Starting to think I just don't "fit the needs" of high schools, any advice?

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by ForeignPolicy, Jul 8, 2013.

  1. Rainbowbird

    Rainbowbird Groupie

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    You will find that many districts are extremely test-prep oriented and some of the priority districts are the worst offenders of this boring approach to "achievement". Some, not all. It sounds like you really want to do lots of exciting and innovative things. We all do...unfortunately, some districts aren't looking for that.

    I think your best bet is private schools, magnet schools with a focus on international studies, government, etc. or a very wealthy district that has the money to hire you and fund the types of programs in which you are most interested.

    Do realize that it's going to be hard for anyone. Your luck doesn't sound any worse than most of us on this forum. Young, old, experienced, inexperienced, we are all having trouble finding jobs. I'm sure there are districts out there who would jump at the chance to have you. You just have to find one. I would expand your search and really paper the state with resumes. You mentioned teaching abroad...can you get certified in other states and relocate?
     
  2. AdamnJakesMommy

    AdamnJakesMommy Habitué

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    I'm not saying that it is right or wrong that people feel that way. Teaching adults is still teaching. Teaching preschoolers is still teaching. Being a mom is still teaching. But I don't include anything I've taught to adults or anything I have taught my own children at home on my resume, and preschool teachers on here have mentioned how their experiences aren't totally respected either if they are seeking a primary grade position.

    K-12, classroom teaching is a totally different beast.

    To complicate further, I find most principals have a strong preference for experience within the grade range you seek to be even more specific. So tons of 11th/12th grade teaching experience isn't a terrific asset if you're seeking a Kindergarten position.
     
  3. AdamnJakesMommy

    AdamnJakesMommy Habitué

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    I would say not. I've never heard of children being a determiner in hiring or not hiring someone. Now, with me being 8 months pregnant and looking to transfer to a different district, I find it has been difficult. In the two teaching interviews I had while interning in November, one of the first things out of my mouth were that I had a 5 and 2 year old, their names, etc etc. and I was offered both positions.

    My school is actually 50% female 50% male as far as teachers are concerned. Most of the guys are either single with no kids or were single with no kids when they started and have since married teachers there and had kids with them.
     
  4. teachart

    teachart Comrade

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    I didn't read all the posts, so I apologize if this has been mentioned.

    It sounds like you might be a good match for an IB school in another country. They have a huge job fair in Iowa - in February I think. My friend went to it while we were student teaching and was hired to teach IB art at an american school in Morocco.

    Like you, he had years of experience teaching sculpture at a university, and was looking for something a bit different than US public schools.

    Best of luck.
     
  5. Pi-R-Squared

    Pi-R-Squared Connoisseur

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    I wholehearted agree with Caesar on both points. Content knowledge is the essential tool for college teaching. Classroom management is not relevant for the most part. I remember walking into class, going over problems if they asked, writing on the board for 75 minutes, assigning homework, and walking out.... "All you do is give them a grade" is what a college professor told me. K-12 teachers do much more than the above.
     
  6. IrishDMBF

    IrishDMBF Rookie

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    I tried posting last night but somehow it didn't make it.
    I am in a very similar situation to the OP. I have a doctorate in the sciences and have been teaching college at 3 institutions for 7 years. I decided to get my license to teach high school because I felt that I could instill more of a passion for the sciences at that demographic. I mainly taught non majors who put off their science courses until they really had to because they were afraid of it. I don't want anyone to be afraid of it. I want them to use what they learn in every day life. You have to get kids thinking like this before they go to college.
    I have had 5 interviews in public schools and each and every one of them told me that I did a great interview and they would love to hire me but the person they hired had something else to offer that they needed (that wasn't in the job description) such as coaching or in one case could also teach PE. I have recently been offered a job at a private school. While the job is good it is a very long way away and I am having a hard time accepting it, although I probably will.

