How is teaching in Utah

Discussion in 'General Education' started by teachersteve, Sep 18, 2016.

  1. teachersteve

    teachersteve Rookie

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    I have read how you can now teach in Utah without being certified but must become certified eventually.
    I am wondering how it is to teach in Utah and why there is such a shortage and why this drastic decision
    by the Education legislature. Can anyone give me some information on this please?
     
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  3. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    You can, with a Bachelor's degree, teach in the majority of states without certification at the time of hire. You do have to pass the teacher exam tests required by the state for the content you want to teach, and then you must work on becoming certified. It is called alternate route for teaching, and, like I said, most states have some version of this on the books. As for teaching in Utah, I can imagine that unless you are in one of the bigger cities, many people find it a little isolating. I went through Utah recently, and it is beautiful and scenic, but it is no hotbed of activity outside of the cities. I suspect pay is low.
     
  4. teachersteve

    teachersteve Rookie

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    I did not know that it is on the books as you said that you can teach without certification. If this is so it makes me wonder why the department of education had to have that vote to change the rule? Were they one of the few states without this on their books? My major concern is how is teaching in Utah compared to other states. Does it vary by district? There are just so many negative things I read overall that really discourages me.
     
  5. teachersteve

    teachersteve Rookie

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    Thanks PallasAthena.
    I have not considered any other state as I was not aware as you and Vickilyn mentioned, that you can teach without certification. I was raised Episcopalian so not sure if that would be accepted or problematic as you mentioned. Would it? To give you some more information on my situation and what I am trying to find out about the current climate in education in the states. I substituted in California many years ago experiencing public education and all of its problems while working on my teachers credential there. Although I completed the coursework I was unable take the final exam to get certified due to personal reasons and a business opportunity and its too late to go back now as it was too long ago and I have lost all my notebooks to review for the exam anyway. I only have my transcripts from the college to prove what I have done. I even completed my student teaching in both 3rd and 6th grade. Since then I have been teaching for more than 15 years overseas in Asia and now the Gulf as an esl teacher and I am now teaching at a University. I wish to return to the states for my 8 year old daughters sake to provide a proper education and extra curricular activities. We live in Oman and its very rural and is lacking in the aforementioned. I'm 53 and I figure this would be the time to make a permanent move for my family and make our home. I would really appreciate any and all advice and information related to this big life decision to enter the US education system which from what I have read is still a rather negative career to be in. I am hoping to hear and read otherwise.
     
  6. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    I don't think that teaching is a negative career, per se. The people know more about teachers and school districts than, say, the garbage collectors, or house painters. That part is due to the public nature of expenditures of schools. I was an AR teacher in NJ, and it never entered into me getting hired, moving up the pay scale, or anything else that mattered. Could I live on my salary? Yes. Get rich? Not so much, but people who work for a living seldom aspire to becoming rich, since comfortable is doable. AZ, Florida, Utah, and Nevada have had a teacher shortage in the recent past, so a lot of teachers who struggled to find jobs elsewhere found their way to these states. Seven years ago it was Texas in need, and maybe NC. I have never seen a teacher shortage in NJ, where I am, or the immediate surrounding vicinity. Some good, some bad, some in-between - pretty par for the course.

    I know little about CA, personally. I think some states may be a tad easier to get certified and licensed in. There will be requirements as far as what you can/can't teach based on coursework, of course, required testing which is about half the states using Praxis II exams, the others using a state exam of some sort. As far as ESL, I can only tell you that in NJ you need a specific 5 courses to teach it in the schools, but other states are much easier to acqurie that as a certificate - I am thinking TX. If your goal is elementary, there is the test and coursework, and middle school has another exam and proof of 15 credits in the subject. Find the state you really want to go to and have your transcript evaluated by the state DOE - that will tell you what you may need or what you are ready to test and go.

    If you graduated, you should be ready to test in the appropriate categories. That graduation doesn't go away, so although the state tests may change, you would still be considered a traditionally prepared teacher, I would think. It is something you are going to want clarification on from the DOE where you are headed. I believe you may have an easier road outside of CA, but that is only based on posts on these forums. Best of luck.
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2016
  7. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    Born
    Born, raised, and currently teaching in Utah.

    A bachelor's degree now gives a provisionary contract to teach for 3 years while working toward licensure.

    The shortage reason? My impression from chatting around is many find the pay/benefits, whole okay, less than other fields. When you're in a very family-oriented state, people tend to try to streamline their income.

