Applying for positions - wonder how some of my answers sound?

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by bros, Mar 1, 2014.

  1. bros

    bros Phenom

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    Advocacy would be an interesting career path, but I would like to try out teaching, first.
     
  2. chemteach55

    chemteach55 Connoisseur

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    Just curious--teaching in and of itself is stressful. Parents who think their child is brilliant and you are the only class that they are not getting an A in, administrator pressures on teachers to perform, and just the daily struggle of dealing with children who have a brain that has not yet fully developed and often act without thinking. You need to be able to handle these everyday stresses which can seem great on the spot. You will not have time to see a therapist before dealing with this type of stress and it can be a major stress when it goes on and it does go on daily. Are you going to be able to function efficiently and in the best interest of the children in the classroom? I am not trying to be mean but I would not want my children in a classroom with a teacher that could at any possible time become unstable. I have dealt with depression and anxiety for many years and know that it can be successfully controlled with meds. But what concerns me is that from what you have said on the forum is that yours is not totally being controlled. I know that if I ever felt like I was not controlling my disease successfully then I would immediately take myself out of the classroom for the safety of my student. I just think that you need to be aware that the classroom is not always a rosy place and you do not come across as realizing that. I have not had what you call a "decompensatory event" in 21 years since I suffered with postpartum depression after the birth of my last child. You really need to re-think trying to be in the classroom until you have NO such events for quite a while for your own sanity and the safety of the children.
     
  3. bros

    bros Phenom

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    Events like talking to unfamiliar people or excess pressure by an outside force does not cause an event. Something like a family member dying, or a member of my immediate family being suddenly rushed to the hospital, causes such an event.

    I can handle the everyday stresses. It's just the sudden incredibly shocking things that are decompensatory - which is when the defense mechanisms that are built up stop working in response to extreme stress. I can usually manage to get a hold of myself after a short period of time. It never happened during my student teaching or while I have been in a classroom. I am able to steel myself against the everyday stressors while in the classroom. The decompensatory events have only occurred when at home, when I am utilizing less defense mechanisms. When I am in public or in a social situation, I can resist such pressures and stressors with ease.

    Also, when something beyond the normal stress occurs, I can usually either get in to see my therapist same or next day, or he'll call me back within 30 minutes.

    I am not medicated for my anxiety, nor do my doctors think it is necessary at this point in time. Also, most anxiety medications, other than the ones that would be overkill, would have an adverse reaction with my seizure medications.
     
  4. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Family dying and such are what have caused your past decompensatory experiences...however you have never held a job, your ST experience was limited at best and anecdotes you have shared about your journey thus far are what cause the seasoned veterans here to caution you. This is a stressful career..even those under the best of work conditions are working under increasingly rigorous evaluation systems, high stakes testing ( an excellent 4th grade colleague got a look at the PAARC pilot today as her class is a 'pilot test' group...she came out shaking her head:eek: and everyone grade 4 and up will have part of their evals based on student growth as measured by such assessments), public scrutiny and other demanding legislation, mandates and expectations. Your ST experience really did you a Disservice in terms of holding back from releasing full responsibility to you. You really have little idea of what this job entails on a day to day basis...this is not to say its impossible but certainly it's going to be more difficult given your lack f any real working experience, health oncerns, needs for accommodations and a general naïveté about what you're getting into. You're a bright young man, bros, with a lot to offer...we all wish you the best....it just is hard to imagine that the classroom is where 'your best' will come to fruition.
     
  5. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    When you work with children, you never know what type of stressful events can and will happen at any given moment. You have many children, many individuals to work with, and you have to be able to quickly react, and make the best decision.
    It's not something you can really prepare for, or role play or plan. It's hard. Bros, I think it's going to be harder for you, but I guess you're just going to find out on your own.

    The sad thing is that the adults (administration and parents) make it more stressful, but it's not their fault, that's just how it work. All the adults are acting in the best interest of the children, and then can come down on teachers pretty hard, but that's also understandable.
     
  6. bros

    bros Phenom

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    Called about my sub application. The person said she got my teaching certificates and transcripts and she is going to review my application, make sure there are no errors, then schedule an interview with the assistant super
     
  7. Geologygirl

    Geologygirl Comrade

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    Mar 5, 2014

    Good luck with the sub stuff!
     
  8. bros

    bros Phenom

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    So do you guys think my resume and answers are good enough to submit an application?

    What about this?

     
  9. mathteachertobe

    mathteachertobe Cohort

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    If you are credentialed to teach history, and you received that endorsement based on your 36 credits, then you would select Undergraduate Credits Equivalent to Major.
     
  10. sue35

    sue35 Habitué

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    Have you gotten letters of reccommendation from your cooperating teachers and maybe the principal? Do you have a portfolio or proof of student work.

    If not, I would aim to get these ASAP in case you get called to interview.
     
