Is there anything you can do to get a job?

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by mb1907, Mar 8, 2012.

  1. mb1907

    mb1907 Rookie

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    Mar 8, 2012

    I've been looking for a full-time elementary or middle school teaching job in PA for the past two years. Is there anything I can do to get a better chance of getting hired? I've been a building substitute in two different districts, gotten to know the principals and faculty, and substituted in several different districts. I've had several interviews and every time I get the same cop-out responses (i.e. there was just someone who was a better fit, you did a great job but there was someone else, etc.) Is there some unknown factor required to get a job, or is nepotism really as prominent as it seems in most districts?
     
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  3. orangetea

    orangetea Connoisseur

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    Are you directly giving your resume to the principals in the schools that you sub in?
     
  4. flutetoot

    flutetoot Companion

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    Mar 9, 2012

    It sounds like you are trying and doing the right things.
    To be honest, I have heard that in PA it is incredibly difficult to get a teaching job and that there are incredible numbers of applicants for every position posted.
    All I can say is keep trying your best - it is frustrating in this market
     
  5. smc91

    smc91 New Member

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    Tips for Georgia also?

    I can empathize with you-- I have been trying for years to get into an elementary school to no avail here in Georgia! I am thinking about taking the GACE in Special Ed to add to my certificate (even though that would not be my first choice). I am currently a parapro in a school and have interviewed for the past two years and she still brings new teachers in! It really makes you doubt yourself...but we have to have faith that there is a position out there for us somewhere! Good Luck!
     
  6. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Keep adding to your skills, I suppose. PA is better than most states for getting additional certificates (my dad only had to take the Media Specialist Praxis to add it). Also, be willing to move.
     
  7. smc91

    smc91 New Member

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    Looking for teaching jobs

    I never imagined it would be so hard to get a teaching job! I taught in private schools right out of college than stayed at home to have my kids. Now that they are in 6th and 3rd grade I am trying to get back in the classroom but there is alot of cronyism and nepotism out there!
     
  8. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    There are also tens of thousands of unemployed teachers. It doesn't have to be about nepotism or cronyism-- it's about the odds stacked against you.

    Given the choice, I would hire someone I KNEW would do a great job over someone I SUSPECTED would probably do a good job. Call it unfair if you want, but all things being equal, I can understand hiring someone you know if his or her qualifications are as good as the competition.

    And EVERYONE knows lots and lots of unemployed teachers.

    I guess what I'm saying is that if you need to "know someone" to get a job, then you need to become someone who is known. It's like so many other fields right now-- networking is incredibly important in finding a job.
     
  9. tonysam

    tonysam Comrade

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    Oh, baloney. School districts are full of nepotism hires. They give the job to somebody's kid or spouse, and far, far more qualified people are overlooked. Don't even hand me the garbage about "networking." Public school districts are run like little fiefdoms, with the plum jobs given to relatives.

    I worked at a school where the idiot principal not only hired the mother, but also her two daughters became second-grade teachers--all three in the same building. Don't even hand me any nonsense those 20-somethings were more qualified than applicants who were rejected.

    How do you become "known" by some moron in charge? Subbing for years on end, making garbage pay, and not being able to support oneself. Yeah, some great way to get a job.

    The only way an outsider can get into most districts is to take a teaching job nobody else wants, like special education. Even those are becoming few and far between.

    Nepotism in public education ought to be illegal. School districts should be required to operate under civil service rules since taxpayer money is involved.
     
  10. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Tonysam...networking, getting ones foot in the door, marketing oneself does work, even if it didn't for you. Calling other respected members' advice baloney, garbage and nonsense is uncalled for.
     
  11. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    And I suspect that the mindset that requires that those in charge be "morons" and "idiots" probably isn't helpful in a job search.

    Even morons usually have a way of detecting subtle dislike in a conversation.
     
  12. newsciteach23

    newsciteach23 Rookie

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    Czacza, I agree with you. I currently work full-time as a teacher in one school but also at an after-school program in a different school. It turns out there will be an opening in the school I help with during after-school. The person in charge of hiring actually approached me herself before I even applied and asked me if I would be interested in applying for the position because she heard good things about me.

    I agree that getting your foot in the door or networking doesn't work out well for everyone, but it can happen!
     