    Then there is the tendency of women to become teachers. There's a lot of career pauses when teachers have babies.

    As to the atmosphere, well, it varies from district to district. A lot.

    Really, pick your district carefully should you consider.


    Find what problematic?
     
  8. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    I know that I live in flyover country, and it's easy for people on the coasts to forget that so many Midwest states exist... but we aren't experiencing a teacher shortage anywhere around here, where I live. I'm not rolling in the dough, but we get paid enough to live comfortably in many districts around here. Teachers are also not looked down on here. Don't forget about us!
     
  9. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Pallas, I didn't think you were taking a dig... no worries. The way you worded your previous post just made it seem like ALL states other than those in the Northeast and Michigan and Illinois were experiencing a teacher shortage. I just wanted to clarify for job seekers that may be reading these posts that not ALL states in the rest of the country are actually experiencing this.
     
  10. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    What does this have to do with the thread? I feel like I'm missing something. You said something was problematic outside of a city, but I'm missing the written trail.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2016
  11. teachersteve

    teachersteve Rookie

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    All good info. I guess the first thing to decide now, is which state I want to live in and which of those are actively hiring teachers through the alternate route system. Wonder how you would know that? I am pretty sure I don't want CA even though I have family there. Its just too expensive for cost of living and housing. So I am considering midwest states like AZ, Utah, Texas I guess, as was mentioned and possibly other states you may recommend. Quality of life is important, housing costs, not a big city as well as good natural surroundings are important to me, off the top of my head if that helps.

    Also it was mentioned that things are good or bad depending on the district and so to choose wisely. Again, how would you research or investigate which are the better districts/schools with less of the headaches I have read that cause teachers to burn out and or leave. I'm looking for a long term final place to settle so I want the best school/district I can get into so as not to be miserable and burn out obviously. Can you advise? I am really appreciating the feedback and getting the answers I need and how to proceed and what to do next. So any more step by step advice on my above questions is moving me forward as to which state, district, school to look into I guess to find out if they are willing to hire an alternative route person. Also I am wondering which grade to go into. Originally I thought I wanted to be a class teacher for 3-5 grade students, possibly but am now wondering if it would be better, easier to be a single subject teacher like history for 6- 8 grade classes or whenever they start single subject teachers. Any suggestions on making that decision as well. I kind of feel funny asking that question but am just being honest. " Hey what should I teach? " Yeah that is a bit funny, isnt it.
     
  12. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    The ones I can give personally based on hearsay is avoid Ogden District and any of of the Jordan districts.

    Also, Utah has a good mix of big cities, not-so-big cities, and rural areas. It's pretty nice for cost-of-living, as well.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2016
  13. greendream

    greendream Cohort

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    [​IMG]
     
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  14. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    I was going to say something similar... but I like your response better than any that I would have given. :)
     
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  15. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Deciding what to teach based on what you think will be easier is NOT a good idea. Choose what you want to teach based on your passions and what it reasonable for finding a job. No teaching job is easy, and the quickest way to make another teacher angry is to say that their job is easier than yours (whether or not it's actually true...).
     
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  16. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    It also sounds like you're going to a lot of trouble to find something easy.
     
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  17. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Right. I agree.

    OP, can you tell us why you want to be a teacher? It's certainly not the easy-breezy job that it's often made out to be by the general public. If you go into for the wrong reasons, you're sure to be disappointed and not make it long. Happens all the time.
     
  18. teachersteve

    teachersteve Rookie

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    I meant to say or did say that I think teaching a single subject would be easier than having to teach all subjects. I could be wrong. I understand there are shortages of math teachers and science teachers but I never liked math, so that's out. I did like science but have no experience in it so wonder if one could just start teaching off the bat without having experience. I have been primarily an esl teacher overseas. I did substitute for about a year once so I do have that experience and did quite well. I have always enjoyed history and social studies but those are not in high demand so that is an issue. I am really grappling with which state to locate my family and then which district. I'm from CA but that is out as I can never see myself owning a house there and over all cost of living is high. I have friends in AZ in Navajo county and they are happy living there. I have thought it would be nice to move where I have a least a couple of friends but again I dont think their is a high demand for teachers and the pay is low from what I have read. Need to call some districts there I guess.
     
  19. teachersteve

    teachersteve Rookie

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    Sorry but I don't get the joke of that picture. Not sure what word I used that you are referring to.
     
