help out anyway.

    We were young at the time, no kids. I thought of it as an adventure. It's been over 20years & we've raised both of our kids here.

    Good luck with your decision!
     
  12. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Apr 7, 2012

    Definitely go visit! Ask for a tour of the school as well to make sure that you like what you see, not just what the principal says.
     
  13. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Virtuoso

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    Apr 7, 2012

    Definitely go out there for a looksie. Break a leg!
     
  14. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Aficionado

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    Apr 7, 2012

    If you're willing to relocate, and you can't find anything else, I'd say take the job. Go for an interview, take a look around and see how you feel. Good luck! and congratulations :)
     
  15. elateacher4life

    elateacher4life Cohort

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    Apr 7, 2012

    I agree with the others who say go check it out first just to be sure.
     
  16. HOPE-fulTeacher

    HOPE-fulTeacher Comrade

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    Apr 7, 2012

    I say that you definitely need to go down in person and check it out. Really pay attention to the little nudges that your heart or your brain might be giving you. I had an offer 2 years ago after a phone interview in NC, and being fresh out of college, I was really flattered. However, there was a part of me that was leery about being offered a job after only a 15 minute phone interview. I hadn't been to the school, met anyone in person, etc. The principal was the same way..."what can we do to get you to come, what grade level would you like to teach" etc etc. (They were hiring for several positions.)

    Again, I was flattered, but with a job market like this, there was a little warning bell in my head that said "why is she so eager to hire you without even meeting you". So I said that I wanted to fly down and check it out, and when I did, I found out a lot more about the school. It was near an army base, so the student population was very transient, which isn't "bad" but would've been hard with kids coming in and out all the time. It was also very rural, which I didn't mind, but the "town" was full of porn shops and other things like that because of the base being so close. The nearest towns that had things to do and looked safe enough for a young single girl were 45 minutes away, and in fact, all of the teachers lived about that far away from the school.

    The principal seemed very nice to me, but was almost pressuring me to take the job, and the other teachers seemed a little nervous around her. I think that school morale might've been a problem too, because out of the 6 questions I was asked in my interview, one of them was "How will you build relationships with other staff?"

    I was soooo tempted to take the job, especially considering it was late August, but in the end, I decided that it was just too far away from home (about 14 hours) and I wasn't completely comfortable with the area and the school. I did have to take an aide job last year, but then last summer I was offered a job in a great district at a school that I absolutely LOVE. It's still 5 hours away from home, but it's actually where my boyfriend's family lives (and where he had just moved back to), so it worked out perfectly.

    Bottom line is: go there and check it out for yourself. If it seems like a good fit and a place you could see yourself living for awhile, take it. If something is telling you to keep moving, don't be afraid to listen to that voice. :2cents:
     
  17. Xidous003

    Xidous003 Companion

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    Apr 9, 2012

    I say go for it. I worked at a public school for two years in another state (FL) and it worked out great! I have noticed that districts that can be 'choosy' tend to interview people with 2-3 years experience. This would be an opportunity to get that experience. I often have seen the 'catch 22' with job applicants in that the jobs they want, want them to have experience, but yet to get experience they have to have a job. I would get out of this cruel cycle as soon as possible and take the job. You can always go to another district later.
     
  18. madderhatterme

    madderhatterme Rookie

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    Apr 9, 2012

    Hi everyone - THANK YOU for all of your advice. I have decided to provisionally accept the offer, and will travel to KS before I sign anything. It's a big step, and a HUGE change ... but I'm up for it!

    I always wanted to be a cowgirl ;)

    Wish me luck!! If you're curious, Kansas has tons of teaching jobs!

    http://kansasteachingjobs.com
     
  19. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Apr 10, 2012

    I'm so glad you're going. I hope it's everything you want in a home and a job!!

    Let us know!
     
  20. donziejo

    donziejo Devotee

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    Apr 10, 2012

    Good luck!!! Kansas is my homebase!
     
  21. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Apr 10, 2012

    Good luck with your decision!
     

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