  13. TeachOn

    TeachOn Habitué

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    That's how I got my job. I went from day-to-day subbing, to long term subbing, to running a language arts resource room, to a job in the English department, which I later headed up for years.

    By the time I got a job in the English department, they knew who and what they were getting, which is to the school's legitimate advantage, I think. To call this "favoritism" or "cronyism," let alone "nepotism," is quite unfair.

    We always, of course, go through a full (and genuine) hiring process, whether there are internal candidates, of whatever sort, or not.
     
  14. Enseignante<3

    Enseignante<3 Companion

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    Spot on, unfortunately. I'm in PA as well, and at least the South East part (Philly and surrounding areas) I know is that way. Every opening is flooded with a million applicants, it's hard to even get your resume looked at. Most jobs around me are filled with long-term substitutes. LTS jobs are filled with former student teachers and building subs.

    It sounds like you're doing the right things to get noticed - you just have to work your way up. I'm in an LTS right now in the school I student taught in 2 years ago. I knew the district and teacher really well and bombarded the HR director until I was granted an interview. It's unfortunately often who who know around here :/ I'm still not guaranteed a contracted position next year, it all depends on what opens up - but my chances of interviewing for one are higher.
     
  15. mb1907

    mb1907 Rookie

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    Mar 15, 2012

    Thanks for the responses. I guess I'll just have to keep doing what I have been doing and maybe try to make more connections. I've already made many connections with teachers and principals and gotten several very good reviews. Sometimes I wonder how much pull principals even have. It's very frustrating when someone gets a job who has never been in the district, while there are plenty of good subs that get skipped over and sometimes don't even get interviewed.
     
  16. tonysam

    tonysam Comrade

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    Mar 15, 2012

    You answered your own question. Nepotism is rampant in public ed because unlike other kinds of public employment, it isn't governed by civil service laws. Sometimes teaching jobs are filled from within by current employees as a part of the transfer process and required by union contracts, but then those jobs should NOT be advertised on the outside. They weren't available for outsiders when I worked at my old district. Some laws I guess require advertising these jobs to the open market, but no job should be posted if it is actually not an open position.

    That's one thing, but even where there aren't internal hires, nepotism is rampant. It's something to have all of these qualifications and still be beat out by somebody who is somebody's spouse or somebody's kid. It should be illegal because we are talking about public employment.
     
  17. tonysam

    tonysam Comrade

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    Well, if those outsiders are far more qualified than you are, with real teaching experience, they should beat you out. You aren't entitled to a job just because you subbed in a building. I have experienced a lot of "pecking order" nonsense even as a substitute where favorites were given all of the plum substituting jobs because they had connections or were retirees allowed to double dip into the system.

    If I were you, I'd jettison the sub route completely and try to get a job in private schools. Private school teaching is real teaching, unlike subbing.

    Principals have complete and total control of the hiring process.
     
  18. ciounoi

    ciounoi Cohort

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    Mar 15, 2012

    PA is very difficult, depending on your certificate. If you are elementary, English, or social studies, it will be VERY difficult to find a full time position, especially with many districts cutting teachers. Try to find some way to differentiate yourself from other candidates. Honestly, the main reason I even got interviews, even with being a special ed cert, is that I have multiple middle/secondary level add-ons, so I can teach a self-contained special ed class if necessary. You can try subbing and volunteering, but really, at least in my suburban-Philly area, everyone and their mother does that. Depending on your cert, you might want to consider going back to school, or maybe even moving.
     
  19. newbie23

    newbie23 Comrade

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    Mar 15, 2012

    Let's face the facts. With every job there is some degree of, "who do you know?" I mean EVERY job. Move on.

    Yes, it's frustrating and no it isn't "fair." Instead of wondering why you're not getting a job, why don't you focus on making sure that you get the next one. I agree with the other posters who suggested adding to your credentials. Read past posts, and you'll see there are many things you can do to stack the deck more in your favor. Everything from what you're reading to how you present your credentials can make a difference.

    You said that past interviewers mentioned you weren't a good fit. Why not ask them if there is one area that you could improve upon? Sure, some interviewers will cop out but there are also humane people on the panels who I'm sure would be happy to help you improve.
     
  20. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Be willing to relocate.
     
