Question for Chicago Public Schools teachers

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by strassy, Jul 19, 2012.

  1. strassy

    strassy Rookie

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    Jul 19, 2012

    I got an offer from the principal of a CPS school on Monday. It was literally right after I finished my second interview. He told me that HR would be in touch with me to get the process rolling.

    I'm trying to get an offer letter or something from Human Resources ASAP, because I need to get an apartment in Chicago (just moved back to the area). The principal warned me that they may be a bit slow to act...I'm just wondering how slow. If I don't have the materials to get a place for August 1st, I'll have to wait until September 1st, which is after teachers go back to work (assuming no strike) and just a few days before students come to school...which is cutting it a lot closer than I'd like!

    I spent 40 minutes on the phone with CPS HR yesterday, and when I finally got a hold of someone, they told me I hit the wrong option and transferred me back to the switchboard. The principal is now on vacation, so I can't really get a hold of him...so any ideas on what to expect would be wonderful!
     
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  3. nyteacher29

    nyteacher29 Comrade

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    Jul 19, 2012

    im not from chicago but i similar thing happened to me. (Im in NY)> i was offered a position in June and the p said HR would be emailing me the contract. Well a month later i decided to call HR and they told me NYC doesnt techinically have a "contract" to sign but rather a congrats letter which the p should have sent me. when i told her that the P didnt and that he said HR would be contacting me so simply said, "oh ok ill email it to u right now" and ten seconds later i got it.

    So, long story short, id just keep calling HR and explain your situation (you NEED something). I am sure this happens a lot so they will know what to do. good luck! Ps, see if you can get the email as well as phone number of the HR person. I emailed and called.
     
  4. curiouslystrong

    curiouslystrong Companion

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    Jul 19, 2012

    Congrats! Some of the things listed under "Quick Links" on the HR4U page look like they have the potential to be helpful, possibly? Maybe the "new hire packet"? Otherwise, I would suggest trying to contact an assistant principal or just being ultra-persistent with HR.

    Also - I'm also really hoping to find a position in CPS, and I was wondering if I could ask you a bit about what you did in the job search process, if you don't mind at all? I did my student teaching here and, honestly, words can't really express how badly I want to stay, so. Anyway, congratulations to you again! Oh, and I don't know where you're teaching/hoping to live, but if you don't know already I know that MAC Apartments (I think they're mostly in the Hyde Park area) give rent discounts to CPS teachers, and I've heard that other places will as well, if you ask. :)
     
  5. chicagoturtle

    chicagoturtle Fanatic

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    Jul 19, 2012

    Well....
    1) We don't have a contract right now, and our "contract" is a 250 plus page long book. I can let you borrow mine :)- but it won't really do you much good.

    2) You could try to go to HR- Which on any given day they will shuffle you through Elizabeth Street and or Clark Street. Last I knew- new hires were handled through Elizabeth Street.

    3) Have you already been apartment hunting? I know when I first moved her I just had my dad co-sign, but I don't think I needed any proof or anything- then again maybe my dad didn't co-sign- it was a long time ago.

    Strike or no strike- Regular track teachers have to report to school on August 27th or 29th- depending if you worked over the summer days or not. Unless the strike happens before Track E starts, which is unlikely.

    Perhaps the clerk at the school (or someone) AP could type you a letter on letterhead and with the principals okay- use a "stamp" for the principal's signature?

    Just thinking outside of the box for you.

    I would assume you do not have access to HR4U yet for the critical information that would be helpful because without filling out stuff through HR you probably do not have an employee ID, username and password.
     
  6. strassy

    strassy Rookie

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    Jul 21, 2012

    I applied and interviewed in suburban districts as well, but here's what I did with CPS. Obviously I was on top of the "Job Search" part of the application, adding the jobs I was qualified for into my favorites. What I also did was made a list of the locations of all the schools that I was interested in. I then physically drove from school to school and walked in to the office, gave them my resume and a cover letter, and asked if BY CHANCE someone could speak to me. I got a total of one principal to speak to me and two interviews out of doing this (I went to about 25 schools before I was offered a job), but that's more contact than I would have had if I was just sitting around waiting for them to call.

    I found a place that would rent to me based on my credit score alone, and got a good deal (A small two bedroom in North Center for less than $800!) so I'm good on that.

