Virginia teachers...help please!

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by Teacherella, Jun 27, 2009.

  1. Teacherella

    Teacherella Habitué

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    Jun 27, 2009

    We will be moving to VA in the next few months because of my husband's job. We're probably going to move around Stafford, Woodbridge, Dumfries/Triangle, or Fredericksburg areas and I was hoping for some information about the job market and districts there.

    I live in NJ and have a Masters in Elementary Education and a special education certification. I have not taken the VA certification tests so I don't know if that will automatically disqualify me from interviewing for positions. Do you know of anyone from out-of-state getting hired without taking the VA tests (on a provisional/conditional offer)? I'll be looking for a mid-year job at first (I have to finish up an interim teaching position I got here in NJ until Dec.) and then looking for my own classroom. Are there more job openings in special education? How about any private special education schools? If so, are they more lenient on not having the required tests completed right away?

    Sorry about all the questions, but it's such a confusing process and I want to do my research. Thanks!
     
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  3. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Jun 29, 2009

    I went in the opposite direction- from Virginia to NJ. Why not pm RainStorm if she doesn't post directly here? She is in Virginia (Norfolk area).
     
  4. lilmisses1014

    lilmisses1014 Comrade

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    Jun 29, 2009

    I don't live anywhere near where you will move to and know nothing about the local job market, but I can tell you that districts do hire provisionally-licensed teachers. Call HR office for the area districts to find out more information. In VA, when you get your provisional license, you have 3 years to complete the missing requirements. (Though I think if they choose to change those requirements, you would have to comply with the new rules.)

    The other thing is, if you have so many years (I think 3) of contractual teaching experience, you wouldn't have to take the exams.

    Good luck to you!!
     
  5. smurfette

    smurfette Habitué

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    Jun 29, 2009

    Are you talking about Praxis? Why don't you take them now, so that when you get down here, you don't have to worry about it? Right now, a lot of districts are upping class sizes and reducing the number of teachers needed. Of course, with retirements and teacher transfers, districts are still hiring, just not as much. I would think that in a job market like this, you would want to make your hiring as easy as possible. You probably could be eligible to be hired on a provisional certificate, but if you were a principal, you might be tempted to go with the candidate who is fully certified.

    At my school, in Prince William County, we did have a provisionally-certified SPED teacher. It might help that you have the SPED certificate. If you have any other questions about PWCS me know, or PM me.
     
  6. mollydoll

    mollydoll Connoisseur

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    Jun 29, 2009

    Prince William and Fairfax say they mostly hire in July. Most districts will not hire provisionals except in critical areas, including special ed. If you check the state department of education website, all of the routes to certification are spelled out. Virginia uses Praxis II, but not Praxis I. There is a separate literacy exam, VCLA/VRA. I have a friend who teaches spanish in Prince William. She moved from Pennsylvania and has not yet taken the VCLA, so they don't require that immediately.

    For a mid-year position, Fairfax County is probably your best bet. They always need special ed teachers and that is a fairly transient area, not to mention a huge district, so chances are good. They are super strict on provisionals, although they make exceptions for special education.
     
  7. smurfette

    smurfette Habitué

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    I don't believe you have to take the literacy exam if you have taught for more than 2 years. I didn't take it when I moved from Maryland.
     
  8. smurfette

    smurfette Habitué

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    Very true. The destaffs from the budget cuts have been processed. My principal has several interviews lined up this week.
     
  9. MsBee

    MsBee Devotee

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    Jun 29, 2009

    So I do have a chance for both of these districts!!
    It would be my dream to work at any one!
     
  10. mollydoll

    mollydoll Connoisseur

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    I would have too, but both told me they wanted to set up second interviews, but not until July. I couldn't afford to wait that long and risk everything else filling up.
     
  11. MsBee

    MsBee Devotee

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    What do you mean? Couldn't you have still set up those interviews and kept applying and then cancel if you found something?
    I have only been on a screening interview for Prince William.
     
  12. mollydoll

    mollydoll Connoisseur

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    I have a question of my own: do most districts pay VRS for you, or deduct it from your salary (as listed on the pay scales)?

    I've found two districts that specifically say they pay VRS; the rest don't specify. That could be a pretty big difference in pay.
     
  13. mollydoll

    mollydoll Connoisseur

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    I didn't have interviews scheduled. I did both screening interviews back in February, and was contacted by HR for both at the end of May saying that they would like to call me in July for an interview. I've already had several job offers and am about to sign a contract as soon as I can schedule a time.
     
  14. MsBee

    MsBee Devotee

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    Oh okay. So you did a screening interview with Fairfax as well? They told me I did not need to do one...am I missing something!!!! lol
     
  15. mollydoll

    mollydoll Connoisseur

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    I subbed in Fairfax for a few years. I've always heard that they have a pretty formal hiring process. I did screening at the job fair, and then they require the Gallup Insight, and then you often interview with HR and they do a lot of open contracts. I'm not sure how often principals do interviews/hiring.
     
