Need Job Search Advice

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by shannon3, Jun 23, 2017.

  1. shannon3

    shannon3 New Member

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    Jun 23, 2017

    I recently moved to Chicago after graduating college, and have been applying to middle school and high school English Language Arts jobs in Chicago. I started applying to jobs mid April and have now applied to over 50 jobs total, but have only heard back from 2 or 3 schools.
    I was hoping someone would have any advice or words of wisdom for why I am struggling to get a response from so many schools? I have been told that I have an impressive resume, and strong references and letters of recommendation. Is there some extra step that I am missing? Or a different website I should be applying through?
    Any insight on how to get hired/noticed is much appreciated! Thank you!
     
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  3. viola_x_wittrockiana

    viola_x_wittrockiana Companion

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    Jun 23, 2017

    Are you applying for CPS or other jobs? Just so you know, CPS is a lot different from the suburban, charter, Catholic schools etc. with their hiring process. It's a tough market though. Do be aware that there will be a number of jobs that go up at the last minute, and more after about a month of school. If you're going for the non-CPS public positions, there's a ton of competition for those, so the only way to have a better chance is experience.

    As for sites, there's the state admin site, the archdiocese site, k12jobspot, and the district/regional office sites. Some schools use schoolspring, but not many that aren't also posted elsewhere. If there's anywhere in particular that you'd like to be, try submitting a resume to HR even if there's not a job posted right now.
     
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  4. shannon3

    shannon3 New Member

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    Jun 23, 2017

    This is really helpful! I've been applying through the CPS website and the Cook County site. I have been wanting to stick to public schools rather than private or charter schools.
     
  5. viola_x_wittrockiana

    viola_x_wittrockiana Companion

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    Jun 23, 2017

    Evergreen just put up 7th grade ELA today on the IASA site; if you're willing to go that far south, it's a safe area and decent district. Weird, but decent. I encourage you to read the CPS contract agreement - there's some things in it that may make you reconsider. For me, the deal-breaker was that you can be involuntarily transferred anywhere at any time. Also FYI, all CPS teachers must reside within the confines of city proper, so if you're not in the city city keep that in mind.
     
  6. bella84

    bella84 Fanatic

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    Jun 26, 2017

    CPS doesn't roll out their new budgets until July, so it's hard for principals to know what positions they will have available. Also, school just ended last week, so some teachers may not have resigned yet. It's not at all uncommon to get a job in August or September in Chicago. In actuality, I think that's much more common than receiving an offer in May or June. Every region has their own hiring calendar, and Chicago - CPS, in particular - just happens to be on the late side. Not hearing anything at this point is definitely not a reflection on you. It's just the way their system works.

    Also, if you aren't already aware, know that CPS is going through terrible financial times, so principals may be wary about hiring new teachers right now. There is no guarantee that they'll have the money to keep certain positions open, and I have serious doubts that principals even know what their budget will be for the coming school year. Even if they do open positions and fill them with new hires, there is no guarantee that the position won't get cut. They do this thing where they look at attendance on the 20th day of school and determine how many teachers are needed based on that. Any positions that they determine to be unnecessary will be cut. So, you could start a new job, set up a classroom, get things going, and, on the 21st day of school, find out that you don't have a job anymore. It happened at my school. Luckily, my principal appealed their decision and the position was saved, but it took a lot of paperwork and commitment on the part of many people to make that happen. Some principals wouldn't go that far to save someone's job.

    All of this is to say that you needn't worry too much that you haven't received much response at this point. It's also to say that, even if/when you do land a job, don't stop worrying. If you get a job in CPS, it could easily be pulled out from under you at any time.
     
  7. Shaw88

    Shaw88 Rookie

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    Jul 9, 2017

    I'm a current CPS teacher and my school is still working on a budget. Illinois just passed a state budget so I know that impacted finances as well. Have you completed the teacher pool application yet for CPS? That is the first step!
     
  8. chicago1984

    chicago1984 New Member

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    Jul 22, 2017

    The Chicago market is competitive. I'm a physics teacher and nationwide physics teachers are in short supply. However, there's a decent amount of competition for those jobs in the Chicago area. Most of the physics teachers when I started five years ago worked as a long term sub for a year before landing their first full time gig. There was a glut of teachers then, even in physics, but the situation has gotten a little better the past few years. Enrollment in education schools are about 1/3 to 1/2 of what they were five years ago. I've been teaching for five years now, and with the exception of one year I've been in the suburbs. The suburban jobs are hardest to get, and I think CPS and the Catholic schools are about equally competitive. I've never applied to CPS so I don't know anything about that, but I received a job offer for my first FT job 4 days before school started, and received a job offer for another suburban district in mid-July so many schools are still filling positions. Hang in there. Also, I've seen jobs get posted the first week of school because a teacher the district had planned on coming back didn't show up to school and didn't tell anyone that they weren't coming back. Can you coach a sport or sponsor an activity? Being able to coach a sport puts you at a huge advantage especially for English or Social Studies positions. Another option is to apply for paraprofessional positions. I've seen people use jobs like that to get a foot in the door and then they're in a good position when a job opens up in that district. I'd stay away from Catholic schools. They have plummeting enrollment, shaky finances, and teachers have no rights. A student can make up an accusation against a teacher and the teacher has little/no support. Also, they usually have provisions in their contract where they make you pay them a penalty if you break your contract in the summer if you decide to accept a higher paying position. Good luck!
     
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  9. Ron6103

    Ron6103 Habitué

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    Jul 24, 2017

    You seem to have already realized this, but the job market in Chicago, and particularly in the suburbs, is absolutely brutal. I teach social studies, which is probably worse than ELA, but not by much. When I just graduated from college with my BA in 2008, I applied to well over 100 openings all over Illinois (including CPS), and out of those 100+ applications, only had four interviews, and one offer. Obviously, I took the offer. It was out in a fairly rural and low income district. It took me eight years to finally get a position in a better suburb, but it wasn't in the subject I wanted to teach (it wasn't a social studies job, it was technology, which I'm also certified in). Only just now (July) have I snagged a social studies position in one of the nicer Chicago suburbs - but it's at a private school. Thankfully, it wasn't much of a pay cut (pay was just about equal), but it's the subject I wanted.

    Hang in there and keep applying. I had the best luck by sending information directly to principals and bypassing the online systems where people get lost in the shuffle.
     
  10. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Enthusiast

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    Aug 1, 2017

    You need to apply for every job, even if only to practice interviewing.
     
  11. Softgrip

    Softgrip Rookie

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    Aug 10, 2017

    Are you applying for CPS or other jobs? Just so you know, CPS is a lot different from the suburban, charter, Catholic schools etc. with their hiring process.
     
  12. vickilyn

    vickilyn Virtuoso

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    Aug 13, 2017

    First, ELA is a crowded field, trumped only by SS, History, and Music Teachers. Just curious - who said your resume was impressive? Did you create your resume, or did you have it created for you? If you had it written, I am assuming you also received a very professional cover letter to go with it. Your resume may show impressive things about you, but be presented awkwardly. There are a number of people who are quite good in looking at resumes and making excellent suggestions, just in case your version is not quite up to snuff. I'm not one of those people - I have mine professionally written as I add more certificates, education, experience. You only get a limited amount of time to grab attention and interest, so you should never underestimate the power of a well written cover letter and resume. It is even more important since you are seeking a position in a crowded field. Best of luck.
     
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