  20. teachersteve

    teachersteve Rookie

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    ah midwest. yes i guess utah is not a midwest state.
     
  21. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Neither is Arizona or Texas. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Midwestern_United_States

    I've never taught a single subject at the secondary level, but, based on what I've read from some secondary teachers on this board, it's no easier than elementary. It's just a different kind of hard. In elementary, you teach more subjects, but you have fewer students. You also don't have to go as deep into the content. In secondary, you may teach fewer subject areas, but, within that different subject, you may have a variety of courses you are teaching. You also have to go deep into the content of each of those courses, which, from what I can tell, requires a tremendous amount of planning. On top of it, you have many more students to keep track of. Good classroom management is necessary in both elementary and secondary.

    That's great that you have experience subbing. That gives you a vision of what it's like to work in a school. But, if you don't know this already, you need to know that, no matter what you teach, an actual full-time teaching job is going to much, much more work than subbing ever was... especially in the first few years.

    You should figure out where you want to live - at least have a few options in mind. However, you can't just choose a district where you want to work, call them to find out if they are hiring, and then end up working there. It's not that simple. Maybe that works in the highest needs districts (from what I've read, those districts would be somewhere in AZ, around Las Vegas, and I think also Hawaii), but that's very few in comparison to the overall number of school districts in this country. You need to be open to working in multiple districts near the area where you choose to live, as most people looking for teaching jobs are stuck applying all over and hoping that some school district will love them and want them. If you don't choose a high-needs school district in which to apply, it's probably going to be more difficult for you going the alternate route. If you're in applying in districts that are sought out by many high-quality candidates and/or applying for positions that get an abundance of applicants, most administrators are likely to choose someone with traditional training over someone going the alternate route.

    Just all things to keep in mind.
     
  22. otterpop

    otterpop Phenom

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    There are a few states you could choose from. I do understand what you're saying about one subject being easier... I don't know if it's true, but I don't think you necessarily meant from the classroom management side, but rather the planning side. I am in elementary and I teach only reading. It's nice to be able to focus on one thing. I'm going to send you a PM about where I'm at now because I'm happy here, there's a teacher shortage, and it seems to be a good place for families.
     
  23. otterpop

    otterpop Phenom

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    I'm seeing now I can't send you a PM because you're probably under the required post limit. :( But I'm in the southwest and happy here! I think most states down here do have shortages, which means there is some flexibility with teaching requirements.

    You might also check into charter schools. Sometimes their teaching license requirements have some wiggle room; because you have experience but no license, it may be possible for you to find a job.
     
  24. teachersteve

    teachersteve Rookie

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    Yes please do PM me. I have wanted to PM some people here but can not figure how how to do it. I dont see the button for that. Can you direct me please? Embarrassed.
     
  25. otterpop

    otterpop Phenom

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    There's not a way for you to PM yet. There's a certain number of posts, maybe like 100, that you have to hit before you can send or receive PMs I believe.
     
  26. teachersteve

    teachersteve Rookie

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    Hi, sorry for my delay in responding. All good advice. It's too bad I can't receive or send PM. I'm tempted to give you my email address. I wonder how many posts I need to make before I can do the PM thing.
    I would really like to know which city you are in and what states specifically and cities are having a shortage of teachers, if you know. That continues to be the challenge for now, as to which State, City and then district I want to live and teach and how likely it is I can get hired there. Still haven't figured out the best way to research and decide that.
     
  27. teachersteve

    teachersteve Rookie

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    Thanks for the encouragement. One correction is that I didnt take the test for the credential. I only completed all the classwork and student teaching. So as some point I will have to take some kind of test just not sure which one. Prepping for it will be another matter as well as I no longer have any of my schoolbooks or notes etc related to the credential.
     
  28. teachersteve

    teachersteve Rookie

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    It surprised me that you only teach reading in elementary. I thought in that level you had to be a class teacher, teaching all subjects. You were exactly right on what I meant by easier by only prepping for one subject and yes class management is always ongoing work. I really do want to know which city you are in especially if there is a shortage and its a good place for families. sdorr95603@yahoo.com
     
  29. teachersteve

    teachersteve Rookie

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    Bella you are spot on in all your comments. Some very good advice analysis.Thanks so much.

    Your point about it not being that simple to just choose an area or district and call them and get a job is what is worrisome. I am wondering how difficult it will be and what I can do about it.

