How do I get a job with no experience????

Discussion in 'Elementary Education Archives' started by helpmeteach, May 4, 2007.

  1. helpmeteach

    helpmeteach Rookie

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    Someone please help me teach. I'm trying to become a teacher in New Jersey and I already applied for my CE in Elementary Content Knowledge and I took the exam on 4/28/07 I don't know if I passed hopefully I did, and then on June 9th I'm taking the Middle School Mathematics exam. I really want to teach either or, I love math and I know that they are in a need for math teachers so that would just make me want to become a math teacher more.

    I'm currently a paralegal, but i want to start teaching in September. Is there any advice that anyone can give me.

    BTW I've already applied to like 30-40 jobs, and I tell them the above information.

    Please help:confused:
     
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  3. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    In all honesty 20 to 30 jobs for someone looking for their first teaching job isn't very many. For me to land my first job I sent out over 200 applications in two years. Best of luck. Just keep applying. Have you posted your cover letter for people to help critique?
     
  4. helpmeteach

    helpmeteach Rookie

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    No I haven't but it's included below.

    To Whom it May Concern:

    I have a very strong interest in pursuing a teaching career. Although I do not have experience working with children, I do have a diverse background with much to offer.

    I am currently in the process of getting my certification for the Elementary content knowledge Praxis II exam which I am taking on April 28th, and I will also be taking the Middle School Mathematics exam which I am taking on June 9th.

    I am determined to become an excellent teacher and to help to make a difference for the students in the urban communities.

    My resume is enclosed and I will forward an official copy of my transcript along with my references upon request. I look forward to speaking with you.

    Thank you for your consideration.

    Respectfully yours,

    Tell me what you think or what should I change, and how do you think career fairs are for first time teachers?
     
  5. kburen

    kburen Cohort

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    May 4, 2007

    It depends on many things. Substituting, volunteers work, or ANY kind of work with children that you can put on a resume or application will help. My degree is in teaching, but it only took me 4 applications (4 different counties/cities) to get a job when I graduated. It may have helped me that I had 1 year and 3 summers worth of day care, 1 summer of space camp, 1 summer teaching summer school, and had been substituting for 2 years when I was home on breaks and grade school was still in. The more child experience that you can put down the better.

    It also may depend on the area's which you are applying. As I said, it only took me 4 counties where as apparantly it's taking you guys much more. I'm not sure if the process is different where you are. There are some websites that you can go to in order to find the kinds of questions that will be asked at interviews so that you can be prepared without having to stop and think about answers and look like maybe you aren't so sure of yourself.

    Sorry I can't help with the cover letter, I didn't have one. Just a resume.
     
  6. helpmeteach

    helpmeteach Rookie

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    Thanks for all the help, I have to apply as a substitute with my county and I know I do help teach children that are in my family, but that doesn't really count as experience does it?
     
  7. helpmeteach

    helpmeteach Rookie

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    What about if I try to teach over the summer maybe at summer school or something like that or even tutoring will that help as well?
     
  8. kburen

    kburen Cohort

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    Usually summer school is hard to get to teach if you don't already teach in the county (I was only able to because at the last minute a teacher couldn't and it was in the county that I did my student teaching in so I had been able to apply) but summer school and tutoring should help. Even if the tutoring is just neighborhood kids and not through an organization...Be sure you get recomendation letters from the parents of the kids if you do tutor (with phone numbers/contact info on them). I would make copies of them and attach them to your resume or application when you turn them in.
     
  9. booklover

    booklover Rookie

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    I just moved from NJ, where I completed an alternate route teaching program in secondary English. I got my Praxis 2 scores, got a CE and wound up teaching in a Catholic school, because they are not as strict about certification. That year did not count as anything but experience (you could teach Catholic school for 30 years and enter public school as a step one). It did prepare me for my public school job because the content standards are identical, and I was still doing all things a regular teacher would do. It took over 2 years for me to find a job in Sussex County, and I wound up at the (public) high school I had gone to because one of my favorite teachers had a lot of pull there. If you are interested in Catholic school to begin (though a few years back the pay for a new teacher was about $23000 vs almost $40000 public), you can check out the archdiocese websites (depending on where in NJ you are). Otherwise, I know they are always looking for math teachers everywhere. Your cover letter looked great. They know that there are many people changing careers. I'm sure they deal with this kind of thing all of the time.
    Hope it helped!
     
