When will things improve?

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by Galois, Feb 7, 2011.

  1. Galois

    Galois Companion

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    Feb 7, 2011

    It has been said that the demand for teachers is a cycle. Even real estate and wall street have their own. For those who are in teacher prep, subbing or for those waiting to get hired permanently, it would be great if they have some sense of when things will pick up.

    Of course, nobody knows the future. However, economic forecasting is based on the past. For those who have been there before (meaning they also were in bad times and then it changed) you have some sense of the cycle.

    So this is the question: when do you think things will improve and why?
     
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  3. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Feb 7, 2011

    Great question! As I was on my sofa watching Oprah this morning (American shows always make me nostalgic) I asked myself the same question. I can't help with this answer, but I hope someone here can.
     
  4. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    Not to be a debbie downer, but I think it will be quite awhile. Many many years. The problem is that every year there are hundreds of thousands of teachers that aren't getting hired. The next year, those same teachers are still looking for work on top of all the teachers from the year before, teachers that got laid off, and new graduates. I think it's only going to get worse for a long time. And it seems the "general public" doesn't realize how bad the job market is for teachers right now. When I had a hard time getting a job out of college, many people couldn't believe it because "we really need teachers right now." Maybe once people finally realize what is happening, less and less people will choose to be education majors- finally clearing the way for people that have been waiting for jobs. If that happens and the economy goes back up and stabilizes (who knows when that will happen) there may be more jobs out there. I just don't think it looks good though. In my home state, teaching jobs were extremely hard to come by BEFORE the economy tanked. I remember my fresman year of highschool (About 10 years ago) my dad read me this article in the paper about how there were an average of 150 applicants for every elementary teaching job in the area. At the time that sounded horrible- and now the applicant numbers are up in the thousands.
     
  5. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Feb 7, 2011

    Do you have any statistics on the "hundreds of thousands of teachers" who are unemployed? That number seems excessively high, although it could be accurate. I really don't know.
     
  6. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

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    Feb 7, 2011

    In my state we had cutbacks last year, are enduring them again this year, and are being told it will get worse the next 2 to 3 years.
     
  7. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

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    I don't know what to believe...

    I am EXTREMELY interested in this topic, since I'll be graduating with my K-6 credential and Master's degree in December of this year!

    I am in California, and it's been getting progressively worse here for the past 5 or 6 years...layoffs, hiring freezes, etc. began at that time. I remember in 2006 hearing about stacks of applications for one job opening...and now it is MUCH worse. I keep thinking it cannot POSSIBLY get any worse in this state...

    Today, I did a little Google search on this for my state, and came up with a Northern CA article that talked about there being lots of jobs by 2015 because of teachers retiring...apparently the average age of a teacher in this particular area is very high. I don't actually live in the area they were talking about, but I'd be willing to relocate in 4 years if that's actually true!

    However, I've been hearing so much about this "thousands of teachers will be retiring soon, blah blah blah" stuff for so many years that I'm having a hard time believing it anymore....:unsure:
     
  8. shouldbeasleep

    shouldbeasleep Enthusiast

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    Feb 7, 2011

    There are six of us baby boomers at our school who are retiring within the next five years. My brother will be out in two years. Sister-in-law in Florida has two to go. And we're expensive to have on hand. So I imagine they'll be offering an incentive to retire early soon.

    My guess is five years.
     
  9. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Feb 7, 2011

    I agree that it will be a while (although this is just a guess for me). I think it will get worse before better. But, I guess we do what we have to.
     
  10. Kangaroo22

    Kangaroo22 Virtuoso

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    Feb 8, 2011

    I don't think things in my state (New York) will improve any time soon. Even in good times there was a glut of teachers here and many of the mass retirements happened seemed to have been done five years ago as teachers in "Tier One" of the retirement system reached their 30 years of service. If you look at many schools here most teachers seem to be 45 or younger (with many being younger).

    Also more teachers will be waiting to retire, because subsequent "tiers" of the retirement system while still good aren't as good as "Tier One" and so many people saw their savings go down in the recession. Teachers are also very well compensated here so there may be less teachers that leave for other professions. Also, here the population is decreasing which of course means less teachers are necessary.

    I do think that getting a teaching job is very doable in other parts of the country if you really work at it. One example that comes to mind is Northern Virginia, but there is no where like there used to be that you can just move and expect to have a job waiting for you like you could five or so years ago.
     
