Teaching in Illinois...and Missouri?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Encore, Jul 20, 2014.

  1. Encore

    Encore Rookie

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    Hello, I'm back to ask about teaching in 2 more places. I posted a few days ago asking about NC (currently teaching middle school Math in Texas). I have just 2 more states to inquire about. To clarify, my husband is a starting pilot and has some choices to where he can work out of - hence my previous post about teaching in North Carolina. We have ruled out NC, but are curious about the Chicago area as well as St. Louis, MO since those are the other possible domiciles. We just have to be an hour from the main airports.

    Are teachers pretty happy in these areas (i.e: working conditions, professional support compensation etc)? Any information is very appreciated. Thank you!
     
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  3. comaba

    comaba Cohort

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    For Illinois...

    The happiness indicator varies widely in the Chicago metropolitan area. Some districts are very good and the teachers are happy. Some districts are horrible.

    Pay also varies widely. While starting pay may be competitive in most districts, comparing one district to another at the 10 year mark can show a $25,000/year difference.

    Also, our state pension system is broke and new teachers to the system cannot count on a pension. Chicago teachers have a different system, and I don't remember their status.
     
  4. chitown

    chitown Companion

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    I'm in Chicago, but I'm a new teacher. I can give you some of the perspectives that I've heard from other teachers though. Chicago public schools pay well (I'll be working for them!), better than any of the suburbs but some suburbs pay close to what CPS does. I've been told that the step increases are lower in CPS than in suburban schools though. Catholic schools (if you're into that) do not pay well at all, and I was told that by a teacher who works in Catholic schools.

    Conditions can really vary based on the area. Chicago Public is a HUGE school district, with over 400,000 students in 500+ schools. Some of these schools are in poor, crime-riddled areas while some are in affluent areas. While the more affluent areas MAY have better faculty and facilities, they also experience overcrowding and you may be teaching your class in a hallway, or you may have a class of 36 kids. In other neighborhoods, your kids may not show up to school because they would have to walk through gang territory and it's safer to just stay home. Every neighborhood will have its challenges. You also have to live in the city to work in CPS.

    Professional support (within the school) is really going to depend on the school.

    Another thing to consider is the competition for jobs. This is a very competitive area. It is difficult to even get an interview in the suburbs. My mother-in-law (a principal) told me she gets at least 700 applicants for one gen ed posting in her school. I've gotten 2 suburban interviews in the past year, and many other job seekers I've spoken to in that time haven't gotten any suburban interviews. It can be rough!

    I hope this helps even a little bit. Like I said, I'm new to the profession, but all this information is from my experiences or has been shared with me by many teachers in the area.
     
  5. comaba

    comaba Cohort

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    I agree with the competition in the suburbs, but if you will truly look up to 100 miles from O'Hare, you'll probably have better luck.
     
  6. heyitssteph

    heyitssteph Rookie

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    I asked about this the other day. It's disheartening, and as a Chicago area native, I am strongly considering relocating to another metropolitan area, for both the reasons cited above and personal reasons.

    Charter schools in the inner city appear to be hiring tons of new teachers. However from what i hear, it's not for the faint of heart.

    I believe it is mostly about "who you know"...So if you are new to the area and lack connections, it will be real tough to get a job in a good district. A lot of people seem to get jobs by going back to the schools in the district where they grew up and still have connections to various staff and administration. It's tough for an "outsider" to break in, from what I hear.
     
  7. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

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    I interviewed exactly once for a "good" district in the suburbs of Chicago, and they flat out told me they went with a candidate with 5+ years of experience. I'm not even sure why they called me in.

    There is a special circle of heII for CPS and its bureaucracy, but if you can find a good position, go for it. There always seem to be Math positions open, especially in secondary. Unfortunately, the schools are very diverse in environments. There's just no way of knowing if you're landing in a good place or not. You can look at test scores, but that means almost nothing. I work at an awesome "failing" school and we have taken in staff from terrible "Level 1" schools.

    Good luck!
     
  8. blazer

    blazer Connoisseur

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    Plus Rahm Emmanuel does not like teachers (Unless they are working in a Charter school)!
     
  9. Encore

    Encore Rookie

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    Looks like Chicago is going to get the boot as well.
     
  10. FarFromHome

    FarFromHome Connoisseur

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    I don't know about St. Louis, but I'm located in the KC area. There is a LOT of competition for jobs here. At my home district, there were 3,000 applicants for their elementary job posting. And they hired no one-they decided to only hire internally. I did find a job, but I heard that's pretty hard to do here. And my job is a little farther away than I had planned on.

    I don't think the pay is too bad, but I've taught in Idaho and Hawaii and wasn't paid well in either state. I'm making the same amount in Missouri as I was in Hawaii, but the lower cost of living will make it seem like I'm making more. I think the pay is lower than Texas.
     
  11. heyitssteph

    heyitssteph Rookie

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    Wow!!! I wonder why KC is so competitive. Is there anywhere that is a decent job market for teachers these days?!
     
  12. comaba

    comaba Cohort

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    Someone else mentioned that areas in Texas are experiencing a hiring boom. Coincidentally, I was talking to a man from Austin today, and he said they're hiring lots of teachers because so many people are relocating to Texas.

    Can your husband fly out of DFW? I think the other poster (can't remember who) was from Dallas.
     
  13. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    WTF? :eek::eek::eek: How and why is that even possible? :eek:

    I have never even heard of a district/city requiring teachers to live within their limits to work there.
     
  14. Encore

    Encore Rookie

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    Absolutely! It looks like the best option would be to stay in the Dallas area and have hubby commute to work. I do enjoy the school I'm at, the Admin and staff are team players and teachers are treated very well.
     
  15. Encore

    Encore Rookie

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    In response to Go Blue!, before my husband made his career change into aviation, he was the CFO of a public school district. He obviously wasn't a teacher, but he was required to live in the school district he worked in.
     
  16. comaba

    comaba Cohort

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    Oh dear, I missed that you're FROM Texas!
     
  17. heyitssteph

    heyitssteph Rookie

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    There is a mandate for all city employees (teachers, police, firefighters) to live within the city limits so they will pay Chicago taxes....pretty ridiculous :|

    For whatever reason charter school employees are exempt, though...or so I've heard.
     
  18. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    I'm sure many urban cities (even larger ones) would not be able to staff their schools if all teachers had to live within the city limits.
     
  19. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

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    It's made it difficult to buy a home. I am outpriced of most neighborhoods, and I also have to commute to the FARRRRRRRR South Side of the city. My living options are very limited.
     
  20. blazer

    blazer Connoisseur

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    I know many Chicago teachers and they have told me the same thing. Mind you Chicago is a big place! (well by UK standards anyway)
     
  21. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    My cousin said Cleveland firefighters used to have to live in the city but the union fought it and won. Not sure of the story behind it though.
     
  22. chicagoturtle

    chicagoturtle Fanatic

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    This is true for Milwaukee as well I believe.

    There are "waiver" positions, but I have had friends that have been suddenly told their position doesn't qualify for a waiver anymore and they must move into the city within a short time period.
     
  23. FarFromHome

    FarFromHome Connoisseur

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    I haven't heard about having to live in the city for teaching positions, but there is a district near me that administrators are required to live in. They had a lot of administrators leave because of it.
     

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