Non-American Math teacher candidate

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by Apaasn, Jul 2, 2015.

  1. Apaasn

    Apaasn Rookie

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    Jul 2, 2015

    I completed my education in India and came to live in the US with my husband about 7 years ago. I have a green card and got into the credential program along with a master's degree due to my interest in this field. Previously, I worked for 3 years in IT. I just completed my student teaching at a title 1 middle school and my master teacher and other staff members were highly impressed with me. My master teacher is the Math department head and she did everything possible to try to get me a job at her school. She gave me an awesome letter of rec and told the principal about how they should hire me immediately. But the principal was extremely wary of me as I was a non-American and told my master teacher that the fact English is my second language could be a problem with the students. My master teacher defended me saying not a single kid complained of my accent or had difficulty understanding me and that I am perfect for the school as ELLs identify with me and open up in class which is all very true.
    I decided not to wait for this school to offer me a job and started applying for jobs as soon as I finished student teaching, but I haven't got an interview yet. I am starting to think that it is the fact that I am not an American that is stopping schools from contacting me and I am starting to worry and panic. Since I just completed my student teaching, I don't have my credential yet but I have applied for it. Could this be the reason? Am I over thinking this or is it going to be extra difficult for me to get a job?
     
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  3. Apaasn

    Apaasn Rookie

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    Jul 3, 2015

    I live in California. Unfortunately there is no proof of what the principal said, she said it to my master teacher who told me about it. During my student teaching, I taught for 20 days straight without my master teacher or a substitute teacher. I did very well with the students even though I was pretty stressed. The staff were very impressed and they kept saying that I should apply there. Everyone kind of pushed the princi into considering me. Finally she gave up and came to observe me on the last day before testing. I didn't have any lesson planned, we were doing SBAC practice. I managed the class well, did what I had planned with my master teacher and thought the class went really well. The principal said she thought my instructions were vague and I need to be more specific when talking to students. She also thought I should do more student driven activities. I tried to tell her that it was the last day and we were just reviewing, but looks like her mind was made up. I handed worksheets and told the students to put their name on it. She wanted me to tell them to put their names on the top right corner. This was what she meant by vague instructions. I thought she was being unreasonable and thought that I will find a job where I am valued. But now seeing no calls, I am starting to get worried. I know that not every principal thinks this way, maybe I need to be patient, after all I just started job hunting. I would appreciate any advice.
     
  4. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Jul 3, 2015

    Despite faculty and staff recommending you, the ultimate decision is up to admin. For whatever reason, this P is not seeing you as a fit for the position in question. Could be the lack of license, could be your accent, could be s/he didn't like your lesson. Nontenured teachers are let go ALL THE TIME and not given any clear reason why other than maybe not being a fit. Move on.

    Not having your license in hand is one reason you may not be getting interviews. See what you can do to expedite your paperwork, polish up your resume, cover, and interview skills. It's s tough market out there. Good luck. :)
     
  5. mathteachertobe

    mathteachertobe Cohort

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    Jul 3, 2015

    If you are in the bay area, my district is actively looking for math teachers. (San Francisco). Not having the credential might be a problem, make sure you make it clear the application is pending at the CTC (assuming that is the case). Also make sure your cover letter is very compelling. In most of California, being bilingual is considered a real asset, and not just Spanish or Mandarin/Cantonese. Knowing someone has learned a second language suggests they may better understand the struggles of our ELL students in the classroom.
     
  6. Apaasn

    Apaasn Rookie

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    Jul 3, 2015

    I live in Orange County, California. My application is pending with CTC and I should have it within 4 weeks. Thank you for your comments! I will polish my cover letter and post it here for your comments. I am multi lingual, I can speak 3 languages other than English but I haven't mentioned it in my cover letter as I thought it may not be that important for a math position. I am good with Common core standards and have good classroom management skills. I have some good ideas on how to prepare students for the standardized test. I guess my weakness is I am a very modest person and I am not good at selling myself. Let me update my cover letter and try again.
     
  7. Apaasn

    Apaasn Rookie

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    Jul 3, 2015

    I wish to be considered for a Mathematics Teaching position at ABC School District and read your posting for a Math Teacher with great interest. I am extremely passionate about Mathematics as it is a subject of logic and reasoning. I have a strong background in Mathematics and this helps me make it easy and comfortable for the students. I have been successful in teaching the Common Core Math Standards and preparing students for the standardized test.
    Most recently, my responsibilities at XYZ School match the qualifications you are seeking. As a student teacher, my responsibilities included planning and executing lessons using a variety of instructional strategies and teaching study skills that will help the development of all students. My favorite part of the position was assisting below-grade-level students to acquire basic skills. Many of the eighth grade students were struggling with fraction addition. The most satisfying moment for me was guiding them using tips and tricks until they finally reached their “aha” moment to master the concept!
    In addition to student teaching, I have worked for several years as a Quality Assurance Engineer. My Engineering background has helped me come up with engaging and clear explanations of Math concepts. I love to make the content that I am teaching relevant to students’ lives. I plan on integrating my real world math experience into the classroom to provide a hands-on, reality based approach.
    As a teacher for ABC School, I will use my passion for teaching to share curriculum with my students. Key components of my classroom will include hands-on learning experiences, real-life scenarios that enhance the curriculum, and development of a concise set of classroom expectations that all students can understand.
    My knowledge of math combined with teaching students who are English Language Learners will make me an asset to your district. I will use my knowledge to maximize learning opportunities for all students. I have enclosed a copy of my resume with this letter. Thank you in advance for considering me for any open positions. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