  21. Maryhf

    Maryhf Connoisseur

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    You can't lump every hiring decision into a generalization like "cronyism" or "nepotism" because that kind of attitude does not lead to success. You have chosen a field that is extremely competitive. I was hired by a district where I had never subbed (I subbed for 3 neighboring districts) and beat out a former student teacher. I was intimidated by his youth but I had experience in the subject area and was a good match to work on the team. I knew nobody at the district. They will favor good subs though when a job opens up. My school will hire 2 teachers and a guidance counselor - out of 5 retirements. Schools in PA are cutting costs.
     
  22. webmistress

    webmistress Devotee

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    Exactly, this is what kills me. :mad: Why post the position if it's already filled? People are wasting gas, stamps, envelopes, paper, and printer ink applying over and over when the positions are likely filled. It's just wrong, senseless, and frustrating.
     
  23. HOPE-fulTeacher

    HOPE-fulTeacher Comrade

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    I was hired as a brand new teacher this year without knowing anyone at the school or even in the district/city. I was willing to relocate, so I looked for jobs and obtained certification in several neighboring states. I applied to hundreds of districts, and every interview I had was in a district where I knew nobody.

    Does it help if you have experience in a district and they know your abilities and work ethic? Yes. But it's not impossible to get a job the "old fashioned" way. Like my mom would tell me when I was searching..."not every school has to hire you...it just takes one." :)
     
  24. tgpii

    tgpii Comrade

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    Mar 18, 2012

    Be careful what you post. People you want to work for may see it.
     
  25. Joy

    Joy Cohort

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    Just stick with it! I thought I would never get a full-time teaching job and then boom, I got one a little over a month ago. I subbed for a little over two-and-a-half years. Then a teacher told me about a job opening that would be starting right away. I called the principal the same day, sent in my resume, and waited for about a week. I sent a follow-up email and got a call from the principal the next day about an interview. I interviewed and taught a lesson. I left thinking I never had a worse interview in my life and I KNEW I didn't get the job but I sent a thank you email to the principal restating why I would be right for the job. I was called a couple of days later and offered the job that would start in a few more days. Everything moved so quick! All that to say, stick with subbing. It will pay off and at least keeps you in the field. The weird thing about my job is that even though the school is close to where I live, I had never subbed there. It didn't seem to matter.
     
  26. Joy

    Joy Cohort

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    I thought I would add this: If that one teacher had not called me and informed me of this job opening, I would never have known about it. It was listed in a local newspaper once. That was the only advertisement and I would have totally missed it! The teacher that let me know about it helped me because I had been doing a really good job subbing for her. She wanted to help me get something full-time because she liked my teaching. Even though she is in a different district, she had heard about it, thought of me, and gave me a call. Networking is important!
     
  27. WaterfallLady

    WaterfallLady Enthusiast

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    Are you willing to move?
    There are some parts of the US that desperately need teachers.
    I saw you were thinking of adding a special education credential. As a special education teacher, I have to tell you, it's a calling. If you don't think it's for you, it probably isn't. It's tough.
     
  28. chasisaac

    chasisaac Comrade

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  29. tonysam

    tonysam Comrade

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    I was always under the impression it is almost impossible to get a teaching job in PA outside perhaps Philadelphia. When times were good, I would have suggested a relocation to another state, but now it's bad all over.
     
  30. tonysam

    tonysam Comrade

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    It isn't a calling; it's a profession just as all teaching is. Making teaching like some kind of spiritual thing is demeaning. That's one of the reasons teachers are treated like garbage.

    There is NO shortage in special education anymore. The job is horrible, with mounds of paperwork and the constant cloud of being hauled into due process hearings and the like. Many classroom teachers treat special ed teachers like the hired help. Most teachers who do it take it for a short time in hopes of getting a regular classroom position.

    Frankly, teaching regardless of the subject area is just not a good occupation anymore. "Reform" has killed the joy out of it.
     
  31. HOPE-fulTeacher

    HOPE-fulTeacher Comrade

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    I have to respectfully disagree- I believe that teaching is a calling. I hope I'm not the only one. I know that there are teachers that go into the profession seeing it as "just as job", but the happiest and most effective teachers I've met are the ones who feel that they are there to make a difference and impact children's lives.

    You seem very frustrated with the current state of the profession tonysam...are you sure that the classroom is still where you want to be?
     
  32. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

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    :yeahthat::2up:
     
  33. happypiano

    happypiano Rookie

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    :mellow:
     

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