Scared for Teaching Future in CA

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by CurioNic, Nov 13, 2009.

  1. CurioNic

    CurioNic Rookie

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    Nov 13, 2009

    This is going to sound ignorant. I know. But now... I'm just at a loss. I am attending Azusa Pacific U in the next term, for my M.A. in Ed with a SS credential... I have to live in L.A. County for child custody reasons (so it's utterly binding, or else I would look to AZ or other places I've heard of) ... and for some reason I have just managed to put my head up :eek: and realize that Los Angeles County is essentially in educational crisis; I'm terrified that when I graduate in 2011 there will be no jobs at all. Does anyone have any information about the recession end, or the future of teaching in CA or other hard-hit places? I am also concerned because my SS is in English, which I love teaching (I've done a lot of volunteering, etc) but I do not know if I should think to add any other specialities (like Gifted and Talented)- I'm not bilingual... should I quick brush up on my Spanish... It's clear isn't it? I'm sort of freaking out. :help: Any ideas? Any ideas other than 'don't go into teaching?' :)
     
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  3. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    It is scary right now. I, personally, don't really know how things are going to be in the future. I know math and science (physics, particularly) are usually in demand. I just don't know. I would work very hard now to get your name out. I was hired two times now due to who I know and my reputation. Continue volunteering, get your name out, and at least, you can always sub. Good luck. I know if I could go back in time to when I was still in school, I would have worked for a single subject degree in science (geology and chemistry). Anyways, good luck. I hope someone else can give good advice.
     
  4. CurioNic

    CurioNic Rookie

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    Thanks, Peachyness. All my volunteering etc was out-of-state... does student teaching ever help in developing those contacts? I wish I had a mind for science and math, I'm just not wired for it (undergrad theater, grad work literature and comp)... does having additional specialties (such as gifted and talented- literacy/reading) help? Thank you again for your comment!
     
  5. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    I honestly don't know about the additional specialties. In our district, gate teachers, literacy/reading are all taught by regular teachers with a multiple subjects degree (elementary). I'm not certain how it works in junior/high school in regards to gate though.

    Student teaching can definitely help! During student teaching, ask the principal/and or the vice principal to come in and observe you. That way, they can at least write a letter of recommendation for you, if nothing else. Volunteering is another great way to get known.

    BTW: I have my degree in liberal studies and my multiple subjects credential, but I'm taking additional classes at the junior college to get a math authorization thingie to add on to my credential. You can always add on other credentials and authorizations to your credential that will allow you to teach other subjects. I'm pretty sure you can also add on a multiple subject credential too onto your single subject credential. For the authorization, you need to take a certain about of classes. For the actual credential, you need to take the CSET and take a methodology class (which can be done through open university enrollment, so you don't have to reapply to a university). So, there are many options out there. whew! My fingers are tired from typing. :D
     
  6. CurioNic

    CurioNic Rookie

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    Thank you so much for sharing with me! It's great to hear a perspective from someone 'doing it'... Sounds like once I get to Azusa I should spend some time figuring out how to add more credentials before I graduate- Thank you so much! Sorry to have exhausted your fingers, but I have certainly benefited from your knowledge! Here's hoping the outlook for teachers improves in the next couple years!
     
  7. scmom

    scmom Enthusiast

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    Our superintendant just sent us a newsletter today saying it will be tough for the next 2 1/2 years. It is extremely problamtatic right now. I wish there was better news for you but it is difficult throughout the state.
     
  8. nasimi77

    nasimi77 Groupie

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    Curiou....I wish you the best. I'm a native SoCal girl and i relocated almost 2 months ago to Arizona to teach 5th. I am grateful for the job, don't get me wrong...but this has been one of the toughest things I've ever done. I swore I'd never leave Cali but I felt I had no choice. I still pay attention to what is going on on the state, and am hopeful things turn around. I agree with what others said. Keep your chin up and try and stay in education whatever way you can. I subbed while in Cali and that helped somewhat. I will keep you in my thoughts! Hang in there!
     