    Best regards,
    Apaasn


    This is my original cover letter, I have not mentioned being multi lingual. Wondering if this compelling/ too long? Appreciate any advice.
     
  8. ChildWhisperer

    ChildWhisperer Devotee

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    Jul 3, 2015

    If you're going to mention ELL students, maybe it'll be a good idea to also mention being multi-lingual. That's a rare skill, why not "brag" about it? :)
     
  9. Apaasn

    Apaasn Rookie

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    Jul 3, 2015

    PallasAthena,

    Thank you so much!!! I appreciate it and I agree it sounds better than mine.
     
  10. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    This is much more engaging and compelling than the original.:thumb:

    Apaasn...will you be able to convey this same passion, clarity of thought and philosophy in an interview?
     
  11. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Jul 3, 2015

    Having an accent or not being an 'original' american should not be the reason not to hire you. I have an accent, yet I teach high school English. The only time I've ever seen an accent a hindrance is with ESL positions, when an actual American accent is needed (especially if teaching outside of the US)
    If that P is being so prejudiced, def. try at other schools.
     
  12. Apaasn

    Apaasn Rookie

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    Jul 3, 2015

    I better be able to, I definitely have the passion and the philosophy but I am not very good at conveying it. My personality is such that I always talk less and work more, but I realize in order to get a job I have to talk a lot, convince strangers into hiring me and really sell myself. It is hard and that's why I was so disappointed that principal didn't give me a chance.
     
  13. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    Jul 3, 2015

    Many colleges have classes where you can practice interviewing skills, to help you be the person they need to see. Like everything else in this world, I am sure that if you Google it you will find links. It might be worth some effort, since I feel you have much to offer.

    Best of luck in your search.
     
  14. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Jul 4, 2015

    Try thinking of the interview as an opportunity to teach: you're teaching the principal/committee/Human Resources why you'd be a really good person to hire.

    That the principal you mention doesn't seem to be a very good learner reflects more on that principal than on you. It's frustrating, though, of course.
     
  15. lucybelle

    lucybelle Connoisseur

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    Jul 4, 2015

    ALWAYS mention you speak various languages and that you have international experience. Schools LOVE that.
     
  16. renard

    renard Companion

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    Jul 4, 2015

    Sorry, the ESL teacher in me is coming out. Remember, in English, we don't generally capitalize job titles (that aren't headings) or the names of subjects (unless they are specifically languages, like English, or numbered courses, like Mathematics 101-3). So, mathematics, not Mathematics, English language learners (ELL/ESL, acronyms are an exception), and so on. I don't often point this out, but since you were concerned about your own perception as a non-native speaker, I will.

    Good luck! I have gone through similar judgments as a non-native speaker (in a French community). It hurts like hell, when you know you're a good teacher.
     
  17. Apaasn

    Apaasn Rookie

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    Jul 4, 2015

    Thank you for that! So it is mathematics, English language learners (not English Language Learners) and also it is engineer not Engineer. Am I right on the last one?
     
  18. renard

    renard Companion

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    Jul 4, 2015

    Yes, but just to throw in a headache, you could say: "Mathematics Professor Mr/Mrs Apaasn, who teaching a course on algebraic mathematics and Italian, will be giving an interesting lecture in Mathematics 101 tonight in room 120".

    "When I was young, I wanted to be an engineer" vs "Project Engineer Smith is concerned about XYZ"

    I know it isn't a natural sentence, but that's a demonstration of the differences.
     
  19. Apaasn

    Apaasn Rookie

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    :wow: I understood that sentence, I do care about it, so thanks for explaining it! :)
     
  20. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    renard is illustrating the difference between a position, which isn't capitalized in American/British English, and a title used as (part of) a proper name, which is.
     
  21. ahodge79

    ahodge79 Companion

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    Jul 6, 2015

    I live in OC too and the market is ROUGH. However I have been getting calls and got a job offer. Math is a hard to fill position, so you should be okay. Your biggest problem is that you don't have your credential yet would be my bet. They get so many applications, they will find any reason to weed people out. As far as I know, they want a diverse staff so I'd think that is a bonus. That principal is not someone you want to work for anyway, although that would of been nice.

    Good luck!
     

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