    Please don't tell me there is no classroom management or differentiation at the college level. While there are elite colleges that the OP went to and taught at, those that I have taught at were basically glorified high schools. Most of the kids were there because mommy and daddy wanted them to be. They did not have the skills or the want to cope with the workload or the content itself. This wasn't just true in the sciences. It is across the board. Therefore the curriculum got watered down so that the University could increase its 6 year graduation rate because at one school it was close to 20%. I spent large parts of my day differentiating as well as performing basic classroom management. None of which have been as big a part of the day in any of the high schools I have taught in or observed. In fact, the Faculty Teaching and Development workshop has so many classes on how to differentiate and manage classrooms, you would not believe. I have used the things that I have learned in those workshops to manage a high school classroom and the results were a lot more effective than at the college level.

    In my experience, college and high school are not that different and I bet if you ask a lot of college teachers who teach in non flagship state institutions (IE North/South/East/West State U) they would tell you that they do differentiate and they do spend a lot of class in basic classroom management skills rather than teaching college level content.
     
  7. Rainbowbird

    Rainbowbird Groupie

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    I guessing on an under the radar psychological level this stuff may influence people, but it shouldn't, and they certainly shouldn't ask your status.
     
  8. Pi-R-Squared

    Pi-R-Squared Connoisseur

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    The P did mention that it wasn't part of the interview but I would imagine it would help round out a person as more than a teacher. I told him my kids went to a certain elementary school in my hometown and all 3 interviewers said, "That's a good school." :)
     
  9. Rainbowbird

    Rainbowbird Groupie

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    Based on my in-class tutoring experience for freshmen, there is indeed some management and differentiation going on at the college level. I was also coaching kids in study skills: bring your notebook and supplies/read the whiteboard for assignments/don't leave your studying to the day before, etc. Many of them seemed amazed that such tactics could help them to learn more!
     
  10. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    They should have never asked this in an interview, even off the record. And no, it shouldn't matter--although to a person who would ask it in an interview, it probably does.


    What exactly is your experience in teaching high school?

    I would further argue that it's not just classroom management and content knowledge that a successful K-12 teacher needs. There is just SO MUCH more, which, quite frankly, is unnecessary at the college level. Argue all you want, but that's the truth. College instructors aren't having to have sit-down meetings with parents, aren't implementing IEPs, aren't responsible for proficiency testing....Of course there are rare exceptions, but in general these things are true.
     
  11. ForeignPolicy

    ForeignPolicy Rookie

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    When a teacher is going on maternity leave for the THIRD consecutive year at the same point in the year and the two previous years her asst coach who also works as a sub at the school has filled in for her long-term and the principal asks someone else to do it without checking with the teaching going on leave, then the teacher goes to the principal and says "I wanted so-and-so to do it b/c shes done it the past two years", that is definitely going to make a difference. Yes, that is promising a job to a friend and usually wouldnt make a difference but in a situation like that I can see why the admin would end up giving the job to the other person. Obviously, I would have preffered them to check with the teacher going on leave first, so I didnt end up having a verbal agreement and handshake with the principal and then end up losing out on the job, but at least I know I was the principal's first choice.

    As far as the coach comment. Look, I don't mean to demean people that spend that amount of time dedicated to coaching sports or doing any other extracurricular, but I also am not blind to the fact that in many circumstances the people known on campus as "Coach so-and-so" are not exactly the most academically rigorous in the classroom and have a tendency to be the "easy" teachers on campus. Obviously it's not always that way, but I was simply using the "coach" label b/c I think most understand what I mean by that. We were all in high school at one point or another and, yes, these are stereotypes but I am definitely not going to ever be seen wearing shorts, a school athletic dept shirt, and a whistle around my neck while I'm teaching. That's not me, and I do honestly get a little bothered seeing that kind of stuff. At least to me, dressing that way and being called "coach" by everyone at school sends a message to everyone about where a person's priorities lie and how the school views that individual. I apologize if that comes off as rude or elitist, but it's how I feel.
     
  12. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Here's the truth: If you're the principal's first choice, you're in. He's closing the deal. He may be overridden by the school board or something, but he's not getting overridden by one of his own teachers. If you didn't get the job, you were not the principal's first choice. Fact.
     