  9. teacherfan

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    I, too, am worried about the future. I have an MS credential, a SS in science (geoscience), and suuplemental authorizations in English and social studies, three years subbing, and 3 long terms, and have yet to find a "real" job (I got another long term last month). I have heard that next school year will be as bad, if not worse, than this year.

    The advice Peachy gave is as good as anything I can say. Good luck :hugs:
     
  10. CaliforniaGold

    CaliforniaGold Rookie

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    I'm scared too. I have a SS in Biology (specialized) so I can only teach Biology and Life Science, basically I can only teach high school. I am going to have to take the CSET in physical science to be able to teach middle school. I finished my credential in Sept. and don't have a job at the moment. I hope to start subbing soon. BTW I'm in SoCal.
     
  11. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    CaliforniaGold, if you want to teach middle school you probably need CSET Science subtests I and II - which, by the way, will include a good deal of biology.
     
  12. CurioNic

    CurioNic Rookie

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    Thank you all for responding! You know, it's encouraging just know that others have the same concerns... It's also nice(?) and helpful to hear a timeframe- even if it is 2 1/2 years... this cannot last forever, and there are meaningful ways to participate while we wait it out. Thank you for the suggestions, I am going to do my very best to implement them! :)
     
  13. futureteach21

    futureteach21 Habitué

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    I can say, you do have the right attitude. If anyone succeeds, it should be people with your "can-do (and will)" state of mind. Good luck!
     
  14. Geologygirl

    Geologygirl Comrade

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    Nov 15, 2009

    I have been wondering the same thing that the inital poster asked the group. 2 and a half years is a realy long time. Is it a better idea to move to another state before going through a teaching credential program if you live in California?
     
  15. Major

    Major Connoisseur

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    Most states are probably trimming their education budgets.
     
  16. futureteach21

    futureteach21 Habitué

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    I've seen enough posts on here to know that right now, location doesn't really matter. Jobs are scarce all over the country.
     
  17. CurioNic

    CurioNic Rookie

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    Okay, so as balance for our discussion (which I admit began on the high pitched note of fear :unsure:), the Bureau of Labor Statistics provides numbers which may be fueling the recruitment and angle of Education Departments touting teacher shortages. Specifically, it says that between 2006-2016 job prospects will be "good to excellent" but that it will grow at an "average" rate. For those of you with advanced degrees in your content area, apparently the need for postsecondary educators is expected to rise 23%!

    It's still hard to know the market though, isn't it? The numbers and the anecdotal just do not seem to match up. For that matter, the projected numbers and the actual numbers (these assessments do not seem to have forecasted and factored in the recession) also seem misaligned! May we all be The Exceptions!!! :)
     
  18. CurioNic

    CurioNic Rookie

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    O yikes, this all got me curious. So, I looked up the numbers I remembered from a Pepperdine newsletter I received promoting the anticipated need for teachers, and checked their source directly (btw, the numbers they used must have been inclusive of SpEd, since they were higher than the ones I located- which did not include SpEd).
    So, the CA Labor Market delivers numbers permitting, between 2006 and 2016, an 18% increased need for secondary teachers statewide, and a 10% increase in L.A. County (my entry point to the field). It seems to me that these statistics (which I feel can be a slippery science, when we don't know the data they used, or their error of margin, etc) were compiled before 2006, before the recession- and recalculation is in order! In addition, while presumably not malevolent, it seems irresponsible for the Education departments in the country to continue citing numbers which clearly did not anticipate the economic crisis of the last couple years. I wish someone would do the numbers with the data we have now!
     
  19. Geologygirl

    Geologygirl Comrade

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    This is true but it seems to me that with Cali having such a huge debt/ budget crisis it might take longer to recover than in other states.
     
  20. Major

    Major Connoisseur

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    No doubt CA is in big trouble. Look for already high CA taxes to increase even more......
     
  21. Special-t

    Special-t Enthusiast

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    LA Unified just sent out a letter to the union yesterday (it was also emailed to employees) practically begging them to agree to 12% pay cuts and furloughs - or else they will have to do another big round of layoffs.
     
  22. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    And one AtoZ member from Calif just got a job in Arizona about a month ago, so it isn't impossible.
     
