Is it Realistic to Get a Teaching Job in New Jersey via The Alternate Route Program?

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by Chaiya1, Mar 6, 2012.

  1. Chaiya1

    Chaiya1 Rookie

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    Hello - I am switching careers from financial services to teaching. I took one course at a community college and I passed the PRAXIS exam in Elementary Ed and in Middle School Math. I submitted the appropriate documentation to the NJDOE and I now have my Certificate of Eligibility in Elementary Ed (K-5) and I also have a Certificate of Eligibility in Elementary Ed with Mathematics specialization (5-8). The Alternate Route program is in 2 stages. The first stage begins in July and it consists of 4 credits of a Classroom Management Class. We have been advised that in order to continue in Stage 2 of the program which begins in September we need to have promise of employment with a school district by September. I have been sending out my resume and cover letters and completing various on-line applications. I am interested in teaching Middle School Math. How realistic will it be for me to acquire a teaching position in NJ with just a CE and no formal or student teaching experience?
     
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  3. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    It will be difficult at best. My district gets hundreds of resumes for every one opening and we don't interview alt route...:sorry: keep in mind any districts have had budget concerned layoffs and RIFs...for any job you will be in competition with not only those who did student teaching, but also teachers who have real classroom experience. You may also want to consider a secondary certification to be more competitive. NJ has always been a tough market. Even more so now.
     
  4. Chaiya1

    Chaiya1 Rookie

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    Thanks so much for your honest reply. Do you think that substitute teaching will help me acquire a full time position or would it be better to get a Masters degree in Education? I am getting discouraged and based on your response I think that there are just way too many people in NJ looking for teaching jobs. And, like you said inexperienced teachers are up against experienced teachers. Maybe, I should think about switching careers to something besides teaching?
     
  5. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    New Jersey, like NY, is TOUGH.

    Is there any way you can expand that middle school math certification into high school? I think the job prospects would be a lot brighter.
     
  6. orangetea

    orangetea Connoisseur

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    I'm from MA and the job market is very tough here as well. I have high school math certification and a masters, and the only job close by I could get in September was a job in a very low performing school as a long term sub.
    I would also get high school certification if possible.
     
  7. Daskalos

    Daskalos Rookie

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    I did Alternate Route in NJ, too. I did it in world langauges. I will tell you, YOU NEED TO GET CLASSROOM EXPERIENCE. The big thing I found lacking in my program (which I extended to a master's, as well) is that there was no student teaching requirement. I got lucky to find a leave replacement and it has been trial by towering inferno (no assigned mentor like when you get as a fulltime hire, for example)-- I immediately found that I would have benefitted from student teaching. If you have friends who are teachers, observe them a lot and make friends with the administration of the school if you can. Sub'ing is good to get yourself in front of a classroom but you are not going to teach when you sub. You will follow the lesson plan left by the teacher and make sure the kids do the work. You might help them a bit if you are subbing a math class. But getting yourself in front of the classroom will help you with classroom management. Remember how we treated subs? It has not changed one bit.
    Get certified K-12!!
     
  8. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    I've been looking into job fairs and many of them say they won't even let alternate route candidates attend- and from what I understand, the job market in my state is A LOT better than NJ. My district only gets an average of 35 applicants for each job. A couple districts I've applied to also have a statement on their website saying that they're not interviewing alternate route candidates at this time. Sorry to be the debbie downer...just trying to be realistic here.
     
  9. NJSocialStudies

    NJSocialStudies Rookie

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    "Difficult at best" is an understatement! I would have to say downright impossible at this juncture. I was a career-switch teacher and when hired was asked by a number of teachers if I was "alternate-route". I explained I actually went back for my MA and student taught, evaluations, etc... They all seem relieved as, apparently, a "nepotism" hire a few years earlier was a disaster. That candidate was "alternate-route". Of course, that was one specific instance and I'm sure there are lots of successful alternate route teachers. However, now that there are an overabundance of unemployed teachers that have undergone student teaching and beyond (especially in NJ), there is no reason any district would even choose to interview an alternate route candidate. Reality.
     
  10. houseofbooks

    houseofbooks Companion

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    Mar 9, 2012

    Like others have said, NJ currently has a very tough market and most public districts want classroom experience, including student teaching. I'm a secondary English teacher, hold a MA in English, and applying for my K-5 CEAS, but I've been searching for a full time position for about a year now. If you do alternate route, my advice would be not to exclude private and charter schools in your job hunt. NJ has tons of charter schools in high-need urban areas and if you check out the NJAIS website, you can find a list of independent schools. It's worth checking out religious schools, too, because some don't require as much classroom experience.