    Where I'm not good is I'm freaking myself out about not having anything that reassures me that I'll actually be teaching in the fall. The Principal mentioned that both he and the VP would be back during the second week of August. I emailed both of them this week to get the contact info for a teacher that I will be working with and haven't heard back. I tried calling the phone number of the school (everything was done via email with the interview process) and I got the "your call cannot be completed" phone company message. I don't blame the Principal and VP for not checking email if they are on vacation (I'm sure they get a ton of it all year, a break would be nice), but not being able to get in contact with anybody and potentially sitting around for almost 3 weeks before I can is kind of freaking out the paranoid "what if they offered you the job but didn't really offer you the job?" part of my brain.
     
  7. leighbball

    leighbball Virtuoso

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    Jul 21, 2012

    :hugs: I'd be a mess too! I would go take a visit to HR like chicagoturtle suggested. Can't hurt :) Congrats on the apartment! What will you be teaching? I want to add you to the jobs list!
     
  8. chicagoturtle

    chicagoturtle Fanatic

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    Jul 21, 2012

    North Center is a very nice neighborhood. I live in the general vicinity and 800 for a 2 bedroom in that neighborhood is quite great.

    It is semi-odd that you got that message on the phone. CPS has an automated message at each school, which is a PITA, because nobody has the same menu, but maybe check to see if you got the number right.

    Aside from the principal/ap nobody else is "required" to work over the summer. The clerks do tend to go into do payroll. Though I am not sure if every clerk would do payroll on the same day. I think they tend to do it on Thursday/Friday or Monday a week before the pay period ends. So maybe you want to try this week on those days.
     
  9. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

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    Jul 21, 2012

    I would visit your school building before you go to Elizabeth St. In my experience, I usually sit down there for 2 hours to be spoken with for 5 minutes. I always need to make multiple trips because I need this, that, or the other. Someone in your school will likely give you more attention.

    My apartment took that welcome letter from the CPS new hires packet as proof of employment. Everyone is different, but I've never had a problem. I'd find a place before you worry about it. Also, you should be emailed something called a Staffing Request from HR that has an actual position number on it. That might be more helpful.

    Congrats on coming to Chicago and CPS! It is awesome here! What are you teaching?
     
  10. chicagoturtle

    chicagoturtle Fanatic

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    Jul 21, 2012

    I was hired before Elizabeth Street existed and subed for myself until the certification transferred over. So I never had to deal with the craziness in the summer :).
     
  11. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Jul 22, 2012

    Glad you found a place! I would just keep working through HR until your P or AP return from vacation.
     
  12. strassy

    strassy Rookie

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    Jul 22, 2012

    Well, I got a reply from both the principal and the AP today. They apologized in taking so long to get back to me and said that an offer letter with the school letterhead will be available for me tomorrow. I got the replies and reassurance that I didn't hallucinate about being offered the job, which is great.

    And I will be teaching Social studies and writing skills to junior high students (high ESL population, which is what I am starting a masters degree in this fall)
     
  13. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

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    Jul 22, 2012

    I am working with a high ESL population as well. I don't want a second masters, but I'm very interested in an ESL endorsement. Let me know how you like your program!
     
  14. cheeryteacher

    cheeryteacher Enthusiast

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    Jul 22, 2012

    I'm glad it all worked out for you!
     
  15. leighbball

    leighbball Virtuoso

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    Jul 22, 2012

    Yay!! So glad things worked out :)
     
  16. uzuribonita

    uzuribonita Rookie

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    Aug 7, 2012

    I completed my ESL endorsement through Governors State with their study groups that meet at CPS schools. My classes were all at Sawyer School. It was convenient for me and I was able to complete all my classes for the endorsement in about a year and a half based on taking one or two at a time. Plus, it was super affordable.

    As for the offer letter, I'm currently in the same boat. I've been offered a position in the Central Office downtown that I'm really excited about, but so far no formal offer letter has been emailed. I really want to hear soon because it's already August and I already have 2 meetings next week for the new position, even though I haven't technically been hired for it.
     
  17. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

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    Aug 7, 2012

    Thank you for the tip on Governors State! I will have to check it out. Affordable is definitely important.

    Good luck all Track E friends on a good Monday start! :)
     
  18. uzuribonita

    uzuribonita Rookie

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    Aug 21, 2012

    You're welcome! You may also want to see whether your school offers tuition reimbursement. I've heard that some CPS schools do and some don't...or at least that's how it was when I was taking the classes a few years back. If not, Governors State does offer a payment plan to split it into monthly payments.
     

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