Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by fedfanforever11, Aug 30, 2010.
Aug 30, 2010
I'm contemplating a career in teaching...
Teaching is, and always has been, a tough market. There simply are more graduates than jobs. With the economy and budget cutbacks, what was a tough market is only more competitive. There are jobs out there but candidates who are new to the field are competing against seasoned professionals who are highly educated, qualified, and experienced.
There's no telling 'when the jobs will come back'...there ARE jobs out there now- they are just harder to get and they will not ever, in my opinion (nor should they be), easy to get.
If I'm to hazard a guess (and this is only a guess) we'll probably see a shortage of public school teachers in 5-8 years; by then veteran teachers will retire and recent grads will likely leave for other professions.
I don't see it anytime soon.
This part of the country has always been brutally competitive. There's no soft market to "come back" to.
And all those retiring baby boomers have seen their lives' savings disappear in the financial crisis. Don't look to see them fleeing the profession.
If I do pursue education, it will be trying to find a job in 2016. I'm still in high school. My parents aren't supportive of my choice AT ALL and they keep telling me how bad it is to be a teacher, so I'm very nervous about this.
I would like to teach elementary school or special education.
Oh, and how is the market in MA?
Very tight. I am from RI and I moved to NC 3 years ago for a job. The economy bottomed out so quickly - when I moved here I had 16 jobs I was qualified for; just 2 years later I was scared to get RIFfed (reduction in force, I think it's called.)
As far as I know MA is one of the tougher markets, along with pretty much the entire north east. Your chances of a job will always be better if you're willing to relocate to some area of the US which at that time has a greater need.
As far as I know, states with strong unions make it hard to get a job, and like MsMar said, there's many in the northeast - NY, MA, RI, CT, etc.
I think things will recover for new teachers in a few years. Lots of baby boomers hitting the 25-30 year mark in teaching. They'll retire. I read last night something on line about the job outlook in Georgia and it showed a line graph with a trend towards needing more teachers soon.
Sorry to ask so many questions, but if I went to college in Massachusetts, would I be able to move to another state and get a job?
And also, do principals care if you graduated from a good private college or a state school?
it's really good that you are looking into this now. I wanted to mention that there are positions for special ed, so that would be great to have. Also, (mass. might not have this problem) but having an endorsement/authorization/classes for teaching english language learners will give you an advantage and open you up to more jobs (these would be ESL or TESOL programs). Yes, you can graduate one place and move to another, but each state has it's own requirements and you should probably be able to look up each one online. good luck! you can always do subbing...
Aug 31, 2010
I think the "idea" that there will be a shortage of teachers due to retirement has been around for years and years but never seems to work that way! That's what they said when I was in college. I've also read that in newspapers but apparently it's wishful thinking. I'm in AZ and wouldn't know of a job shortage if it weren't for reading posts on here. Not that the shortage doesn't exist where I live, I just don't think it's that drastic as other places.
So... what do you do?
For starters, don't sweat the private school/state school thing. State schools are fine; this isn't one of those professions where the actual school matters.
You build a stong resume all through college. You look for internships, volunteer opportunities, summer jobs-- anything that will set your resume apart from you classmates. You make connections in every school you can along the way.
You watch what you post online, even with tight privacy settings. Assume that if it's posted, a potential employer can lay his hands on it-- and will! No pictures of you holding a beer, no alllusions to any sort of behavior that might cause any employer to have second thoughts.
You make sure that you go in to all your observations with an open mind. Sure, you'll see some teachers and some methods that show you what NOT to do. But even those teachers have some gems in their classes-- it's up to you to separate the wheat from the chaff.
As you finish your Junior year, you start giving serious thought to the job search, and come back here for help with that. And you put your ego in the back seat and really listen to those trying to help you, all throughout the process.
THERE ARE JOBS, even in this economic crunch. Something like 128 AtoZ members have found jobs this year. But no one here wants you to believe in the mythical "teacher shortage" or to think that the job search will be easy.
As to your parents' opinon that it's hard work: they're right. To steal a phrase from the Marines, "It's the toughest job you'll ever love."
Best wishes to you as you begin your journey.
