Alternative Certification Program in Texas

Discussion in 'General Education' started by latinomanz, Jun 28, 2020.

  1. latinomanz

    latinomanz Rookie

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    Jun 28, 2020

    Hello,

    I am doing an ACP with ECAP in Texas to be certified in Spanish but I live in NY, I already have my intern certificate and I have a Bachelor's Degree in Spanish and a Master's Degree in Spanish and I am getting my PhD in Spanish and I am a native Spanish speaker. No previous teaching experience though.

    My question is, how the HELL does one go about getting a job as a Spanish teacher??? I have applied to over 40 ISD's in Dallas and Houston area and now applying in San Antonio and Corpus Christi areas, I have had like 12 interviews in the past 1-2 weeks and I have done well on those interviews or so I think but still NO OFFER yet. I read on the forums that getting a job as a teacher was not that hard and people got an offer after applying to like 8 ISD's but according to my experience unless I have 10 years of previous teaching experience and a BA in Education or I have contacts I ain't going nowhere or maybe those who mentioned that they got an offer after applying to like 8 ISD's only were people from the ACP themselves so that people would sign up for their programs.

    Any advice?

    Thanks.
     
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  3. CaliforniaRPCV

    CaliforniaRPCV Companion

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    Jun 28, 2020

    Keep looking and have patience?
    I think 1to 2 weeks is a very short timeframe post interview. Anybody strongly disagree or have contrary experience?
     
  4. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Texas schools have to be scrambling, wondering how the school year is going to look, what changes need to be made, and whether there will be real students in the schools come fall - all because of COVID that spiking there. There is a lot going on, and I think that many interviews is impressive, personally, for the situations. You might want to have someone tape you interviewing so you can look back at it after the fact to see if what you think is great looks as good the second time around, or if, instead, you see room for improvement. Just a thought, however.
     
  5. latinomanz

    latinomanz Rookie

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    Thank you for your reply, I think probably the virus was one of the reason I was giving to myself but also the fact that I am from New York, normally companies prefer to hire someone local, unless there is no one available. I have taped one like you said and I did not see much room for improvement, however I have fixed the little bit I had to fix.
     
  6. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    Jun 28, 2020

    latinomanz,

    I see two things that might be working against you. First is the intern certificate. It is great that you have it, but you need to realize that you are probably competing with other teachers who are already fully certified. This can make it difficult, no matter how well you interview. If a school district interviews two highly capable candidates (you being one of those) -- and one is fully certified, and the other only has an intern certificate, they are going to go with the fully certified candidate every time. While you can teach (with a mentor) with an intern certificate in Texas, there are still so many other hoops you have to jump through before you are fully certified, so that will make you a less attractive candidate, all other things being equal.

    Personally, in your situation, I would look for areas in Texas with huge shortages of certified Spanish teachers, and would focus my job hunt there. These jobs will be in the least desirable areas and in the most difficult schools, but if you can get "in" there and make a name for yourself, you will have a much better chance to move on a better district or school (or you may find you enjoy the challenge of working at a difficult school.)

    The second thing I notice is that you are in NY, which makes potential employers very hesitant to hire you, because so many things "could" happen to keep you from actually moving, settling in, and being happy in a new area. Typically, the way you get a job in a different state is be head-and-shoulders above all the other applicants (in terms of experience. That can be hard when you only have a intern certificate. You aren't a "known commodity" and you don't have that "connection" to the potential employer's community.

    So when you add these two issues together, it might explain why you aren't getting the offers you desire. It doesn't mean you don't have excellent skills, or excellent potential, but just remember that every new hire costs a school district a lot of money, and they don't want to have to be redoing it in the near future. It does play a part in the decision-making process.

    I know one thing that helped me when I moved from one state to another was that I had a local address and local phone number for my resume. It made it less noticeable that I was from "out of town."

    The only advice I can offer is this -- look in areas that are short on your subject, and at less desirable schools. You may have more success, and once you become a "known commodity" you will have more success. I wish you the best of luck. It can really be difficult in many areas to get a job with just an intern certificate, even with all your other educational qualifications.

    And if K-12 teaching is your goal, I would hold off on finishing the PhD until you have a full teaching certificate and are already with a district -- because a beginning teacher with a PhD will be priced out of the market. They will have to pay you more than say, a bachelor's level teacher with a full certification and five years successful teaching experience. The pay between a bachelor's and a master's is usually not prohibitive, but the difference in pay between a bachelor's and a PhD can be massive, for someone who has not yet "proven" themselves in the K-12 field.
     
  7. latinomanz

    latinomanz Rookie

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    Thanks for your reply. You suggested me to wait until I have a full teaching certificate but the thing is in order to get a full certificate, I have to do a 1 year internship, so it becomes a catch-22.

    Second, you said you had a local address and a local phone number, didn't they call you for a face to face interview?
     
  8. latinomanz

    latinomanz Rookie

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    Also, do you know of any ISD's that have a high need of Spanish professors?
     
  9. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    I had the mail read to me by a service, and the calls all were messages. I managed to get there for face-to-face. Not easy -- but it is what I had to do. However, with covid right now, I'm sure places are accepting of video and phone interviews -- that wasn't the case when I was moving states.
     
  10. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    No, I don't. I see some jobs available for secondary Spanish teachers in Texas, but over half of them won't consider interns (which means they are not high need areas.) About half would consider interns, but I have no idea how many qualified applicants apply for each position. Remember, you will be competing with other applicants who are already fully certified, who may have a few years of experience teaching in secondary, and who already live there.