  23. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    One thing to consider in all of this is going to court to ammend the decree that requires you to stay in LA County. You should have no problems showing difficulty in finding suitable employment in your current county. I don't know how the laws work in CA, but I have seen custody decrees ammended for less than this.

    Regardless of all of that, even if you can't do that, I agree with the poster who said that if anybody can find a job in this market, it will be somebody with a positive attitude like you so obviously have.
     
  24. multilingual

    multilingual Rookie

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    I'm a district coordinator in California and we've heard that things will be getting better.

    Your best bet that you can do is get training in language arts, math, science, or English as a second language/English language development. You don't necessarily need to brush up on your Spanish, but if you are in the Los Angeles area you definitely want to ensure that you have an understanding of teaching second language learners. As California has had declining enrollment, their population of English learners is increasing. I have sat on teacher interviews and that is one of the main things that we are looking for in the Southern California area. Good luck-and don't get discouraged because things will be getting better. In this day and age districts are offering incentives to veteran teachers to retire because they are highly paid, so in a couple of years there will be even more additional teaching positions.
     
  25. CurioNic

    CurioNic Rookie

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    mmswm, Trust me, I wish. It's... complicated. I will be remaining in Los Angeles County due to injustices better posted in other forums altogether! :) Thanks for the thought though, and the encouragement! :D

    Multilingual- :wow: This is such lovely news! I do intend to teach secondary English/Language Arts Teacher (or theater, in which I earned my B.F.A.), but you've given me some exciting ideas of how to prepare. I think I'll at least look into classes in TEFL or TESL as well. And my entry into the field isn't for another year and a half, or two, so hopefully I'll be leaping as things are improving! Thank you so much for offering evidence for hope! :)
     
  26. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Well, one thing's for sure. There are jobs out there. They're few and far between, but somebody is going to get hired for them. The people who get those jobs are going to be the ones who stay positive and keep plugging away. You seem like one of those. Keep doing what you need to do and something will work out, even if it's not what you think its going to be. (Trust me on this. I wouldn't have imagined doing what I'm doing now even a year ago, but here I am.)
     
  27. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    CurioNic, credential programs in California do now often automatically include some coursework in dealing with English learners. (There are good reasons for this: between 1/3 and 1/5 of English learners in school nationwide are in California's schools.) If your program promises to make you compliant with CTEL, you're covered - though that doesn't mean it wouldn't hurt to learn more.

    One very good resource is The Cultural, Language, and Academic Development Handbook by Diaz-Rico & Weed. You want the third edition or preferably the fourth.
     
  28. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Oh, and mm? If there aren't some more surprises of the having-kept-the-faith sort in store for you, too, I miss my guess.
     
  29. guest_teacher

    guest_teacher Rookie

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    I disagree with the optimistic perspective of the other contributors. Some facts to consider:

    • A record 30,000 California public school teachers received layoff notices last spring. This represents 10% of the public school teaching workforce. (Not all were ultimately laid off at the end of the year, and some who were have since been rehired.)
    • Over 20,000 new teachers receive credentials in California every year.
    • California public school districts are balancing their budgets with $7 billion of one-time federal stimulus (American Reinvestment and Recovery Act) payments over two years. These funds will run out at the end of the 2010-2011 school year, provoking new, drastic cuts.
    • The state's budget shortfall this year and next is now expected to reach $21 billion. Thirty cents of every dollar that the state spends goes to K-12 education, a $36-billion-a-year program. Substantial additional cuts are inevitable.
    • Budget cuts, and the attendant teacher layoffs, have a disproportionate effect on new teachers. Due to seniority rules, new teachers are the first to be laid off. And when they are working, these new teachers earn the lowest salaries ($40,000 is typical in California), leaving them with no financial cushion. Having intermittent teaching assignments throws a wrench in all kinds of things, such as achieving tenure, becoming vested in the State Teachers' Retirement System, qualifying for loan forgiveness (for those who finance their credential coursework using financial aid), and -- this is the kicker -- clearing teaching credentials (5 year time limit).

