Public High School in Maine

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by GeetGeet, Jun 16, 2015.

  1. GeetGeet

    GeetGeet Companion

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    Jun 16, 2015

    Hi all,

    My husband and I might move to Maine in the next 3-5 years. Does anyone have any insights about working in public schools in that state? Some questions I have:

    Are new teachers to the state given decent benefits at this point?
    Can teachers get tenure there?
    Is there a pension system there, and if so, how is it doing?
    I am also interested in the general political climate there as it relates to public education.

    If anyone has any info that might be helpful, that would be great!
     
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  3. Reality Check

    Reality Check Habitué

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    Jun 16, 2015

    I worked a few summer camps in Maine while finishing college and I absolutely loved it! I made it a point to get one of my first teaching certificates for Maine. (I applied to several states and knew that they all wanted to see THEIR certificate with resumes - they didn't want to hear about "reciprocity" when they have stack of applicants.)

    Anyhow, I had a fair amount of interviews, but nothing ever resulted from them. I sent "thank you" letters to each district I met with and one guy who was on an interview committee I saw wrote back to me. He told me quite frankly that I was up against a mentality of "Maine, first" when it came to hiring. His letter went on to explain that they look for candidates who are from Maine and graduated from Maine schools/colleges - making the hiring of an "outsider" unlikely.

    The last I knew, the pay was pretty low, tenure non-existent, and you'll have a 3-year probationary period followed by at least 2-year contracts regularly.

    But it's a great state and I hope you have some luck up there!
    :)
     
  4. allaragallagher

    allaragallagher Comrade

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    Jun 18, 2015

    Hello:

    I just finished my first year teaching. I moved to Maine to go to college at UM in Orono. I was referred to as "from away" a lot. It made me laugh at first. The small central town I lived in was not very friendly toward outsiders. I was passed up for three teaching positions at the school I did my student teaching at. However; after I had lived here about five years, I got a job in extreme Northern Maine. I've stopped telling people I moved here from a different state and just say I'm from that central Maine town. It helps. Also, there are also more "awayers" up here.

    No jobs though. The governor, LePage, has cut education spending drastically. Small, rural schools are now facing steep shortfalls and some are shutting their doors because of it. We recently had a school bought by its town to survive, but it is ran with a skeleton crew. We are one of the lowest paying states. I can only tell you about my experience. Its beautiful up here but hard to make a decent living if you aren't an original Maine family that owns everywhere and knows everyone.
     
  5. Myrisophilist

    Myrisophilist Habitué

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    Jun 19, 2015

    GeetGeet, I'm a native Mainer and I'm now teaching in a public school in the state (just finished my third year). The info provided by the first two posters is accurate, and I think I can shed a bit more light.

    Northern, central, and southern Maine are all totally different. The south is much more affluent, while much of the central and northern parts of the state are rural and (generally) poor. If you're going to live in northern Maine (affectionately called "The County") you've got to be ok with solitude.

    I'm in central Maine in a very rural, poor area. The benefits are ok (medical, dental) but I wouldn't count on a spectacular retirement if I planned on remaining a Maine teacher forever (look up MainePERS). My salary is about $33,000. Reality Check mentioned that there is a 3-year probationary period before one can get tenure, but that is not at all "non-existent" in my experience; in fact, it's the norm.

    allaragallagher pointed out that Governor LePage has not been a friend to teachers. He's anti-union, anti-teacher, anti-anything related to educators. Really, he's a joke. If you want a good laugh, look up some of the antics he's initiated.

    The state is going full-steam-ahead into proficiency-based education. Do your homework before signing onto this method of education. Make sure you're ok with the philosophy behind it, and look into how the potential district you might work for is implementing it.

    I'd be happy to answer any more questions that are within my realm of knowledge. Shoot me a PM. :)
     
  6. GeetGeet

    GeetGeet Companion

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    Jun 23, 2015

    Thanks for the responses! Not very encouraging, especially since I am an art teacher with a current job I love :(

    I should elaborate a little and see if you all have any other insights...
    We are looking to go to the Portland or Bar Harbor area. We have good friends near Bar Harbor and Winter Harbor and my brother in law lives in Falmouth. My husband lived near Winter Harbor for several years as well.
    I am not a total Maine outsider, I think--my mom lived in Bethel for 10 years and my aunt currently lives in Maine. My family has a ton of history in the state as well--dating back to the 1600s! I'm pretty familiar with the state and (somewhat) the mentality, being that I have visited there a lot since I was a kid.

    I am not opposed to private schools, but usually they don't pay very well, at least where I am. As an art teacher with 10 years experience, educated at Teacher's College Columbia University (not trying to toot my horns but people do tend to respect it), do you think that I might be more likely to find something in the private realm, and if so, are the private schools relatively decent?

    Again, any insight would be greatly appreciated!!
     
  7. Reality Check

    Reality Check Habitué

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    Jun 23, 2015

    Well, no matter how it works out for you and your husband, you'll get to load up on the "Moxie," get your morning coffee at "The Puffin Stop," and drive up to Orono to show your "Black Bear Pride."
    :)
     

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