Dealing(?) with a future teacher with TOO HIGH of expectations

Discussion in 'General Education' started by McKennaL, Dec 20, 2011.

  1. McKennaL

    McKennaL Groupie

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    *sigh* Oh, Joey.....

    I work my side job with a young man who is in the middle of his freshman year of college. Fresh-faced and bursting with excitement for the future (nearly bouncing off the walls)...he is home for the winter break.

    He wants to teach high school band. And is SURE that he is going to jump RIGHT into his old high school band director's position when he retires in three years. (*cough* A teacher couldn't TOUCH that position without at LEAST 10 years experience...and AMAZING experience, at THAT.) And there is NOTHING you can say to (KINDLY) help ease the rose-colored glasses off that fresh face of his.

    He reminds me of all the little girls in 2nd grade who tell you that they are going to grow up to be a dolphin trainer.

    *****

    Not trying to ruin his day...but just.....*sigh*.

    (And this is the only outlet I have with/for people who would understand the reality of it.)
     
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  3. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    The problem with rose colored glasses is often one finds themselves dealing with the opposite extreme when reality sinks in.
     
  4. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    The odds of him landing any job in music right out of college are so slim.

    Optimism is a wonderful thing. But I hope, for his sake, that at some point it's tempered with knowledge of the realities of the job market.
     
  5. tracykaliski

    tracykaliski Connoisseur

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    Good for him for being optimistic, I say. We need a little more of that in this world.

    As far as dealing with him since he is rubbing you the wrong way, I would just smile and nod and move on to doing something else.
     
  6. McKennaL

    McKennaL Groupie

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    No, what i ended up doing was giving him advice about how to start to build up experience. How he should get letters after every project that he does, and to continue to build and maintain contacts. I mentioned that he WILL need experience if he is to land a big job like _(local, huge)__ High School- and how that experience is most likely going to come in the way of teaching in a smaller down-state/out of state school for a matter of years.

    What more can you do? I mentioned once, before he left for college in the first place, about how hard it IS to find a job teaching - let alone in music AND in a large city/suburban area.

    But just like all the parents who I have known through the years as their children have grown up with mine...and then they come through my line at the grocery store and report that their little Jimmy or Suzie is going to school to be a SOCIAL STUDIES teacher!!! And I (think oy *sigh*) ask them - "can he/she coach?" The parents look at me and quizically say, "why do all teachers ASK me that?"

    I KNOW that there are GREAT future teachers out there (and DO believe that making a student lose hope is one of the worst things a teacher can do)... but... I get angry at the colleges for not PUSHING the fact that MANY of these....TONS of education graduates AREN'T going to get the jobs. people who WERE going to retire - can't now. AND if you think that you are going to nab a job when a young teacher leaves to raise a family - think again!

    In the mean while, all you can DO is smile and nod at folks like young Joey - and pray YOU'LL get or not have that job cut before he graduates.
     
  7. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    OK. I'll bite. Why were you asking the parent that? What does Social Studies and coaching have to do with one another?

    Is this a regional thing? Coaching kids for motivation?
     
  8. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Social studies tends to be an area with many many more applicants than available jobs. Lots of teachers get social studies positions because they can do something else (coach, run a club, work as a director of something, AP, etc).
     
  9. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    I agree that colleges need to be a little more realistic with the students. The guidance counselors need to work with the students to build their resumes, especially for students who go into harder to find areas.
     
  10. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    I've gone to colleges that actually offer resume help. The problem is too few people knew about it. My program though from my grad degree actually sends out frequent emails about all the positions they find out about in our field including those out of state. They can't know all of them or even most of them but a lot of alumni and people that know the program do contact them.
     
  11. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    Thanks. We don't have that issue in our district.
     
  12. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    That's the way it is down here, too. Coaches tend to dominate high school social studies positions. That may be changing with the new state assessment, though.
     