    You are exactly right: oft-quoted teacher employment projections were made before the recession. (Most were also made before credential policy changes were enacted. With the advent of Foundational-Level Math and Foundational-Level General Science credentials, for example, the shortages in those fields are easing or will ease.)

    I know you asked for "ideas other than 'don't go into teaching'", so I'll suggest instead that you pursue a dual plan. The field of your master's degree is largely irrelevant under California's teacher credentialing system. You could get a master's degree in a field other than education, while simultaneously laying the groundwork for a Single Subject teaching credential in English. While working toward your non-education master's degree, you could easily pass the CBEST and the CSET - English (if you haven't done so already), put in some days as a substitute teacher to get references, and complete a 120-hour intern pre-service course sequence. If and when teaching jobs became available, you could complete your credential as an intern rather than as a student teacher. (You could even test out of your teacher credential coursework, by taking the TFE - English.) If no teaching jobs were available, you could work in the field of your master's degree. (Note that the reverse is not true; an M.A. in Education has limited application outside the field of K-12 education.)

    I hope that this is helpful. I too am experiencing doubts about career prospects in teaching.
     
  30. Geologygirl

    Geologygirl Comrade

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    Hey Guest Teacher,
    I just read that same article pointing out that the deficit would soon be 21 billion and more cuts were in Cali's future. My guess is it might be 4 or 5 years before the rocky road ending cuts to education due to the budget crisis is over. It certainly is something to think about. I have been struggling for months with the decision to go through a credentialing program in California, a state which I love, or to move back to Texas and get one there. I have family in Texas who have certainly been trying to talk me into moving back home weekly.
    I had wanted to remain in California because I has friends and a life out here. I also liked the idea of teaching high school and with the ready availability of good field trip spots, and good places to collect my own rocks and minerals for class labs (geoscience). Now however, I am realizing that it is very likely that I will spend allot of time and money in getting a teaching credential, but will most likely not have a job when I am through.
    I understand that teaching jobs are hard to get everywhere but my guess is that they will be easier to get in coming years in those states which do not have huge budget deficits, and are less likely to make huge cuts to education and to layoff large numbers of teachers.
    I suppose things are not hopeless for California though… and there is always the possibility of moving back once the economy has equalized once more.
     
  31. mandagap06

    mandagap06 Devotee

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    I know my area is...A lot of teachers got layed off last yr. They are laying off hard working (many yrs put in ) teachers so they can get someone who just got out of school and pay them less. Also, if you have a higher degree then you must be paid higher so there is that chance of being let go so they pay someone else less. Is that fair? no Does it happen? yes Should that keep you from reaching your dreams? I don't think so if your willing to work at it.
     
  32. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    It's worth noting that the Foundational-level General Science credential is new but the Foundational-level Math credential has been in place since the inception of the CSET program in 2003.

    Hiring in teaching is incredibly cyclical...
     
  33. katrinkakat

    katrinkakat Connoisseur

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    I agree, that if you plug along, you will eventually get something in your field of education. It may not be exactly what you are hoping for at this time. California is in a sorry shape. Today in our local newspaper the story is about the large districts in my area discussing more RIF's next year, and huge deficits in their budgets. I am in a very small district with a balanced budget, thankfully. But California seems to be more and more in the hole every day. If your passion is education, tho, I would not give up on your chosen field. Good luck! :)
     
  34. MacGuffin

    MacGuffin Companion

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    I don't want to see one more post about "staying positive" until that person backs it up with facts showing it makes a scrap of difference in a job search. It's just nonsense people say instead of the cruel hard facts of- have the right credential in the right place at the right time and know the right people.
     
  35. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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  36. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I understand your frustration. But please don't speak down to us simply because we disagree. Telling us what you "don't want to see" is acting as though we're six year olds. Feel free not to read any posts with which you'll disagree, but please don't tell us what you want to see us post. It's rude.

    But I fail to see how staying negative will put you, with your right credentials, into the right place at the right time.

    Being positive is NOT all that's necessary-- you were right about serendipity and networking. But it is the first step. Without a positive outlook, you won't send out those resumes. And even if your dream job knocks on your door, an outlook that isn't positive will shut it right in your face.