    My biggest challenge right now is deciding what I want to teach, where I want to live and if there is a shortage or not. I'm really having a hard time with this as embarrassing as that is to admit. I don't want to choose the wrong grade, level, city, district etc and regret it later. I don't know why this is so hard for me to know how to figure this out. I know I'm not a big city person and yet that is where most of the shortages are I think. PallasAthena mentioned Phoenix but I can't see myself ever living in a big city. I really want more of a medium or small city. So, I'm not sure how to choose or what to do.
    I don't know why this is so hard for me or what other people are doing to make decisions like these.
     
  30. teachersteve

    teachersteve Rookie

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    Yes I am getting some good advice and working towards the right approach to all of this. You just gave another good piece by suggesting the google thing. I can't see any other way around it since I really don't know where I want to live and my wife is not American so she doesnt' have a favorite choice to help me. I really need to google places to live and then narrow that down to several places I guess and then google which areas are most in need of teachers enabling me to get in through the alternative route.
     
  31. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    If you're interested in more moderate city, or even rural, might I recommend Box Elder district in Utah? The people I know who teach there are happy, there's enough growth to keep new jobs fresh, and the local cost of living is low.
     
  32. teachersteve

    teachersteve Rookie

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    Thank you for the suggestion. I hope people will post more just as you did. I am googling states, cities and districts but so far have not been getting good results with a clear answer with a really clear list.
     
  33. teachersteve

    teachersteve Rookie

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    I looked up Box Elder and they weren't on the Teachers-teachers site listings at all. Mostly Salt lake, ogden and Tooele, and their school district site only had a couple job listings. Would you recommend writing them or calling them? If you can connect me with teachers there or someone, please give them my email listed I posted previously.
     
  34. oneteacher

    oneteacher Rookie

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    @teachersteve, I am a teacher in Northern Utah and LDS (the dominant religion). I haven't read through all the posts, so I apologize if I hit on somethings others have already said.

    You asked about teaching in Utah without a certificate. I am not sure why the legislature passed this specifically as it's always been possible to get a teaching job in Utah without a certificate. However, the person would than have 3 years to obtain a certificate by completing the ARL program here in the state. I have a good friend at a neighboring school who just completed hers. As I understand the "new rule", it will allow districts to higher people who are experts in their field when certified teachers are not available. This is mostly applicable to the rural districts where teacher shortages are higher. I don't know the statistics, but I am guessing that Northern Utah (where Box Elder County sits) is not experiencing a teacher shortage. At least not in Elementary school. Utah State University in Cache Valley graduates many students each semester and many of them are hired in Cache County and Box Elder County. You would most likely have better luck getting hired in a secondary school (my friend teachers 7th and 8th grade) or in a very rural district not close to a university. You have to find a district willing to hire you and mentor you through the ARL program. I don't know the best way to go about researching or contacting districts. I believe many of the districts have jobs posted on their individual web sites. I know districts in Salt Lake higher a lot of teachers each year because of high turn over. Personally, I would not want to live in salt Lake.

    I work for Cache County School District and love it. The pay is not stellar, but the people are. As far as not being LDS and that being "problematic", I think it depends partly on you and your perspective. I have many friends here who are not LDS. Some of them love it here, some of them don't. I know some people who are not LDS feel left out because so many social events revolve around the church and some of them feel looked down on because they choose to smoke or drink or not go to church. On the whole LDS people will accept you and love you no matter what. However, there are good LDS people and there are not good LDS people (even though they may profess to be good church goers) just like any other group of people. That being said, the larger the city you move to the higher percentage of non LDS people you will find.
     
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  35. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    My skin crawls at the thought of going anywhere near Salt Lake area districts.

    Oneteacher, you might know more than me on Box Elder district. My MiL works for them... she lives in the rural part of the county and says upper grades stay fresh. Dont know about the elementary.

    I still say avoid Ogden district.
     
  36. oneteacher

    oneteacher Rookie

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    I wouldn't live in Ogden either, at least not downtown Ogden. I've head scary stories about gangs and such.

    I don't know much specifically about Box Elder School District other than they attend the teacher fair at USU. I'm guessing if they have a high turnover in elementary, they still have plenty of new teachers to choose from being close to USU.
     
  37. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    I love living in Ogden. Awesome city. But the school district of the same name is awful.
     
  38. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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    Basically if you look at a RIGHT TO WORK VS. UNION STATE map, it'll give you all the info you need. And then you'll find out WHY there's a shortage.
    ;)
     

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