More BAD News for teachers

Discussion in 'Debate & Marathon Threads Archive' started by SCTeachInTX, Jan 29, 2011.

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  1. SCTeachInTX

    SCTeachInTX Fanatic

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    Feb 12, 2011

    They are opening 4 schools in my area and I am considered the DFW area of North Texas.:) Having said that many of the openings this year will go to persons that have been displaced with the budget shortfall. :angel:
     
  2. skittleroo

    skittleroo Connoisseur

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    Feb 12, 2011

    my kids' school district is closing schools - and so is Arlington.

    If you want a job here - I say go for it. But I think it's helpful to be prepared. Gosh I was a job fair screener last year for my district and we had a list of criteria - don't send anyone through like this....or this....or this. If they didn't fit the criteria of "WOW" their resume was put in a bin that was dumped after the job fair (of course the candidates didn't know that). Districts even a year ago could be sooooo picky. And of course a year ago principals weren't even thinking about the budget coming up.
     
  3. SCTeachInTX

    SCTeachInTX Fanatic

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    Feb 12, 2011

    Well, no use crying over budget shortfalls and economic woes. What we need now is some positive NEWS that will help those in need to land that all important job this year when those few openings become available.

    So Skittleroo... what was the criteria? It might help others that are preparing for job fairs right now. What were they looking for and what would a WOW resume constitute? That would be really helpful for people to know. We can help others by sharing what we know. :cool:
     
  4. skittleroo

    skittleroo Connoisseur

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    Feb 12, 2011

    no alt certs - unless bilingual. That was the big one.
    Passion - it had to shine through - no canned statements, "I am passionate about teaching and love working with kids". You have to be excited and knowledgeable about the area in which you want to work.
    Experience was important (although my principal actually hired a brand new teacher over tons of experienced teacher because of what she saw. Of course the new teacher had been an aide in a behavior class so I know that helped.

    My principal's key words to us were: Don't send them through to talk to us unless you could see yourself working with them. So be sure to be yourself but also impress the first person you see at a job fair because they may be your co-workers and may make the difference between getting an interview or not.

    I learned sooo much from screening - valuable to me in case I ever go to another job fair. Most of all be professional and don't say negative things to other job seekers especially when you are close to speaking to someone in line.
     
  5. skittleroo

    skittleroo Connoisseur

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  6. SCTeachInTX

    SCTeachInTX Fanatic

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    Feb 13, 2011

    Well, fingers crossed for all my friends looking on A to Z. I was going to transfer this year to a school right around the corner from my house... but now I have no desire to be low man on the totem pole (and then get moved at the last minute because of numbers or low enrollment.) so I am going to hang tight until things are more stable. I love my school, I just wanted the 2 minute commute to work.
     
  7. SCTeachInTX

    SCTeachInTX Fanatic

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    Feb 13, 2011

    If you can think of something that might give posters an edge in these tough economic times, please post! Here is what I know after being interviewed and being on many interview teams:
    1. Often getting the interview is the hardest part of the process. So make sure your resume has some kind of WOW factor.:D I had a photo on my resume next to my name with a picture of multi-aged children. My resume was clear and concise and briefly explained my work history, my awards and honors, my professional trainings, and included a list of references. My resume was no more than 2 pages long. Interviewers do not like reading long :blush:resumes.
    2. I included a brochure when I sent my resume that included highlights from my teaching :love: experience as well as photos from my classroom featuring children interacting with me. (Of course, I had parent permission.)
    3. In my list of references I included several teachers that I had taught their children. So, not only did they know me as a teacher but knew me from a parent perspective.:angel:
    4. When I interviewed I had a SHORT portfolio that showcased things like my classroom newsletters, interactive bulletin boards, technology, and basically what I stood for as a teacher. But it was very brief and mainly contained photos that they could look at quickly and ask questions if they wanted.
    5. I made sure that I looked PROFESSIONAL on my interview. :cool: There was talk of whether you should wear hose or not on this site. Since I live in the deep south, hose are optional here. Here a professional dress or suit and heals are a must. Remember, you are not only selling what you can do, you are selling yourself.
    6. Once in the interview, I answered their questions knowledgeably and made sure that I already checked out their district and school core beliefs. I made sure to look over the curriculum the schools were using and had some kind of working knowledge of what their school was geared towards. You can learn all this from teacher websites and the district website.
    7. I made sure to smile, and let the team know that I was FLEXIBLE. :) I would tell them of my strengths with people and how I am able to get along with anyone - team members, parents, and children alike.
    8. I sealed the deal with my knowledge of readers/ writers workshop my extensive professional training in technology, my experience with inclusion special education, and my experience with gifted students. :2cents:
     