  13. ForeignPolicy

    ForeignPolicy Rookie

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    Pretty much everywhere honors CA credentials. Relocation is always an "option", but for me that would be more likely to be out of the country than out of state. NYC and Washington DC would be the two options I'd be most interested in here in the states, but I;m sure you can imagine that is bc those two cities provide additional career opportunities within the foreign policy field. I'd be very hard pressed not to end up leaving the profession once a job offer from the foreign policy realm came down and I dont like the idea of "using" schools, especially in an area like DC that needs good teachers, until I can get some private sector consulting job, or something like that. But yeah, I'd be willing to relocate...its definitely gotta be the right place though! I am not a middle america type person at all and relocating from a place where I am looking out my window at the pacific ocean for the past 15 years to Iowa or Nebraska is a more than daunting prospect, for sure!
     
  14. IrishDMBF

    IrishDMBF Rookie

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    I have been teaching full time for the the last year and a half since I got my teachers license

    I would argue that the skills are similar. While we are not allowed to talk to parents without the student present, a lot of parents will come in and try to talk to you about little Johnny with Johnny in tow and at that point you do have to talk to them as Johnny has given his permission. Parents have figured out their way around FERPA.
    Also you have to deal with the students themselves who think that just because they are paying for their education that they are entitled to an A and that they are paying your salary! It takes a lot of people management skills.

    We have to make a lot of accomodations for disabilities. Don't think for one second that the kid with the IEP doesn't go on to college. We have to make almost exactly the same accomodations for them there as is made in high school with almost the same level of documentation.

    While there might be no proficiency testing per say, there still is the same pressure to increase class pass rates and overall graduation rates. At college the students evaluate your performance as a teacher, not your peers or an administrator. So if the kids view class as too hard or don't like you, you will be viewed as non effective teacher.

    You can argue all you want but the pressures are very similar and I believe it is unfair to dismiss college teaching experience.
     
  15. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    We will agree to disagree, then.
     
  16. ForeignPolicy

    ForeignPolicy Rookie

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    The guy walked into my classroom during break and said "Hey Mr ForeignPolicy, once the eurokids leave Ms so-and-so is going on leave in late February. If you dont have anything planned the rest of the year, are you interested in filling in for her the rest of the year?" I said "Absolutely!" and we shook hands on it. He came back to me one week later and said "Ms so-and-so would prefer for Ms so-and-so to do it b/c she has done it the past two years when she went on leave, so I guess we're gonna have her do it. Sorry I already offered it to you, but since she's already done this twice before we're just gonna have her do it, I guess."

    But you are right. I was not the principal's first choice. That's why he came to me one the SAME DAY the teacher put in her maternity leave request and asked me to do it less than 2 hours after receiving the leave request and said "I figured I'd come ask you first b/c it would make the most sense to have you do it". I think he just didnt take into consideration that this other woman had filled in 2 straight years for this teacher at the exact same time of year and that she might prefer to have that person do it since shed already done it so he just cam straight to me.
     
  17. ForeignPolicy

    ForeignPolicy Rookie

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    No offense intended, but your perspective seems to be the one that is the most irritating and turns off people like me. It's this attitude like people with advanced degrees coming from university backgrounds are fish out of water in the high school climate and couldnt possibly understand the complexities or necessary sacrifices to be an effective high school teacher. You actively try to push us out with this "oh, look at these ivory tower elitists, they have no idea how different this is, haha@!"

    I've been subbing, student teaching, and/or running the IB program for about 3 years now. Teaching high school aint all that different from teaching college, IMO. Either you care about students and you bust your ass to provide the best education possible...or you dont. It doesnt really matter what level you are on to me. I work with student with IEPs, 504s, EL students, gifted students, you name it...and the idea that some of us "don't belong" or couldnt possibly handle the stresses of high school teaching is laughable to me. I handle it just fine and can teach all levels of students just fine. Now, do I seem to do my best work with higher-achieving students in AP classes? Honestly, I would say yes and no. It's where I may be the best fit, but there is also a reason a school in an area with 60% EL students offered me a position after interviewing me: because I have a bunch of letters of recommendation, as well, discussing how well I work with EL students due to my fluency in Spanish and cultural awareness on top of the academic background. That;s why they wanted me to develop both a SDAIE Govt and an AP Govt course, because according to all of the people that have worked with me I'm great at teaching all levels of learners.
     
