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. Pi-R-Squared

    Pi-R-Squared Connoisseur

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    Jul 9, 2013

    This was the same situation for me last year. Granted, it was only for one semester, but it was remedial math (7th grade ability) for college kids. And when I say kids, I mean kids! I felt I needed to do problems on the board but also walk around the room to make sure they knew what they were doing. Make corrections when I see errors on their paper. Plenty of patience was needed and re-teaching of material that my students just really could not grasp... Topics such as order of operations, adding fractions, solving one- and two-step equations.... Slopes, graphing, etc.....It's exactly what I would be doing in a K-12 environment. So for me, not only did I have content knowledge, but I also had the patience and communication skills to get each one of my kids to succeed... Now if that doesn't sound like what a K-12 teacher does, then I dunno what would. :lol:
     
  2. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    Jul 9, 2013

    Do you have an anecdote detailing this in your cover letter? :)
     
  3. Listlady

    Listlady Companion

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    Jul 9, 2013

    Yes, great idea! Definitely use that example! Good luck!
     
  4. ForeignPolicy

    ForeignPolicy Rookie

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    Jul 11, 2013

    So I was contacted at 3:45 am today to set up a Skype interview with an international school in Hong Kong looking for an AP Social Science instructor, the school uses the American AP model. I applied like 3 days ago. That would be the adventure of a lifetime, for sure, and something I don't think I could possibly turn down. I love teaching, but I'd imagine after doing something like that for 2 years, upon returning to the states I would probably end up going into something more foreign policy-oriented since I'd probably be nearly fluent in Chinese at that point and have 2 years in Hong Kong on my resume.
    I really wish more schools in the US were interested in doing more globally-oriented 21st century themed curricula, because even though I'd love moving to somewhere like Hong Kong I think it also shows something wrong with our system of education when I have better job opportunities 10000 miles away than I do here in the states, lol.
    On another note, I also applied for a position teaching social studies in BENGHAZI, LIBYA, lol! The listing said it was an "exciting position". That's one way to describe it, I guess...
     
  5. Jerseygirlteach

    Jerseygirlteach Groupie

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    Jul 11, 2013

    I haven't really read through this thread, so forgive me but...Why does it show something wrong with our system of education if you have a job opportunity in Hong Kong? I would assume that speaks highly of our education system if you were educated here and Hong Kong is looking to recruit you. Or am I wrong? Regardless, good luck!
     
  6. ChemTeachBHS

    ChemTeachBHS Comrade

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    Jul 11, 2013

    Here's a word you should look up- humility. You seem to think you're entitled to a job because you're awesome. It's tough out there.
     
  7. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Jul 11, 2013

    Two things...first, everyone's view of "better" is different, so if Hong Kong is your cup of tea, go for it.

    Second, I think it's a nice compliment to education in the US if even Hong Kong wants to hire good teachers from here.

    Make that 3 things...if Libya is your idea of a "better job opportunity", well...I have no words. Best of luck to ya.
     
  8. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Jul 11, 2013

    :lol::thumb::lol:
     
  9. Rainbowbird

    Rainbowbird Groupie

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    Jul 11, 2013

    Libya!???? Have you lost your mind? Do a little research before you apply to that one. For the love of God and your family!

    I don't think the fact that overseas recruiters are looking at you is indicative of a problem with the U.S. educational system. I believe that may have more to do with supply and demand.

    There are a ton of highly-qualified teachers competing for a very small number of jobs in the U.S.

    I've tried to be very patient on this thread, but at this point I have to agree with the others who have advised you to get over yourself. :sorry:

     
  10. indigo-angel

    indigo-angel Companion

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    Jul 11, 2013

    FP, have you considered relocating or widening your job search here in the US? I haven't read all of the posts on this thread, so forgive me if I am being redundant. If your interest is working in urban schools, you really need to tailor your cover letter to explain the qualities you bring to such an environment. If you are interested in working with higher achieving students, look into private schools, high performing public schools, boarding schools, and American schools abroad. You have to be very focused in your job search in order to get the positions you want. Is there anyone who can help you look for jobs?
     
  11. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Jul 11, 2013

    :thumb: YES!!

    Agreed 100%!!!
     
  12. AdamnJakesMommy

    AdamnJakesMommy Habitué

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    Jul 11, 2013

    Hong Kong would be just awesome to say the least.
     
  13. AdamnJakesMommy

    AdamnJakesMommy Habitué

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    Jul 11, 2013

    I think he was being facetious on the Benghazi thing--only pointing out that there was a posting for Benghazi and that they described the position as exciting. Someone as politically knowledgeable as FP certainly knows the deal in that vacationer's paradise :lol:
     
  14. Rainbowbird

    Rainbowbird Groupie

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    Jul 12, 2013

    I hope so. Some of the other posts indicated a lack of.....awareness on certain issues so it is hard to tell.
     
  15. Rainbowbird

    Rainbowbird Groupie

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    Jul 12, 2013

    Re-reading it I can see that the OP probably didn't take it seriously.
     
