Choosing Schools

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by HRE, Apr 4, 2014.

  1. HRE

    HRE New Member

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    Apr 4, 2014

    Hi everyone!

    I am a new prospective high school teacher currently on the job hunt. At the moment, there are about 10 viable vacancies posted to my state's teaching application system, but I've only applied to four. I'm wondering what advice you all have about choosing schools during the application process. The four schools that I've chosen so far are ones in which I think I'll be happy and will be a good fit; the others are very poorly rated, have unusually high teacher turnovers, and/or are in locations (areas with high crime rates) in which I don't think I will be comfortable living and working as a young, single female. I check the application website daily, and every time I see those vacancies, I think to myself, "Any job's better than none at all!" and "I don't want to put all of my eggs in just four baskets," but at the same time, I'm looking for a permanent job and a new home in a place I will find happiness.

    I understand that it's only the beginning of April, and more schools are posting vacancies every week, but I'm just a bit nervous about this and am wondering if I can get some advice.

    Thanks!
     
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  3. mathteachertobe

    mathteachertobe Cohort

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    Apr 4, 2014

    My advice depends on your subject area and your state. If you teach a higher need subject area, and your state tends to hire later, I would go along with your current thinking. My state (California) tends to hire on the later side. Other states seem to do the bulk of their hiring now. Where are you? What subject(s) do you teach?
     
  4. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Apr 4, 2014

    I don't think that you should be picky. Jobs are hard to come by these days in many places. Apply anywhere and everywhere with any opening that you can reasonably drive/get to. Even if you end up at a less-than-ideal school, it will be valuable experience and possibly your foot in the door at a good district where you can transfer to a different school the following year.
     
  5. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Apr 4, 2014

    I guess I have to disagree with the advice given. I will tell you the same thing I told my daughter when she graduated last year and went job hunting...

    Don't apply anywhere that you won't feel safe...use your women's intuition to help you. Jobs are important, but your well being is more important.

    That said, have you driven around the area of the schools you didn't apply to? Maybe visited the school to get a feel for it? You might be pleasantly surprised.
     
  6. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    Apr 4, 2014

    I agree with this. I would also say that you shouldn't take a job that you feel you won't be successful at. It's one thing to "deal with" something really hard for a year if you can handle it and get good evaluations and a good reference. In my area, it's impossible to get a job without a reference from your current admin if you have teaching experience. Being non-renewed is pretty much a career killer around here. It would be better to sub for a year and have no permanent job at all over a job that will haunt you on future applications.

    I've been offered jobs in severe emotional/behavior needs rooms three times (all three times, I'd interviewed for another position in the school, and they wanted me to do this instead). The first time I was right out of college, it was almost July, and it was literally the first interview I'd managed to get despite applying to hundreds of jobs. I considered that it might get my foot in the door, but then realized I would truly be horrible in that type of scenario. Although I'm very patient with kids with low academic skills, severe behavior drives me crazy. I wouldn't have done a good job and would have probably ended my career right there. I guess what I'm saying is while it's good advice not to be "picky", you should also shouldn't take just any job without thinking of the possible consequences.
     
  7. schoolteacher

    schoolteacher Habitué

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    Apr 4, 2014

    My advice is to make a list of everything you want in a school. Then apply to every vacancy you can. Interview at every opportunity.

    You have nothing to lose by interviewing. At the very least it will give you excellent experience in handling yourself in an interview.

    If you are offered a job, you will use your intuition and helpful advice from others to decide if you want to accept it.
     
  8. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    Apr 4, 2014

    This.

    More information would help us give better advice :)
     
  9. teach1

    teach1 Companion

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    Apr 5, 2014

    I would recommend applying everywhere and taking as many interviews as possible (better to go into your dream job interview after already having had a few interviews... you will feel more confident).

    If you are offered a job, THEN I would definitely recommend taking into consideration 1) safety and 2) potential to succeed in the position you were offered.
     
  10. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    Apr 6, 2014

    Here's what I did when searching for my 1st job, 2nd time around, which made me older then most 1st year teachers. I applied everywhere within an hours drive. I'm married & moving wasn't an option. I went on interviews. While I was interviewing I was also checking out the school and the neighborhood.

    There were a couple of schools that I came home from the interview and said "No way am I working there." The vibe wasn't right. One was a private school that had a dress code that I wasn't comfortable with. Another I could tell that they didn't think I could do the job. There was an entire district that the way the office staff treated me made me think twice about going there.

    My 1st school was not in a good area, but I felt perfectly safe. Outside doors always locked, playground fenced in, parking lot fenced in. Yes, there were bars on the windows on the 1st floor. The culture of the school was positive, bright & cheery.

    Why are some of these schools poorly rated? Why is there a high teacher turnover rate? There can be a lot of factors that influence those answers. Don't rely solely on those websites that parents can rate the school, often times those parents are mad at the school for some reason. At the same time don't rely solely on what the school's website says either.

    I'd apply anywhere & everywhere. At the very least you will get some real life interviewing experience. Remember just because you interview doesn't mean that you will get the job, or even if the job is offered to you that you have to accept it. Good luck with your search.
     
  11. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Apr 6, 2014

    Spread your resume around like thick marmalade. Once you make it to interviews, then decide if those schools feel safe and nurturing to you as a teacher and to your future students.
     

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