  11. shouts

    shouts Companion

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    Feb 8, 2011

    I think those numbers are inflated, as people are leaving teaching all the time, so.... perhaps a couple of years to get back to former levels.

    Many people looking for teaching jobs shouldn't be teachers (do you really think every graduate will make a quality teacher), so there should be competition for positions.

    I know that for special ed., science, math, language, there is much less competition.
     
  12. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Feb 8, 2011

    I think that checking district report cards is a great way to start looking for a job. Find a district with very high average years, probably some teachers near retirement. Or find a district with very low average years, probably lots of turn over. Just another way to narrow down the search.

    I know that many teachers are retiring for many reasons, but right now, most of these jobs are being eliminated so as not to let anyone go. But eventually, states will realize that larger class sizes aren't the way to go and money will be back in education. Keep checking the stock market, housing market, unemployment rate, and other economic indicators, when these start to turn around, so will the teacher hiring rates!
     
  13. Galois

    Galois Companion

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    Feb 8, 2011

    Mopar, what great indicators. In a way we can use a formula, a regression analysis (like what economists use in forecasting economic indicators):

    Y = X1 + X2 + X3 + . . . + Xn

    where Y can be the demand for teachers (dependent variable), X1 = student pop, X2 = teacher pop, X3 - teacher age, X4 = GDP/GNP growth, X5 - etc. and you can narrow this down to each district. This can also be part of a thesis.

    I'll be back later. Thanks for all your responses.
     
  14. TeachSoCal

    TeachSoCal Rookie

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    Feb 8, 2011

    Yes all through school we were told about this mystical "retirement wave" that has never happened :(

    When I was looking for information on teaching jobs I found an interesting study (can't remember where) that said in CA the number of people in credentialing programs has dropped significantly. Mostly because the employment forecast is so grim. Also many people give up looking for a teaching job after a couple years so that factor thins the ranks. This study said that all these factors may mean the job opportunities may get better for teachers in CA but it will take a few years.

    I noticed that retirement age teachers at my school are not going anywhere. Most because their retirement accounts took such a hit that they need a couple years to contribute & rebuild. But I would say at my main school 25-30% are at retirement age.
     
  15. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Feb 8, 2011

    I know that in my daughter's district, they are giving teachers near retirement a $1000 incentive to retire this year. They will not be filling those positions with outside applicants. They are also giving $200 for teachers who give their notice before a certain date. They will be moving teachers around within the district to account for any positions vacated by retiring teachers or those that are leaving.
     
  16. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    Feb 11, 2011

    My friend works at an elementary school that got 3,400 applicants for one job in our very small city. One of my parent's districts got over 5,000 applications for a few kindergarten jobs. Only 3 people in my college program got jobs this year, and our program was really good. We student taught in every grade we're licensed in starting our freshman year. Anyone would have had a good resume even if they didn't do much outside of school. If our small city is getting that many applicants for one job, multiply that by everywhere else in the country. No, I don't have exact stats for the whole country, but it's obviously pretty bad when we have thousands of unemployed teachers just in our city with districts making more and more cuts every year.
     
  17. CanukTeach

    CanukTeach Companion

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    Feb 11, 2011

    Honestly, I don't forsee hiring ever being as good in Canada as it was 15 years ago for several reasons. I'd say in 10 years it might start to improve.

    1 - Demographics have changed. Student populations are going down. We don't have another "boomer" generation to come through the system. Even the children of the boomers is just an "echo boom" which is much smaller. So in Ontario, all but 3 boards have had declining enrolement for the past 5ish years and it is anticipated to continue for at least another 10 years before it levels off (not increases just levels!). When I did my teaching placements about 10 years ago I remember everyone sayiing the forecasts for decreasing enrolement were nuts but they were completely spot on.

    2 - The number of grads continues to climb. In a poor economy, schools can earn tons by increasing the number of students in the program. So the number of teacher programs continues to climb and the number of students per program continues to climb. So more teachers for less jobs.

    3 - The economy doesn't help as it leads to higher class sizes.

    That said, good teachers who persevere will get jobs eventually but it is a long time coming. I got a job 2 days after I graduated. I'm in my 6th year and my mortgage is almost paid off. Now teachers in their 3rd or 4th year are still supplying or have about 0.33 of a contract. Here at least it is going to get a lot worse before it gets better.
     
