Out of luck in Michigan/Midwest?

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by RisingFromAshes, Mar 18, 2014.

  1. RisingFromAshes

    RisingFromAshes Rookie

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    Mar 18, 2014

    I've lived in Michigan my entire life and I've always been told that it's next to impossible to get a teaching job here. When I told my mother and her friends (all DPS teachers) that I wanted to switch from college teaching to high school words like "hopeless" and "insanity" were used quite freely.

    I would love to hear the perspectives of other teachers that work here or know about the region.

    Is it pretty much impossible to get a job here as a new teacher? ("You have to know someone" is like a neverending mantra)

    When is the hiring season? (I'll finish my out of state certification in April and will transfer it here through reciprocity. Will I be too late for the 2015-2016 school year?)

    Will adding more endorsements help at all? (Currently doing English and ESL. I CANNOT teach math or math related subjects such as physics or chem, but I'm pretty much open to other possibilities.)

    Should I skip past all that, uproot my family, and just apply out of state? :(

    Any and all help is a Godsend! Thanks!
     
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  3. teacherguy111

    teacherguy111 Cohort

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    Mar 18, 2014

    Don't have any advice…. but why are you wanting to change from college teaching to high school?
     
  4. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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  5. RisingFromAshes

    RisingFromAshes Rookie

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    Mar 18, 2014

    Honestly, I would prefer something more stable where I could feel as though I was making a significant difference. The pay here is dismal and I'd like to think if I wasn't focused as much on making ends meet (i.e. above minimum wage) I'd have a lot more time to be even more creative with lessons. I've been adjunct teaching the last 4 years and while I love it, the work I've done with incoming freshmen and high school programs has been the most rewarding.
     
  6. RisingFromAshes

    RisingFromAshes Rookie

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    Mar 18, 2014

    Thanks for the advice. I'm really familiar with her epic journey and even read all of the postings in her thread. It's one of the things that prompted me to ask a few questions of my own. :)

    I wasn't sure if PMing her would be a bit forward in this situation, so I decided to just post a thread and hope for the best.
     
  7. teachart

    teachart Comrade

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    Mar 18, 2014

    Graduated from a MI college last April - every one in my cohort found employment within 1 hour of Detroit.

    Maybe my college just prepares us really well, but I don't think it's impossible. Does it take networking? Definitely. But not impossible.

    I was the first to be hired, and signed mid June. Everyone else signed in August.
     
  8. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Mar 18, 2014

    Giraffe is currently commuting quite far for her job so probably doesn't visit often. You can PM her, I think she would be fine with that. Just be patient, she will probably take a while to respond.
     
  9. live

    live Companion

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    Mar 18, 2014

    Most of my interviews here in Michigan were due to subbing/networking. There were still a handful of interviews that I didn't get that way though.

    I subbed for half a year after college and then moved right onto my first teaching job. The following year I found my 2nd teaching position. It's not easy (the job search is a job in itself), but it's possible.
     
  10. RisingFromAshes

    RisingFromAshes Rookie

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    Mar 19, 2014

    You have no idea how reassuring this is. Lately, all I've heard is that it's like winning the lottery.

    I subbed for a year before I started teaching college years ago. Guess I should get back in the game. :) How did subbing make a huge difference when it came to securing a job? I thought about doing PESG but I wasn't sure if going to so many schools would be a good idea or trying to get a building sub position at a charter would be more effective.

    Your cohort sounds as if it was really dedicated to all get hired so quickly. Did you all have multiple endorsements? I'm afraid districts might shy away because of my MA +English/ESL +little high school teaching experience. I'm trying to think of endorsements that could help make me a little more marketable.
     
  11. RisingFromAshes

    RisingFromAshes Rookie

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    Mar 19, 2014

    Thanks for the advice. I'll PM her soon, and then I'll be VERY patient.
     
  12. Nate

    Nate Companion

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    Mar 19, 2014

    I'm in Michigan. The most recent hires I can think of were all people with connections within the district or people who taught out of state for a few years and came back. Or both. It's unfair that you need to know someone to get hired, but it's hard to put a stranger in a room full of kids, so those connections really guide hiring.
     
  13. RisingFromAshes

    RisingFromAshes Rookie

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    Mar 19, 2014

    I hope subbing will help build some connections as I don't have many at the moment. I used to do a LOT of volunteer work and that helped me secure my previous position. Would you recommend that I approach district after school programs and volunteer? I'm not sure of any other ways to network. Any suggestions you may have would be appreciated.
     
  14. Nate

    Nate Companion

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    Mar 19, 2014

    You're thinking of networking backwards--making new connections is great, but it's more about exploiting the connections you have. Get on social media, talk to friends in the area, and see who knows who.

    Subbing is also a good way to get out there, but the sub pool is full of aspiring teachers. I got hired from subbing 10 years ago, but I was SpEd and able to take a part time position. Make connections with teachers and staff when you're subbing, and then you're back to networking.
     
  15. teachart

    teachart Comrade

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    Mar 20, 2014

    My cohort all had art ed endorsements - which people say is one of the hardest jobs to find.

