North Carolina teachers

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by ST13, Sep 1, 2014.

  1. ST13

    ST13 Companion

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    Hi!

    Been doing a lot of research on NC schools/cost of living etc.

    Today I came across something I did not realize. I saw on a the winston salem/forsyth county schools you have to have your praxis taken before applying to jobs even if you are out of state.

    Is this the same requirement for all districts? I have a friend who teaches in Lee County, and she did not have to take the praxis tests until after she accepted the position?

    Does it depend on the district or is this a state-wide thing? I am thinking of applying out of state next year (still in graduate school so I cant leave until next year) ... but I just figured I would apply to jobs and if I get a full time position then I would worry about the tests. Am I doing things backwards even though I am NY certified?

    This is what the website said for winston-salem/forsyth county:
    If you hold a license issued in another state, one of the following must occur :

    Content area exam (ex. praxis, nte)
    Documentation of HQ status in state of licensure


    Does anyone have a similar experience relocating from a non-praxis state like NY? The reason I am hesitant about having to take the tests first is if I dont get a job in the state it would be a waste of money?

    Just trying to research everything before I decide. Any input would be helpful! Thank you!
     
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  3. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    Definitely NOT state wide. I never even took the Praxis and am certified in NC. My state has their own tests and they are accepted in NC.

    However, if you know you plan to relocate, I would probably take the tests and apply for certification now. I moved when they had a large teacher shortage.
     
  4. elleveeaych

    elleveeaych Rookie

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    I relocated to NC from NY and all it took was copies of my certification and $50. They accepted my certifications and translated them from NY 1-6 Gen Ed to NC K-6 and NY 1-6 Students with Disabilities to NC Cross Categorical Special Ed K-12. It was a really simple process and I didn't have to take any other exams. My fiance had the same experience with his certifications.
     
  5. ST13

    ST13 Companion

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    The thing is I am still not 100% about it and don't want to waste the money/time (I'm assuming I would need to fly down to actually take the test) unless I knew I 100% had a job waiting for me.

    My plan was to just apply to a few areas and see if they even want me and then focus on the tests... A friend of mine did that last year, she applied for the job then once she got it they told her about taking the praxis.

    When I saw that blurb on the website it threw me off so now I am a little confused. I guess it depends on the district or area
     
  6. ST13

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    See that is what I would assume would happen. I am New York certified 1-6 childhood ed and in the process of getting students with disabilities.

    When you applied to the job did you leave your certification as is? Or did you apply for NC certification first?
     
  7. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    I also just wrote a check (I mentioned not taking tests, but didn't state that I literally had to just write a check.)

    I didn't apply for my license until after I was hired and the district did the work for me. Again, I moved in 2007 when they were pretty desperate for teachers.

    You wouldn't have to travel anywhere to take the test. They offer them in New York in several locations, as well as New Jersey.
     
  8. ST13

    ST13 Companion

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    Good to know about the test locations just incase I do need to take them!

    I'm glad it's not uncommon for districts to hire teachers before being state certified. Saves a lot of stress. I'll try to research other NC areas and see what they say as well
     
  9. frogger

    frogger Devotee

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    I'm from another state and did not take the Praxis before hand. I'm not sure why WSFC would do that...I applied to NC DPI for their teaching license and paid the money. I also had my teaching license in my home state though before moving.
     
  10. ST13

    ST13 Companion

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    Good to know! Glad it might just be a district thing.
     
  11. elleveeaych

    elleveeaych Rookie

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    @ ST13, I applied for my certification first, but only because I was positive that I would be moving. I do know there were teachers in the district that were still transferring their certifications.
     
  12. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    I skimmed the thread, but you must know that going to take the Praxis exams will NOT require you to go to NC, right? You can take those exams at virtually any university or ETS testing center. Many states will accept credentials from other states, but sometimes it depends on whether or not you have had experience to go with the credentials. As far as the Praxis, more states use them than don't, so if I thought I was leaving the state, I would take the exams. The cost is minimal in the grand scheme of things, and it might work in your favor if your scores are ready to go and impressive. Since there seems to be district discretion, I would take the Praxis exams at my leisure and not have my employment possibly relying on pass by this date, or you're out.
     
  13. ST13

    ST13 Companion

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    Yes I agree with you, just caught off guard when I read you need them before applying for the one district because I heard otherwise
     
  14. ST13

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    Just so I know. Is there more than one praxis test? Or is it just based on your content area?