    I do know, after some research, that Texas is in a desperate need of bilingual secondary teachers -- but that means they have to be both bilingual and fully certified in their specialty area. The articles I read all stated how difficult the process is to become a bilingual teacher there, and how next year they are going to consider changing the requirements because the needs are so high.

    If it were me, I think I'd track down a few currently employed Spanish teachers in Texas (you can find them by searching a school district's website, identifying specific schools all over Texas, and then searching their faculty email directory to find their Spanish teacher) and I would contact many of them, and simply say that you are considering a move to Texas and you are wondering what the job opportunities for secondary Spanish teachers are. You may get one two who reply. (I did this when I was considering changing states, and made a few nice online friends this way.) Some won't reply, but you'd be surprised how helpful many teachers are. Make sure to keep the email short and sweet, and don't try to "sell yourself" (because they don't have the time or interest to read that) -- just ask about the job market.

    Also, if there is a specific area or two you are interested in, get in touch with the union (or association rep) from that area (you can search this information through google) and contact them. Ask about job opportunities in their area, and some will even refer you to a union (or association) member who is a former or current Spanish teacher, who knows the job market. That contact could be invaluable.

    Last, I might contact one or two of the principals you have already interviewed with. I would assure them that you are NOT asking why you didn't get the job (for legal reasons, HR won't let them answer that question) but you might ask them about their school district -- whether they have a great need for Spanish teachers or if there are hundreds of applicants for each job, and how their district feels about hiring intern candidates. (Some districts have no problem with that, others won't even considerate it, so its good to know this information.)

    Job hunts are not for the faint-of-heart. Job hunting is a full-time job in and of itself. Best wishes on finding a job.
     
  11. latinomanz

    latinomanz Rookie

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    Jun 30, 2020

    Thanks for your reply. You know, some jobs ask for permanent address and temporary address, did you enter both the same as in the state you were trying to get a job or did you put your original address in the permanent one and then the local address in the temporary one?

    Also, all applications ask for driver's license ID, if I enter a NY ID, they will see I am not from TX.
     
  12. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Normally I would suggest planning to go to Texas for a couple of weeks, so that you could be in state for interviews. When my son was looking out of state for a job and he was contacted to interview, we told him he needed to go to the interview, so he traveled there. When one school in a very large district found out he was coming, he ended up interviewing for five schools in three days, and he had three offers in hand. Because he had a sense of the people, the locations, and what the jobs entailed, one offer was an easy no. He took 24 hours to deliberate between the other two, weighing pros and cons, and he still works at his top choice five years later. He had been looking for two years, first in one subject, then he added a MEd. in TESOL, and still he didn't have an easy job search. I noted the county he finally was hired in had very diverse populations and so he sent in the application. The rest, as they say, is history.

    Unfortunately, Texas may not be someplace I would travel to right now, and, they may not be having face to face interviews based on their current surge in cases of COVID 19. I would be coming up with some excellent, believable answers about why you want to leave NY to come to Texas. I also agree with the admonition about not finishing your PhD, since you will be totally pricing yourself out of the job market.
     
  13. latinomanz

    latinomanz Rookie

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    Thanks for your reply, I do not have a PhD yet and I normally do not mention that on my applications, also, NY has very bad weather which I hate with passion that is why I want to leave NY, since interviews are not face to face, I can pretend I am in Texas and they would just interview me over zoom and then if I get the job, I would move there.
     
  14. latinomanz

    latinomanz Rookie

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    And so, my Master's and my PhD are at the same university, but I still have 3 more years to go for the PhD, so, if they ask me for my Master's transcripts, then they will see that I am studying for a PhD but my Bachelor's was at a different university, so, should I only mention the Bachelor's?
     
  15. txmomteacher2

    txmomteacher2 Enthusiast

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    Try applying in smaller school districts. Might not be an ideal place to live forever but once you have experience the bigger schools will look at you. If you don't want to live in a rural town then try the smaller cities. For example,Midland Odessa, Boerne, Kerrville, Bandera and many more to choose. Midland Odessa are bigger cities. Boerne is a stones throw from San Antonio. Kerrville is a litte further fro SA and Bandera is about 40 miles from SA. If you don't mind rural try places out in West Texas. The town I live in fairly isolated but I like it. Unfortunately we have no openings for Spanish. Here is a link to some openings
    http://careercenter.tasanet.org/job_list.php
     
  16. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    It doesn't matter that you are working on the PhD, so unless you think the masters degree will be a deal breaker, I would send all my transcripts, but others here may feel differently. People do not always finish a PhD or a masters but the credits can influence your salary. It might not if you are an intern, but would with a certificate. I don't see anything wrong with having the masters, though.
     
  17. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Send all of your transcripts. Not sending them is in the same vein as lying, and you don’t want to be caught lying when searching for a job. Be open about who you are and your background.
     
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  18. latinomanz

    latinomanz Rookie

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    Well, i have always mentioned my Masters but sometimes I do not mention I am doing the PhD but they will see it on the transcripts, I will send it all of my transcripts then.

    There was this person who became a Dean at a university for 14 years and then they discovered he never attended college, at least he had a good 14-year run haha.

    Also, between I posted this threat and and this message, I have had 6 different interviews. So, let's hope for the best.
     
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