First year teacher seeking advice on choosing a job...

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by Doubleplusgood, Jul 25, 2015.

  1. Doubleplusgood

    Doubleplusgood New Member

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    Jul 25, 2015

    Hello, I am going into my first year teaching after two years subbing. I student taught seniors and had a long term position teaching eighth grade last year. About a month ago I was completely beaten down because I was unable to find a full time teaching position. Prior to that I compared Obama to Hitler in my first interview (didn't get that job, btw).

    Well, in a strange turn of events, I've actually gotten two job offers. Both happened within 24 hours so it's been a whirlwind. I am looking for some opinions on which job to take.

    Both are private schools within 20 min of my house. They both have great reputations. Both are combined SS/ELA positions. Both have 1:1 iPad technilogy. Both want me to teach there by some odd twist of fate.

    School A: It is a high school (I'd be teaching grades 9-11). I've always wanted to teach high school. It's three different preps (American lit, U.S. history and world history) so I will be VERY busy. The classroom is spacious and has a smartboard. The faculty is a bit more old school and straight laced- but possibly more experienced, well known, and nurturing. The building itself is a bit older. I interviewed early this summer and they actually went with another candidate. However, they readjusted the schedule, opened the position back up, and called me back in.

    School B: 6 & 7 grade at an all boys school. Language arts and social studies. I have not seen the classroom I'd be in, but the building itself is newer. The staff (including the principal) is younger and more dynamic. I believe I was the first choice candidate and I felt I was really on point in my interview. The big thing is, it pays more by $3,000 a year.

    Right now I'm in a very hard spot. The main argument for School A is that I've always wanted to teach high school (I think...). I just like to push students beyond what 6/7 graders can do. They're really still babies at that age. Plus all middle school boys is a bit scary (I'm female)... School B is basically a prestigious feeder school to the best all boys school in the state. School A is not the most prestigious of private high schools, but it's been around forever and has a loyal following of families.

    The main draw for school B is the pay. It's $3,000 more a year, which isn't huge, but it's substantial. I'd have to work at the other school three years before I was making what I'd make my first year here.
    Last night I was set on the high school, but when I spoke to the other principal and she mentioned the salary, it made me back track. Do I sacrifice pay (while possibly working harder) to be in a high school, or do I tolerate middle school boys to get paid a bit more? What do you think?

    PS: I also have to consider the future. When I do decide to move on to a new school, I should probably consider how each of these jobs will have primed me to do so. Having only taught middle school may pigeon hole me. Maybe experience teaching high school social studies and English is worth the drop in pay?

    PSS. A veteran teacher I spoke to suggested I could play hardball with School A. Since they're private, she said I could tell them I prefer this job but I'd like them to make a competitive salary offer. That scares me though because I have no experience and feel like there are probably candidates lined up behind me.
     
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  3. Ted

    Ted Habitué

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    Jul 25, 2015

    First, congrats on getting the job offers. :)

    That is a hard decision you have to make. I haven't taught high school, but I have taught sixth grade. I found them far from being "babies". At least in California, my sixth graders loved to be challenged and loved to thing at a higher level. No, they weren't supporting their arguments with philosophical debate, but they still had their ideas and it was very inspirational to see them stretch their academic wings.

    I can see being nervous about being in an all boys school, but it would be my hope they would not be distracted by the presence of girls. I could be wrong in this, however. :)

    Sounds like both schools offer you something and both have their benefits.

    Do you need the extra $3,000 a year? Is it worth more than doing your dream job of teaching high school? If so, then go with the boys' school. If you could get by on a salary that's $3,000 less and living comfortably (knowing that it will be three years until you make that), then choose the high school.

    One thing I wouldn't do (and this is just me): play "hardball" with School A. Not in today's job market.

    Hope I offered even a bit of help. :)
     
  4. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Jul 25, 2015

    Frankly, I didn't get past the Obama Hitler sentence. :unsure::wow:
     
  5. Doubleplusgood

    Doubleplusgood New Member

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    Jul 25, 2015

    Thank you so much for congratulating me. One person I talked to said, "No matter what you decide, you're walking away with a job!" As hard of a time as I'm having with this decision, that is a really comforting fact. Part of me almost wishes I only had one offer since I'd be ecstatic and would never know any differently.

