Job Search Advice

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Ms.Holyoke, Apr 7, 2018.

  1. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Apr 23, 2018

    It's so funny how these things vary so much from place to place. In my first year teaching I don't think I had any classes smaller than 30-32 students!
     
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  2. heatherberm

    heatherberm Cohort

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    Apr 23, 2018

    My first job in a public school included a couple of weeks of mandatory, unpaid PD (it was part of our contracted hours) so that's not necessarily something you'll get away from but yeah, 7:30-4:30 is a looooong day - I did 7:45-3:45 and that felt too long - and 30+ are a lot of bodies in a classroom. I see the argument for getting experience, but I think you should probably follow your gut. My first job was somewhat similar to that and it almost drove me out of teaching before I'd even really started.
     
  3. miss-m

    miss-m Devotee

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    Apr 23, 2018

    These are really long hours and that is a LOT of students for a first year teacher. Maybe it's different at a middle school/high school level to have 30-32 students (I'm elementary), but that is a lot of kids to manage at one time when you're new. I had 26 last year and that was almost enough to push me over the edge (high poverty school with a LOT of behavior problems).

    It sounds like they really want you, but I don't think the long day and large class size will be worth the struggle in the long run. It's true you can't really be too picky your first year in terms of what jobs are available, but... this just doesn't sound like a situation you'd want to willingly walk into.
     
  4. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Apr 23, 2018

    While classes this size aren't the norm in grades 4-8 here, they certainly aren't uncommon.
     
  5. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    Apr 23, 2018

    Agreed. Charter school is a totally different ball game.

    Did you ask if they have a full medical/dental & vision. Sick pay, snow day pay?? What about a teacher’s union, and retirement plan that falls in line with your state?? Otherwise, you’ll build experience with no credit towards retirement in your state pension program.
     
  6. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Apr 23, 2018

    I would only consider this job as an absolute last resort. Given that it's only April, I don't feel like we're at last-resort status just yet. If you are considering it, ask some questions. Here are some things to think about.

    A 9-hour teacher workday is a very long day. How much of this time is instructional time? Are you expected to perform additional, non-classroom duties like bus duty, lunch duty, etc.? Do you have a duty-free lunch? Do you have any guaranteed prep time during the day, and if so how much?

    For some perspective on the long workday, teachers in my district are contracted to work just over 7 hours. At my school, we work an 8-hour day because we have an extended day program. We are paid very generously for this additional time.

    How does the charter school salary line up with teacher salaries in the local public districts? How does the longer school day at the charter school compare to the day at the local public districts. Make sure you're comparing apples to apples here. For example, it's not too bad if the charter pays $40k and the public school pays $42k. But if you have to work 45 hours per week for $40k while only needing to work 37 hours per week for $42k, it starts to look a little less good.

    Class sizes...this depends on how things are in your area. At my current school, it's not abnormal for classes to be around 30-35 students. At my previous school, average class sizes were more like 40-45, with some much, much larger than that. In this day and age, with shrinking budgets and whatnot, I'd expect to see class sizes starting to increase across the board. I personally wouldn't be deterred by numbers like this, but I'm not the one making this decision.

    A month of unpaid work for PD is unacceptable to me. I think it's fair for new teachers to do a little extra in terms of teacher training days; in my district, first-year teachers work something like 190 days their first year while everyone else works about 185. It's unreasonable to ask anyone to work for an extra month without pay, though, in my opinion. If we take that hypothetical $40k salary from above, a month equals around $4,500. By asking you to work for free for a month, they're basically taking $4,500 from you. And since you'd be working during those days, it's not like you'd have a ton of free time to work a lot of extra hours at another job.

    I'd pass on this one, but you don't have to if you feel like it's a good fit or your best shot. Go into it with eyes open, though.
     
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  7. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Groupie

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    Apr 23, 2018

    bella! Don't be selfish. Just because you want to read Holyoke's horror stories come September doesn't mean she should go down this route!
     
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  8. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    Apr 23, 2018

    I have a decent salary, average for Type 04 - Certified Master Pre-K teachers in my area.

    But I work for a child care center, not an organization, agency or public school.

    Not considered salaried...Will get docked for 15 minutes and beyond.

    I have no benefits, no sick days, no snow days, no jury duty or PD pay.

    No pay for Xmas 2 week break. Only paid for 6 school holidays and Spring break.

    No stipend for training or buying classroom supplies.

