Let's dismiss the teacher shortage myth...

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by americanodude, May 29, 2008.

  1. americanodude

    americanodude Rookie

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    I'm sure this has been written to death about, but I feel compelled to mention it. There is NOT the widespread teacher shortage that has been hyped everywhere. I'm an English/Comm. Arts (5-12) teacher in Minnesota. I've applied and applied, and I have only had one interview, which resulted in no position. I have great credentials (3.8 graduate program GPA from TWO respected universities) and student taught at one of the best high schools in the Twin Cities. I had an extremely diverse population (from senior IB students to juniors with 17 different countries represented.) This doesn't include the 10 students I had with IEPs, and the 4 with 504 plans. My letters of recommendation are glowing. Yet with all of these experiences.... nothing. It's truly obscene. If I don't find anything in Minnesota I will start the process of relocation. I've been told that Minnesota teachers are in high demand in other places. Is this true, or is it just more hype? Sorry about the vent, but I'd really like to get the facts.
     
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  3. BackpocketNJ

    BackpocketNJ Rookie

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    It seemed to be a common thing when reading this board and talking to others searching for teaching jobs. I feel like a know plenty of talented, dedicated teachers who are having no luck.

    Along with that, I talked to one director or human resources in NJ who says he gets at least 500+ resumes for one job.

    There is a teacher shortage I think, but just in certain areas. It seems that science is a big gap in my area.
     
  4. emmakate218

    emmakate218 Connoisseur

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    I can't say that I've heard this. :lol: I wouldn't think that teachers from any state in particular are in more demand than the teachers from that own state. Definitely not a shortage of general edu. teachers, but really a high demand for special ed, bilingual, and upper science/math teachers.
     
  5. Teachling

    Teachling Groupie

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    A recent article in the Dallas news reported that universities are not doing enough to encourage students who are going into the teaching field to obtain certifications that are high in demand. The article went on to say that universities are producing a high # of graduates in general early elementary certification which there aren't many openings for. It's not to say that you can't get a job in that area is just that you have alot of competition & will therefore take longer.
     
  6. emmakate218

    emmakate218 Connoisseur

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    I just graduated from a Texas university and this is definitely the case. There was an unbelievable amount of EC-4 teacher candidates...and I was one of them! Ha! :lol: I have a job for the next school year though so I am one of the lucky ones to find a job right after graduation. My university definitely did make it known that schools are in need of special edu., bilingual, and math/science, but everyone just simply wants to teach general edu. for the elementary grades.
     
  7. MATgrad

    MATgrad Groupie

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    I hear you on the teacher shortage myth. I'm in Florida which people seem to think is the promised land for teachers. We have large state universities that turn out tons of graduates. I went through heck to get my position only to be RIF'd this year and have to start all over again.

    I've started the process and the picture is bleak. Hiring Freezes, budget cuts, declining enrollment, etc.
     
  8. Teacherella

    Teacherella Habitué

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    I never heard about a teacher shortage myth in my state (NJ). If anything, it's completely opposite. The market is so competitive here that people are leaving the field.
     
  9. Tutor

    Tutor Comrade

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    Here in Ohio there is no shortage of teachers!!! There was an article in the paper that said Ohio is one of the leading states for producing teachers and there are no jobs here! I'm tired of the special ed myth. It's all I heard before I got my special ed license. I've sent out lots of resumes and applications and heard NOTHING!

    The article stated that MY university alone pumps out 5000 teachers a year!!!! Ouch!
     
  10. coffeeonlyhelps

    coffeeonlyhelps New Member

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    May 29, 2008

    There is a shortage of teachers in South Carolina, and I can officially tell you that our district recruits right from Ohio. Many of the teachers at my school alone are from Ohio. During new teacher orientation, the numbers of teachers recruited from Ohio for the entire district was amazing. We have a few from Michigan too.

    It is in certain areas, and in certain districts.
     
  11. Zelda~*

    Zelda~* Devotee

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    Heh. That wouldn't be my alma mater, Ohio University, now would it? :D We're a teacher factory....
     