    Anyway, I see your point. I loved teaching 8th grade. They were goofy, silly, and kept me laughing. However, there were a lot of days that I also wanted to rip my hair out because their antics (especially those of the boys) just went too far and were non-stop. A lot of the eighth grade girls really took to me and I truly bonded with them. Unfortunately, I do not have the girls at this middle school. Then again, those eighth grade boys (as annoying as they could be) were hilarious and always excited to see me with cheers and high fives.

    I feel like middle school kids can be a pain but they still have that child in them and will adore you just for being "their teacher". High school kids can be a bit more reserved and I remember (from student teaching) the boys can try and challenge your knowledge and the girls can be straight up catty. That's not to say I didn't enjoy my time with them though... It was so long ago.

    As far as the $3,000 a year... it's nice especially since both schools are under what public school teachers make. The high school is almost $7,000 less while the middle school is only about $4,000 less.. Luckily, though, I'm in a situation where I do have some support (living at home, no kids, not getting married in the next year or two) so it's not going to make or break me.

    Right now I'm looking towards my future. I do not plan to stay at either school for the rest of my life. Therefore, I am willing to take the salary hit for a few years if it puts me in a better position moving forward. I know that there are people literally knocking down doors to teach high school social studies (at last in my state) so I feel very fortunate to have that choice. I can't tell you how many times I've been told I would NEED special ed cert to get a social studies job. One teacher told me he taught special ed for 10 YEARS before a social studies position came along. It may be better to get that experience while I have the chance, even if it is a bit more of a challenge with less pay.

    I'm sorry for the lengthy reply. I'm kind of trying to just sort things out in my head. But your response has made me think and I truly appreciate it. Thank you!
     
  6. Doubleplusgood

    Doubleplusgood New Member

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    @czacza It was not a direct comparison. I was very nervous and made a historical reference which, to this day, I stand by. Long story. But the interviewer really spun it and was trying to get me flustered I think. I walked out of there feeling defeated and ganged up on, which made me decide I might not want to work for a school like that anyway.
     
  7. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    Jul 25, 2015

    I started out teaching high school, and I moved to the middle school when my high school position was eliminated due to scheduling changes in the building.

    I'll have to say that I have really grown to love my middle school kids, and my absolute favorite years are the ones when I have all boys.

    Boys are far less "stupid" when there are not girls in the room to impress. I'll take a class full of middle school boys over a class of mixed-gender or all-girls any day!
     
  8. geoteacher

    geoteacher Devotee

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    Jul 25, 2015

    I really think you have to go with your gut. Which situation makes you feel more confident of success? Where would you be happiest for the next couple of years?
     
  9. ChildWhisperer

    ChildWhisperer Groupie

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    If money isn't an issue, I'd go with the one that makes me happiest
    And from what it sounds like, you might be happier in high school
     
  10. The Fonz

    The Fonz Math teacher (for now...)

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    Jul 25, 2015

    me too.


    what a strange thing to do.
     
  11. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    No they won't. If you expect them to, you're in for a rude awakening.
     
  12. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Jul 25, 2015

    Same here!
     
  13. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    I sure wouldn't - but to each their own.
     
  14. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    In my experience, middle school boys act out to impress other boys. Not girls. Girls are usually annoyed by their antics, whereas the boys will build upon each other.
     
  15. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    :yeahthat: I'd say that scenario is least likely with middle schoolers.
     
  16. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    If you prefer high school, it seems like that would be your obvious choice.

    How do benefits compare? 3k is only $250 more a month before taxes so that's not enough for me to take an age group I don't like as much. If the middle school job offers better benefits, that might even up the score a bit.
     
  17. ready2learn

    ready2learn Comrade

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    Jul 25, 2015

    Go with whatever you think would make you happiest. If you don't absolutely need it, $3000 a year is not worth being unhappy. From reading your post, it sounds like the high school position would make you happiest. Both sounds like great opportunities.
     
  18. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    If you aren't crazy about middle school boys, that is absolutely not the position for you; they will figure it out in the first couple of days.
     
  19. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    As a member of my school interview committee, I can assure you there would be follow up questions. Not to 'fluster'the candidate but to try and figure out exactly what the point was :confused::eek:
     

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