    It does make a difference...:(
     
  9. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Apr 23, 2018

    I'm not looking for horror stories. I'm just speaking from experience. I took my first teaching job at a charter. It was horrible in so many ways. I was able to use that experience, however, to leave my position mid-year for a job that was in an excellent school district. The new school just happened to have an increase in students and needed to add a new teacher in January. Since I was at a charter and under an at-will contract, I could leave whenever I wanted. As Leaborb said, mid-year openings do happen, and the competition isn't as high. My charter experience got me the job over other candidates who didn't have any teaching experience at all yet, as I was able to talk from experience in my interview, as opposed to just theory. I suffered through a year and a half at that charter, but I'm certain that it was my experience there that got me the next job... and led me to where I'm at now.

    In the end, it's the OP's decision. From my perspective, though, first year teachers can't be picky unless they're in an area with a high teacher shortage. Most charters are at-will. To me, it's a no brainer to accept this job but continue looking. If something better comes along, accept it and back out of the charter. If nothing else comes along, at least you're employed and able to get experience that will be of benefit when looking for positions in the future.
     
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  10. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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    Apr 23, 2018

    .
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2019
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  11. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    Apr 23, 2018

    Today, I had my demo for the public school which is right next to the charter. The charter pays the same as this school since it's in district. The public school has an 8 hour long school day and pays the same but I LOVE this school and the kids seem awesome.

    Unfortunately, my demo didn't go very well (or I think it didn't go very well.) She said that my classroom management could be improved upon but she said that can be done with coaching. That was her biggest feedback. She said they have at few other demo lessons too. The lesson really wasn't the best showcase of my teaching abilities and the principal left in the middle :( not sure why that means but I don't think I got the job. I'm upset because this was a really good opportunity.
     
  12. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Apr 23, 2018

    Exactly. I even remember, when I interviewed for the mid-year opening at the good school district, the principal asked me, right before I walked out the door at the end of the interview: "If you don't mind me asking, how can you get out of your contract?" I explained that I was working at a charter school and that my contract was at-will. I think he was surprised to find that a currently-employed teacher could accept a mid-year opening without repercussions. When he found that I could and his only other option was to go with people who had no experience, it was easy for him to offer me the job.
     
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  13. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    Apr 23, 2018

    Wow!! The public school I interviewed at has classes of about 22 students. The classes I student teach now are smaller so I'm definitely not ready for a class of 30 students!!
     
  14. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    Apr 24, 2018

    I'm feeling really disappointed with my demo lesson from yesterday. I would love feedback on how to improve at demo lessons because I'm not doing a great job right now.

    -I only had a handful of kids participate. I know I should have done a turn and talk. Normally I would cold call in my own class. I also tried to say "someone at this table please" to answer a question but they didn't answer. It's a school with many ELLs so I was also nervous to cold call.

    - I let kids call out when I know I shouldn't have :( This is what I'm used to doing in my student teaching and I think it was just a habit. In my own classroom, I believe in raised hands. I got this feedback in two of my lessons.
     
  15. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Apr 24, 2018

    Anytime I do a demo lesson, I script it out for myself ahead of time. I plan for the exact points where I’ll do a turn and talk or chart something, etc. I email ahead of time to find out how the teacher manages various aspects of the classroom so that I’ll be able to use what they are accustomed to during my demo. Then I explain how I might make adjustments in my own classroom. Every last details needs to be thought through, visualized, and planned ahead for a demo. I never go to those lengths in my own classroom, but it’s necessary when you’re going to be under observation in a high-anxiety situation like a demo. That would be my recommendation to you. Also, I think you’ll get more comfortable the longer you teach. If you take your charter offer now and look for other jobs after you have some classroom experience under your belt (not student teaching), you’ll likely get better at demos without even trying. It just becomes more natural the longer you do it.
     
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  16. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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    Apr 24, 2018

    ,
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2019
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  17. rpan

    rpan Cohort

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    I too will take the charter job just for the experience. It will give you an edge over other candidates who don’t have experience. Also, you want to build on what you have learnt during student teaching because classroom management really is a skill you need to be in a classroom to practise. Personally, I’ll suck it up with the long working hours, because frankly, as a first year teacher you will easily put in that much time into your planning anyway and since it’s not a long term job, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. I would also like to add that to me, job security is very important, so I’d rather have something lined up as a safety net, and that influences my point of view as well.
     
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  18. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    Apr 24, 2018

    So I just got an email from the public school that I had a demo at first (in the district I am student teaching in) about a potential position. I hope this opportunity works out.
     
  19. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    Apr 24, 2018

    My contract hours are from 7:10am-3:30pm. That’s 8 hours, 20 minutes, and most workers work 8-hour shifts. Why is 7:45am-3:45pm too long? That’s exactly 8 hours.

    However, 7:30am-4:30pm is 9 hours and that’s pushing it. Is the extra hour professional development? I typically leave exactly at 3:30pm because I tutor after for an hour or two.
     
  20. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    Apr 24, 2018

    Yay! Good luck! :)

    Hopefully, they offer a better salary and good benefits!
     

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