Teaching in Raleigh-Durham, NC?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Encore, Jul 17, 2014.

  1. Encore

    Encore Rookie

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    Jul 17, 2014

    Hello,

    I'm currently a public school 6th grade Math teacher in Texas, but might be moving to the Raleigh-Durham area due to my husband's job. I am not very familiar with North Carolina, but I am very impressed with the 4 seasons and general physical beauty of the land. Can anyone tell me more about the public school system, general teaching atmosphere, compensation and so forth? Is it difficult to find teaching positions there? Any information is very much appreciated. Thanks in advance!
     
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  3. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    Well, Texas sponsored a job fair day and advertised in the Raleigh paper (maybe Charlotte) for NC teachers to leave NC and move to Texas. So you can assume that life is a bit nicer for teachers in Texas.

    But, if you're serious about moving, maybe you can trade jobs with one of those teachers!

    Seriously, google Wake county teachers. You'll find a lot of information about the mass exodus this past year.

    And, can't tell you how much you'd make. Our General Assembly is two weeks past due for making a budget.
     
  4. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    If the VA-NC border is a reasonable distance from where you'll end up, I'd try to hop into VA to find a job.
     
  5. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Giraffe may chime in. She has experience in that state.
     
  6. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    Not a reasonable distance from RDU.
     
  7. 2ndTimeAround

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  8. Encore

    Encore Rookie

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    Yikes! I have seen a decent amount of math positions open. I don't teach for the money, but I was shocked when I saw the average teacher salary in NC!
     
  9. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    The salaries in NC are appalling. Even besides the salaries, it doesn't seem like NC is a great place for teachers. Still, if you've got to live there, then you may as well teach there. I wouldn't expect a lot of perks, though.
     
  10. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    Unfortunately, teaching conditions are not great in NC.

    Some basic facts about NC-
    * salary schedules are state-wide (districts may offer a 'supplement', but I think 6K is the largest. About 2K is the norm, with some districts offering $0.)
    *No masters pay
    * Be prepared for a lot of unpaid duties- not limited to before school duty, lunch duty, recess duty, after school dismissal duty, running a club for no compensation, etc...
    * In an elementary level, you most likely will not get planning every day. High schools and middle schools do, for the most part.
    * Snow make-ups happen on Saturdays at times. Or spring breaks.

    Honestly, I loved my school and the people I worked with. Even the extra duties didn't really bother me. But being on a pay freeze (stuck at just over $30K) for 6 years caused me a lot of financial hardship. I am starting a new job in the fall (in Michigan). To make my MI salary in NC, I would have to teach for another 13 years (on top of the 7 I already have in). 20 years in NC equals my starting pay in Michigan. And that, of course, is assuming that they give teachers a raise next year.
     
  11. 2ndTimeAround

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    Adding, the cost of living in the Raleigh area isn't that low. Avoid Durham - it can be sketchy.
     
  12. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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  13. 2ndTimeAround

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    A few corrections - district supplements are a percentage of pay, not a set figure. Bigger districts tend to offer more money.

    Districts (and even schools within a district) determine school calendars. Some districts build in snow and hurricane days.

    Masters pay is still being debated. I receive masters pay as I am grandfathered in but there isn't a line for it on this past school year's salary schedule. This is one of the points under consideration for the new budget. National Board certification will get you a 12% bump in pay.

    Duty schedules are determined by principals. Last year I had no mandatory duties. The year before I had lunch duty one day a week. At the elementary school level I had bus duty one day a week. No lunch duty or recess duty. This will depend upon the staffing levels at your school and community volunteers. I've never known of an elementary school teacher locally that did not have a scheduled planning period. Sometimes those teachers had 2.5 hour breaks in the middle of their day. Sometimes they only had 45 minutes in the middle and then 30 minutes at the end of the day. Occasionally they would have to help out a colleague or attend a meeting during planning periods.


    Adding...there is no union in NC. Contracts typically state that teachers are to work X hours per day/week AND anything extra that is asked of them by the principal.
     
  14. LiterallyLisa

    LiterallyLisa Companion

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    Jul 17, 2014

    I do not teach in the RD area, but I am in NC. I am also in one of the only counties that doesn't offer a supplement :( It is tough, especially as a beginning teacher. I assume you have experience, which will again only be slightly better.

    When I was completing my student teaching, teachers were telling me it wasn't worth it. LOL

    I agree about Durham, sketchy. Michigan is sounding nice.
     
  15. Mre0609

    Mre0609 Rookie

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    I'm in the NC mountains. I'm planning to move to Texas when I get my licensure. I've already signed up for the TexEs. NC has some of the greatest teachers, the most board certified teachers, yet they are treated like crap by our lovely governor.
     
  16. 2ndTimeAround

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    And his cronies in the General Assembly! No fan of the governor, but I started losing take-home pay well before he was in office. Our so-called "education governor" was not much better!
     