  8. teachntexas

    teachntexas Rookie

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    Feb 13, 2011

    North Texas

    Didn't they just have a massive layoff in Dallas a year or so ago that trickled outward as teachers from there moved outward? I went from the Houston area to a few hundred miles north, and I wasn't able to get my toe into the Dallas-area market last year when I was looking.

    I've also been told it's extremely tight and layoffs are likely. I think Texas will be one state to abandon traditional ideas about public education and travel as far towards vouchers as possible. I've heard Florida is already there, so you know our state will hate to get beat on the "add-capitalism-to-education" bandwagon.
     
  9. teachntexas

    teachntexas Rookie

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    Feb 13, 2011

    Be careful to talk to people with boots on the ground. It's amazing how inaccurate information about places hundreds of miles away can be.
     
  10. Teachling

    Teachling Groupie

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    Feb 13, 2011

    This comes from an e-mail that was sent out this past week.


    Many of you are hearing about dire predictions for Texas school finance. I want you to know what we are doing to address these concerns as we move into planning for the coming school year. Here a few headlines from around the state that highlight those concerns:

    o Austin ISD plans to cut up 300 secondary school teaching positions, 50 elementary art, music, and physical education teaching positions, and one-third of the district’s librarians. Looking to approve teacher workloads, possibly going to a half-day pre-kindergarten program and closing schools and other facilities. Implement teacher furloughs and increase in the 22-1 elementary school student-to-teacher ratio.

    o Pflugerville ISD is looking to scheduling changes and increasing elementary school class sizes. Considering outsourcing several services and charging participation fees for extracurricular activities.

    o Round Rock ISD announced a hiring freeze in January.

    o Bastrop ISD plans to cut 40 positions district wide.

    o El Paso ISD offering first 100 employees that provide a resignation or retirement letter by March 15 would receive a $200 payment on their final paycheck.

    o Florence ISD is offering a $500 incentive to employees who submit a letter of resignation or retirement by the first week in April.

    o North East ISD is offering a $1,000 early resignation incentive. Cutting bus routes, instructional aide positions and possibly up to 500 probationary teachers' jobs could be on the chopping block in the future.

    o Arlington ISD is recommending cutting 390 jobs -- about 5 percent of the district's work force -- from next year's budget.

    o Keller ISD is looking at scaling back music and art for elementary students to reducing high school course offerings. Officials will look at cuts that have the least impact on core classroom instruction. Some of the areas administrators have been discussing are the high school schedule, co-curricular and extra-curricular programs and gifted and talented education.

    o Hutto ISD is looking at charging an annual extracurricular/co-curricular participation fee for certain programs, trade marking the schools’ mascot, selling ads on the district’s websites and buses, and starting a tuition-based pre-kindergarten program.

    o Dallas ISD approved a hiring freeze for all nonessential vacancies and positions. “We have to put everything on the table," Hinojosa said. The budget cuts could lead to the school district laying off at least 1,000 employees, increasing class sizes for secondary schools and eliminating special programs, such as magnet schools, as well as stipend programs for math and bilingual teachers.

    o Fort Worth ISD preliminary recommendations would slash funding for pre-kindergarten, the arts education, teacher incentive pay, college financial aid to students and many other areas.

    o Abilene ISD early notification from teachers who don't plan to teach in the Abilene Independent School District next year.

    o Birdville ISD and Carroll ISD officials are looking into offering incentives to employees in return for notifying administrators early of their plans to depart.

    o Navasota ISD analysis class size and staff numbers. Cut student travel and less staff development travel. Stop transportation for students within 2 miles radius.

    o College Station ISD reductions likely include using custodians and maintenance crews more efficiently, reducing special education, cutting central office and technology personnel, slimming the budget for extracurricular activities and implementing a three-tiered school start time to reduce bus routes.
     