    However, although the market is tough in NJ, I still think there's hope for job seekers. I've sent out my resume to a bunch of districts, located in all areas of the state, and have received personalized and positive responses from secretaries and administrators. One private school even called me to tell me that they loved my resume and wished me the best of luck in my search! Additionally, I have heard from several high school teachers, who have 20+ years experience in education, that many of their co-workers will be retiring this year, which will hopefully free up positions in certain pockets of the state.

    Best of luck! :thumb:
     
  11. Chaiya1

    Chaiya1 Rookie

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    Thanks so much for your advice. You all have been so helpful! I really appreciate your honesty!! Thanks again!!!
     
  12. bison

    bison Habitué

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    Waterfall, do you mind if I ask where you're located? 35 per job? Sounds like heaven compared to where I am!
     
  13. houseofbooks

    houseofbooks Companion

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    Seconding this! 100+ is pretty standard per opening here. :(
     
  14. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    Colorado mountain region. Teacher turnover is VERY high here. They have to RIF people each year due to budget cuts, but so many people end up leaving voluntarily that they can always hire back more than they RIF'd. We technically were supposed to RIF two teachers last year, but ended up hiring 7. Salary is low, benefits are terrible (I just paid almost 100 dollars for a routine dermatologist visit where she basically just renewed my prescriptions for me, with insurance), merit pay, no union, 9 months of harsh winter, and the fact that the COL is extremely high all play into that. The average home is one million dollars here, so unless you marry someone with a lot more money than you a teacher can never even dream of being a homeowner in this area. I was playing around with a COL calculator and it said to maintain my current lifestyle, I'd only have to make 23K in San Diego. I'm trying to get out for next year. My co-workers tell me that until the last 5-6 years when the teaching market got really bad in other places in the state, they were practically begging people off the street to come teach here.
     
  15. bison

    bison Habitué

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    Wow. Nevermind. 23k in San Diego..? I suggest you move to San Diego. It may be impossible to find a teaching job, but it's beautiful! I hope you can get out.
     
  16. Scienceguy1

    Scienceguy1 New Member

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    I know it's been a while since you posted, but I just saw your post and in case you are still looking for an answer, I decided to post. I did the alternate route as well, in NJ, and did not find it too hard to get a job with NO experience.

    I worked in corporate doing sales, and prior to that I did some research assistant jobs, but no teaching at all. I decided to take the Praxis in Science (Bio/Chem/General Sciences) and become certified. Once I received my CE Biological Sciences, I began to apply in person and online. After only a few weeks of looking, I was called by 5 districts to interview. After the interviews, I chose the district that best fit me, one that I thought I would be more productive. Again, I had NO teaching experience. You will learn what you need to learn within the first few years, and with the alternate route program.

    I have K-12 certification in Science, and thus it allowed me to have a wider range of opportunities. In one of the meetings we had in school, my principal pointed out how competitive it is to get a job when you only have a cert for k-5. The reason is that most teachers that come straight out of college want to work with younger students and get their K-5 cert.

    I suggest you get certification for k-12, and that WILL help increase your chances of landing a job. I now teach middle school science, but have the certification to teach all grades. I think that the more certs you have, the better off you will be.

    Hope this helps.
     
  17. Katco

    Katco New Member

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    This gives me some hope!! I graduated with a BA in Art History, and am currently on my way to obtaining my CE in Elementary Ed K-5 (my Praxis is set for June), now I'm thinking I should go further. I have some past experience in preschool, but nothing substantial. I'm just concerned with securing a job before I have the teaching experience!

    I wonder how many Art History openings there are in NJ...


     
  18. MissD59

    MissD59 Comrade

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    Not to be a Debbie Downer, but STEM is a high needs area in most parts of the country, while art definitely isn't. Art tends to be something that districts cut when the money is tight, too.
     
  19. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Just to offer a positive note for new job hunters, Central Florida schools go begging for teachers every year. Alternate route, no problem. We have schools who have to combine classes because they can't find good candidates.
     
  20. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    The OP is in NJ...a state where it's been a historically , tight market..it might depend on where in NJ you are applying. I'm in a highly competitive, high scoring, high paying district ( among the top in my county)... My district DOES NOT INTERVIEW alt route...we have enough fully certificated, experienced applicants that the Supe just doesn't choose to look at alt route...
     