  18. geoteacher

    geoteacher Devotee

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    Gosh! I wasn't going to reply to this thread, but your characterization of a "coach" really bothers me. Please don't make assumptions like this! There are many coaches out there who are also excellent teachers. My father was one of them! Additionally, please remember that style of dress does not dictate teacher efficacy. In many places the style of dress that you describe (sans whistle) would be perfectly acceptable for any teacher. It does not always dictate a frame of mind.

    My best advice for you, if you really want to get hired, is to do your homework when applying for districts. Get to know their culture and decide how you can fit into it. Once you are in, you can effect some of the changes that you would like to see. However, if you come off as wanting to show a district where its flaws lie, that will not go over well with the hiring committee.
     
  19. Rainbowbird

    Rainbowbird Groupie

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    I think that kinda stinks. Sounds like poor management. If he came to you first and offered it, he should have stuck to his word. Obviously he's not in complete command, he's letting someone else call the shots even though he'd already made a decision. If he had been strong, he would have stood his ground and said, "we're going to hire mr. Foreign Policy this year...."
     
  20. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Sorry that I am a big turn-off.

    FYI: I have an advanced degree and I come from a university background. I've been on both sides of this situation. Evidently you understand how it works better than I do, which is great. Good luck to you.
     
  21. Rainbowbird

    Rainbowbird Groupie

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    :yeahthat:

    My husband goes to work every day in a Hawaiian shirt, sandals, and shorts if its warm enough. He has been Teacher of the Year, won a state award for science teaching, and won a Telly award for contribution to a PBS special. Appearances can be deceiving.

    And the coaches at my high school were outstanding teachers. They used their rapport with the students to their advantage and I'm sure the kids did better in class because of it.
     
  22. Rainbowbird

    Rainbowbird Groupie

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    Your qualifications would be quite desirable in many districts near me. I can see the town I live in eating you up...you need to get into a district that is highly saturated with colleges and universities, because that demographic is looking for someone with your background to teach their kids!

    Btw, a friend of mine who was a former high school social studies teacher is now a Public Affairs Officer with the U.S. Embassy. He is a brilliant person but it was hard work getting into the Embassy. Having made it, he loves his job and has been all over the world.
     
  23. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    I think this thread has demonstrated many things, one of which is why new members often feel unwelcome posting here. It seems like if someone doesn't fit into the cookie cutter vision of a teacher, they are not welcome here, or in the profession. Could be part of the problem (with both the forum and education in general.) the same people complaining about the change in this place are the same people being rude and running new posters off...
     
  24. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I have to assume that you're speaking about me.

    I guess that I don't think your comments are fair. I am not suggesting that people aren't and shouldn't be welcome in the profession. I've said, and I thought clearly, that university teaching experience and K-12 teaching experience are not the same. I was responding to that particular issue.

    I feel like you are upset that I'm not being some sycophant, saying things like, "Oh yeah, you'll be fine, no problem. It sounds like you're doing everything right and you should start getting job offers ASAP as long as you keep doing exactly what you're doing." I don't believe that's true, and I feel an obligation to say so. I thought that we were here to offer support and advice when it is requested. I honestly believe that I am giving good advice, although it is certainly up to the OP to accept it in full, in part, or not at all.

    Maybe members should add some sort of special symbol or something to the bottom of their posts if all they want is agreement. Until that happens, I have no idea that a person might not actually want the truth. I apologize for making this mistake. I can't promise that it won't happen again.
     
  25. Ms.SLS

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    I feel like some people are intentionally hostile on this board, but I really haven't seen any of that on this thread in particular.

    I feel like the OP asked for advice, but really isn't interested in hearing the advice given, and so the thread has become tense. I don't think anyone is being intentionally rude or hostile.
     
  26. ForeignPolicy

    ForeignPolicy Rookie

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    Thanks for the reply!

    I brought this point up many times during my teacher credential program. There seemed to be very "cookie cutter" expectations of what a teacher is "supposed" to say and think.

    The best example I can think of of this type of thinking was how people in my credential program reacted to my opinion of the apparent bible for new teachers: Wong's "First Days at School". It seemed like I was committing heresy and they wanted to burn me at the stake for critiquing the behaviorist nature of the book's recommendations and strategies. Like, it just "isn't allowed" or common for anyone to challenge certain notions about education. I thought Wong's book was not of much value at all and I think there were probably others that were thinking the same thing, but knew that if they said so they'd be seen as not " going with the program".