  18. John Lee

    John Lee Groupie

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    Feb 11, 2011

    I'm pretty much +1 on what waterfall says here. There is a more than a small part of me that thinks (and maybe even hopes) that the non-stop cuts to education will result in a fundamental collapse, such that real and positive change will be forced to occur... as opposed to BS we're currently subjected to (as measures to address new budget)
     
  19. SCTeachInTX

    SCTeachInTX Fanatic

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    Feb 12, 2011

    I think the real changes will happen when teachers finally stop letting themselves be subjected to the whims of politicians. NCLB has had a devastating effect on education. When are we going to admit that there are some kids that do struggle and instead of pushing them forward and accommodating their needs to the point that they no longer have a real standard to live up to... get them the real help to live up to their true potential and give them LIFE SKILLS so that they are productive citizens when they are no longer in school. We have to get proactive instead of waiting for politicians to keep telling US what we need to do to help children become successful life long learners.
     
  20. nasimi77

    nasimi77 Groupie

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    Feb 12, 2011

    SCTeachInTX: I couldn't agree with you more. I would say a good number of teachers feel the way you do; I know I do. However, I know that I personally feel overwhelmed with just doing the job of teacher, and mainly, doing it well, and to the best of my ability. Yes, let's stop allowing politicians to tell us what to do. But what does that really LOOK like on a practical level? I sometimes think it's an overwhelming thought to confront the "powers that be". It shouldn't be, but I know many times I feel the same frustrations you mentioned on just passing our kids through and not really meeting their needs at face value. Just the amount of tests alone our kids have to take seems ridiculous to me. But I digress.....I think other than running for political office myself, I don't know how to change this system of education that at times; minus the good intentions and hard work of the teachers, seems corrupt and selfish, only concerned with filling their expanding deep pockets.
     
  21. teachntexas

    teachntexas Rookie

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    Feb 13, 2011

    What language?
     
  22. teachntexas

    teachntexas Rookie

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    Feb 13, 2011

    Education policy

    I totally agree with you, but I don't see how teachers can deal with this without some serious national lobbying and/or PR effort. I came to teaching from another profession and have been ASTONISHED at how much misinformation is out there regarding education. People outside of education still believe the carp that the state-mandated testing is *simple,* and kids really don't even need to be *taught* how to succeed on them if teachers are already "doing their jobs." (Wow.)

    With all the political mutations education policy has to go through in order to get a good idea to become a reality, I can't see how any good idea is going to come to fruition in a form actually resembling itself. In other words, I don't see how anything ever gets passed that makes any sense at all with regard to education because of the ridiculous amount of politics it's subjected to along the way. I would be surprised to see any reform that makes any sense take place -- ever -- because of that.

    On top of that, what it seems Americans DO respond to is their pocketbooks. Since the top 5% of this country seems intent on privatizing everything that can possibly be privatized, and they have the money to buy the politicians and convince everyone else it's best for them, I think that's going to happen before meaningful and positive reform of public education.

    What this will mean is that costs will be downsized and profits will become the driving force -- resulting in the teaching "profession" going the way of the dodo bird, just like every other "profession" that could figure out a way to avoid paying the professionals.

    Sorry for the cynicism. :beatdeadhorse:
     
  23. teachntexas

    teachntexas Rookie

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    Feb 13, 2011

    Would you mind telling the general part of the country you are in?
     
  24. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Feb 13, 2011

    There's a pretty strong demand for Spanish teachers in my district. I imagine that's true in many parts of the country.
     