    I had to take two other state tests here in NY in addition to my content area test in order to become certified so I am just curious if it's a requirement for NC too. I don't know much about the praxis truthfully
     
  15. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Good question! If you to the ETS website you will find your answers. I know that some states require PLT, etc., but other states don't. I would guess that the website for the NC requirements will help make this clearer. For me, I am a subject content teacher, so different than if I was going for a generalist, which we don't have here in NJ. Good luck - at least the website is handy to have for any state you may be considering.
     
  16. ST13

    ST13 Companion

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    will definitely do some more research! Thanks!

    btw....those of you who are currently teaching in NC, I would love to pick your brain on the politics/teaching conditions in the state.

    Seems like whenever I mention consideration to teach in NC I hear alot about low pay, tenure, unions, respect etc. However, most of these people are not even teachers.

    Would love to hear some actual teachers' views on the subject.

    My thoughts are, every state is going to have its issues and you just have to figure out which issues are worth it. For example, many people tell me how there is no tenure and you could get fired at any point in NC...well, Long Island is not immune to similar situations just because we have tenure. Yes there is tenure however before you get tenure is just like the saying goes "the last to come is the first to go"... I have heard countless stories of young teachers being let go simply because of budget cuts and that they were the last to be hired. I think when you get yourself into teaching, you are always going to find that its not perfect no matter where you are and what state you are in.

    What to do all think? Am I being naive? Those that teach in NC is it really as bad as I keep hearing? I have a friend who just moved last year and she actually really enjoys it and is glad she made the move.

    I dont want to be naive, but at the same time I have a feeling in the education world right now there is no such thing as perfection...
     
  17. lilia123

    lilia123 Companion

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    When I transferred my license I didn't have to take any additional tests. I even somehow got additional certifications that I didn't have before.
     
  18. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    NC is the 46th lowest (out of 50) in terms of teacher pay. Here's an article for you to read: http://www.newsobserver.com/2013/03/06/2730638/nc-46th-in-nation-in-teachers.html

    We don't have "unions" because we are a "right-to-work state." We have associations, and they are not at all like a union.

    I wouldn't leave NC, but that is because I have familly here. Otherwise, I couldn't afford to live on what they pay here.
     
  19. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    I just moved away last summer. I loved my job, my school, and the community that I lived in.

    The wages were the only truly problem that I had. It wasn't even really an issue at first. But my property taxes went up, gas went up, other bills went up, etc... and I was on a pay freeze. That made things difficult. They have adjusted the scale and the bottom few years received a decent increase.

    If you do your job, right to work isn't an issue. The only time my job was ever in danger was due to enrollment. The union can't protect me from that.

    Coming from the north/midwest, the noticeable differences have to do with duties and planning. I didn't have planning every day. I also had to eat lunch with my kids, take them to recess, and monitor students before/after school. This is the main area where I think the lack of unions matters. However, you get used to it. It was really not that big of a deal.

    People, especially people who judge without knowing firsthand, definitely make things out to be bigger/worse than they are. The pay sucks- especially when comparing the middle/upper portions of the salary schedule.

    The lack of respect you hear about have more to do with the state legislators and the pay scale/budget cuts.

    For a positive aspect, in my experience, NC has WAY more technology in their schools (compared to here in Michigan anyway) and their class sizes are typically smaller. My largest class was 27 (5th grade). My class sizes were 23, 20, 27, 24, 25, and 16. (The 16 was 2nd grade.)


    This is discombobulated. I know. It was my first day and I am exhausted.
     
  20. ST13

    ST13 Companion

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    No I totally hear what you are saying! This is why I wanted to hear it from actual teachers who have experience in the state rather than random people who have never taught a day in their lives... I feel like to them minor things seem like much bigger deals.

    As far as the low pay, that right now might be my biggest worry. I live with my parents because the cost of living on long island is sky high compared to what I make and I technically work three jobs....However, I feel like even with the low pay, NC cost of living is cheap enough that I could support myself on my own. Right now I am single (no kids) and have no loans to pay off so even though it may be cutting it close, from my research it seems I would be able to figure it out.

    As far as risk of being laid off...I may sound naive for saying this but doesn't that risk come with any job you take? I work as a sub right now and at an after school program. Neither jobs have any time of union or protection since they are both part time...however they don't just let people go to let them go...Sure, having tenure helps in certain situations I would assume... but most jobs do not have that anyway and people do just fine...