They never left around here! Our school is still short three teachers, and we have just random subs in there until we find someone. So, it's all in where you live.
Getting a job as a teacher is never going to be easy. No question that right now is one of the toughest times in recent history. However,even when I was looking before the recession, I went on 8 interviews before landing the job that I have now and feel so fortunate to have. The reason it is never going to be easy is the majority of hiring happens all at the same time and if you miss that hiring season ( April-August) you are kind of stuck waiting until the next hiring season. The sheer number of applicants for each position during the hiring season makes it so competitive that even if their are more jobs open do to retirements or whatever, the competition will still be intense.
That being said, if you go into the job search realizing it is going to be tough, and if you put forth your best efforts and apply to every available job that you are qualified for within your area it will work out. In truth, if you want to be a teacher you owe it to yourself to give it a shot. With determination and some good luck you'll land a job and experience an amazingly rewarding career!
I live in PA & I don't see it getting better any time soon. The market is oversaturated here. Here's the frustrating part, the colleges and universities are telling kids that there is a shortage to get enrollment up. I looked at my former University's webpage for something the other day & this is what it said:
"With the anticipated retirements of millions of public school teachers, the future looks bright for those students interested in a professional career in early childhood and elementary education."
Are you kidding me? Maybe if they want to move way out of state! I was told that the districts in my area get around 1,000 application for every opening.
It's not about a "shortage"; all it comes down to is money/prosperity of the country. In that regard too, I see no light at the end of any tunnel.
I know I have a lot of time, but I really want to make the right choice. My parents aren't exactly thrilled about my choice... (my sister is going to med school, so they see this as "lower"), so I'm trying to figure this out by myself. My greatest fear is my sister having doctor job while I'm looking for jobs.
And thank you so much Alice!! I'm volunteering at a kindergarten classroom this school year just to see how I like it.
I wouldn't be that discouraged to pursue your dream career just based on the economy alone. Teachers who teach subjects that are on higher demand have more chances of getting employed during these difficult times.
I know a person in charge of hiring at the school district I graduated for, and she said that it tends to come in phases, at least on the island. She said the school district will probably have multiple elem openings in about 10 years when a big wave of people will be retiring. If I return to teaching after I go on maternity for a few years once we have kids in the future, I may try and go for LI.
Pfft. My brother is an awesome scientist; I'm a public school teacher. My bro tells me all the time he could never do the job I do - he thinks it's much harder. My dad is proud of BOTH of us for getting a higher education. Even if my education isn't quite as high as the bro's. Plus... tons of jobs down here in FL
You didn't mention your subject area. If you are in Math, Science, Special Ed in the right place, you won't have to wait as long for the market to loosen up again. I imagine just a few years from now there will be a surplus of those jobs in undesirable districts again.
As to other subject areas, particularly Elementary or Social Studies, there has NEVER been a shortage of teachers anywhere and most likely never will be, and will always be extremely competitive.
In 1992, when I graduated from college, the word on the street was...there will be lots of jobs in the next 5 years. It didn't happen. When I started back to school for my spec ed license, 4 years ago, the word was...there is always a need for spec ed teachers. The reality is there are way too many education grads for the # of jobs. Here in Ohio we have more colleges pumping out teachers than school districts. (Well not really but...)
If you really want to be a teacher, go for it. It's just a tough market.
Go mid-way down, and there's a chart of the states in which Massachusetts accepts licenses from other states. So if you want to work in Maine, for example, go to the Maine equivalent and see if they accept Massachusetts licenses.
My cousin just got her teaching degree in Mass at UMass. She's currently starting a teaching job in Venezuela! She's lived overseas most of her life, and so wanted to continue the adventure.
Sep 5, 2010
You will need to be aware of the job market throughout your college years, and if possible, add other areas that are in high demand (i.e. special education, ESL/ELL, math/science, etc). I went to college in western PA, an area with way too many teacher education programs. Many of my classmates did dual certification in elementary ed/special ed. Those were the people who were actually able to find jobs in PA. Due to my husband's job, I knew we would not be staying in PA, so I did not pursue the dual certification, and was able to quickly find a job when we moved to NC (an area that used to have a shortage).
