Best Places to Teach?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by alielizadubois, May 1, 2009.

  1. alielizadubois

    alielizadubois Companion

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    May 1, 2009

    I know that the answer to this question is totally, 100% subjective. And of course, no place is perfect, but I figured I'd do the impossible and put this question out there, as I'm VERY curious about everyone's answers.

    A little bit of background:

    I am an ESL teacher. I work at a public elementary school in Brooklyn, and work with English Language Learners in grades 3-5 from around the world.

    I love my job, and am more or less happy at my school. What I really love about it is the vast diversity represented there.

    Our school is a Title I school, and we are very well funded, further, our principal is a great budgeter, and we almost always have supplies (markers, pencils, chart paper, printing paper, etc.) when we need them. Our school is pretty high performing, and our kids are great.

    Teacher salaries in New York City are pretty comfortable, although, the cost of living is TREMENDOUS, to say the least.

    There are, though, the downfalls: overcrowding, an overdependency on balanced literacy, in a curriculum that is very strict and narrow (doesn't really apply to me as an out of classroom teacher), a bit of underappreciation for out-of-classroom people, a Mayor with a lot of control and no educational experience, and the same can be said for the Chancellor.

    As I'm sure is the case with most schools, there is a crackdown on assessments, and more specifically, data. There are big moves towards tracking teachers, a chancellor who is in favor of merit pay based on scores, etc.

    Many schools in NYC, however, have their issues, whether it be funding, teacher availability, socioeconomic problems, etc.

    In all, though, (most days anyway) I currently enjoy working here.

    My fiance and I are interested in moving (probably to California) after we get married, which would put us in the position to find a new home anywhere from 1-2 years from now (our wedding is next July, 2010).

    When talking with some people who have experience all over the United States, I was informed that schools in California are not very well funded, and as a side note, that there isn't a large demand for ESL (ELD) teachers in the elementary school, as the move is for classroom teachers to get their CLAD (or whatever they call it now) credentials.

    This "not very well funded" thing got me thinking. Am I crazy to try somewhere new?


    Where is "the best place to teach", and how can I possibly find it?
    What do you like about where you live/work? What are the downfalls?
     
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  3. stephenpe

    stephenpe Connoisseur

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    May 1, 2009

    In my opinion. Small schools are best but that is usually rural or very small towns. I work in N Fla in two very small elem, schools.
    Each has about 150 kids in grades k-5. Rural kids also seem to be better behaved with parents that will support you. Not always but pretty good.
     
  4. Mrs.Z.

    Mrs.Z. Companion

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    In CA, Elementary school teachers being hired MUST have a CLAD and teachers that have been teaching (even for 30 years!) must go back to school to get it. This makes us "highly qualified" to teach EL students in the classroom. There are still some schools that have an ALD teacher, but few and far between. However, if you are very good at what you do, colleges and universities are certainly in a pinch for specialists in this area to train and teach all those would-be teachers who need this expertise.

    As a note, MOST school districts in so cal are pink slipping and have hiring freezes, so even though you would THINK EL teachers are in demand (especially in LA where 50% of the public school population is EL), they're not. And getting a regular elementary job, even with years of experience can be extremely difficult.

    Sorry to be a big ol downer!!!!!:dizzy:
     
  5. alielizadubois

    alielizadubois Companion

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    May 1, 2009

    The "downer" that you are is much appreciated. I wouldn't move out there without a secured job, but its good to know that I may face a lot of challenges!
     
  6. nattles19

    nattles19 Comrade

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    I like teaching in New Mexico. Our state has an interesting and long history (dating back before the pilgrims) which makes teaching social studies interesting. There are many geographical features here that make teaching science interesting too (including volcanoes, gorges, and caverns!).

    My district is very multicultural and include white, Hispanic, Vietnamese, and African American. I've even taught Liberian refugees. The majority of my students are Hispanic and the demand for ESL teachers is high.

    Our governor is a strong supporter of education and has put a 3-Tier salary schedule in place. This requires all teachers to receive a minimum salary and prove their competence within 5 years by completing a dossier. If you pass, you get moved up to the second tier salary which starts $10,000 higher than beginning teachers. In another 3 years, you can move up another $10,000. I appreciate having the opportunity to work towards improving my pay if I choose (and I will be able to apply to move to tier 3 next year! Can't wait!).

    What's great about New Mexico in general: The weather! It's gorgeous! And there are so many things to do outdoors, if that's your thing. The culture you can find here is pretty amazing to me (The International Flamenco Festival is held here every year, and there's a huge African dance/music following centered here). Oh yeah, the International Balloon Fiesta too. :)

    The downside: We rank pretty high in crime, but I guess I don't notice because I grew up here.
     
  7. ANGRY AL

    ANGRY AL Companion

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    May 1, 2009

    The suburbs are the best place to teach. I still send out applications to those places on the odd chance I might get a position. For the most part, the funding you need to operate is there, the kids have a genuine interest in learning (due to more interested parents), the salaries are much better, and the day-to-day stress would likely be a fraction of what you face now.
     
  8. Kindergarten31

    Kindergarten31 Cohort

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    May 2, 2009

    Think twice if you are considering Florida. Our education system is in alot of turmoil right now and I know MANY unhappy Florida teachers! There are quite a few moving to Georgia.
     

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