Best Places To Teach?

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by Corky333, Dec 21, 2008.

  1. Corky333

    Corky333 New Member

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    Dec 21, 2008

    Hello all,

    I am a SS/Technology teacher with 6 years experience in NY. I am in the process of finishing up my Master's this summer and am looking to relocate. The problem is I am not sure of where I would like to relocate to.

    Any suggestions? I don't like extreme weather, I am very creative and would like to work in a district that looks highly upon creative/hands-on teaching. Also, I am concerned about salary. I am single and would need to be in a place with a decent compensation to cost of living ratio. I am looking for a nice place to live with really good school districts. Somewhere you enjoy being apart of their staff as well as the area. Any ideas about such a place?

    Thanks.
     
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  3. scott connuck

    scott connuck Rookie

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    Dec 24, 2008

    TRY TUCSON!

    Greetings fellow New Yorker!

    Born and raised in Brooklyn, I left in the 1970's never to return to NYC (except for visiting relatives for a few weeks at a time, of course!)

    At any rate, getting back to your question-- I have found the quality of life here in Tucson, Arizona VERY amenable. The weather is 5-10 degrees cooler than Phoenix, and, unlike its mamouth neighbor to the north, Tucson actually cools down at night. Also, Tucson has a great cost-of-living/earnings ratio-- your dollar goes VERY far as compared to other places. For example, I live in one of the only high-rise buildings--The Redondo Tower Apartments, on the top (9th) floor, with GORGEOUS views of the entire city from my hugh balcony, in a 2-bedroom, 2-bath apartment-- RENT/including gated parking??-- $850 per month!!!! Now, compare this to my brother's million-dollar Manhattan Condo, which faces a wall!

    As far as jobs are concerned, the largest school district in Tucson is Tucson Unified School District. They have experienced some difficult financial times lately... primarily this is due to the fact that TUSD pays it's employees the highest salary (In most Arizona districts, the base salary is supplemented by proposition 301 monies, so therefore, while my base salary is $55.000, I actually earn $65.000-- this does not include my addendums for tutoring, summer school teaching, and the fact that I'm grade level leader-- which brings my total salary closer to $70.000.-- Not bad, considering the low cost of living. Now, if you cannot get on with TUSD, there are other great districts in which to work... I happen to work with the Nogales Unified School District, which I've been associated with since the mid-eighties. Nogales is on the border with Mexico, and they always need good teachers (so if you don't get on with TUSD, Nogales Unified would also prove an excellent choice!) NUSD is about 60 miles South (straight highway driving). What is wonderful about NUSD is the GREAT community and the fact that they make their employees feel so needed and appreciated. I LOVE working for NUSD, and I'm certain you would too!

    Here are other local districts you might consider:

    Flowing Wells Unified School District
    Amphitheater Public Schools
    Sunnyside Unified School District (Tucson)
    Marana Unified School District
    Catalina Foothills School District
    Vail Unified School District
    Saguarita Unified School District

    I hope this gives you some idea about what is available in the Southwest. Tucson is considered a desert, but surprisingly is not that hot, or dry for that matter-- Tucson is not all brown like many parts of Western Texas and New Mexico, due in large part to our higher altitude. (The Saguaro Cactus... those hugh cacti with the long arms, for example, ONLY grow in the Sonoran Desert, and cannot be found anywhere else on earth!) And, what makes Tucson so special is the fact that we are surrounded by mountain ranges on all 4 sides!

    For a great place to relocate-- try Tucson!
    Good Luck!
    Scott Connuck
     
  4. Sunny Teacher

    Sunny Teacher Rookie

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    Dec 24, 2008

    Scott, I live in Tucson too. I'm starting my student teaching this January. I have never heard of a teacher making 70,000 in Tucson. I know I will be starting off around 30K. How long have you been teaching?? Also, I always had the perception that teaching in TUSD was not a good place to work. Can you clear that up for me?
     
  5. scott connuck

    scott connuck Rookie

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    Dec 24, 2008

    Hello Sunny Teacher!

    Just read your response. Let me state that I have been associated with Nogales since 1986, and had been teaching a few years before this, so I am at level 23 on my salary schedule. Also, what you must understand is a very well-kept secret-- Nogales can offer more money than just about any other district in Arizona due to the fact that the state offers additional funding based on ELL and Free/Reduced Lunch rates. Therefore, our salary is approximately $10.000 more (301 monies) than base. This does not include addendums for after-school tutoring, summer school, etc.

    As for people dissatisfied with TUSD-- This is very true! For too long, TUSD took their employees for granted. So much so, that there are teachers leaving TUSD and signing up for Nogales, despite the long commute, these individuals feel it's worth it!
    However, this being said, I know of many teachers who just LOVE TUSD, and, this I believe is due in large part to their respective school, its principal, and the students themselves. TUSD is still offering larger salaries than all other districts in the greater Tucson area.
    I hope this clarifies a few things!
    Scott
     
  6. teachersk

    teachersk Connoisseur

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    Dec 24, 2008

    How about South Texas?

    I just moved from there. Cost of living is INCREDIBLY low - and teacher salary was very decent- $42,000.