  12. Malcolm

    Malcolm Enthusiast

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    In California, the only time there was a general shortage of multiple subject (elementary) teachers was when the State decided to reduce class sizes a few years back. It only lasted a few years. In general, there have always been more folks who want to teach elementary grades than positions in most parts of the state, and IMHO the country.

    There is, though, a shortage of special education, and to a lesser extent math and science teachers, in most districts here as far as I can see, even those that have declining enrollment. And it seems to be the same in most parts of the country.

    FWIW I just received an offer with a $3000 signing bonus for a math position even though State funding increases are down this year because of continuing budget woes. And the State is still offering a loan forgiveness program for new teachers with credentials in a number of shortage areas.

    The good news for potential teachers is that more and more teachers who started at the beginning of the baby boom are retiring. There may well be a general teacher shortage starting because of that. The position I was offered opened up because to math teachers are retiring at one school.
     
  13. GlendaLL

    GlendaLL Aficionado

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    They are ALL teacher factories - OSU, OU, Wright State, UC, Bowling Green, and all the smaller colleges too.
     
  14. Zelda~*

    Zelda~* Devotee

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    Amen to that. And the worst part is they keep accepting education majors with no class size limits. Too many education majors! Esp. Early Childhood, and Middle Childhood Language Arts/Social Studies.

    I was actively encouraging someone to encourage their grandaughter to pursue Speech/Language Path. rather than education at a recent family get together.
     
  15. sumnerfan

    sumnerfan Comrade

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    There is a huge teacher shortage in South Carolina. My friend moved there and had a phone interview. She was hired sight unseen.
     
  16. lemonhead

    lemonhead Aficionado

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    Sumnerfan, where are you located?
     
  17. lemonhead

    lemonhead Aficionado

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    We have a ton of Okla. U. and Texas Tech teachers.
     
  18. tripletsteacher

    tripletsteacher Companion

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    We have lots of special education and science and math positions posted here in the Rockford Illinois area
     
  19. dizzykates

    dizzykates Habitué

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    I'm from MN too and I just had a pre-interview meeting. I was told there were 150 applicants within a week for a principal openning in my own school and several hundred applicants for the middle school job I was applying for. For that reason, I don't doubt there were hundreds for the elementary positions I am looking at either. I have multiple credentials as well and great letters of rec., but it all comes down to who you know I think. I don't believe there is a shortage of teachers in the Twin Cities.
     
  20. krysmorgsu

    krysmorgsu Cohort

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    I think teacher shortage really refers to your area of cert. I know my area, Latin, definately has a teacher shortage. A school that typically would never hire recent grads with only a B.A. was looking at me. Why? I was 1 of two applicants. I knew going in that my opportunities would be limited; however, I also knew the number of people with my cert are extremely limited. So if you go for foreign language (except Spanish), math, or science, I think you are in demand. ANything else...well, I've heard English, elem ed, special ed, and social studies are full of applicants with few positions.
     
  21. Tutor

    Tutor Comrade

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    Actually, it's Ashland University. I graduated from the partnership program at the local community college. They just started a special ed program too. I think it is irresponsible of these universities to not limit education majors. They only take XX amount into other programs. School funding in Ohio isn't helping the job market either.
     
  22. awaxler

    awaxler Comrade

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    Certainly there are a few areas that may have teacher shortages, but by and large the "teacher shortage" is a huge public misconception!

    AND...it's getting even more difficult...

    Here are a few reasons...

    1. Baby boomers are not retiring in the numbers previously expected (life is just too expensive)

    2. Many people are actually switching careers and trying to become teachers for a better quality of life...I should know...I teach a course as part of an Alternative Certification Program and I hear many of them say they would never have gone this route had they known how difficult it would be to land a teaching job.

    3. Rising fuel costs and a tough economy are forcing school districts to cut their budgets and they are actually letting teachers go.