  10. Yen

    Yen Rookie

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    Oh my goodness, 200? :eek:
    I applied to I think 2 districts and got into the one of my first choice. :eek:
     
  11. helpmeteach

    helpmeteach Rookie

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    Thanks everyone for the feedback, I know I have a friend in one district who's uncle is on the board of education and he has a lot of pull, but when I asked her what are my chances of actually getting hired, she just stated probably about a 60% chance, but I'm going to keep applying and going to job fairs, I know it's going to pay off eventually.
     
  12. helpmeteach

    helpmeteach Rookie

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    You said you only applied to two districts and got into your first choice? How long did that take and did you have prior experience working with children?
     
  13. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Virtuoso

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    I don't know how it is everywhere else, but we have a HORRIBLE time finding math teachers in our area. We looked forever before we found anybody.

    I applied for a job in the district where I wanted to teach, and I told them that if they didn't have an English position open I would sub. I subbed the first year . . . and worked almost every day, and even got two jobs in the English department long-term. The next year they hired me without even interviewing anybody else. That led to the job I have now. I'm on year 14.

    I had NO work experience . . . period. Nothing. I had never worked anywhere in my entire life before I took the job as a sub at age 22.
     
  14. mincc

    mincc Companion

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    Helpme,

    I really do NOT want to be negative, but I see you are in NJ. It is very very difficult to find an elementary job here. Connections are crucial!!!!!! The schools (even the large cities) are flooded with resumes. I know some of the surburban districts get 1000 resumes for one opening. Work whatever connection you have. I had no idea it was this bad when I left the corporate world. I became a TA for 2 years, and that is when people started to tell me how bad it was. I have been temping for a year now. I didn't believe how bad it is until I started going to the job fairs and seeing hundreds and hundreds of people there.

    Having a CE makes it harder, because there are so many people with standard certs. Getting the interviews is tough. I have been at this for awhile now and I meet more and more people everyday who are looking for elem. jobs. I actually also have my Special Ed. CE and that has gotten me a few interviews. Elem. Sped is also crowded. The last interview I had, the school got hundreds of resumes. The Elem. CE got me 1 interview at a private school.

    The problem is you cannot start the alternate route process until you have been hired. Once you are officially signed on to a school, you can be enrolled in the ar classes.

    You have to focus on your math cert. Are you actually getting one (do you have the credits) or are you just taking the test. Even if you are just taking the test, once you pass put it on your resume. .

    For you to begin teaching in September, you are going to need to have your CE in hand or at least on its way. Since you just took the praxis, you should probably have it by September. I cannot accurately predict, just guess. The state will not process it until they receive your passing praxis scores and all that other info. you saw when you applied. It takes a month for them to get the Praxis results. Once they have all that, they will start to process it and issue it, expect that to take a few months. Mine took 5 or 6, my friend's took a little longer and I have heard of others taking only a couple of months. Once you see that it has been issued you can start to apply. It will actually say ISSUED when you check online. You can theoretically apply now, but a lot of schools want to know it is on the way or you have it. Many will want to see it. Some will wait, it depends.

    You have to be aggressive and send out resumes as far as you are willing to travel!!!!! You may get lucky and get calls right away. I have now sent out close to 100 resumes over the past couple of years.

    Make sure your friend's uncle gets your cover letter and resume.

    I wish you a lot of luck. It can be very frustrating!!!

    Oh, definitely get some tutoring or other related experience. My TA job was a huge factor in getting me the handful of interviews. Had I not had that job, I would not be ready for the classroom. I had students with severe behavioral and emotional issues. I got to sub when the teacher was out and I did tutoring there. So, I can relate that in interviews. That is one thing they will be concerned with and will definitely want you to expand on as an alt. rte. person.
     
  15. Stacey23

    Stacey23 Rookie

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    Wow! I never realized it was that hard to get a job up north! I knew it was harder, but not THAT hard! It seems like jobs are so easy to get down here. I put in my resume to one school and got hired at my interview! We are really short on teachers here though!

    Just keep telling yourself, it's not you, it's obviously hard to get a job there for anyone. Keep positive. I'm sure you will need a lot of patience while looking for a job. Good luck, I wish you the best
     
  16. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    This needs a lot of work. First you need to address it to someone.
    I wouldn't call it to their attention that you don't have experience in a classroom. Have you worked with kids in anyway? Have children of your own?
     
  17. DIAMANTE97

    DIAMANTE97 New Member

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    Tell me what you think or what should I change, and how do you think career fairs are for first time teachers?[/QUOTE]

    ***********************************************
    Dear friend,

    I know how hard it is to land a job for teaching believe I've been there;however, don't worry about having any experience working with students. Down here in Texas we have those that change field of interest; for example, they were a business major and then they changed their minds to education and went back to school to earn an additional 18 hours and bam!!! they get certified to teach in a classroom with no experience working with students. So what I'm trying to get across is that the Job Fair is a great way to land a teaching position because a principal once told me its the first impression that hires a teacher. I wish you the best of LUCK!!

