CA secondary teacher moving to Florida. Advice?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Nat2021, Jan 12, 2021.

  1. Nat2021

    Nat2021 New Member

    Jan 12, 2021
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    Jan 12, 2021

    Hi everyone,

    I'll be receiving my provisional credential in English from Ca in May, but due to a job my husband has been offered in Florida, we may move. He has been offered a position in Tampa, Florida. I'm worried about if my credential will transfer. I know Florida has reciprocity with CA, but what does that really mean? Do I need to take additional state exams (i.e., Florida's CSET?). Will it be difficult for me to find a job? Basically, any information about being a teacher in Florida and the hiring process.

    Now I know the basic information: teachers in Florida do not make much, but I think it will be okay since living is so low. From what I read online, teachers earn an average of 55,000 a year.

    Any information will be appreciated and helpful.

    Safe wishes

  3. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

    Aug 23, 2005
    Likes Received:

    Jan 17, 2021

    Dear Nat,

    I found it very easy to transfer my license to Florida, but I was a fully licensed teacher in another state. However, in Florida, you will be required to get your certification in ESL. If you don't already have that, it is 5 classes you have to take over a period of 5 years. Most districts will pay for it, but you still have to invest the time to do the class and complete all the assignments. You will also have to take and pass the Child Abuse seminar for Florida (which is easy-peasy and can be done online.) You can find the things you need to apply for your Florida license online, and you want to start now, because it takes a while, and around April, the system completely bogs down because of new graduates here, and it takes 3 times as long.

    The good new is this -- you can actually apply for a teaching job in most places in Florida with you license pending. The state I came from, you had to actually have your license number before you could even apply.

    You mentioned a figure of $55,000. That would be in Hillsborough County (Tampa is in Hillborough County) and they pay the most of any place in this area (Sarasota is a close 2nd, but it is too far from Tampa to drive daily, in my opinion.) That amount is higher than you will get. Most start there at around $45,000.

    Things in this area are very different than any place else I've ever taught. First, many schools near Tampa are 80-95% Hispanic -- which is great if you speak Spanish. Every note you send home in these areas, has to be translated by the school's translater and sent home in both Spanish and English, which requires a lot of preplanning because it can take up to 2 weeks to get it translated. So you have to keep that in mind.

    The other thing you will find in this area, most school districts here require strict adherence to district wide curriculums (meaning every single class in the entire county must be on the same lesson at the same time, which I found very frustrating. There is also very heavy use in this part of Florida of scripted curriculums, which I hated. I couldn't stand to read word-for-word from a teaching script, but that was required where I taught.

    Hillsborough is known for being the best paid pubic district in this are. It is the 91st highest in the state . You will make at least $10,000 less (starting is around $43,000) in nearby counties. I also found that the day was much longer, lunch breaks are much shorter here, and there were lots of "mandatory" afterschool weekly meetings and such. I do know that in Hillsborough, the union is pretty strong, so you'll want to make sure and join.

    There are also tons of charter schools in this area, and there you have so much more freedom in what you teach, but the pay is lower than the districts, you pay more for insurance (which might not be an issue for you if you have it through your partner) and they don't typically let you participate in retirement and such until after you have worked one full school year for them.

    Hillsborough just announced (in Oct 2020) that they would be increasing new teacher pay for the 4,478 new teachers in traditional schools -- they are suggesting they be paid an annual salary of $46,900, up from $40,000 previously. But that isn't final yet -- it is just proposed. However, they are not going to fill 496 teaching positions for next year, and are planning to cut about 250 more teaching positions. They have also switched all new teachers to temporary contracts. And in case you don't know, Florida repealed tenure back in 2011, so every single year you teach, they can cut you with out cause. They don't even have to tell you why.

    You mentioned the figure 55,000. That is an average -- and includes those teachers who have worked for 20+ years. Here is the actual salary in Hillsborough County Public Schools for last year:
    English teacher with Bachelor's degree
    8 hours per day, 198 days per contract, $24.32 per hour = $38,523

    English teacher with Miaster's degree
    8 hours per day, 198 days per contract, $26.15 per hour = $41,421

    I know when I moved to this part of Florida, I came with a Master's degree and 19 years of experience, and they started me at $46,000 -- which was a huge pay cut for me.

    If you have more questions about teaching in this area, just ask -- and if I can answer them, I will. Best wishes.

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