    And the duties you listed do not seem like they would be a big deal to me either. Right now at one of the schools I sub at, all the teachers get half hour lunch breaks and no planning periods at all... I am very used to a schedule like this... when I sub at other schools that actually do give me preps, it actually feels like a luxury! So lack of would not really be a deal breaker for me.

    Anyway thank you for your perspective! Very helpful!
     
  21. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    As long as you stick to renting (a reasonable apartment), the teacher salary should be fine. When I bought my house, I had a car payment and student loans. I bought a foreclosure and it needed a lot of cosmetic work. I financed a few thousand dollars to put in flooring. Then a few things broke. They had to go on credit cards. Then bills went up. All of a sudden, I had a mortgage, credit cards, a car payment, and student loans to juggle. Had I stayed renting, I would have been totally fine on my teacher salary.
     
  22. ST13

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    Wow that does sound like a handful! Yeah, I would definitely be renting only if I do move down.
     
  23. AdamnJakesMommy

    AdamnJakesMommy Habitué

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    I have lived in coastal NC since I was 6, so 23 years. I'm married with three sons, and all of our immediate family lives here. There is no way I'd ever leave the state, for any reason.

    With that said, I would probably not move to North Carolina from a different state (unless of course, it is one of the four other states that are ranked lower) for the reasons you stated. If I weren't married and didn't have a home that was already paid for (the very fortunate reasons I technically do not even need to be employed to begin with), it would be a desperate financial situation. Needless to say, it is my husband's income that we rely on, and my teaching income just allows us to live a more affluent lifestyle than we would otherwise.

    The ability to find employment is decent, at least compared to some of the other states I have read about on this forum. I'm a 2nd year teacher, so I can't comment much on the politics in teaching because I haven't really witnessed much in the way of politics in the profession yet.
     
  24. ST13

    ST13 Companion

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    Thanks so much for your input. Do you feel like different areas of the state make a difference? I feel like yes of course there are some areas that I would definitely not be able to afford, but at the same time there are definitely areas I researched that are reasonable.

    I know teachers do not make much in NC but in NY... the cost of living compared to how much teachers make does not really even out either. From what I researched, other states (on the east coast) don't have as low cost of living as NC, and they still have teacher controversy...

    I don't want to be naive, and I also don't want to dismiss a possible opportunity without really putting a lot of thought and research into it.

    Hearing others' opinions has been really helpful though! I appreciate it!
     
  25. AdamnJakesMommy

    AdamnJakesMommy Habitué

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  26. Mre0609

    Mre0609 Rookie

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    I'm in western NC, the mountains. NC has some of the greatest teachers, the most Board certified, yet the least support from the capital. It's a shame. I'm looking to move to TX after all my requirements here are complete.
     
  27. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    900 a month is pushing it on a teacher's salary. I brought home about $1800 a month. I would recommend trying to stay around $600, $700 if absolutely necessary. This is very possible near where I taught. I lived in a lake town (expensive!) and commuted to my school. Housing was much more affordable near my school. If I had a do-over, I would have lived closer to school. (I had interviewed in a very rural area and I feared that the county my school was in would be similar. It was not. I should have just moved there!)
     
  28. ST13

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    Yeah, I have been researching this for a few weeks now and it seems like my best price range would be close to 600 for a one bedroom, less than if possible ... (not sure how realistic that is for a nice/safe apartment).. If I do decide to move down though, I am planning on applying to districts first THEN looking for an apartment as close as possible. The problem is, I would need to apply to affordable areas so that I could live comfortably and not have a crazy commute (still in the process of researching this)

    I did read though that many districts do offer incentives for renting apartments they have connections with? Such as paying for utilities?

    Also, since we are on the subject, is anyone familiar with the winston-salem area? I read that it's one of the cheapest areas.

    Any other safe/affordable areas you all recommend would be very helpful! I am planning on visiting in a few months so I kind of want to check out potential areas :)
     
  29. ST13

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    If you don't mind me asking, what are your reasons for leaving? Pay? support? both?
     
  30. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    A lot do a discount (like $25 or so) for teachers. That goes for almost anywhere.

    Winston-Salem is nice. I went there for a conference. There is a pretty big, nice mall there (Hanes Mall). I don't know much about cost of living there, since it was outside of my search area. (I was a stickler on 60 minutes or less to an airport since I was leasing a car when I moved.)