    4. **Specific to Florida** The passing of Amendment 1 really hurt. The people of the state voted to pass this in effort to bring down their property taxes by a few hundred dollars....guess where the money is coming from?

    #3 and #4 have led school districts across the state of Florida to drastically cut budgets. My school district (Manatee) is looking at cutting the budget by 21.5 million dollars...that is not going to make it easy for anyone trying to get a teaching position here...or even a sub position or aide position.

    All I can say is hang in there and do all the little things you need to do to make your resume, cover letter etc. stand out...However, the most important thing you can do is make as many contacts as possible...and don't forget to use those contacts...have them write letters, make phone calls etc.
     
  23. INteacher

    INteacher Aficionado

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    I agree - most college place limits on other profession such as nursing, dentistry, medical school, law school, etc . . .. I think it is almost criminal that universities continue to accept large numbers of students into teaching programs, never disclose the reality of finding a teaching position and keep on taking students money :mad:
     
  24. sumnerfan

    sumnerfan Comrade

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    I'm in Tennessee and here it's hard to find Special Ed, ESL, Math, and Science. Last year after the school year had started one districts here was still looking for applicants. But I do know in South Carolina they just want warm bodies.
     
  25. Pisces_Fish

    Pisces_Fish Fanatic

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    In my area (I'm a 45 minute drive from Raleigh, NC) I had two job offers within a month of submitting applications. I know that I'm very lucky. I'm also not "high need," my certification is K-6. It really does depend on your location. I left a brutal job market to come here and have no regrets. I know how hard it can be up North, and in other job markets.
     
  26. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    The number of places in medical school isn't just limited by the medical schools - it's limited by the federal government, which helps fund those places. It's also limited by the profession itself in ways some of which go back to the craft guilds of the Middle Ages, which understood well the advisability of controlling the number of entrants into a field in order to ensure a decent standard of living for those in it.
     
  27. newteach@40

    newteach@40 Rookie

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    I too live in an area with LOTS of schools that offer education programs-upstate NY. I am certified in English 7-12. The market is absolutely flooded!!!!! I too have outstanding credentials, a great cover letter, resume and contacts. I can't even get a job at my local school where MY BROTHER is the elem. principal! :mad: So much for contacts! Yes, they do love him there. My problem is, the districts around here don't want to be bothered with inexperienced teachers. I have heard people on hiring committies say this. The pool is so large (hundreds) to choose from, it's too easy for them to go with the teachers that they don't have to spend a lot time with, even though they cost more. I have had a few interviews, but I always hear the same thing, "sorry, we went with someone with more experience."
    I would probably have an easier time getting a Spanish job, which I taught for 6 months b/c a teacher quit and it was only my undergrad minor!
     
  28. Justine Cognito

    Justine Cognito Rookie

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    I think this *used* to be true in CA, but many people with multiple subject credentials or single subject English and Hum are now going for a mild/mod in special ed and filling that gap to the point that it is difficult for people with mild/mod and no other credential are having a hard time finding a job. There is also talk about reinstating the requirement that all sped teachers also have a general ed credential as well. My district will not have ANY openings in special ed next year, m/m or m/s.
     
  29. anewstart101

    anewstart101 Cohort

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    I'm in California also. . .i spoke with some of my class mates and so far about half of us have jobs. . .I do not as of yet. I just started looking and I have three interviews lined up in the next couple of weeks. Two of them are a good commute and I'm fearful with gas prices but I want a JOB! I'm willing to work where NO one wants to. I LOVE a challenge!

    Stephanie
     
  30. each1teach1

    each1teach1 Cohort

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    No trust me, Spanish is still in high demand. I went to a job fair and had districts coming up to me trying to get me to their booths before I could even get in the door good. Before I accepted a contract with the district I decided to go with, I had three districts ready to hire me on the spot, and after accepting I was still receiving calls from districts wanting to know if I was still available for interviews. In all, I had three definite job offers and several more follow up interview offers extended.

