Discussion in 'General Education' started by Ms.Holyoke, Apr 7, 2018.
Apr 25, 2018
Sounds like TALES FROM THE CRYPT to me.
Chaos, confusion, and mystery. I can't imagine a more cryptic way to start your year!
Wow! This is better than what my private school pays. I hope you get the job. What does the salary schedule top out at? My school gives $5k raises every year, but you start at $40,000 with a Masters and max out at 100k in year 13, lol! At this point, I will be making $60,000 as a 5th-year teacher for the 2018-2019 academic year, haha.
That district sounds awesome! Is the cost of living high in that area?
I really think your should take the 4th-grade position. You sound like a great teacher and the pay is excellent. Plus, it sounds like you would have a supportive administration. Do it!
I think the main position is going to be 4th grade math. She suggested the intervention because I like middle school math but they're still figuring out the schedule. I would be on a team of 3 teachers (me, an ELA teacher and a sped teacher.) This is their first year departmentalizing 4th grade. I will update all of you with my thoughts after visiting the school.
If anyone is familiar with 4th grade, I would love some insight into what teaching them is like l! I've subbed in 4th grade before but I don't have a ton of elementary experience. My ideal grades to teach would be 5th or 6th.
The salary schedule tops out around 100K and it is a high COL area (Boston) I wouldn't live exactly in the area though so my expenses wouldn't be as high. The school is an urban school district and it's a high poverty school. I want to make sure the administration will be supportive.
As others have alluded to, the more we learn about the position, the less we actually know! Moving "professional" teachers around to compensate for their inadequate content knowledge in one or more subjects (math and science) and hiring another to fill the void is par for the course in our educational system. I wonder if their weakness in math and science is reflected in their evaluations? Hiring a teacher without having worked out the details of her assignment is also par for the course. I'm beginning to understand your apprehension about participating in this experiment, even with all the attractive perks. Disregard my earlier suggestion of getting more info - there's probably none to be had.
I haven't been hired yet. She wanted me to come in to see math instruction and talk about the position.
Since you'll be visiting the school, take advantage of the opportunity to seek out a few teachers for the purpose of asking them about their opinions regarding administrative support. Even if word gets back to the principal (which it will) that you were inquiring about her, it shouldn't count against you - unless the principal is hypersensitive to and petty about such things - which in itself may be something good to know up front. Also try to get a feel for the pressure teachers are under from parents and admin - with high salaries often comes extraordinarily high expectations. Been there.
I don't think it's that strange to departmentalize in the elementary grades. Both my current school and my previous school do it. I read an article about it not too long ago... It said that, as the content knowledge needed to become an effective teacher deepens, more schools are opting to departmentalize and have content-area "experts". Both of my schools departmentalize math/science and ELA/social studies. At my previous school, ELA encompassed reading and writing. At my current school, it only includes writing, and all teachers teach reading to the homerooms, in addition to their content-area specialty. My current school does this for grades 3-6. My previous school did this for grades 1-5.
The only thing that sounds weird about your prospect to me is the 8th grade intervention. If you're teaching 4th grade - in any content area, it seems strange that they'd give you such an older group of students for part of the day. Personally, I'd want to just stick to 4th and be done, even if that means teaching another content area. Having such vastly differing age-groups may be more of a challenge than you want to take on during your first year. You'd most definitely have to adapt your classroom management for the two age-groups. What works with 4th probably won't work with 8th and vice versa.
All the elementary schools in my district are departmentalized from 4th grade on. Third grade at most schools is a bit of a hybrid with each teacher teaching their homeroom math and ELA but one teaching everyone science and one teaching everyone social studies. A few of the elementary schools in my former district are pushing departmentalization down as low as 2nd grade.
Bella does make a good point about how different 4th and 8th grades are as far as management, procedures, etc. being different. I think it might be kind of interesting though? At the very least, you'd end up with a good idea of whether you prefer the upper or lower end of your age bracket?
Here's a comparison of pros and cons of departmentalizing at the elementary level.
After my student teaching, I know for a fact that 8th grade is not for me. I really dislike the attitudes and the behavior management at this age is hard for me...at least at my school.