  11. teachntexas

    teachntexas Rookie

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    Feb 13, 2011

    Skittle -- Would this apply (i.e., no alt certs) even if the teacher had a previous professional career and now has 3 years teaching?
     
  12. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    Feb 13, 2011

    The fact is that it's all really speculation right now. P's are trying to plan for possible budgets being conservative with numbers. The state budget won't be decided for sure until the end of March.

    I know for sure in Houston that we are not getting the Pre-K funding we normally get. Pre-K's, if they exist in schools or in separate centers will be 1/2 day and therefore need 1/2 the teachers.

    A lot of curriculum/pd specialists are losing their positions. However, they are still guaranteed a position, so they will be able to enter a classroom position. Teachers on a probationary contract can have their position unseated for someone who is already on a continuing contract. They are offering an incentive not to retire, but to let them know that the plan is to retire before a certain date-it will make it easier to plan budgets.
     
  13. cowboy300

    cowboy300 Rookie

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    Feb 13, 2011

    I know I PM some of you asking this but I'll ask here too. Even though I don't have a degree in physics or chemistry, I'm very interested in teaching these subjects at the high school level. I know physical science teachers are in high demand in the Dallas area so if I would pursue an alternative certification path, what are the odds I would receive a job offer in this area?
     
  14. donziejo

    donziejo Devotee

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    Feb 13, 2011

    Skittle -- Would this apply (i.e., no alt certs) even if the teacher had a previous professional career and now has 3 years teaching?

    I was wondering this too?
     
  15. skittleroo

    skittleroo Connoisseur

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    Feb 13, 2011

    oh like you are already certified completely but originally went through alt cert - NO. I was alt cert (but did student teaching) and it has never come up - only if you need a job to get certified.
     
  16. donziejo

    donziejo Devotee

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    Feb 13, 2011

    thanks me too. (with student teaching) glad to hear that!
     
  17. SCTeachInTX

    SCTeachInTX Fanatic

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    Feb 13, 2011

    ... it will be an interesting year to say the least. Hiring wise, budget wise, class size wise, teacher reduction wise, etc. I just hope that teachers get proactive and start calling their legislators so that our Texas kids do not suffer.
     
  18. Ruby2011MA

    Ruby2011MA Rookie

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    Feb 15, 2011


    Ehh, I have a few friends that are HS science teachers. Two of them went through alt routes. One got hired immediately (but her mom was long term tenure for the ISD so I think that helped) and another took 6 months to find one, even doing interviews 8 hours away. Both of them may be on the cutting block for next year.

    One of them told me today that a student came up to her today and told her "If you get cut for next year, my job is hiring (Home Depot)".... It's a depressing time for Texas teachers.

    It's always worth a shot, but I would recommend going through an alt route that does not require you to pay all the money unless you get a teaching job. Just so you do not spend all that money and get nothing. If you need one suggested let me know.
     
  19. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Feb 17, 2011

    Just thought I'd share a letter written by a super here in TX:

     
  20. John Lee

    John Lee Groupie

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    Feb 17, 2011

    Seriously! And people wonder why people like me rail against federal commissions and departments that overlord our education system.

    It's because, as this letter so outstandingly illustrates: gov't is an enemy of education!

    We occasionally have threads on here, that question what the motive of TPTB are, in terms of education. When will people realize it! I love that letter. A Superintendent with b@11s!
     
  21. SCTeachInTX

    SCTeachInTX Fanatic

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    Feb 17, 2011

    I just hope we don't go down like they did in the Alamo...
     
  22. Ruby2011MA

    Ruby2011MA Rookie

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    Feb 17, 2011

    For those that are interested.. http://savetxschools.org/

    Rally March 12 in Austin (although warning it is SXSW also, so there will be tons of crowds... but I think that they will be a benefit)
     
  23. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Feb 18, 2011

    Thanks, Ruby. I might actually attend that. It's the beginning of our spring break and we might be driving to see my dh and this would be on the way.
     
  24. skittleroo

    skittleroo Connoisseur

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    Feb 20, 2011

    yes I'll be going too! Any A to Zers from the DFW area want to carpool, pm me!!!!!!! I know there are buses going, but don't want to be on a bus so I'll drive.
     
