What did you do after graduation?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by zmp2018, Dec 2, 2018.

  1. zmp2018

    zmp2018 Rookie

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    Hi, all:

    Well, I’m on the brink of one of the most exciting but scary moments of my life. Student teaching ends on Friday for me. I’m beyond thrilled but also scared at trying to find a job. I recently passed my Praxis exam for my content area and can register for certification once my final grades are posted.

    Just out of curiousity: what did you do right after graduation? Did you apply to sub at every district within reasonable distance? Is there a cap as to how many schools where you can apply? My university really hasn’t helped in this aspect, so I’m a little lost.

    Also, I saw that my home district is hiring TAs. What are the pros/cons of being a TA vs being a substitute?
     
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  3. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Groupie

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    I didn't have my certification after graduating so I subbed for a while and also applied to grad school. I didn't love subbing but it was great experience for classroom management.
     
  4. ssgirl11

    ssgirl11 Companion

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    Sub, sub, sub! You will get your face in more schools, therefore increasing your chances of getting a job. Being a TA would be nice because you are in the same place everyday, offering you more stability. Unfortunately this stability limits you to being known in just one district.
     
  5. Guitart

    Guitart Rookie

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    I was a sub for one school year after earning my cert. Sub = no benefits. Prior to teaching, when I was a f/t para educator (same as TA?) I got benefits.
     
  6. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    I graduated in May and immediately got a teaching job. I worked retail during the summer to save money and build up my wardrobe.

    If I had graduated in December, I would have subbed to get more exposure and connections.
     
  7. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    I graduated in May and immediately moved out of state to begin a teaching job. Since then, I have lived and taught in 5 different states over 42+ years. I am retiring in less than 3 weeks.
     
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  8. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Fanatic

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    After I graduated with my Bachelor of Science degree with major in Mathematics and minors in Chemistry and Computer Science, I went on to pursue my Master of Arts degree in Mathematics Education (which only had four actual math pedagogy classes and the rest were upper division math courses) because I wanted to start higher up on the teacher salary schedule. After that, I took and passed the following:

    CBEST,

    Single Subject Math CSET: Subtest I (Algebra and Number Theory), Subtest II (Geometry and and Probability and Statistics), Subtest III (Calculus and History of Math),

    Praxis 5161,

    Preliminary Technology Subtests I and II, and

    US Constitution exam.

    I did this so I would make myself more employable in the eyes of an employer and so I could intern at a school district while I completed my teaching credential program. (Concerning the latter, I applied for and was accepted into one while I taught full time, but I’m getting ahead of myself.)

    Short story long, I looked around at a few public and private schools (there is no limit to how many you can apply to) and eventually narrowed it down to two schools — one public and one private. I went to the public school one first because of the salary package offered, but when I calculated out how much they would take out due to union dues, pension, healthcare, and federal, state and local taxes — which amounted to roughly 40% of my gross pay — I determined that I would be making next to nothing and so I declined their offer. They were upset by this and offered to bump me up a few more steps, but it still was not worth it to me economically and so I declined once more.

    I then applied to the private school that I was considering because I had heard nothing but good things about it. It had entirely positive reviews from people who work there and I so thought why not and give it a try. Well, I am glad that I did because my interviewers said that I looked great on paper and hired me after the three rounds of interviews (diagnostics, teaching a few lessons, and speaking with the principal).

    When I met with the principal a second time, I negotiated what I thought was a fair rate, so with my Masters + 5 at the time, I would start at $40,000 in year 1 and get a $5,000 annual increase when my contract was renewed at the end of the year. But I renegotiated again at the end of last year — I’m now a 5th-year teacher — to get a 7k annual increase instead until I max out at 100k. (Why am I saying this? Well, even if you just apply to public school districts, you should try seeing if you can negotiate to start at a higher step if you have an in-demand credential. This is because you negotiate before you sign a contract but NOT after. Once you sign on the dotted line, you are locked in at whatever step you start at.)

    Essentially, I opted to work at my private school because of the opportunity for growth here. I realized that I, and I alone, am my best negotiator and could do better than what a teachers union could do for me.

    NOTE: My experience is not indicative of what new teachers normally encounter when they start their careers. I specifically chose a school where I knew I could privately negotiate my own salary and not have a teachers union to do collective bargaining on my behalf. I also based my decision on the median annual salary of teachers at the school, which was 85k at the time (it’s now 90k).

    To answer your questions, you might try researching the names of schools in your area by typing “school districts in <your location>” into Google and going to each school district’s website to see if there are any job openings. Also, you might try searching on Edjoin and other websites that are specifically geared towards educators who are seeking employment.

    Finally, I’ve heard from other posters on here that you sometimes have to have prior substitute teaching experience in certain districts before they will even consider hiring you and/or at least a few years of full-time teaching experience to even step foot into the more competitive districts, so there’s that to consider. Maybe try working in a less desirable district (to you) just to get experience and then apply elsewhere after you have positive reviews.

    Congratulations and I wish you the best of luck!
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2018
  9. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Fanatic

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    I’m confused. You just graduated, but you’ve been teaching for 42+ years? (Incredible, by the way.) Am I just reading this incorrectly?
     