    The reason there is a shortage for Spanish is that because of the influx of Spanish speakers every one wants to learn how to speak it. However, not enough people are getting certified. One Spanish teacher put it this way, the natives speakers don't speak Spanish in proper and academic way (having spoken it all their lives at home, but received their education in English), so they have trouble passing the certification tests which require standard, academic Spanish; non-native speakers are intimidated and don't think they can pass the test so they don't try. Therefore, you have an over abundance of Spanish speakers, but a shortage in certified teachers.
     
  31. colormegreen

    colormegreen Rookie

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    I think also part of it is that states like Ohio (I am from Michigan so it happens there too!) is that they have a lot of universities that have education programs but our populations are decreasing not increasing. There isn't going to be a job for any teacher if there isn't the student population to support it regardless if it is one of those high demand special ed jobs that Education Depts are found of saying and then try to push someone into that. It happened at my school as well.

    I know that the South Carolina is in demand as well as North Carolina and Virginia the last I heard. I made the move to North Carolina after visiting and seeing if I would like it regardless if I had a job here and they "need" us. I wasn't going to move and be miserable just so I can teach due to the shortage back home.

    I would check out other states that you are willing to move to and see if there are job fairs you can attend. Make a working vacation out of it and go to their states for the job fairs and drive around so you can see if you would be able to live there as well.

    Sorry for the long message! :)
     
  32. krysmorgsu

    krysmorgsu Cohort

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    I stand corrected! I though Spanish may be harder to find a job in because my school turned out 8 Spanish teachers and me in foreign languages in December. But you're right: all but 2 were native speakers!

     
  33. krysmorgsu

    krysmorgsu Cohort

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    I wasn't trying to be sarcastic. Sorry if that's how it came off. I was truly saying I was wrong. I apologize.
     
  34. merigold78

    merigold78 Cohort

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    the job market here is definitely brutal. i have taught for five years & have EXCEPTIONAL credentials....and 90% of my resumes go unacknowledged. it seems to me there are many issues affecting the job market here in the buckeye state :). one huge problem is that teachers are getting hired based on who they know, rather than what they know. several teachers who were fired from my school now have (much) better jobs than me. it is so discouraging to see people who lack teaching talent walk right into great jobs.


    Meri
     
  35. bluelightstar

    bluelightstar Companion

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    We're in pretty desperate need of teachers as well. We've got 177 vacancies for the upcoming school year in elementary schools, 153 vacancies for middle school, and 92 vacancies in high school. The high school I work at is the premier school in the district, so as you can imagine, we only have 4 vacancies (all retirees). But I'd say, at least in this district, we need some teachers.
     
  36. Jem

    Jem Aficionado

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    I think this myth started when we were still in college (8 years ago for me) and the economy was a bit better. I'm seeing higher class sizes because of budget cuts, which squeezes out teaching positions. You can consolidate four positions into three and raise classes sizes by 10 students each. Think of this happening in each grade level, in each school. Yikes! That's a lot of missing positions. Until our governments realize that it's worth putting a bit more money into the salary pool, lowering class sizes and opening up the extra jobs, I think we're going to continue seeing this really tight job market. :2cents:
     
  37. merigold78

    merigold78 Cohort

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    jem - you are completely right. i just found out that one of the local elem. schools here will have 2nd grade classes w/27 KIDS OR MORE! as you stated, they are doing this to cut back on the number of teachers needed.

    what ever happened to doing what's best for the children???!!!

    Meri
     
  38. mandagap06

    mandagap06 Devotee

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    I guess it depends very much on your area! I am in school to teach special needs kids and so I look to see in my area how often new job openings are posted. There a 4 in my area for the 2008-2009 school year. Before that tho there were none!
     
  39. Weazy

    Weazy Comrade

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    I might be wrong, but didn't Ohio just institute a policy that requires a school district who has retained a retired teacher past two years, pay that teacher's insurance? Many schools have "rehired" teachers immediatley following their retirement, and the state was covering their retirement insurance. Possibly, this new policy will open a few positions. Once again, I might have my information incorrect...I'm a long way from retiring!!
     

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