  16. ForeignPolicy

    ForeignPolicy Rookie

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    Jul 12, 2013

    I guess in the future when applying I am going to have to begin tailoring my resume a little bit more when applying to districts more socio-economically similar to the urban area I grew up. That's a very difficult for me to do, partly due to just good old fashioned pride in what I've accomplished since dropping out of high school and partly because if I eliminate or downplay most of the stuff related to teaching college and my experience thus far I feel like my resume will be pretty 'thin'. All of my experience teaching at the secondary level is with 10th-12th grades and all 3 years have been in a wealthy area with high-achieving student populations. The school I have been running the IB program at is the highest achieving school in the county, as well.
    I always worry that schools in low-performing urban areas are looking at my resume, transcripts, letters of recommendation (which include the superintendent of our district, the chancellor of the UC I attended, and the president of the university in Europe), and experience and then sort of dismissing my application offhand because they think I'm not gonna be a good fit...without realizing I grew up in the projects with bars on the windows of my home and the schools I attended were no different than "East Side High" in the film 'Lean on Me', right down to the principal walking around with a megaphone.
    I think in the future I'm going to tailor my cover letters more precisely to the schools I am applying in order to highlight the fact that even though I may have all of this "ivory tower elitist" education and experience in a wealthy area doing advanced stuff, I'm from the hood originally and feel more "at home" in that environment even though academically I may not appear to be what they think they're looking for. I'd teach in Oakland in a heartbeat and be perfectly happy doing so, because I'd be back in a community similar to where I grew up, but I have a feeling when I'm sending my "real" curriculum vitae along with my application and resume to districts with socio-economic challenges and traditionally low-achieving student populations they may not think there is much point in calling me in for an interview.
     
  17. ForeignPolicy

    ForeignPolicy Rookie

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    Jul 12, 2013

    I would hope that if I was oblivious enough that I was thinking "Benghazi sounds lovely this time of year!" that every member of the political science department at every university in the world would line up to flog me.

    I'd actually not be against going to Africa or the Middle East to teach, and there are lots of jobs available in Dubai and Saudi Arabia. Even though I am a totally secular person and not religious by any stretch of the imagination, I do come from a Jewish ethnic background and that may be an automatic disqualifying trait in many of the nation-states in the region. Something tells me a Jewish-American teacher living in Benghazi might be a walking target. "Exciting" would be one way to describe that experience, I'm sure...deathwish or suicidal might be another! My mother's prolonged silence when I told her about it was kinda funny...
     
  18. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Jul 12, 2013

    One would hope that the majority of educated professionals here would 'know the deal' with Benghazi.

    :thumb: good advice on rethinking your CL for underperforming schools, FP. There's no need to hide your education...it's impressive. All schools need good teachers...just 'market' yourself for the needs and culture of each school.:2cents:
     
  19. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Jul 12, 2013

    It's less that one omits things from the resume than that one foregrounds some experiences and skill sets and backgrounds others. But, yes: one tailors the resume at the very least to the type of position for which one is applying.

    As for cover letters, look through some of the cover-letter threads before you write your next one for a teaching position, and take some of the criticisms to heart. The point of a cover letter is not to preview the resume but rather to convey YOU as person and teacher - to make a hiring-committee member want to find out more about you. You've sketched out an anecdote that caught the notice of more than one previous poster; you probably also have stories about your growing up, and for the likes of Oakland I would expect that the combination of erudite presentation and growing-up-in-the-'hood, properly handled, would be cover-letter gold.

    A sense of gratitude for the opportunities you've enjoyed and the assistance you've received in capitalizing on them wouldn't go amiss, either.
     
  20. Rainbowbird

    Rainbowbird Groupie

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    Jul 12, 2013

    You may have noticed that I re-read your response and noted that it sounded like you weren't serious.


     
  21. Rainbowbird

    Rainbowbird Groupie

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    Jul 12, 2013

    After reading some of the posts here (not necessarily in this thread) nothing would surprise me
     
  22. AdamnJakesMommy

    AdamnJakesMommy Habitué

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    Jul 13, 2013

    I love the Middle East and Africa. If I were single and had no children, I'd be doing something career-wise in that region of the world. Being a woman, I'd probably choose something like UAE or Jordan, not so much Saudi Arabia... Don't know if it would be teaching though, as teaching was the career I choose because I got married (senior in college) and pregnant shortly thereafter. I originally intended to go to law school and rerouted those plans...
     
  23. Geauxtee

    Geauxtee Comrade

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    Jul 14, 2013

    If you want to stay in States, you really might want to look in other places besides the Bay Area, CA. First off if you want to look at urban/lower income populations, you might want to look into charters in Memphis and New Orleans. You can also look into KIPP charter schools which are all over.

    Lots of boarding schools/college prep private high schools love when their teachers have master degrees and college experience so you would probably have some luck in those places.

    I'm not sure why you turning in a CV for a teaching position. It looks a little pretentious, imo.

    I have 30 credits for a M.A. and I don't include them on my teacher resume. They have little to do with the subject I teach and take away from my teaching things on my resume.

    To be honest, there is no perfect job. I just accepted a position which didn't fit everything I was looking for but it's a job and I'll make it work. Anyway good luck!
     
  24. ORZ

    ORZ Rookie

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    Jul 16, 2013

    If you want to work in the inner-city, you need to emphasize your own life story, and how you want to use your experiences to teach and inspire your students, etcetc. It is tough to work in the inner-city, so they're looking for a certain kind of person who knows the issues and understands how to approach that kind of educational environment and its students.

    I was sorta like you a year ago. I graduated from a top-tier school and thought I was oh-so-smart. I got my M.A. and played it all up on my resume. Ended up not getting a teaching position, and had to settle with a TA spot. It really knocked some sense into me and made me realize I was approaching everything the wrong way. I worked in a inner-city area, and am now looking for teaching positions in that same district. It's hard most of the time, but I find it pretty rewarding. Good luck to you.
     

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