    Then you take the flipside of the situation and the one book that absolutely jumped out at me during teacher prep and was the only one I was really like "Yeah! This is how I think about teaching!" was a book by William Ayers (he of "Obama pals around with terrorists fame") called "Teaching the Taboo" which was a left leaning critique of the whole system and the role teachers are expected to fill. I loved that book but everyone else in my prep program seemed uncomfortable with the ideas presented in the book because it really challenged their internal assumptions about what a teacher "should' be doing and what the educational system is doing wrong.

    I've often said there seems to be a very "cookie cutter" mold that teachers are expected to fill and it seems like when you dont fit that mold there are lots of people that react as if you dont belong in the profession.
     
  27. ForeignPolicy

    ForeignPolicy Rookie

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    Actually I've gotten good advice in this thread. I've had very positive experiences teaching and am a very highly qualified teacher with very strong letters of rec and an extensive academic background. I had been told previously that I may have problems getting called for interviews, though, because I live in a wealthy area and much of my experience is working with advanced programs and I may not "fit" what most schools are looking for. I was just wondering what people's opinions were on that. Would districts in socioeconomically stressed areas or those that are very concerned with test prepping and the like sort of overlook my application due to my prior experience and education and think they don't really "need" someone like me? I'd like to think that is not the case and that a school in Oakland or LA would not think that they shouldn't call me in for an interview b/c of my background. I dont want to feel like I'm "limited" to only applying to jobs in well-to-do areas with advanced programs and would like to be considered employable by struggling school districts, but was getting the impression that may be the case so I wanted opinions. I have received many useful opinions in this thread. I don't really mind the "tension", as I think it is good for people to have it out about what they believe an educator is supposed to be. Some people think university types dont "belong", others think teachers should dress more professionally. We all have our own opinions and I dont mind anyone expressing theirs, regardless of whether I agree, or not.
     
  28. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    One would think that with such a user name, you'd use a bit more diplomacy, FP. From your comments about coaches, teachers' timing of maternity leave, the 'middle' of our country, cookie cutter mentalities, and hiring practices,as well as a myriad of other things 'wrong' with education, it just sends the impression that you have no respect for this profession. When responding here to others reactions to your posts, you continue to rationalize your rudeness.

    Your credentials are impressive, no doubt, but you seem to have a skewed outlook of who we are here and who professional educators are, and what they do. We are a varied group, from diverse backgrounds with very different practices and philosophies. There is no 'cookie cutter' standard in education. What there is is an appreciation and a need for educated, passionate educators who are reflective practitioners, who are willing to adapt to change, who support not only their students but also their colleagues, and who ultimately have a respect for this profession. Perhaps you have these qualities, but it's not coming through in your posts here and I would surmise that it colors the impressions of others with whom you have worked in schools. Good luck to you.
     
  29. IrishDMBF

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    You asked me where I have taught high school I think it is fair to ask you where you have taught college.

    The fact of the matter remains that not all colleges (same as all high schools) are created equal. I would agree that if you are teaching at the Ivy league schools, top private schools or even flagship state schools (UC Berkeley, USC, Notre Dame, Duke, University of North Carolina, University of Illinois, University of Texas etc) how you teach would be entirely different to teaching at a high school. However, most post secondary institutions are trying to increase the number of people with degrees but to do so have to adjust curriculum and instruction to do so. Hence why it becomes more like a high school.
     
  30. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Well, I didn't actually ask you where you taught high school.

    I taught at a very large flagship state school.
     
  31. IrishDMBF

    IrishDMBF Rookie

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    There is your difference. I will agree that that type of teaching is a world away from high school but most colleges are not like that.
     
  32. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    I've read through these posts and haven't replied until now. FP, you have an impressive background. From where I sit, you need to find a high school with an impressive background. One that is Ivy League.

    You have an attitude about you that says you are a snob. If you come across that way to co-workers or in an interview that could be hurting your chances. If your resumes or cover letters have the same attitude then maybe that's what's hurting you. Yes, I did may to use the plural. I'm assuming that you are not using the exact same resume/cover letter for each opening that you apply to.