One thing that I see that is leading to fewer jobs in my area is that class sizes are growing at an alarming rate. Even though the state has a policy saying there should be no more than 24 students at the primary level, schools can apply for a waiver if they have more, and it is almost always granted in our area. When I taught middle school, they made sure we had no more than 27 students per class. That number is much higher now. Bigger classes equal a need for fewer teachers (and a HUGE savings since salary is the #1 expense a school system has). I am teaching for another system now, but I have many friends who teach in the public schools in NC. I see that the treatment of teachers here is getting worse and worse in some systems. More and more is being asked of them, while their salaries have been stagnant for years. There is no union to protect their salary, benefits, or time. I think that is why the job market here is a bit better than in other areas. Many people do not stick around to teach long.
While I LOVE being a teacher, I would probably try to encourage my children to pursue careers in other fields. Even 9 years ago when I graduated from college, teaching was completely different than it is today. I do not see it taking a positive track in the near future. The focus, sadly, is NOT on the students, but on numbers, data, and crazy program implementation. I am fortunate to work in a system that is somewhat protected from all of the crazy high-stakes testing, but things are changing even for us. I love the idea of teacher accountability, but I just don't like how it is happening these days.
If you have a passion for teaching, then I say, "Go for it!", however, just be ready to do whatever it takes to make yourself marketable, and understand that in order to begin your career, you might have to move away from your area and make "peanuts" (starting salary in NC is $30,000) for awhile until you have some experience under your belt.
Mar 5, 2011
it really is all about where you live. i graduated in 2009 and nearly a year went by with no job opportunities (or interviews) before i decided to go back to school and enter the medical field.
there are people i graduated with who have jobs, but they moved out of state. i know a girl who has worked as an assistant for 4 years after graduating and will graduate in december with her masters.
i did post a resume online and got a call from NC a week after graduation, but moving wasn't a reality for me (home, kids, family).
i would say if you're willing to move then don't hesitate going into teaching. my only regret is that i didn't go into the medical field sooner - i could be making a lot of money right now. but on the other hand, that depends on where you live also. i visit another site where new grad nurses are complaining about not being able to get a job all the time, but where i live they'll pay for you to go to school to be a nurse.
i hate when people say, "you could always sub" or "get your foot in the door as an assistant." that gives false hope. nobody goes to school for 4 years to do a job that someone with a GED could do and get paid peanut SHELLS. i'm sure the girl who has been an assistant for 4 years thought that was a smart move also, but like i said, it's all in where you live (and who you know).
Mar 6, 2011
It sounds to me like you are already on the right track!!
I really think experiences like volunteering in a K classroom are going to let you know if teaching is for you or not.
I am in a credential/M.S. program right now in CA, a state that is notorious for having an extremely tough teacher job market, especially in elementary, which is what I will be certified in.
I volunteered in a Kinder class when I was in 7th grade. I was hooked. I volunteered in my church's Children's programs all through high school, and went on to work in after-school programs and day camps all through college. Right now, I'm subbing one or two days a week, which is as much as I can handle with my course load.
Get as much experience working with kids as you can, especially in academic settings. My jobs and volunteer experiences proved to me that this is TRULY where my passion is.
I sometimes become extremely discouraged by the current job market (I am graduating in December 2011, so finding a job is coming up FAST for me!) but I keep going, because this is TRULY what I want to do. I just go on with the realization that I am going to have to try very hard in this competitive job market, and I may have to wait several years to finally land my dream position.
And another thing - not only will experiences working with kids show you if teaching is right for you or not, but those experiences will keep you keep going when you feel like becoming a teacher is just way too hard. Sometimes I get frustrated and feel hopeless about the job situation around here, but then I have a day like this past Friday, when I subbed in a fantastic first grade class, and I am reminded all over again of why I am doing this.
I admire you for being so self-reflective and serious about this, even in high school. I'll bet you will be a wonderful teacher.
I disagree. There are still many, many teachers with these certifications who are currently unemployed and looking for openings. Also, more college students are looking to become certified in these areas due to the poor job outlook in other teaching areas.