  21. screeningtool

    screeningtool Rookie

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    The purpose of this opinion is to be honest, and serve as a public service, by helping to save teacher candidates a lot of money in the challenging economic times of the early twenty first century. Nothing in this opinion is intended to be disrespectful or to start a controversy of any kind. This question, "Is it Realistic to Get a Teaching Job in New Jersey via The Alternate Route Program?" remains important in 2015 and 2016.

    The answer is, "No, it is not realistic to get a teaching job in New Jersey via the alternate route." for a number reasons. If college coursework is required by an evaluation for the Alternate Route, it may cost thousands and thousands of dollars in tuition, expensive textbooks and other college fees. For example, student loans have novice teachers so stressed out, that gossip such as, "It's like I am paying to work as a teacher." is common in the schools.

    As widely reported in the news, the poorest district in the state, laid off hundreds and hundreds of experienced teachers. So, every teacher job opening now has several hundred teachers with years of experience, who are preferred as internal applicants over Alternate Route teachers. It is almost as if they interview Alternate Route candidates because they are required to do so, but have no intention whatsoever of hiring them.

    Do a little research to find out, additional test requirements have been added recently, on top of the existing test requirements. According to study guides, new computerized tests are carefully designed to result in failure. You may feel that study guide preparation is for the wrong subject matter, because the subject matter on the test is so unrelated. Using common sense you may realize it is a hidden cost to learn the subject matter by paying to retake the same test over and over, and over again.

    Some tests are broken down into sub tests. A fifty dollar sub test, may quickly become a two hundred dollar sub test. If you fail any of the sub tests (even by a few points) for language arts, or history, or science, or mathematics, it is all for nothing. And passing uses a weird, secretive calculation, like 168 out of 200, or 168÷200, which calculates to 84%. So, if you get 83% on any sub test you either pay to retake it over and over until you pass, or you fail, and can not be certified for the sub test you did pass. It is all, or nothing. There is more profit in failure.

    So, now there are several more, expensive tests and sub tests to pass. It may seem unbelievable to anyone who has to work for a living, but research this to find out, novice teachers are now actually being required to work free of charge teaching in a classroom, to qualify for certification. The result of the teacher unions having lost power, may explain this new phenomenon. Now, teachers are evaluated (to be possibly fired) several times a year, while they teach overcrowded classrooms, with over 30 students.

    This opinion is intended to be common sense based, about the teaching profession. Please feel free to comment, agree or refute this opinion, as long as it is in a calm, controlled, respectful manner. I promise you that I intended no disrespect in my opinion.
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2015
  22. jadorelafrance

    jadorelafrance Cohort

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    I am also in a competitive, high scoring and paying district, but we do hire alt. route. I've seen many teachers recently being hired, especially in my department. Perhaps this is because it is a hard-to-fill department.
     
  23. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Math isn't hard to fill in my area. In grade 5, math teachers teach another content area as well. Never hurts to be dually certified. Especially in MS.
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2015
  24. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    If you find it difficult to get a teaching job in public schools in NJ, try looking for private schools who are hiring. They tend to appreciate those who have different kinds of backgrounds than regular route teachers, especially as it may help them to broaden their coursework or club selection at the school.

    I teach in a private Catholic school (not part of a diocese) and while I did a traditional route for teaching, other teachers at my school did the alt route after being in other professions.
     
  25. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    Alt cert teachers have an equal opportunity down here. Some of the most amazing teachers I've worked with are alt cert. Louisiana is beta testing having student teaching for a year this year with a couple if universities and next year it's supposed to be statewide. They are taking classes along with student teaching which makes it really hard to work during that time. I think that's going to push more to do the alt cert route, getting paid during that first year makes a big difference. You might would need to stretch your range to other areas to get your foot in the door. Good luck!
     
  26. Merc

    Merc Rookie

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    My district hires tons of alternate route teachers every year. My district also fires tons of alt route teachers every year. It's the largest urban district in NJ. If your willing to out work the competition, there is a lot of opportunities in my district. We still get a huge number of applicants per position, but you'd be surprised how many are actually qualified for the positions they apply for. Also, traditional route doesn't hold as much water here. It's a tough place to work and usually they look for people who want the challenge. A lot of principals here like prospects who can bring real world experience to school. My high school staff is 40% alt route.
     

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