    I pretty much only seriously looked into the Charlotte area. Statesville (Iredell-Statesville Schools), Salisbury (Rowan-Salisbury School System), Concord/Kannapolis (Cabarrus County Schools and Kannapolis City School District), and Gastonia (Gaston County Schools) should all get you in the $600 a month price range, with some closer to $500. Concord probably being the most expensive on the list. Like any mid-sized cities, they all have pocket areas where I personally would avoid. Gastonia can have a bad reputation, but I actually liked the town a lot. I received several offers (over 10) after I had already accepted my job elsewhere. Mooresville Graded School District is another possibility (also in Iredell County but between Statesville and Charlotte), but the cost of living is higher there. It is possible to get a cheaper apartment, but you will probably spend closer to $700. It is about a 15 minute commute from Statesville. Rent will be cheaper there. If the time comes and you want/need any help with the cities listed, feel free to ask. I researched extensively and I lived there.
     
  31. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    I worked with a woman whose daughter has a master's and in NC who only earns $25000 and her benefits don't hold a candle to what we have here in NJ. With a master's and 15 and 3 years experience, I am earning $58700 and that is at a private school. The public schools closest to my location would be paying $60000+ and better benefits than what I get. Mrs. P's daughter was hoping to get a job in NJ and move north, but her son only has two years of school left, and she decided to stay put to allow him to finish HS there with his friends. My son's elem. teacher, years ago, was engaged and going to move to NC, but came back when she learned that with 15 years of experience and a master's, she would only earn 1/3 of her NJ salary. The fiance got to go back to NC and keep the ring, and she has stayed in NJ to retirement. Cost of living is important, but getting paid what you are worth should figure into the equation too!
     
  32. ST13

    ST13 Companion

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    I will 100% take you up on that!! Thank you!
     
  33. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    She has to work in a private school to earn that. There is a state mandated pay scale. When I began in 2007, the minimum was $30,000. The minimum is currently $33,000. Nearly all of the districts/counties pay a supplemental salary on top of that base pay. In my old district, they gave $2,000. A brand new teacher would then make $35,000, which is pretty typical nation-wide. In Charlotte, a brand new teacher would make about $38,000.

    I also did not have to pay a dime out of my paycheck for health insurance. It is covered for the employee. Dental and vision were paid by me, but never health.
     
  34. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    Not a problem :)
     
  35. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    It could very well be the case! I just got the day by day bemoaning the fact that the daughter was throwing away her education. You know what they say - there are at least two sides to every story! NC certainly has better terrain and scenery than NJ.
     
  36. ST13

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    I definitely agree with what you are saying. Teachers do not get paid enough as it is for all the work they do in and out of school. I just feel like staying up north is not going to do me any good. I refuse to wait around hoping for teachers to start retiring so that I can finally get a full time job. Even if I decide that pay isn't worth staying down south after a few years I think that Atleast having a few teaching years under my belt will make me more marketable up here.

    Right now there are 1000 other girls just like me all applying for the same position (if there is a position at all) Even with connections it's hard when there are no positions to get to.

    I just feel like since I'm most likely going to be waiting around for a job anyway I might as well make myself useful and move while I am young to get some experience other than subbing. And who knows, I may like it and I may not but Atleast I made an effort rather than waiting for years.

    I totally agree teachers need to be paid what they are worth, but my priority right now is getting more experience and being able to become more independent. Just have to figure out the best way to do that
     
  37. frogger

    frogger Devotee

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    I lived in the Winston-Salem area for the first 3 years I lived here. It's not outrageously expensive. There are some areas, just like anyplace else, but if are renting you can find places that are reasonably priced and safe for less than $800/month.

    The city itself is nice, with things to do and it's easy to get around. I had no problems living there, I just moved closer to the area where most of my friends live that I met here and my job.

     
  38. ST13

    ST13 Companion

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    Thank you! Good to know. I researched it and I found some really cheap apartments so it seemed like a nice area too.

    Is there a major airport nearby though?... Reading giraffe326's post made me realize that is definitely something I want to be within a reasonable distance to.
     
  39. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    There is an airport, and I've almost used it a time or two. It is smaller with less options. You are also around 90 minutes to both Charlotte and Raleigh.
     
  40. ST13

    ST13 Companion

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    Oh okay! Great! 90 minutes isnt terrible. I live about 20/30 minutes from JFK here, so I am spoiled I guess haha.
     

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