  13. SCTeachInTX

    SCTeachInTX Fanatic

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    Well, optimism is a good thing. We hired three (just 3) teachers last year. One of the teachers was a paraprofessional in our SPED program and when she took THAT job, she was pretty much guaranteed a teaching position in our school if one became available. The other two jobs went to two brand new straight out of college teachers that had just done their student teaching. Yes, we looked at experienced teachers too, but these two were better able to handle the nontraditional methods that our district uses in teaching hands on math and science. The more experienced teachers were not able to think outside the box at all. You never know what a school needs or what a school is looking for.... Yes, music is a bit of stretch to JUMP right into a band directing position. But if he is smart and spends time volunteering and subbing in his district(s) of choice, he might just find something. You gave him some good advice. It is tough. But until you experience it yourself, you should remain positive and eager about setting the world on fire with your new, fresh ideas.
     
  14. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Good post SC. While it is important to be realistic, optimism if it is followed by drive (among a few other ingredients) mixed with the right opportunities can go a long way.
     
  15. tchr4evr

    tchr4evr Companion

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    Speaking as an arts teacher

    I think it's great that he wants to be a band teacher--good ones are hard to come by, but as many have said, unlike other subjects, each school has one! And depending on the particular school he wants to work out, when that teacher retires--if it has a fantastic reputation, teacher's will be fighting to get that job. I teach theatre, and as I tell my student's who are thinking of being theatre teachers--good arts teachers (music, theatre, art) die in their positions or work until they can't stand up anymore. If you find a school that lets you do what you want, most teachers won't leave unless they are offered something ten times better. I know in my district, we have 10 schools, and in the past 7 years, we've only had one theatre teacher retire. We had a new school open in the district about 4 years ago, and every theatre teacher within 200 miles applied for the job, and many from out of state. There were 500 applicants for 1 job. And the guy who ended up with it was a 5 time state champion director, who has since brought that school to an undefeated state champion status.

    Encourage him, but he should get certified in something else, then be in the school when the band person retires or leaves. That's how I got my theatre job.
     
  16. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    "Coaching" doesn't have to be a sport. If he can coach forensics, Mock Trial or Model Congress it may open some doors for him. Can he work with kids as they prepare for All County? Work with the chorus for the local high school play?

    And he can start coaching any of those things as a college student.
     
  17. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    That's how I got my job, in a round about way. An alumna had e-mailed the school's department of ed about some special ed openings in her district. It's not a place I would have considered previously. I ended up applying to those positions, and since it was a state website with a lot of openings, there was a posting right next to it for the school I currently work at. I never would have found that posting otherwise. I actually did get a call from her district, but had already accepted my current position. If I leave my current job, I plan on e-mailing my college to tell them about my position, and give some helpful hints about what an applicant would need to be knowledgeable in to get a second glance.

    My college was great with helping out with resumes and letters of rec and things like that, but I didn't feel they were honest about the market. I grew up in a teaching family so I knew going in, but I find even now people outside of the teaching world literally think we're still desperate for teachers. When I was first job searching two years ago people would look at me like I had 3 heads when I would talk about how hard it was to get into teaching- and my state is one that hasn't had a good market in years. When I graduated (this has changed) you got a 2 year provisional license, and within those 2 years you had to complete a mentor program at a FT job to be eligible for a professional license. When my college program brought this up, someone said, "What if we don't get a job in the first two years?" They totally dismissed her and said, "Oh you guys will get jobs." I know many, many people from my program who weren't willing to relocate who are still looking, and their licenses will expire at the end of this year. I think it's important for new college students to really understand what they're getting into. Not to get them away from teaching, but to make sure it is really the number one thing they want to do, no matter what. That's the way it was for me- but I was willing to move across the country to get started. Many people are not willing to do that, and they need to know what they're in for so that they can make informed decisions.
     
  18. txmomteacher2

    txmomteacher2 Connoisseur

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    I am really good friends with one of our district's band directors. In Texas, a music major fresh out of college should expect to be an assist. director for many years before they can jump into a head director position. We hired a fresh out of college for an asst position last year and I can tell you she is still not ready for the head job and won't be for many years to come. She is a nice person, and a pretty good teacher but there are so many things to think about when you are the head director of even a small district. I am sure once he starts talking to other music majors he will soon realize that it's long way to the top.
     
  19. McKennaL

    McKennaL Groupie

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    I might mention that my first teaching certificate is in Music Education - of which I taught 7 years.