    No hard facts. Just my own experience as former Department Chair who did my share of interviews, and as a teacher who interviewed a couple of times.
     
  37. nasimi77

    nasimi77 Groupie

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    I understand your frustration MacGuffin, but Alice is right, a positive outlook is all you have when looking for a job, and more important the folks that will hire you are looking for that same attitude! I was hired here in Arizona 2 months ago to teach 5th grade, and I do actually believe my positive attitude, along with A LOT of persistence and hard work, got me the job. It's also timing, too. There's a lot of great folks on this web site, and my heart goes out to Cali teachers, since I am a native and had to relocate to get the job that I got. I got a job in a state where I only knew one person, and she's not in any way associated with the district I'm in, so my job is not related to knowing the right people. I just never gave up, but I kept going, and I have to say a lot of the folks on this very site were very helpful and encouraging. I TOTALLY understand how you feel, trust me. You get SICK of people saying "hang in there", but you really have to keep trying. Don't compare yourself to anybody else, just tell yourself to do something positive towards your job search each day, that is what I did. Some days I had so little energy that I would only apply to one school online, but I at least did that. I don't doubt you are trying hard as well because I think Cali is one of the toughest spots for teachers right now. But keep plugging away and know that being positive IS a better alternative than being down and negative. Please hang in there!
     
  38. MacGuffin

    MacGuffin Companion

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    MMSWM: You cited one study. The first link is the usual un peer-reviewed stuff. The second and third links refer to the same paper which might have some merit.

    Thanks for showing me this, but if you delve into it a little, the only statement that has to do with positive emotions is "positive emotions may have helped job seekers behave more confidently or cope better with stress, "thereby responding more skillfully in interviews than job seekers with less positive emotions."

    I haven't read the whole thing, but as with any study, I would like to see the results duplicated if I'm going to give it any credibility anyway.

    Well considering that next to nobody can even get a teaching interview in CA these days it is irrelevant. Not to mention, everybody knows to try to get into 'the zone' in an interview.

    I'm saying that if things aren't positive, which they certainly aren't in the current job market, be honest with yourself and do something productive instead of just 'staying positive.' It won't get you a non-existant job any faster. I care enough about people to lay down the ugly facts so they won't have to go through misery in the future. What value is it to tell somebody who asks, "Why can't I get a teaching job in California?" to say 'Stay positive?' Much more valuable is to tell them to use this time either getting credentialed in something that will be in demand or figuring out how to use your skills in a new career.

    Here's an article about a recently published article "The Power of negative thinking."

    Unless you live in Disneyland, we all need to get a little more realistic about the situation we're in, and that means negative thinking. It is bound to solve the problems a lot faster than wishing or praying things change.
     
  39. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Again, MacGuffin, you have my sympathies.
     
  40. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    I cited one study, and pointed out that all on my own. The other articles were not un-peer reviewed studies, they were news reports of said study. My master's is in statistics. I'm pretty sure I know the difference.

    You also have my sympathies.
     
  41. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    Dec 2, 2009

    I can understand the whole, "don't tell me to be positive" thing. I live in CA. This is my fifth year teaching and my fourth year having to search for a job. Three of those times I was able to get a job AFTER the school year began. My very first year I got a job in October. Second year I lucked out and got a job early. Third year, I didn't have to look, thank goodness!. Fourth year I was forced to quit one district, low self-esteem, hated the idea of having to teach ever again, but still worked VERY hard to get a job and got a job late September. This year, I got a job in November (today is my 6 day on the job). Now, I am a pessimistic person in nature. I am a walking Murphy's Law. Bad things happen to me and my husband ALL THE TIME. But, I still work hard, and try to get the word out. I make sure to talk to people (last year and this year I got a job by talking to people and word got to Principal that I was looking). I guess it can be hard to be positive, especially now in this economy. BUT, things eventually do fall into place. Someone I know just died the day before Thanksgiving and it was a harsh reminder that life is WAY too short to stress and be aggravated all the time. Enjoy the time you do have on earth and sub and make connections and talk to people.
     

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