  17. Encore

    Encore Rookie

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    Oh. My.....I would have to work 36+ years to get back up to what I make now in my 6th year teaching. I will say I am blessed to be in the highest compensated school district in the metroplex. I just assumed such was the standard for most of the country. Good news is I do not have to move. However, I'm saddened that North Carolina teachers aren't appreciated more. They are obviously losing quality educators.
     
  18. 2ndTimeAround

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    The difference between what I was promised I'd be making at this point in my career and what I'm actually making is over $7000. Nice little bait and switch ;)
     
  19. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    This makes me want to cry. Like, for real. My hoosband's family is from NC and we have toyed with the idea of moving there in the next few years. If we did, I would almost certainly need to find another career. My current salary, after 8 years of experience, is not even on the MA chart...and I don't even teach in a high-paying district! :( If NC placed me on the MA scale according to my 8 years of experience, I would make less than I did as a first-year teacher.
     
  20. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    Not to argue, but....

    A few corrections - district supplements are a percentage of pay, not a set figure. Bigger districts tend to offer more money. In all the districts near Charlotte, there is a scale. My district offered $2000 for years 0-4, $2050 for 5-10, etc... Charlotte-Meck is $6K.

    Districts (and even schools within a district) determine school calendars. Some districts build in snow and hurricane days. Since districts are constricted to the state mandated start/end dates (unless they get a waiver like the mountain districts), there is barely any wiggle room. Especially since they now require 185 student days. I was on my district's calendar committee for the 2013-2014 calendar. We had very little choice. Basically, it came down to 4 work days that we could play with. We chose to put them in January,February, and March in case of snow days. But after them, you are making up on other days. In my 6 years in NC, I only had a full spring break once.

    Duty schedules are determined by principals. Last year I had no mandatory duties. The year before I had lunch duty one day a week. At the elementary school level I had bus duty one day a week. No lunch duty or recess duty. This will depend upon the staffing levels at your school and community volunteers. I've never known of an elementary school teacher locally that did not have a scheduled planning period. Sometimes those teachers had 2.5 hour breaks in the middle of their day. Sometimes they only had 45 minutes in the middle and then 30 minutes at the end of the day. Occasionally they would have to help out a colleague or attend a meeting during planning periods. I don't know of anyone in the elementary level without duties. They lessen in middle school, and I'm sure by high school they are rare. But the OP said 6th grade. So I was giving a fair warning of elementary obligations.
     
  21. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    Until you deal with the competition! A district I interviewed with last year had over 6000 applicants. They interviewed about 250 for 16 jobs. In that regard, NC is much nicer :)
     
  22. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    And, contrary to popular belief, the cost of living is not low. At least compared to Michigan. It is actually higher. I'm paying $490 for a renovated apartment with a washer/dryer. You can find them for about $100 less if you need to. My apartment in NC was $800!
     
  23. Em_Catz

    Em_Catz Devotee

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    I absolutely love Durham/Raleigh because it's got the charm of a small town, but it's still a pretty big city with plenty of shopping and things to do. My husband and I are even considering retiring there someday. Also the State Fair is wonderful!

    That being said, I wouldn't want to work there based upon the experiences of two of our family members. One has been teaching 10 years, the other 3. They dislike it because tenure has been eliminated and have said teachers aren't guaranteed a raise based on their years of service anymore.

    They were also annoyed because when we had that insane winter and NC schools were closed for several days, instead of tacking those days on to the end of the year, they added an extra day onto the school week for a month.

    So, they spent 4 Saturday's teaching from 8am - 12Noon. I'm not sure if the entire state did that or just Raleigh, but I know where I live, our state makes the decision of how snow days will be made up.

    Saturday School might not be a big deal for some, but for me it would be because i need an entire weekend to recharge for Monday.

    That being said, I would go in with an open mind. You're doing the right thing to ask people on A to Z. Maybe you can reach out to some teachers in the area via a meet-up group too?
     
  24. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    They can't tack them onto the end of the year, per state law. The law used to state that schools cannot start prior to August 25th, or end after June 12th. They did change it this year to word it as 'the Monday closest to August 25th' and 'the Friday closest to June 12th'.
    In my district, work days were taken away first. If we already used all of them, they either take away from Spring Break, other holidays like Memorial Day, or do Saturday school.
    I had to do a few Saturday make-ups, but my district tried to avoid them because of hourly people and overtime.
     
  25. YoungTeacherGuy

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    Those salary schedules in NC are depressing! Actually, they're quite appalling.

    During my final year as a classroom teacher, I made 67k (MA Degree + 7th year teacher). Not too shabby. However, I'd make HALF that salary if I lived in NC! :dizzy::dizzy:

    And the salary schedule for administrators left me thinking, "How the heck would I survive?" I'd probably be living in a studio apartment!