  11. bros

    bros Phenom

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    Not credentialed to teach History. I'd have to take the Praxis II in Social Studies to get that.

    But I think I am HQ in History because of it being my content area.

    I do not have letters of recommendation from my cooperating teachers or the principal. Both cooperating teachers said I could list them as references when I asked, though.

    Also, a LTS job just got posted for a nearby district - Grade 4.

    Also, any tips for a letter of introduction?
     
  12. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Mar 6, 2014

    So who do you have letters of recommendation from? Because you will need them.
     
  13. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    there are very few purely history positions in middle school...most are blended history/Ela or some other content unless you are upper middle school...and with no work experience, it's not likely you'd be considered for those even if you had cert in hand. The NJ forms are a bit confusing...technically you might be considered hq for history (not quite sure what 12 credits at higher level means), but it's a long shot for you to be considered competitive for a social studies position with no work experience, ST in kindergarten, and no content area major or certificate

    I'd be just a bit concerned with no letters of rec....as a 'reference', they are somewhat limited in what they can say...

    Letter of introduction vs cover letter:

    http://woman.thenest.com/letter-introduction-vs-cover-letter-12704.html
     
  14. bros

    bros Phenom

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    Mar 7, 2014

    I believe 12 credits at a higher level means (as the NJ DoE defines it, 12 credits of upper level courses, so like 300 & 400 level, in a coherent sequence, which I have).

    The reason I was asking is because the positions I am looking at in my town are for people with K-6 certs who are highly qualified in Social Studies.

    My content area was History, but it wasn't a major (A major is like 45ish history credits, I took 36, which was the required amount for K-5 majors). I took pure history, rather than the whole breadth of social studies, which K-12 History majors have to cover in their non-History courses. But I did take a course which reviewed those subjects.

    The position I am looking to apply for is a Teacher of Elementary Highly Qualified in Social Studies, they want applicants to have a K-5/K-6 certificate and preferably a Teacher of Students with Disabilities certificate.

    I am only looking at Elementary positions right now. No middle school positions, as my certification only allows me to teach 6-12 if it is basic skills (If I am remembering correctly).

    What are you defining as middle school? I am a bit confused by your post - in the districts around me, middle school is 7th and 8th grade. 5th and 6th are intermediate schools, they are also when departmentalization begins.

    So basically in a letter of introduction, talk about how I would love to be a teacher in X district and cite things like my performance in college for why they shouldn't toss my resume in the reject pile?
     
  15. sue35

    sue35 Habitué

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    You need letters of reccommendation. The letters are what got me a job, they are very important. They can set you apart from others. I would call up the teachers and ask now.
     
  16. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    I would concerned with no letters of recommendation as well. Those are so important when making yourself stand out. Did they give you a reason why they couldn't give you a letter?
     
  17. bros

    bros Phenom

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    No. I did not ask for a letter of recommendation.
     
  18. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    And so....what are you going to do about that? YOU NEED letters of recommendation. What is your plan?
     
  19. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Why not?
     
  20. sue35

    sue35 Habitué

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    Don't even worry about an introduction letter right now. Just get the reccommendation letters. You need them. You want to apply with your strongest application possible, and you need the letters to do so. While you are waiting for them, you can work on introduction/cover letter.

    And you should call about them because I think I remember you saying the teacher didnt always write back to emails
     
  21. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    How do you not know what your certification allows you to teach?


    It really doesn't matter what I consider ms...I have a cert to teach thru grade 8, but in my district could only teach they grade 5 (ms grades 5-8) due to hq standards...kind of depends on how is set up where you are applying. You have no experience, bros.you are up against professionals with certifications, education and experience that will outweigh all that you have listed on your resume. With no job experience of any kind, stifled ST experience and the accommodations you demand, how competitive do you view yourself?
     
  22. geoteacher

    geoteacher Devotee

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    Mar 7, 2014

    I think that this needs to be your #1 priority also as you will not be hired without references. References are usually a standard requirement for a CT. I was asked to complete and send one with the final evaluation for the student teacher. I know that your placement has concluded, but do not put off asking for a reference. The end of the year is a busy time for teachers, and you don't want this set aside in all of the shuffle.
     
  23. bros

    bros Phenom

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    I know what my certification allows me to teach. My question was regarding how I answer the Highly Qualified question.

    The K-6 (formerly K-5) allows me to teach anything K-6 as a generalist. Teacher of Students with Disabilities is an endorsement which allows me to teach students with disabilities in grades K-6, or provide support/consultation for PreK & 7-12.

    It's not the end of the school year until June 26th.

    I have references, just not letters of recommendation.

    The district that currently has jobs posted is the one I student taught in.
     
  24. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Year-end stuff is starting now, at least in my district. Teachers start wrapping things up at this time of year. It will just get busier and busier from this point forward, at least in my experience. If someone needed me to write a letter of recommendation in hopes of getting a job for next year, I'd want them to ask me sooner rather than later. I would need a few weeks to carve out the time to do it.