Therefore, I did want a younger grade of like 5th-6th grade. I never expected to be considering 4th grade. What concerns me is that I am not trained as an elementary teacher!! So I really don't understand behavior management, etc. at this level. It's also hard for me to figure out how I would structure a math block!
Your school might tell you how they want the math block structured. Every school I’ve ever worked at has had guidelines for how to structure each academic block. That doesn’t mean you have no autonomy. It just means that you have a basic structure and some guidance to get you started. If you wanted 5th, I don’t think 4th is going to be a huge leap for you. You may need some guidance on classroom management, but you’ll have teammates and likely a mentor to help with that.
Ah, if you know 8th grade isn't for you, that might make me a little more hesitant. Although if everything else seems good, one block of 8th grade might not be too bad. I might think about whether that would potentially turn into more than one block that you're not super happy about though.
I'd agree that 4th and 5th really aren't super different as far as behaviors, management, etc. Even the curriculum, at least here in NY, is pretty close. Fifth grade math largely builds on things introduced in 4th grade so you'd just have to take a couple of steps back on the continuum. I teach 3rd and 4th grade and I really love 4th grade. For me, they're kind of in the sweet spot - they're more independent and capable of more but still mostly likely school and love their teachers. That preteen attitude hasn't kicked in for most of them yet and if it does, it's closer to the end of the year. If you were being hired for a primary grade, then I'd be concerned about the difference but not here.
I'd also agree that most schools have at least a framework for what they'd like instruction to look like or the curriculum will include suggested procedures. For me, that changes around based on my students anyway and any decent school will hook you up with a mentor who will help with things like that.
Can you tell me more about the 4th grade math curriculum? I've been looking at the common core standards and it seems to be a lot of fractions/decimals, factors and multiples, etc.
About 8th grade, I think I'd be happy to teach an intervention block with a few kids if they wanted me to. It's just the extreme behaviors/disrespect that really bring me down.
Apr 26, 2018
I have just been offered a 6th grade math position at another (lower paying) public school! I'm not sure what to do
What is your gut telling you?
It seems like the lower paying public school might have a better environment. The interview committee was really nice and the principal seemed amazing. It's a high needs school but it has good test scores. It's also a grade that I want to teach.
I am visiting the higher paying school tomorrow.
What's the difference in salary?
Why are you even applying and interviewing at schools that you do not really want?! You have received two offers, and you don't want them. You are wasting their time too.
All this advice is good, but in the end, the decision is yours to make. If you haven't done so already, make a comparison chart of the two schools listing all your selection criteria, beginning with the most important one at the top of the list. Assign a score of 1-3 for each criteria and check the results. A high needs school (low SES?) with good test scores may be meaningful depending on how you define "good". IMO, compared to many others, if 60% or more of the students are meeting the standards, that would be considered good. Go with the school that racks up the most points on your list to stack the deck in your favor.
If I were in your position I would jump on the offer. Sounds like a pretty good situation and since the higher paying school is only a possibility right now it seems safer to accept this job rather than taking a risk for a potentially higher paying job. That's just my opinion though and you need to do what you think is best.
The offer I just got pays $48,000 with a 2-3 K jump a year. The higher paying district pays $60,000 with a 5K jump a year.
I know I haven't received an offer from the higher paying school but I am pretty sure I will tomorrow. I have until Wednesday to make a decision.
Be careful of the allure of money. Conditions can change quickly at any school. Don't be swayed by any one factor, but go with the one with the highest composite score to play it safe.
What do you mean by conditions can change?
What I meant was that whatever impressed you the most about a school may abruptly change due to: change of admin., budget cuts, teacher retirement, etc. Although there are no guarantees that your experience at one school will be better than another, at least you can try to optimize the outcome by taking everything into account.
One more thing: At some schools, I noticed that people were noticeably friendly. It's what I would call the smile factor - something that was apparent just by walking in the halls or on campus. Teachers would greet each other, students would greet visitors (me), and even the office staff welcomed everyone with warm smiles. These schools would always earn a bonus point on my comparison chart!