  16. MsBee

    MsBee Devotee

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    Oh okay. Thanks. I'm going to call them tomorrow/
     
  17. RainStorm

    RainStorm Aficionado

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    Jun 29, 2009

    Teacherella,
    I can't speak for all of Virginia, but I know in the area where I live, 2 districts will not consider a person who is not completely certified (they won't even consider provisionals, no matter what) and the rest will, but only in critical need areas. (Special ed is a critical need area, here.) Two will consider it, but only in hard-to-fill schools (ie really tough places to teach.)

    July is prime hiring time here. So is early August. Please remember that many localities in Virginia fall under the "Busch Gardens act" (the nickname given to the law that requires we start school the week after Labor Day.) This means our school years start ridiculously late and last to mid June (much later this year, because of a late-falling Labor Day.) Some localities that aren't related to the tourism industry or which operate year-round schools are exempt.

    Someone asked about VRS. Most districts do pay the VRS -- but you want to check specifically to make sure. You have to think about that, because it will be important to you later in life.

    Midyear hires can be tricky, but there are always some midyear retirements (I'm one of those teachers who was originially hired in January, so when my time comes for retirement, it will happen in January.) Also, some people don't make it teaching, and their positions come open. Some areas are military, and they have transfers. You just never know.

    If all you need is the Praxis II, go ahead and set up to take it. It isn't hard, and once you have it done, you have it all taken care of.

    I know in our area, we sometimes have to go out of the country to fill all of our special ed positions. We often recruit from the Phillipines because we simply don't get enough qualified applicants (hmmmm inner city AND special ed -- can't imagine why people aren't knocking our doors down trying to get in?) ;) However, if you are looking for general ed, principals always need general ed teachers who want to do the inclusion classes and co-teach with a special ed teacher. Many new teachers don't want to do it, and your education in both areas will make you more marketable.

    In Virginia, we live and die by the SOLs (Standards of Learning) so if you get an interview here, review them before you come. In elementary school, 3rd, 4th, and 5th are SOL testing years -- and are quite stressful to teach. As a new teacher, you are basically evaluated by how well your students do on the SOLs, so you want to wow them at an interview with your understanding of how the tests work, the standards they cover, and how you'll remediate and teach test-taking strategies. How you are going to get your students motivated to do their best is a point you want to sell, even if the question isn't asked. If schools don't do well on the SOLs, there are serious consequences for the school as a whole -- so it is important.

    Good luck with your job search.
     
  18. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    See, I told you Rain would have great words of wisdom on this subject!! :p
     
  19. RainStorm

    RainStorm Aficionado

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    Here is the current list of districts with job openings in Virginia from teachers-teachers.com. Some are near, some are far -- but this is what is listed right now.

    Elementary Classroom Teacher
    Montgomery County Public Schools
    Christiansburg, VA

    Second Grade
    Calvary Road Christian School
    Alexandria, VA

    Kindergarten
    Calvary Road Christian School
    Alexandria, VA

    Elementary Title I Math/Reading 09-10 SY
    Surry County Public Schools
    Surry, VA

    Early Childhood/Elementary
    Fairfax County Public Schools
    Fairfax, VA

    Science
    Fairfax County Public Schools
    Fairfax, VA

    Elementary Teachers
    Accomack County Public Schools
    Accomac, VA

    Early Childhood/Elementary
    Amherst County Public Schools
    Amherst, VA

    4th Grade
    King and Queen Public Schools
    King and Queen Courthouse, VA

    Elementary PreK-5 2009-10
    Danville Public Schools
    Danville, VA

    Intermediate School Grades 5 or 6
    Manassas City Public Schools
    Manassas, VA

    Elementary Teacher (Grades TBD)
    Manassas City Public Schools
    Manassas, VA

    Early Childhood/Elementary
    Sussex County Public Schools
    Sussex, VA

    Part-Time Gifted Teacher Elem. and Middle
    Buena Vista City Schools
    Buena Vista, VA


    Elementary Grades
    Norfolk Public Schools
    Norfolk, VA

    Elementary Grades
    Norfolk Public Schools
    Norfolk, VA


    Early Childhood/Elementary
    Way of Faith Christian Academy
    Fairfax, VA

    Infant Educator
    Charlottesville City Schools
    Charlottesville, VA

    Elementary Teachers
    Stafford County Public Schools, Inspiring Excellence
    Stafford, VA

    Elementary Teachers
    Loudoun County Public Schools
    Ashburn, VA

    3rd Grade Teacher
    Faith Christian School
    Roanoke, VA

    4th Grade Teacher
    Faith Christian School
    Roanoke, VA
     
  20. MsBee

    MsBee Devotee

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    Jun 29, 2009

    RainStorm thanks for all the info. I am so happy that there is still a chance. Like I said I am banking on Prince William or Fairfax county. I just want to do everything right so I can get interviewed and get a job.
     
  21. RainStorm

    RainStorm Aficionado

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    Jun 29, 2009

    MsBee,
    Here is the proposed salary scale for the 2009 school year. http://www.pwcs.edu/finance/budget/2009/Scale09ProposedBudget.pdf
    You have to scroll down to where it says "195 day employees"
    to see the actual pay scale for teachers. It hasn't been approved yet, but it will give you an idea.

    Be forewarned however, the cost of living in that part of Virginia is higher than in many others -- so while the starting pay seems quite good, you have to take the whole picture into account.
     

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