    Your friend in TEXAS:angel:
     
  18. prettyinpink

    prettyinpink Rookie

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    wow...its really difficult to get a job here in CT but it depends on where you want to work...keep in mind there are places all over the country where people DO NOT WANT TO WORK for one reason or another...i work in a inner city where there is lots of choas, changes not to mention violence and hardships (3 of our families houses have burned down in just 2 weeks) ... it was one of 5 places i applied two and one of 2 places i interviewed at however, my experiecne was key (i was a long-term sub, taugth summer school, CCD adn swim lessons)
     
  19. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    Dear friend,

    I know how hard it is to land a job for teaching believe I've been there;however, don't worry about having any experience working with students. Down here in Texas we have those that change field of interest; for example, they were a business major and then they changed their minds to education and went back to school to earn an additional 18 hours and bam!!! they get certified to teach in a classroom with no experience working with students. So what I'm trying to get across is that the Job Fair is a great way to land a teaching position because a principal once told me its the first impression that hires a teacher. I wish you the best of LUCK!!

    Your friend in TEXAS:angel:[/QUOTE]

    Maybe in Texas, but it takes more than that around here.
     
  20. kramercindy

    kramercindy Rookie

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    I was a sub in the district, and it still took me from April-October to find my job! What I would do is look on the district's website and see what school had openings, and faxed a resume/cover letter in. I talked to my cooperating teacher and she basically told me that faxing them in made it look like i was lazy, and that the resume might get mixed in with paperwork, and might not even get looked at ! I didn't even think about that honestly! So, I started driving to the individual schools, dressed like I was going to the interview (nice skirt, hair washed and done, make up on, etc), with resume in hand. Between driving to the schools and faxing resumes, I would probably say I put out close to 200 resumes (at least!). I finally got my job in October, actually was offered the job during the interview. Moral of the story? Put yourself out there, keep the nose on the grindstone and the right situation will come through! Good Luck!
     
  21. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    You're right about first impressions, but there's a whole lot more to the story in the Northeast.

    ARound here, literallly hundreds of very qualified people apply at even a hint of an opening. So making that first impression is the trick. The cover letters and resumes don't always get past the secretaries. Likewise the "drop in and talk to the principal" idea.Job fairs are rare-- why would they bother to have one when there are so few jobs?

    Helpmeteach, your letter needs more of YOU. Right now, it's way too similar to all those with whom you graduated. Tell us a bit about what makes YOU a good teacher. Tell us a story of a small success you had while student teaching or tutoring-- we'll help you personalize your letter.

    And send out LOTS more applications. I agree with Jamie-- when I was first looking I sent out easily 150 applications-- and I'm math.
     
  22. mincc

    mincc Companion

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    Thank you, Stacey! :) I appreciate it. It gets really hard at times. I really cannot do this much longer. I know it is what I am meant to do, but unfortunately, there are some things we cannot control. Politics is one of them. :(

    MissFrizzle and Alice,

    EXACTLY. Here, you have a hard time even getting an interview, so there is no chance to make that impression. That is I why have re-written my cover letter multiple times to make me stand out as best as possible. The job fairs I have been to were horrible. Lines that were hours long, hundreds and hundreds of people looking and only a few openings per district. I am amazed when people say there is a teaching shortage here-it seems to be a common misconception. That is so far from the truth. The post office clerk knows me now as I am always in there with resumes. He says he has never realized that there were too many teachers looking. I am not limiting myself either. I send resumes as far as I can comfortablely commute.
     
  23. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Have you tried the non-public schools too?
     
  24. Amers

    Amers Cohort

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    I just accepted my first job 2 weeks ago, and while I didn't attend any career fairs, I heard on numerous occasions that it's a good idea to go. You get your name out there, and districts are able to put a face with your name. I think some districts do preliminary interviews at career fairs (although this may not always be the case).
     
  25. Research_Parent

    Research_Parent Cohort

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    First, try to find a tutoring or some other experience, even if unpaid that gives you experience working with children...this is critical.

    Second, the cover letter needs a lot of work. There are a lot of career changers out there, and based on the letter, I have no clue why I would not want to even consider an interview. Post a new version with why you want to teach math, why you think you're good at it, how you connect with students, your credentials, etc. I'm sure many people on this forum will gladly give some advice for a tight market.