    I don't really know about subbing - I only subbed for a month after graduating, and for the teachers I had growing up.

    I know a ton of elementary teachers that got hired from the same college. I think they subbed too, and taught summer school in July before finding full-time positions in August.
     
  16. RisingFromAshes

    RisingFromAshes Rookie

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    Mar 21, 2014

    Thank you so much for clarifying! It made me look at things very differently. After reading your post, I started mentioning to friends that I was seriously looking and a co-worker told me that she was asked to volunteer in an advanced writing program at a local high school in a wonderful district, but she doesn't have the time. She offered to ask if I can replace her.

    So it's not just about who I know, but who the people I know KNOW. LOL.
     
  17. RisingFromAshes

    RisingFromAshes Rookie

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    Mar 21, 2014

    That really is amazing! I would guess that both art and elementary ed would have to be the most difficult areas to find positions. You guys must all be doing something right! I know there are an overwhelming number of people in English/ESL, but I'll just have to do my best to stand out.
     
  18. mcqxu

    mcqxu Comrade

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    Mar 21, 2014

    Are you only certified in Michigan? Are you also looking in other midwestern states?
     
  19. RisingFromAshes

    RisingFromAshes Rookie

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    Mar 22, 2014

    I'm transferring my Florida certification to Michigan through reciprocity. However, both my undergrad and grad school are from Michigan universities. I also considered looking into Ohio certification as Toledo is about an hour or so away, but I'm not sure of the Ohio climate at all.
     
  20. RisingFromAshes

    RisingFromAshes Rookie

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    Mar 22, 2014

    Is this the standard hiring season in Michigan? I can't file to transfer my certification until April and I've heard that it takes about six weeks. I'm a bit worried that I'll be too late to apply for the 2015 school year. I know it seems a lifetime away, but I want to have all my ducks in a row. I've learned by reading the posts on here that being prepared is a HUGE part of the battle.
     
  21. teachart

    teachart Comrade

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    Mar 22, 2014

    I signed my contract before I received my teaching certificate. The apps ask for the date you applied if you don't have it yet. They'll also have a spot for you to list your Florida certificate.

    Hiring used to be much earlier in Michigan. I started looking in March. Many people don't announce their retirements until August now, just in case they decide to come back.
     
  22. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    Mar 23, 2014

    I look at the teachers we've hired recently. About 1/2 seem to have known someone within the organization. So it does help. I know that my P has come to me & asked me about people.

    We're starting to think about staffing needs for next year. We're adding 3 classrooms, plus I suspect that between 1-4 teachers will not be returning.
     
  23. RisingFromAshes

    RisingFromAshes Rookie

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    Mar 24, 2014

    Before you finished your certification?! Boy, you must have been an outstanding candidate. :) I can't believe the hiring season is so close to the school year. That has to be nerve wracking for both schools and applicants. It doesn't leave much time to prepare if you do get the job. A plan B would be crucial (and maybe even a plan C,D, and E).
     
  24. RisingFromAshes

    RisingFromAshes Rookie

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    Mar 24, 2014

    Thanks for the info! It's great to know what schools are thinking during this time of year. I thought by March I would need my certification in hand to start applying. Looks like that might not be the case.
     
  25. RisingFromAshes

    RisingFromAshes Rookie

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    Since Michigan's market is so tough, what strategy did you all use with applying? Did you only apply places where you had connections? A certain radius from your home? All over the state?

    I'm in the process of creating brochures and an electronic teaching portfolio. Has anyone tried to utilize either one of these tools in local districts here? Any suggestions for standing out from the crowd in districts where connections are limited or nonexistent?
     
  26. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    I've never had a connection at the schools that I've hired in at. I've also only worked charter schools. Given that I have a family and am unable to move, I limited myself to an hour's drive in any direction.

    When I've applied, all have almost always wanted an email cover letter & resume. Only a couple of times did I actually use my portfolio.

    Sometimes, I think it's the luck of the draw.
     
  27. RisingFromAshes

    RisingFromAshes Rookie

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    Mar 25, 2014

    I'm in a similar position as my husband's job is pretty stable so moving isn't really an option at the moment. I'm planning to apply to both public and charter schools to widen my playing field. Some charters are much smaller and specialized, which is very appealing to me. But I was a bit concerned about the pay. Is it true that charter salaries are significantly less than public here?

    I know it varies from state to state. I definitely didn't get into education with money as an incentive, but I'm a bit concerned about my student loans for my undergrad and MA.
     
  28. RisingFromAshes

    RisingFromAshes Rookie

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    Mar 25, 2014

    Sorry to bombard everyone with questions, but where is the best place to look for recent job postings in this region?

    I was considering trying to take on a parapro job or a building sub position to get more k12 experience. I've been on k12 jobspot, but it seems a little bare. Not sure if it is the time of year or if I should be looking on each individual school page.
     
  29. mcqxu

    mcqxu Comrade

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  30. Nate

    Nate Companion

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    Mar 25, 2014

    It's been a while since I've looked into it, but it was once the case that starting salaries at charter schools were competitive, but with a much less generous benefits package and slower wage growth for experience.
     