    I really do wish you the best of luck. I am sure that there is a school somewhere that would be lucky to have you. Who knows, maybe that school would have you looking at mountains or plains or lakes or fields instead of oceans.
     
  33. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    I agree with this.

    In addition, you came here asking for advice. Many posters offered you sound advice. You had an argument defending your position for every single person who mentioned something you didn't agree with.

    Some of the members of this board are actually quite intelligent, well spoken, and experienced.
     
  34. AdamnJakesMommy

    AdamnJakesMommy Habitué

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    Jul 9, 2013

    I was a tutor and SI instructor as an undergraduate at a relatively large university (c/o 2007) and I am in grad school now. While there might be some kind professors at the university level, and some professors who take the time to differentiate for the most part I experienced self-interested professors OR professors who were just so in love with the subject they were teaching they could stand at a podium and talk for 90 minutes straight. It was a different story in the SAS where I tutored, students struggling with the major concepts could go there and get peers to help break down the subject matter and really scaffold the learning process. But overall, most professors couldn't care less about student performance and there certainly isn't any toleration for being late or misbehavior--you just got yourself kicked out in those situations. Professors don't have to manage behavior--the students are adults and because they are adults they'll get their misbehaving selves thrown out the auditorium. I only saw that happen on maybe 2 occasions...for the most part the students were always quiet and at least pretended to pay attention. I recall in my Chem lab, the grad student who oversaw the lab had a crush on me and divulged that the professor who oversaw the lab sections required each lab section to have only ONE A, and to scale grades down from there. I had friends who were in classes with professors who would fail them for their strong religious and/or political proclivities. Not saying that all professors (or even most) are like that, but to say that the agenda for a professor and K-12 teacher are similar is erroneous. I majored in history and can count on one hand classes which I had "formal" assignments to complete. For the most part they were straight lecture with 250 other students in there. Exceptions: laboratory classes, foreign language classes, and the occasional history course which required a mini-dissertation.
     
  35. Ms.SLS

    Ms.SLS Cohort

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    Jul 9, 2013

    In CA, the state schools are their UC or CSU, not sure how it works elsewhere. I did my undergrad work at a UC and my grad work and credential at a CSU. There's a big difference in professor and student attitudes between the two. The UC system is much more like what you described, while the CSU system is "easier," more laid back and student friendly. (ie. like high school).

    I think the type of university makes a big difference.
     
  36. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Jul 9, 2013

    I work in a college now, and I have an adjunct that used to work with me in a public school. To be frank, he was a terrible high school teacher. But he is a terrific college instructor. I've watched him teach in both, and his methods are the same-they just work better in college. That's just my observation.

    I hope I wasn't being rude-I sincerely tried to give solid advice. I try to weigh in on threads I know about, and this one spoke to me because of my experience in public schools and college.

    Frankly, I've found the OP to be rather...stand off-ish...because people keep advising the same things, and he keeps coming back with the same points over and over. We know you've started an IB program, we know you've subbed and student taught, we know you know this and that. What we're saying, and you're not listening to, OP, is that those things are not what will get you a job. Obviously.

    Yes, you had a job offer-but you turned it down. That is in the past. To be blunt-get over it. To be blunt again, if that school really really wanted you, they would have given you time to decide. That, to me, sounds like they were willing to take a risk on you, and when you said you had other opportunities, they balked.

    Someone a few posts back said she almost didn't get hired because the principal felt she would be a short-timer there. Can you see how schools would think that about you? You come in flaunting all this experience and knowledge, and ability to teach in Ivy League universities-why would Joe Blow School in Anytown, California want to risk you using them as a stepping stone? Because you sound, at least from what you've posted here, like you'd be the type to come in, demand a bunch of changes, and stroll out when the next-best-thing came along.

    You are not the only person out there with all that knowledge.
    You are not the only person out there with advance degrees.
    You are not the only person out there who knows languages (plural).

    We glimpsed a bit of your human side when you mentioned dropping out of high school, and growing up in the inner city. SAY THAT. Tailor your resume to reflect that. Use your cover letter to make it clear that you aren't just another intellectual academic who wishes to use high school students as research fodder.