    You very likely need actual letters of recommendation, not just references.
     
  25. teach1

    teach1 Companion

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    i agree - get those letters of recommendation! i'm shocked no one at your university told you this.
     
  26. sue35

    sue35 Habitué

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    You need the letters of reccommendation no matter what. Focus on getting those before anything else. You want your application to be as strong as possible and you need the letters.

    Call Monday and ask for them.
     
  27. bros

    bros Phenom

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    It was my supervisor's first time supervising a student teacher and she wasn't given any of the training on how to help student teachers.

    And I was also the first student teacher my morning cooperating teacher had ever had.
     
  28. sue35

    sue35 Habitué

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    This doesn't really answer to why you didn't get the letters, but that doesnt really matter. They will write them and if they need help they can look up how to. Are you going to call and ask for them Monday?
     
  29. donziejo

    donziejo Devotee

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    You really do need to ask for the letters. When I decided to leave Utah, I applied to many different states. I needed at the most 3 letters, and the least 1 letter of recommendation. It takes time to write them so be fair and give others the time to write them.
     
  30. geoteacher

    geoteacher Devotee

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    My school also doesn't get out until June, but I am currently preparing for joy final unit for the year- along with planning for field trips and other end-of-the-year events. You have no idea how busy things will get in those final weeks.

    You are a beginning teacher. All of your teaching references[ should have been asked for letters of recommendation before you finished up your time in their classroom. Again, I strongly suggest that you make phone calls (not emails) right away on Monday. Regardless of whether you apply in your student teaching district or not, you need those letters.
     
  31. Ash3

    Ash3 New Member

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    Bros, I also live in NJ. I'm very curious has to how you're on disability and are deemed able to work? Everyone I know who is on disability, they're basically told (I don't know the legal jargon) if they become able to work they will be kicked off. Didn't you prove with your student teaching that you are able to work?
     
  32. bros

    bros Phenom

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    I'm a client of NJ DVR.

    While you are a client of vocational rehabilitation and receiving SSI, if you do something like student teaching, that does not disqualify you from getting SSI, per federal regs.

    My disabilities are still considered severe enough to qualify me for SSI, as my motor-related disabilities (the primary reason for SSI) have not improved at all since the decision was made. When looking at me globally, I am still severely impaired with little chance of improvement.

    When I finished student teaching, I contacted the SSA and they informed me that I can still receive SSI until I get a job, then I will stop receiving SSI, provided I earn over a certain threshold. After that, I will qualify for expedited reinstatement - in the event of losing my job within 5 years to the month, I can apply for expedited reinstatement and get SSI & Medicaid in under 30 days.

    Medicaid is very very very useful, as it pays for the co-pays on my brand name medications

    With SSI, nobody tells you "you cannot work, you are disabled"

    They tell you that if you work, your benefits will be reduced.

    Before now, there wasn't any job I could do that would've been worth the reduction in benefits, as the SSI was going entirely towards student loans/tuition/taxi fare/train fare.
     
  33. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Have you asked for letters of recommendation yet?
     
  34. bros

    bros Phenom

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    Sent emails, no response yet.
     
  35. sue35

    sue35 Habitué

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    Call the school and ask for them. You said before emails don't work
     
  36. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Bros, I hate to say this, but I for one am tiring of giving advice that is continually ignored.
     
  37. bros

    bros Phenom

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    I'm going to call tomorrow. Tomorrow won't be good for my morning CT, though. No prep, then she runs out the door at 1. But a note can just be left for her in her mailbox.
     
  38. bros

    bros Phenom

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    Wasn't able to call today, was dealing with scheduling/rescheduling doctors appointments and then when the mail came, I got a letter from the SSA about how they want to do a redetermination of disability/qualification this upcoming Monday - they just want to review my finances, though. Rather annoying that they give me less than 7 days notice.

    Going to call the school tomorrow for letters of recommendation.

    Do you think it would be a good idea to call the personnel person who deals with substitute teachers about if/when I am going to get an interview or not? I last called her last Friday, I think. Since the next BoE meeting is the week of March 24th. As long as I get an interview before then (and I am approved) I am pretty sure I can get approved by the board to substitute teach, as I have seen notes in the meeting minutes next to approved subs that their approval is pending paperwork, which I think refers to the fingerprinting, which only takes a few days to get back, from what I have heard.
     
  39. sue35

    sue35 Habitué

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    Given that it sounds like you really don't want to call to get the letters, I would focus on that for tomorrow. After you secure the letters you can focus on the next call
     
  40. chasisaac

    chasisaac Comrade

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    Mar 13, 2014

    Except you cannot be, in most states, endorsed with just a number of credits.

    It is usually credits + test not just credits. Or in some (well most) cases just a test.
     

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