  31. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    Mar 25, 2014

    First off, feel free to PM me if necessary :) I haven't been on much lately, but I do get an email if I have a PM, so I'd be sure to respond.

    k12jobspot is an OK place to check. It probably will notify you of maybe 30% of Michigan's jobs. (More if you are strictly looking in the metro Detroit area.) My county has a Applitrack website but they don't post to k12jobspot. I literally had hundreds upon hundreds of websites bookmarked, organized by county, that I would check multiple times a week. It quite literally took hours.

    This year, so far, it has been very quiet. Very, very quiet. I am only looking in a few counties, and I'm picky about the district within the counties, too. So there could be more out there than I am aware of, but for the areas I'm looking in, there is nothing happening.

    When I graduated (2006), all hiring was pretty much taken care of by May, with it starting in February/March. Over the last few years, it keeps sliding backwards. Even so, I already had interviews lined up by this time the last two years.

    You really have to be persistent and unafraid of rejection. The job I finally landed is in a district that rejected me in 2012. It was down to the final two, and they went with the local girl. I reapplied with the new opening, and I finally got the job. I had an LTS as a result of a 3 round interview that I didn't get. I had to work with 2 people that beat me out, too. But I did it with a smile on my face. That principal has been very helpful to me, so I'm very glad that I did it. (And I'm really hoping I will be able to get into that district next year.)

    To clarify- I am welcome to come back to my current school next year. They actually expect me to. They have no idea that I plan on looking. But, 90 miles is farther than I want to be from my family. So I will be looking again this year, but I will have the opportunity to be very selective.
     
  32. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    Mar 25, 2014

    I also interviewed before I received my certification. I was an August 2006 graduate, and I interviewed in March 2006. Of course, it was my home town, and I knew all the Ps, and I did not get the job....
    It is possible.
     
  33. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    Mar 25, 2014

    Apply to every district/school you are willing to work at. Last year, while I was living 11 hours away, I'd have to tell myself that 3 hours was better than 11. My #1 goal was getting into the state. I'd worry about getting close to home later. Right now, I'm 90 miles away. I stay in an apartment Mon-Thurs and I go stay at my parents' house Fri-Sun. It is not much fun, but doable.
     
  34. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    Regarding salaries:
    My salary at the charter was actually higher than my current salary in a public school.
    However, my work day was 2 hours longer with no planning period. I also had to work about 30-40 more days at the charter.
    The charter's beginning salary was similar to the step 0 pay scales in the area. But, the hours were much longer.
     
  35. RisingFromAshes

    RisingFromAshes Rookie

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    Mar 26, 2014

    I'll definitely take your advice and use this technique. I'm trying to be as flexible as possible. I do have a husband so that restricts things a bit. His job is about 30 minutes away and he already has to get up at 4 am to make his shift. I'm trying not to move him farther away from his job if I can help it. So chances are, if I land something, I will end up with a a doozy of a commute.

    Your post was timed perfectly. Just last night I was talking myself out of applying for a parapro position because it's an hour and a half away. I was hoping to teach less college courses and either be a teacher's assistant or a sub to gain more k12 experience. Maybe I should apply? How long is your current daily commute?
     
  36. RisingFromAshes

    RisingFromAshes Rookie

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    That had to be so disappointing. I'm glad that you were able to find something and manage to get back into the region you wanted. I'm going to do my best to make connections, but I'll try to remain realistic while I improve my skills. Being a great candidate and knowing people in the district are good ideas, but in this climate guarantees nothing.
     
  37. RisingFromAshes

    RisingFromAshes Rookie

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    Mar 26, 2014

    Do you guys think pursuing parapro positions are the way to go to obtain more k12 experience? I thought that getting into one school or district and having them get to know me very well might be better than trying to sub all over. Am I limiting myself by attempting this?

    My goal is to teach ESL and English Lit. at the middle school and high school levels.

    I did consider trying to long term sub, but most of the positions I see require current certification and years of classroom experience. There must be a lot of experienced candidates if they can demand that for sub pay.



    I just wanted to thank everyone for taking time out to provide such helpful advice. It really is encouraging and enlightening.
     
  38. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    Mar 27, 2014

    Personally, I think subbing is better than being a para.
    I had one long-term this fall as a result of being the first loser in the hiring game. However, I was offered three more LTS positions- even in a different district. The P told another P in a different district about me.
    I subbed at a different school for 1 day and the secretary took all my information down. She put me in as preferred for the building and passed my stuff off to HR in case a LTS came up in that district (different from the district my LTS was in). I was offered my current job the next week, so I never really got anywhere with that. (And we had 3 snow days that week, so I quite literally never benefited.)
     
  39. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    Mar 27, 2014

    I drove 90 miles each way for my first 5 weeks. It took about an hour and 15 minutes, since over 80 of the miles were expressway and completely traffic free. I honestly didn't mind the commute, but my car is only 26 months old and it has almost 50,000 miles on it. So I moved about 16 miles from my school. (My school is very rural, so this was the closest I could get.)
    I drive up on Monday mornings and home of Friday evenings. I actually went 'home' yesterday for a family event, so I drove up this morning.
     

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