    Third, cover letters have to be tailored to each principal/school district and yes, you will have to sell yourself via cold contacts to schools, even for long term sub positions, probationary positions, and specialist positions.

    Here in AZ, the market comes and goes...sometimes school districts are extremely short and sometimes there is too many applicants. While the state as a whole has shortages, many of the prime school districts do not.
     
  26. AnthonyA

    AnthonyA Rookie

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    I think one of the keys to landing a job is subbing alot at one school. If you are liked, you have a good chance at getting hired if something opens up. I have had 2 positions in the past and got them both for that very reason. Unfortunately, the teacher I replaced, who was there for 20+ years, decided to come back. I didn't have a contract, so I was out. The second position I had turned out to be short-lived as the program I was teaching was discountinued. Seeing I wasnt certified at the time and they nothing available anyhow, I had to go back to subbing. Point is, subbing can be a nice "in" all in itself.
     
  27. helpmeteach

    helpmeteach Rookie

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    I received an email from a director at a charter school for a substitute teacher, I have to go to actually apply and I also found another school for a teacher apprentice which is good for first time teachers, would I still get paid a salary for this has anyone ever heard of this before?
     
  28. mincc

    mincc Companion

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    I have no idea what an apprentice job is. Are you in North or South Jersey? Subbing is a great thing, but has nothing to do with you getting your standard teaching cert, unless you are a long-term sub for a full school year and are enrolled in the classes. In other words, if you sub for a few weeks here and another month there, that will give you experience for your resume but does not allow you to be an alternate route teacher. I hope that makes sense.

    Just be careful...if you do get a job. make sure you can do the alternate route properly. There are certain rules that apply. One being that you have to be a FT teacher with your own classroom/students. You will also need a mentor. Not confusing, just lots of paperwork. That is what you have to do with only a CE. And you can only teach K-5 with an elem. CE. In order for you to teach any grade above 5 you will need a CE in that subject. 6, 7 and 8 are considered middle school. Again, if you pass the Math Praxis that will look excellent on your resume, even for K-5 jobs. You don't want to spend a year in a job that will not allow you to get your standard cert. at the end. The best way to get the right info. is to call the state DOE or your county's DOE--they have been very helpful to me. The schools should know, but your safest bet is to take care of yourself. When I go on interviews, I am very careful to make sure everything is good! I know exactly what jobs I can apply for and then when I go there I make sure I will have a mentor. Again, not confusing, but I want to make sure everything is set. I have NEVER had a problem with being ar, but like I said, the problem is getting the interviews in such a flooded market.

    Good luck!:)
     
  29. deedee

    deedee Connoisseur

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    i live in the north east ....maybe I should start applying now ...lol :D


    i was thinking of moving to AZ when I graduate but I am not sure if I want to move so far away!
     
  30. hyperangel

    hyperangel Rookie

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    I think it totally depends on the area. Where I am there are no jobs, but you can slowly get into districts if you keep yourself visible. I started out subbing in 3 districts, then I was offered a tutoring position midyear in a building I subbed in a lot (I was frequently requested by the teachers there). I landed a second tutoring position that was open (that made 2 buildings 2 days a piece). This year I was 4 days in 1 building and had a chance to do my Praxis III. It's a matter of marketing yourself and making connections. Don't be afraid to sub - its a good start!
     
  31. Miss_J

    Miss_J Habitué

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    It is very hard to get a job here, over 200 applications per elementary position. They only interview 4 people for each position.
    To get my job, I had over 10 years in daycare, 3 years tutoring (two as the director), 2.5 years subbing, and 2 years of volunteering every Friday morning at one of the schools in the district I now work for. The principal of that school got me the interview and pushed for me. It's all about connections around here.
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2007
  32. helpmeteach

    helpmeteach Rookie

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    I actually went yesterday to find out information about subbing for a school that contacted me. Well when I walked in I must have really impressed the principal because he actually wanted to hire me, but I have no experience. He said that I can immediately sub for the next two months after I get my certificate for subbing. Then he said that if there was anything that he could do to push my application through then he would do it. He made me feel like he really wanted me there and I appreciated that. I have to go back today to get the subbing information because he wasn't aware that they even had a sub packet. He also asked me to start the alternate route process and he's going to push for me and if I have any questions or anything then contact him directly.

    So I'm not really sure but what do you guys think? Do you think he'll offer me the job since he's kind of sticking his neck out for me?
     