    My sister, her hubby, and my nephew live in NC (military people...not educators). They say the cost of living isn't nearly as low people would probably think!
     
  26. RainStorm

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    I teach in NC, and work for a private school, that pays even less than the public school (even with a Master's supplement.) It can be quite hard to live on what you get paid here.

    It can be difficult. I took a huge pay cut when I moved here from Virginia.

    Fortunately, I love my school, and I'm near my elderly father. I can't put a price on that.
     
  27. Teachling

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    So true! There's also the issue of taxes. Unless it's changed, every time you have to registered/renew your vehicle you have to pay taxes on it, regardless of whether you actually have the title or not. You also pay state tax.

    Longer school calendar year, 50% salary(base on TX pay schedule)-- sign me up! NOT!!!!!
     
  28. Bunnie

    Bunnie Devotee

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    Wow that's really depressing. I'm sure this has been brought up but have teachers rallied to start unions? Who fights for higher wages? I mean the raises are really bad year to year.

    Also are there other states that pay this low and treat teachers this bad?
     
  29. LiterallyLisa

    LiterallyLisa Companion

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    I would rather have Saturday school. Instead this year we gave up all of our work days starting in FEB. three of our five days of spring break, and added another day to the end of the year. Saturday school wasn't an option in my county.
     
  30. RainStorm

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    You can't have unions here, Bunnie. It is a right-to-work state.
     
  31. Em_Catz

    Em_Catz Devotee

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    :eek: Luckily we kept all our work days and they didn't touch spring break, but they did add an extra week onto school and instead of teachers having a half day, we had to come in two additional full days even after the students had gone home.

    If my situation had been similar to yours, I would have preferred Saturday school too.
     
  32. Bunnie

    Bunnie Devotee

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    Ouch. Can't anything be done to change that? I mean if teachers are unhappy and tons are leaving the profession, why not try and fight?

    I'm not that knowledgeable on politics and I'm sure there's laws, processes and stuff but don't teachers want fair pay and shouldn't they be allowed to try and do something about it?

    I couldn't imagine the climate in schools, very low morale and other things. But then again maybe teachers in NC don't realize there's states that treat teachers better? I certainly didn't know NC was bad until hearing it here.

    Sorry if I'm so off topic it just saddens me that this is an acceptable way to treat professionals.
     
  33. Encore

    Encore Rookie

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    I agree with Bunnie. I have taught in Texas, California and Georgia. All had unions. California even made joining a union mandatory. There are always pros and cons but it seems like NC needs a wake-up call.
    Texas finally woke up and realized if they want quality, successful professionals, they are going to have to compensate them better. A FIRST year teacher in the Dallas area starts at $51K. Of course (unlike me) many of my co-workers hold Masters and PhDs and are given an extra bonus (still not significant for those qualifications), but the district does not require it....yet. :)
     
  34. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    Teachers have been trying to fight it. But there is nothing that can be done besides express displeasure. The state even elected a former educator as governor in 2009! Ironically, that is when the pay froze!!!

    When I started in NC in 2007, I made an even $32,000 for the 2007-2008 school year. In 2008-2009, I made $32,850. That is when they froze the pay scale. In 2012-2013 (my last year in NC), I made $33,220. They gave us a very small raise that year. If they pay scale had not been frozen, I would have made $37,800, which is still practically nothing.

    I went and calculated- the pay freeze cost me an even $10,000. I added it up. Ironically, I came back to MI with about $9,000 in credit card debt. I should send the state my bill.
     
  35. kickchick2000

    kickchick2000 Rookie

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    I'm here in North Carolina. 2013-2014 I made 34k with 9 years experience. Moral was dismal at best this year due to all the news coverage about salaries, policies, etc... The only reason I can keep teaching is my husband makes more than twice what I do, I love my job and my kids and I'm thankful we are lucky for him to have a good salary so I can do what I love. You also haven't mentioned if your husband will be getting a good raise to move. If that raise will cover your loss in salary plus the increase in cost of living then it would probably be fine. Cost of living in NC is actually higher than most people think as well.
     
  36. lilia123

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    I'm starting a teaching position here in NC this school year. The district couldn't tell me my salary because the General Assembly hasn't finalized a budget. I get a 6% salary supplement, but I still will be making about $10,000 less than I did up North 7 years ago. Sadly, If my husband didn't have a job that covers all our bills I would not be going back into teaching.
     
  37. lucybelle

    lucybelle Connoisseur

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    I'm not going to comment on the teaching in NC as everything has been said. But the comments about Durham being sketchy-- :eek:

    It is honestly hard for me to believe people still think Durham is "sketchy". Durham is a beautiful city. It has been named the "foodiest" small city in America and the best Southern City for restaurants this year and last year. It has a new Performing Arts center where shows from Broadway perform. It has tons of parks, lots of free outdoor entertainment, lots of diversity...

    I could go on and on. Durham is great and I love it.

    [​IMG]
     

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