    To break it down to the bare minimum-GET OVER YOURSELF.

    Tell schools that you want to teach, that you are willing to learn and be taught, and that you are willing to be a part of a team that can do awesome things with awesome kids. Then put up or shut up.
     
  37. AdamnJakesMommy

    AdamnJakesMommy Habitué

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    Jul 9, 2013

    Definitely agree. Small classroom sizes and perhaps even whether or not the institution is public/private can make a huge difference. I only have experience at the large public universities.

    Furthermore, I wouldn't think it very fair, or feasible, to have a professor who is teaching 300 students per section pre-assess, informally assess, formally assess, and differentiate instruction for each student. S/he could literally have 700-800 kids per semester.
     
  38. Pi-R-Squared

    Pi-R-Squared Connoisseur

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    Jul 9, 2013

    I guess that is why large universities haves TAs to do the grunt work like grading homework, quizzes, and tests, and also holding recitation for questions. Same thing for science courses. Professors do the walk and talk while graduate students run the labs.

    I figure that my experience having taught in a small university allowed me to make exams, proctor them, give quizzes, assign HW, and hold office hours question/answer time. The drawback was I also mainly lectured BUT solved problems and gave numerous examples of how to do the assignments. And occasionally, a student would email me with a question on homework.
     
  39. Rainbowbird

    Rainbowbird Groupie

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    Jul 9, 2013

    I'm sure you're right. I actually didn't say they were similar. I just gave examples of how I've seen differentiation and personal attention to students occurring.

     
  40. Listlady

    Listlady Companion

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    Jul 9, 2013

    Hi. I haven't said much so far (only "keep applying for jobs" or what have you), but I thought I'd add my perspective:

    I got my B.A. and M.A. in my subject (English) and taught for about six years at the college level (for two years, it was strictly part-time as an adjunct; for the other four, I sometimes taught five and six courses a semester). I mostly taught freshmen and sophomores.

    I found that most students were not prepared to be in college, and I had to review significant amounts of high school material in order to get them caught up. I loved it: the challenge of helping students (many who only went to college because of parental pressure) to see that that could write well and they could read and understand literature . . . .

    Eventually, I realized I could not get a permanent college teaching position with just a master's (and where I live, you have to actually get a degree in Ed in order to be certified to teach public school), so I jumped through the ridiculous hoops (really ridiculous-- it's as if the education department at this particular college didn't know what a a Master's degree is--they made me take unnecessary undergraduate English courses that they had cleared me to TEACH --ugh--) for three more years and student teaching in order to finally teach full time.

    I took a very long road to get here, and I heard all the different warnings about why it would be difficult to get a job (you'll cost too much, people will think you're elitist, people will be intimidated, etc.) but I didn't care. I wanted to teach. I knew I wasn't elitist, and that they would see that if I ever got called in for an interview. I got lucky: I had three interviews last summer, and I got the job I wanted most. I feel so privileged to have my job, and I know I am a good teacher (and I also know that I have room for improvement).

    Believe it or not, not all college professors are the same. They don't all lecture and grade three assignments a semester. I definitely didn't work that way (we did lots of graded assignments and in class activities--I am not one to stand there and lecture). And although it was shocking to me at the time (it's been a while now), college instructors do have to deal a bit with classroom management, etc.

    My point to all this rambling is that we are all different, and we shouldn't be so quick to judge each other. Those of us who've come from a college teaching background need to respect and appreciate those who have entered the profession the more traditional way, and vice versa. No one enters this profession for fame or glory, so we can assume that we are all here for the love of the job.

    As I'm preparing to start my second year (at almost 42 years old), I realize that the only problems I had my first year (and I really love my job) were the gossiping and petty behaviors of some of the other faculty. I smile, keep conversation to small talk, and go about my way in order to avoid it. I have a "no gossip" rule in my classroom, and life is good.

    Sorry for all the meandering. It's been interesting to read all the posts in this thread and see several points of view. I just wanted to add some thoughts since it looked like some people were getting upset (and I've got peace-making tendencies).

    Have a great night, everyone.
     

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