  25. SCTeachInTX

    SCTeachInTX Fanatic

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    Hmmm.... It might be time to get proactive!!!!
     
  26. brejohnson88

    brejohnson88 Comrade

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    Feb 20, 2011

    I Completly agree. The politicians do not understand what it is like to walk in our shoes. I'm in Illinois and just graduated last year. They were Preparing us all that we wouldnt have jobs. Graduation was not as joyful since we knew struggles would be ahead. I somehow managed to get a ec teaching job after having to move 3 hours away. I was one of the lucky ones in my class.
    My district is tiny. We only have one school with about 300 kids. The town I work in is small. We don't have Much. All of my students live in poverty. Most of the kids enjoy coming to school since there home lives are so bad. That's the type of thing that keeps me going every day. Knowing that I ammaking a difference even if it's in our small farming community.

    This week in il the governOr proposed forced consolidation on school districts. If this happens, our small school district probably wouldnt survive. I know Illinois is in bad shape. We can thank the bad choices that politicians have made. I know we need to do something to change this. But why make the kids suffer? Why take away the one positive thing these kids have going for them?
     
  27. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

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    Feb 20, 2011

    Exactly!!!

    Most (if not all) districts in CA have already cut all the things proposed by TX school districts in that list. Thousands of teachers have gotten pink slipped in this state every year for the past 3 years, and it is expected to happen again this year in many districts. They have not only made DEEP cuts to K-12, but also to the University of California system, California State University system, and California community colleges. Education in California has been basically dying, bleeding, for at least 4 years now. I literally have no idea what else they can cut.

    In California, a prisoner is worth more than a child. Where did we get our priorities so out of whack?!
     
  28. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    Feb 20, 2011

    That's just frightening!!!! :eek:hmy:
     
  29. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

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    Feb 20, 2011

    Yes, it is. I had seriously considered moving to Texas because the state still seemed to have its priorities in order (unlike CA), but it looks like it's now going the way of the rest of us...:(

    Good luck to all of you Texas teachers. I really feel for you.
     
  30. penguinpc

    penguinpc Comrade

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    Feb 22, 2011

    Just looking at some local district websites (North Texas). One district will be opening four schools (3 elementary, 1 MS) in 2012. Another district will be spending hundreds of thousands, if not millions, on the 20 year update of an old school building. I know it's probably bond money and can only be spent in certain ways, but I can't help but think about how many teachers could be paid with that money. But by all means, lets make sure we have shiny new schools, even if we can't pay enough teachers to fully staff them or even if we have too many kids in a room. :(
     
  31. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Feb 22, 2011

    Well, and some districts are closing schools. Those schools are probably using bond money to build those schools. That money is only earmarked for those certain projects. Yes, it would be great if we could use that money to pay teachers.
     
  32. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

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    Feb 22, 2011

    penguinpc - That kind of stuff happens here, too. Last year LAUSD built a $572 million dollar K-12 school - state of the art everything, over the top nice, etc - meanwhile, LAUSD is notorious for laying off thousands of teachers every year lately. And all the other districts in So Cal have been laying off for a few years, too. LAUSD also built a $232 million dollar high school that opened in 2009.

    So many inconsistencies in the way money is spent in education right now...
     
  33. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    Ours IS bond money and it's illegal for our district to use it for anything except what it was voted to be used for-which was updating/building new schools. Honestly, I don't see a problem with that.

    Our school building is 80 years old-we don't have the hook-ups to even use the technology we have. The AC goes out constantly and we've had issues with things like mice. The students will be better served in a new building.
     
  34. SCTeachInTX

    SCTeachInTX Fanatic

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    If government started from the TOP and went down, there would be no need for individual school districts and schools to cut their meager budgets. It needs to start at the top!
     
  35. Ruby2011MA

    Ruby2011MA Rookie

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    Feb 23, 2011

    I think that people need to refer back to basic economic classes and redo the budgeting of money. IMHO I think whatever was good enough to teach me, is good enough to teach the children of now.

    I went to Austin over the weekend with family and stood inside the state capital. We went to the conference room and pass the Texas Teacher Retirement building. Kinda surreal that in a few weeks some big decissions will be made.
     
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