100% Agree. Schools where staff smile, say good morning, and introduce themselves right away have been my favorite schools to work in. Likewise, schools where staff avoid making eye contact haven't been a satisfying work environment. It feels a lot better to know the other teachers are supportive instead of competetive.
When I visited the higher paying school, the office staff was very nice and the principal seemed nice as well. The admin at the lower paying school, however, seemed VERY nice.
We have been given advice to apply everywhere! The two offers that have received are offers I want, but I'm not sure which one to take.
I'm confused. What are your two offers? Have you turned down the charter yet, or is that one of the two that you are considering? You still have not officially received an offer with the higher-paying public school, right? So, right now, it's just between the charter and the lower-paying public school? Or are you factoring in the higher-paying school, assuming that you will get an offer?
Sorry---yes I am talking about the higher paying public school. From her phone call, it did seem like I will get an offer. If I don't receive one, I'll take the lower paying public school job for sure.
I am no longer considering the charter school job.
I see. Thanks for clarifying. Out of curiosity, have you officially turned down the charter? Also, you might want to follow up with higher-paying job and let them know that you've received another offer. Let the principal know that you have a deadline to make a decision (lie about it being earlier than it actually is, if you want, so that you have time to consider it). Tell her that her school would be your first choice but that you'll have to go with the other school if she does not make an offer soon, so as to not risk being unemployed. That might prompt her to make her offer sooner rather than later. If she doesn't make the offer soon after that, I'd take the other job and assume that either a) she isn't going to make an offer, or b) she doesn't have her stuff together enough to make a timely offer, and you probably wouldn't want to work for an administrator like that anyway.
I am planning on telling the higher paying district tomorrow that I have another offer and a deadline.
I am feeling very anxious and nervous about this decision.
Been there. Go with you gut. If you dig deep, you’ll discover that you’re leaning one way or the other.
That said, right now, you don’t have a decision to make. You haven’t been offered the other job yet.
It sounds like your gut is telling you to go with the higher paying school, assuming you get an offer. Otherwise, I think you’d feel more comfortable just accepting the offer you’ve been given. So, perhaps your decision should be that you’ll take the offer you have at the lower paying school unless you receive an offer at the higher paying school before the deadline the lower paying school has given you. If you get the offer, then you’ll go with the higher paying school instead.
Obviously, it’s your decision. But, based on everything you’ve shared here, my interpretation is that that’s the way you are leaning.
Apr 27, 2018
What's making me hesitant about the high paying job is:
-the grade level: this is something I'm nervous about because I've never taught 4th grade. Part of me really needs a change from older kids this year as I've had a rough student teaching experience. It's also that I've been prepped to teach 5-8 content not elementary but my methods professor said he has resources to help me. I could also see myself loving this grade. There's something about having kids who still love their teacher that excites me!
-This job is in the district that I'm student teaching in. It's hard to get a job in this district because of the pay. However, my school is AWFUL in terms of teacher support and my mentor seems to think this school will be the same.
I wouldn't rely on getting good materials from a professor to be honest. If I tried to implement any of the stuff my methods professor suggested, I would be an ineffective teacher for my students.
I teach years 8 and 9. If you build a relationship with your students, show them you care about them, respect them, they will still adore you, behave for you, want to please you etc. Your experience with student teaching may be rough but you were not there very long and it’s hard to form relationships with them when your mentor is in the room. The strength of your relationship with your students has significant bearing on their behaviour.
I’d pick the school where I get the best vibes from. Maybe i’m wrong, but if the lower paying school paid the same as the higher paying school, you would accept the offer without waiting for the higher paying school to give you an offer? Can I be devil’s advocate and ask that you ignore the money for a second, because if the school experience is horrible, like you are stuck teaching a grade level you don’t want, or a subject you don’t want, or your collorative team isn’t helpful, or admin don’t back you up with parents or behaviours, then no amount of money will take away your misery and stress. This will be magnified as a first or second year teacher.
I agree 100%! The age of students has nothing to do with their willingness to "please" the teacher--it is all about the relationships you build.