    I lived in a four bedroom house with a 1/4 acre fenced in yard, washer/dryer, dishwasher, brand new flooring and cabinets, and it was $750 a month. It was amazing. I walked to work each day.

    The schools are not the top of the line, but they welcome creative/hands on teaching. Actually, you'd be the first on their list of people to hire.
     
  7. Missy99

    Missy99 Connoisseur

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    Dec 26, 2008

    Right now, the McAllen/Harlingen area in far South Texas ("the Valley") is booming. It is actually one of the fastest-growing areas in the country. It's where all the Northerners go in the winter, so you know the weather is nice! It's also close to Mexico, it's still inexpensive to live there, and you wouldn't be too far away from South Padre Island :thumb:
     
  8. mcleod13

    mcleod13 Rookie

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    Dec 26, 2008

    I want to move down there. Right now, I am in Illinois and it is too far north of the equator. Maybe I'll get lucky and there will be a huge shortage of social sciences teachers in the next year.
     
  9. mcleod13

    mcleod13 Rookie

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    Dec 26, 2008

    Here's hoping that some schools in the south will need a lot of teachers in the future.
     
  10. JenKF314

    JenKF314 New Member

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    Dec 29, 2008

    I am graduating this May with a masters in special education from the University of Virginia. I am from Northern Virginia and am interested in school systems in Loudon County, Fairfax County, and Arlington VA. I am also considering move to Colorado.

    Does anyone have any helpful information about teaching in these areas? I am hoping to teach students with moderate to severe disabilities at the secondary or post-secondary school level.

    Thank you for any and all advice!
    Jen
     
  11. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Dec 29, 2008

    I can't help you much, except to say that any of the South Florida schools are probably NOT what you're looking for. Now, I love where I work and the kids I work with, but the district has major problems. Salaray is fairly low compared to cost of living. The only reason why I survive as a single mom, living in the house I live in is because it was a graduation gift from my parents. I only pay taxes and insurance (and even then I'm only covered for catastrophic damage), so my housing cost is almost nothing. I wouldn't reccomend any of the districts down here based on what you say you're looking for.
     
  12. pembroke corgi

    pembroke corgi New Member

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    Jan 12, 2009

    I can't help you with the information on Virginia, but I can give you some information on Colorado. I live in the Denver metro area and there are several large school districts, some of whom would be begging for special ed teachers! DPS (Denver Public Schools) and APS (Aurora Public Schools) have a high need for sp. ed teachers, and it is a definite bonus if you speak Spanish.

    I would google the districts as you can look up salary information right on their web pages. Some districts to look up would be Denver Public Schools, Aurora Public Schools, Jefferson County Schools, Adams County Schools, Douglas County Schools, and Cherry Creek Schools (these are all within the metro area of Denver).

    I am also finishing up my master's this May, though in Elementary Ed. I student taught in the Cherry Creek district and am currently still working there. The starting salary for a master's degree is $39,127 but you get yearly raises instead of it going up in "steps." The district is very diverse culturally and socio-economically.

    I find the Denver area to be very affordable. You can find nice apartments for around $800/month. You will also not find a more beautiful place to live! :) The climate is fairly mild (though we can get dumped with snow once and a while) and you have gorgeous views of the Rocky Mountains and easy access to lots of outdoorsy things.

    Hope that helps!
     
  13. ocean2026

    ocean2026 Rookie

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    Jan 14, 2009

    I posted our Website from Rockport ACISD and we have a few jobs - and there are others on here who mentioned South Texas. We are a small town near Corpus Christi. I spend some years in Tucson growing up and loved it. Unfortunately its now high in crime and urban sprawl - but plenty of jobs. I lived near "A" mountain and the weather is great.
     
  14. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Jan 14, 2009

    I just checked the TUSD and looks like they are looking for a ton of teachers. Doesn't help me, as I am in CA. The positions are all temporary, though. Do they start everyone on temporary?
     
  15. jadej

    jadej Rookie

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    Jan 15, 2009

    I agree. Texas has mild weather, especially South Texas. I live in Dallas, but have considered migrating South. Although the job market almost anywhere isn't great, I know Texas is still always looking. For 70k you may consider getting extra certification, or become a technology director for a school or something. Remember there are no state taxes, so making 50k means you take home 35k, etc, instead of 70k to take home 40k in New York.
     
  16. scott connuck

    scott connuck Rookie

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    Jan 15, 2009

    Jobs Throughout Tucson area listed as "Temporary"

    Most districts in the Greater Tucson Area list open positions as temporary in order to protect themselves in case the hired person does not work out. This being said, once the prospective employee gets his proverbial "foot in the door," they are, in 99% of cases re-hired the following year. I don't have the numbers, but I am told that very few individuals are not offered a contract the following year (once the employee successfully proves that they can get along with other employees and that they can teach).

    I hope this answers your question concerning jobs listed as "temporary" in Tucson Unified School District. You might also see "temporary" jobs listed at Amphitheater Public Schools (also in Tucson), as well as in Marana, Vail, Flowing Wells, and Catalina Foothills (all in the Greater Tucson Area).
    GOOD LUCK!
    Scott Connuck
     

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