  10. zmp2018

    zmp2018 Rookie

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    I think what this person meant was he/she graduated in a spring semester while I’m graduating in a fall semester, just to note that the experience might be different.

    I’m sorry if you’re being sarcastic and I just don’t realize it, lol.
     
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  11. zmp2018

    zmp2018 Rookie

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    Wow, thank you.

    I do know that there are some school districts in my area that want teachers to have experience subbing in their schools.

    In my current placement, the attendance secretary, who is also in charge of recruiting subs, provided me with a sub application and said my district loves to have subs that know the district. She said because I am a student teacher and know the kids, the district is comfortable in hiring me to be a sub. I can also fill-in for my mentor whenever he takes a day off. I’m hoping it works out.
     
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  12. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Fanatic

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    You also might want to look into seeing if there any long-term sub positions available because you would be paid as a normal teacher would.
     
  13. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Fanatic

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    I hope it didn’t come across as being sarcastic. I was legitimately curious because I didn’t want to jump to conclusions.
     
  14. zmp2018

    zmp2018 Rookie

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    Haha, it’s okay. It’s just hard to read sarcasm over the internet, so I didn’t want to seem like a jerk if I pointed it out.
     
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  15. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    I graduated in the spring, so I just went into full time teaching right away in August. I worked the same summer job I'd had all through college that last summer while I was looking. Had I graduated in December, I would have first looked to see if I could find any mid-year postings. Of course they are more rare, but there is no harm in trying, and theoretically there would also be a lot less competition for those positions if you can find them. If there aren't any mid-year postings, I would look for long term subbing positions next.

    In the meantime, I would start day to day subbing ASAP in as many districts as you can get into. IMO, the big benefit of taking an aide position over subbing would be getting updated references. Since you've just completed your student teaching and presumably should have references from that, you are already up to date. It would be better to get your face out into new schools and have people see you as a teacher rather than an aide. In my building, those that we've ended up hiring from our sub pool showed strong classroom management skills when they were subbing in the building. I'd really focus on that aspect and make sure you're not complaining about behavior or calling for help with behavior unless it's a true emergency.

    You can also start working on your cover letter and resume if you haven't already. If there are districts you know you're really interested in, you might want to start an online application while you have more time to devote to it. Most of the applications I filled out were really time consuming. Many places will allow you to start on the application even if there are no specific postings to apply to yet. That way when a specific posting does come up, all you'll have to do is click on the one you want to apply to and you'll be one of the first to have your application in.
     
  16. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    I was a May graduate, so I applied for jobs immediately. I also applied to sub, and I ended up subbing at the district where I wanted to teach.
     
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  17. Bibliophile

    Bibliophile Companion

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    I graduated in early December but didnt take my final cert test, the RICA, until the end of the month because...well...I was afraid of it. I was working in a private school doing a job share position. I was already a 5th grade teacher Monday, Tuesday and alternating Wednesdays and I was the para for the teacher that I job shared with the other days at the time and I wanted to have time off to deal with the stress and to be able to study up on the certain reading pedagogy key term and practice my case studies. I sat for it December 30 because it was Christmas break. I passed it the first try, but while I waited to hear back I started applying because my goal was to be a full time teacher in a public school with a higher salary.

    It was very slim pickin's in January and I almost got another job share position but I lost out to someone with more experience. 5 years later I can see that this was the biggest blessing because that district is having serious financial difficulty because their Super mismanaged funds. In February and March everything opened up and their were a ton of openings. My dream district doesn't really hire anyone unless they have subbed in the district, which I couldn't afford to do and I need insurance since I am a mom, so I applied everywhere else.

    I didnt realize that the hiring process can be very slow in Feb/March (because everybody has a lot of options still) and when I didn't hear back from some places I started to panic. Then I got my first offer at a Charter school so I took it. Over the next 2-3 months more offers came in and I turned them down since I had already accepted a position. THIS WAS A BIG MISTAKE! The offers were better and the charter I ended up at was a real dumpster fire that left me a little singed from the experience.

    Since the charter school experience was so bad I started applying elsewhere the next winter/spring. I was patient this time. I got multiple offers and I weighed them carefully. I am very happy with were I ended up. I would advise anyone graduating at this time of year not to feel like they need to stick with the first offer they get. Often those hiring super early who make offers very quickly are doing it because they have a high turn over rate because teachers are running for the hills from their school. If you accept an offer just to make sure that you had something, dont stop applying to see if something better comes along.
     
  18. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    I was fortunate. I got my own classroom. A teacher left mid-year and I took her position right after graduation. I had subbed for years in the district so I was already known by people in school where I was hired.
     
  19. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    I meant it was May of the year I graduated (A LONG time ago).
     
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  20. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    I was also a May graduate (2005 ).

    Had a job lined up before I finished up my student teaching that spring.

    The summer between student teaching and getting my own classroom, I continued working my bank teller job.
     
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  21. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Fanatic

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    The bank teller who now makes bank as a school administrator, lol! I love it!
     

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