Becoming a Teacher in California

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by mkoc3113, Mar 1, 2013.

  1. mkoc3113

    mkoc3113 New Member

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    Mar 1, 2013

    Hi everyone. The thought of becoming a teacher has been on my mind a long time, but every time I've looked into it, I've managed to talk myself out of it. The layoffs here in California and also the difficulty getting hired make this dream rather scary.

    I'm currently in my last semester of community college. I'm doing very well, and I think I'll have the opportunity to transfer to a school with a good teacher training program. A local university, UC Irvine, has a program that lets you finish your teaching credential and BA/BS in three years after transfer.

    I'm really interested in this because it's been a dream of mine to work for the Irvine School District.

    For my major I'm picking economics. First, because that's what I enjoy studying, and second because if I can't find a teaching job it would be easier to find a job with an economics degree. I would love to teach high school economics.

    I would also love teaching foreign languages. I'm fully fluent in Korean; I'll also be fluent in Japanese in about a year.

    What worries me most of all is the prospect of finding a job and keeping a job. I want to stay in Orange County or Southern California, and I definitely do not want to worry about getting laid off every year. I also want to teach at a school with an IB program and a lot of AP classes.

    How difficult is it to get a job as an economics teacher? Any personal experiences?

    What about as a foreign language teacher?

    Is it possible to major in economics, get foreign language teaching credentials, and end up a foreign language teacher?

    What can I do in the next few years to make success more probable?

    Also, on a side note, if there are not any opportunities to become a teacher, I'd like to stay at the college I attend and try to become an administrator. What is the best way to take this route?

    Thank you very much for all your help.
     
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  3. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Mar 1, 2013

    Welcome to A to Z, mkoc3113.

    Economics is part of the social science credential (in the same way that theatre is included under the English credential) - though I think it's possible to add economics to a business education credential. It's hard to say which one is more marketable.

    What will make you marketable, I suspect, is your languages. This could work two different ways: teaching those languages (that is, getting credentialed or authorized in Korean and/or Japanese), or teaching in those languages (that is, joining a dual-language immersion program and teaching economics or other social science content in Korean and/or Japanese). The good people at UCI's school of ed should be able to tell you what you'd need to do for each - and if you search A to Z for "korean", you should be able to find a fairly recent thread in which I posted a link to the California Department of Education's list of dual-language programs.
     
  4. teresaglass

    teresaglass Groupie

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    Mar 2, 2013

    Glendale Unified School District has a large Korean community. See if you can teach there.
     
  5. EMonkey

    EMonkey Connoisseur

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    Mar 2, 2013

    With a BCLAD it is not as hard to find a job.
     
  6. teresaglass

    teresaglass Groupie

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    Mar 2, 2013

    You should also try LA UNIFIED. There are some dual immersion language programs in that district, you could work in also. You might want to get a TA job in your chosen district to gain some experience before you get your degree.
     
  7. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Mar 2, 2013

    She will get that automatically with the CA credential. I think it will still be somewhat challenging to find a job.
     
  8. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    At least if you go for economics as your major you will have something else to fall back on. As you know to teach in Ca you need a BA in something, then add the credential. So you can maybe see how the market is after you graduate and either add on a credential or wait.
     
  9. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    I also second the languages. BCLAD already makes it easier to get a job, and your languages are not that common (like Spanish) but are getting popular and wanted.
    I just saw on the news that in SD parents were lining up and camping outside overnight in front of some of the dual-immersion schools, the day before registration.
    I assume more and more schools will be popping up with that program. These were public schools. The languages were Spanish and Mandarin, and I can see Korean and Japanese becoming very important in these programs.
     
  10. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    LA Unified has Korean dual-language programs through high school, according to CDE.

    mkoc3113 will certainly get CLAD authorization automatically through the credential program (that's ESL, for the non-Californians), but BCLAD (bilingual ed) is a somewhat different kettle of kimchi.
     
  11. mkoc3113

    mkoc3113 New Member

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    Mar 2, 2013

    I'm a "he" not a "she!" :)

    But thank you very much everyone for all your help.

    BCLAD sounds interesting but there is only one high school in all of California that has a Korean bilingual immersion program, and I'm pretty set on wanting to teach high school.

    Also, to be frank, I would be much happier teaching Korean, Japanese, or Economics in English, than teaching in a bilingual immersion program.

    What are the realistic odds of this in Southern California?

    What can I do to increase my odds?

    It would be helpful if someone could tell me what kind of odds I face. Around how many applications are there for every opening?
     
  12. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

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    Mar 2, 2013

    I am elementary, so I really can't help you with your specific subject areas, but I do know that OC is VERY VERY tough. I would argue that it's probably the toughest area to get a job in southern CA. Irvine Unified is also probably one of the toughest districts to get a job in within OC. If you're willing to expand your search outside of OC your odds will go up.

    But then, you are a few years away from being done with your certification, so who knows what the job market will look like then? Perhaps things will have improved at least to some extent.

    If I were you, I would start researching what High Schools in the region offer Korean and Japanese as foreign languages.

    I'm also not sure if high school teachers typically only teach Economics. I know at many high schools Economics is a semester course and Civics is covered for the other semester. At least, it used to be. Teachers in that subject area would probably be more helpful!
     
  13. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    It's entirely possible that it would be easier to get hired as a economics-and-Korean/Japanese teacher than as a social science teacher specializing in economics. I'd look at public schools with existing programs - but I might also shop myself to high-end charter or private schools with international aspirations (and one suspects that the Irvine area is well stocked with them), on the principle that they might not know they want to offer Japanese or Korean till someone shows up with the ability to teach those languages.
     
  14. teacherwithlove

    teacherwithlove Comrade

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    Mar 3, 2013


    I'm in Kern County which is 2 hours north of LA and I beat out over 350 applicants for my job back in 2011. I don't know if that can be comparable to any openings in LA but it let's you know how the market is/was right now.
     
  15. mkoc3113

    mkoc3113 New Member

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    Mar 8, 2013

    Thank you all so very much for taking the time to reply.

    It sounds like the odds are very low. I hope, but won't expect a rebound in the job market in the next few years, and I'll proceed very cautiously with my plans.

    I actually think I would also be happy working as an administrator or counselor at the university i end up transfering to. I will definitely get a student job there and try to work my way in. So I do have options other than teaching.

    As for teaching, something teachergroupie mentioned really interests me. Is it really possible--in practice, not just in theory--for someone to be hired to teach multiple unrelated subjects? It sounds really fun (and a lot of work!) to have economics and Korean/Japanese classes at the same time. Has anyone seen a teacher at their school or another school do this?

    Also, I know this is kind of general, but would new grads have a much tougher time in the job market since they're competing with so many experienced applicants?
     
  16. anewstart101

    anewstart101 Cohort

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    Mar 10, 2013

    Also, I know this is kind of general, but would new grads have a much tougher time in the job market since they're competing with so many experienced applicants?[/QUOTE]

    I know one district here in southern california that is encouraging newly credentialed teachers to apply. I think it is probably because one costs less to hire a newly credential teacher.
     

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