    I was once that fresh-faced, overly-energetic, pie in the sky candidate. I GOT my job (fought and won)- but in a MUCH better economy. But today? Unless a person was wildly talented in music education, could compose and arrange like a jr pro, and had a LOT of experience with drum corps and symphonic ensembles - I wouldn't suggest them to think they are going to get an in in a high school - not in THIS area.
     
  20. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    I agree that optimism is definitely a good thing, but I think it is also important to be realistic with him as well. One area in which I think many have been led astray is in the realities of the field of education. Too many go through the credentialing program not even aware that they are going to face a tough market when they finish and that they may have to wait years to have their own classroom. We can be optimistic and realistic, I believe, at the same time.
     
  21. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    He's also 19 years old.

    If he's not optimistic now, he'll never be.

    Give him time to realize the realities of the job market. In the meantime, do all you can to help him beef up his resume with things likely to make a difference.
     
  22. Joy

    Joy Cohort

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    I sometimes think back to my college years and ask myself "what was I thinking?" I honestly believed that if I did a fantastic job in college and got perfect grades I would have a full-time music job in the end. It didn't help that up until my last year in college, music was listed as a shortage area in my state. I think that was a mistake. After years of subbing, I think I am now in touch with reality. In my state, it would actually be easier to get a band job over general elementary music which is what I want but it would still be very difficult. Alot of band teachers end up doing a different grade level than prefered, being an assistant, or working in a very rural area. This guy was probably just really inspired by his high school band teacher. After a little time in the real world, he will probably start to get it. Hopefully, by the time he graduates music jobs will be plentiful!
     
  23. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    I think optimism is good to have as long as it comes with realism. I knew English jobs were hard to come by and many positions had hundreds ofnapplicants. I worked my butt off but also kept telling myself I would find the right job. I graduated in may and signed my contract July 1. I couldn't ask for a better job!
     
  24. Special-t

    Special-t Enthusiast

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    Yes! Let the kid pursue his dreams with youthful enthusiasm and optimism. Just remind him that his excellence and the extras on his resume will help him compete for the job of his dreams. Later, if he has to adjust his dreams, he will have an amazing resume that will show any employer that he's energetic and dedicated.
     
  25. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

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    Sometimes it's interesting what seems to get under our skin. It may not seem like this, but consider this perspective: this college student having that perspective might actually offend you because it suggests that he thinks achieving "great heights" is as easy as having a dream, and by transitive property must think that you aren't achieving your dreams just because you don't have a goal. In other words, it's offensive that someone thinks something WE personally do is easy, because it diminishes all of the effort we put into that task.
     
  26. Reality Check

    Reality Check Habitué

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    Boy, is that kid EVER in for a "Reality Check!"


    ;)
     
  27. SCTeachInTX

    SCTeachInTX Fanatic

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    Again, we hired 3 brand new teachers this year. He may not get his dream job, but this excited, enthusiastic person may get something because of his drive and determination. Male teachers are often sought after, so let's not discount this young guy quite yet no matter what the economy is. He might just surprise us all. Merry Christmas!
     
  28. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    I'm not concerned about him not having realistic expectations for FINDING a job.

    I'm far more concerned about him not having realistic expectations ABOUT the job. We lose too many new teachers because the shock of what it really means to be a teacher is too much for them. If only there were some sprinkles of reality during their college years to help them with this transition.

    When I was getting my certification almost ALL of my classmates thought I was a Debbie Downer. One classmate had THE solution to keeping kids in school - simply pay them! If at-risk high school students were paid $100/week, they would stay in school and off the streets. It would cost society less because there wouldn't be as great a need for JV programs, jail cells, prenatal care (they could afford condoms now and would have less time for sex), probation officers, etc. I thought it was a silly idea and pointed out that the ones that were likely to be going to jail were getting into trouble for more than $100 worth of stuff. Someone isn't going to stop dealing drugs and go back to school for a measly $100/week.

    She thought I was horrible for underestimating the youth of today. Six months later, once she was in the classroom, she was saying she might quit the profession. She had no idea that kids could be so disrespectful and lazy. It was a really rough year for her and she is still thinking about quitting once her baby is born. Two years of her own education down the drain. And you couldn't have found a more enthusiastic teacher in training.
     

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