  33. mincc

    mincc Companion

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    This can be a crazy field so I have no idea if he will offer you the job. I have had interviews go so well that I thought I was hired and then found out I was not. BUT you have made a contact and that is great. Subbing is great experience for you at this stage in the game because you can get that onto your resume. :)

    You can sub for any grade level, K-12. That cert. should not take too long to get.

    I am not sure why he told you to "start the alternate process"...you can't do the alternate route until he has hired you permanently for a general education K-5 job only because that is the CE you have applied for. Or he could give you a full year, long-term sub job in K-5 If so, you would have to be officially hired and then you would start the alternate route classes in September as it is too late to start now. You have applied for your CE, so that is all you can do now. You should consider yourself EXTREMELY lucky that he may hire you without the CE actually in your hands, esp. since you just took the Praxis and the CE has not been processed. You should have that by September anyway.


    So, now you sub and then see what happens. I wish you lots of luck.:)
     
  34. Yen

    Yen Rookie

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    Well, jobs are readily plentiful where I am (Arizona). Plus I worked for a Boys and Girls Club as their Education Coordinator for 6 years, so I had that to put on my resume, along with my student teaching experience.
    Out here you pretty much have your choice of which district you want to go to. I did the research on districts and applied to the ones I knew I wanted to go to. :)
    I think I applied in the beginning of May and got the job right before Memorial Weekend. :)
     
  35. Miss_J

    Miss_J Habitué

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    That's great! Subbing is one of the things that I did to build the connections. I would get on as many sub lists as you can (some districts call a lot and others rarely call, so the more, the better. At least until you figure out who calls a lot). They are, like was mentioned by several of us, the entry to a full-time position.
     
  36. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    Wow! I had no idea that the education job market was that tight anywhere -- all you ever hear about is how desperately good teachers are needed!

    FYI, Helpme,
    Your cover letter needs some work. If the job market is that tight, you really need to wow them with your cover letter AND with your resume. I found a number of grammatical errors in your letter, including a runon sentence. Your paragraphs need to be longer than one or two sentences long. Do not mention any negatives at all in the cover letter -- the entire purpose of the letter is to make them notice and remember you. There are several incidents where you need to add commas.

    Sorry to sound critical, but I was in the business world for 25 years, and worked a lot in Human Resources, so I know what should and should not be in a resume/cover letter. Not to mention the fact that you are applying to be a TEACHER. As such, your mechanics and spelling should be exemplary.
     
  37. mincc

    mincc Companion

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    pwhatley,

    Teachers are being laid off now, as I write this. The market is HORRIBLE here, elem. is beyond flooded. :(
     
  38. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    That's just horrible! Is it because of "urban flight?" I know that the (very) small town in which I live is growing like "gangbusters" because people are moving out of the nearby small city, which is where all the jobs are. Our town is 30-40 minutes away from anywhere in the city. I really hate to hear that about the teacher job situation!
     
  39. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Here it's because I can ride a bike to 4 colleges. (OK, not me maybe. But someone who can RIDE can probably ride to 5 or 6 without breaking a sweat.) Each of them graduates an entire class of teachers each semester. Add in those colleges a bit further away, and you have a total glut of teachers.
     
  40. mincc

    mincc Companion

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    May 10, 2007

    Yep, Alice that is the problem here. Way too many schools graduating teachers. Also, budgets. There are 2 districts near me letting go of a lot of teachers because the budgets were rejected.

    More teachers are retiring later, too.

    So, when a job DOES come up, there is always someone who knows someone who wants it. The nepotism and politics is really what it is all about. I see it all the time. I actually hear that there really is no HUGE demand here for anything now. Yes, it is easier to find a secondary or Middle School Math or Science job, but there are still multiple qualified applicants. My friend was a Math teacher for years, left last year, but had some interviews before she decided to do that and she was still up against several other people. What is happening, I think, is that people went and got certs. for the in- demand areas and now those areas are filling up. I am elementary special ed. The schools receive hundreds of resumes for these. I think a lot of the schools run ads for jobs that have been filled, for legal reasons.

    :eek:
     
  41. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    May 10, 2007

    I agree.

    I'm a math teacher and I returned to teaching last fall after 6 years off. I'm now happily back at the school I left in 2000.

    I was very selective about where I applied, and I did turn down 2 offers. I also had several interview calls after I accepted a job. But there wasn't the huge glut of calls that math teachers are told to expect. Another teacher on this forum was hoping to re-locate to LI to teach math, and came up empty.

    The whole area from New England to about PA is pretty saturated with teachers. Many of those who really want to teach re-locate. Or they spend a few years becoming someone who "knows someone"-- networking and subbing and getting their names out there.

    Me, I'm very happy to be back "home." :)
     

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