  25. SCTeachInTX

    SCTeachInTX Fanatic

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    Well, I for one am tired of politicians telling me the best practices for teaching children. As an inclusion teacher, I can tell you that my kids need some old school teaching. They need the rote so that they understand (finally) the process of what they are being TOLD to do. I have my sped kids leaving and getting on instruction that will in no way help them to pass a state mandated test. Their curriculum is SO watered down so that they can keep a C grade that it cannot even be considered on grade level. The parents think their children are making progress because their grades are inflated because of the excessive accommodations. We need to stop treating children like they need to have met a certain standard by a certain age. I know many 2nd graders that are reading on a 4th/5th grade level. Why are we holding them back because of their age? I know several 3rd/4th graders reading on a 1st/2nd grade level. It is time to let kids grow in the areas where they excel, and help students on their level when they need extra instruction. It is not a crime to have a learning disability people. What is a crime is not DOING something to help the student find success. Pushing them forward because they are a certain age is not the answer. Does that mean that I think that we should retain them? NO! What I am saying is meet them at their level wherever they are in a multi-age setting so that they are not EXPECTED to be able to do certain things by a certain age. Get rid of stupid tests that test all kids in the same way. Look at student growth over time instead. Are they progressing? Are they continuing to grow as readers, writers, mathematicians, scientists and historians? Can they articulate how these skills will help them in life? And if they are gifted in a certain area, provide them with the tools that they need to excel. If they are struggling academically, give them a skill that they can use in the real world when their time in our ageist school system comes to an end. Perhaps they could learn some skills as a chef, or a beautician, or a mechanic. Kids could make a really good living if we help them to find the life skills that they excel in when the academic world is not working for them. Think about it... And I am sure that someone will slam me, but I truly care about kids and WANT to see them find success in whatever arena that they have a personal aptitude for. How would all this look? I think I just laid it out. Who would fund this? Well, therein lies the problem...
     
  26. Tutor

    Tutor Comrade

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    Feb 15, 2011

    I graduated in 1992 and they told us that within 5 years there would be a big hiring boom. Then 5 years later when it didn't happen, they said in another 5 years, etc...ff to 2005 when I started my licensure work for special ed, they said spec ed teachers were in hot demand...not so much. So to answer the op's question...I don't think thing will improve. I know in NE Ohio we have a lot of colleges pumping out education majors. There are way more graduates than jobs. I think until the colleges limit the number of teacher candidates there will always be a glut on the market. imho...
     
  27. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    Sure, that was in Ohio. I don't live there anymore- I had to move across the country to teach. The market is a bit better here- my district got only an average of 500 applicants for each job. However, this is quite a difficult and expensive place to live (and teacehrs are not compensated to match the cost of living)- I don't really want to say my exact current location online :)

    My district is also expected to lose over 100 teachers this year.
     
  28. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    I'm from OH also...I totally agree with what you said here. There are TONS of colleges here graduating more and more people with education degrees, when the previous graduating class is still jobless. I'm a special ed. teacher and I was told I'd have no problem finding a job in the location of my choice- WRONG. I think people said "special ed. is the one area you can still find a job" for so long that everyone started majoring in it. I got a few interviews for sped in OH- but it turned out that what these districts were listing as "mild/moderate intervention specialist" jobs were all things like self-contained classrooms for kids with emotional-behavior disturbances- something I was neither trained or interested in (interviewers kept telling me it was fine because of the "moderate" part of my license). I never even got a single interview for a job in OH that was just an actual mild/moderate intervention specialist opening. I'm now teaching out west.
     
  29. McKennaL

    McKennaL Groupie

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    Feb 17, 2011

    At my second job... I work with teenagers going off to college. There are a few of them thinking of getting into education. I, and another teacher who works there, feel that we oew it to them to at least TELL them what life is like out there for teachers.

    We aren't trying to ruin dreams... but *I* sure would have liked to know (if when I was originally in college) if getting a job was THIS tough (to impossible).

    At least it gives them the KNOWLEDGE. Then - if they are at college and have even a little doubt, they can change their minds in time - or talk to counselors and get the REAL outlook (not the rosey ones that they tell the college applicants just to keep their coffers full - which I SWEAR is the reason that colleges of education are VERY much to blame for the fate of MANY MANY unemployed teachers these days).

    **

    And as the previous posters are saying... I was one of the top in my class. I won the university's female student of the year award (the only one from the college of education). I was told that of all those in my cohort that *I* was most likely to be hired.... that was nearly 3 years ago...and nothing.
     
  30. MATgrad

    MATgrad Groupie

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    Feb 18, 2011

    I have told my story many times on the job seekers board but I am in Florida. I graduated during the crazy boom time just before the market went bust. It still took many, many interviews to get a job. We are on year 3 of some rough times and the colleges keep pumping out teachers plus with all the reductions coming I think it will be worse this year for anyone looking. I'm even nervous about keeping my job. I really shouldn't be since I do have some seniority. I don't see it getting better for a LONG time. Sad but true.
     
  31. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

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    Feb 19, 2011

    As someone who is currently IN a teacher prep program...

    I am in CA, where there is no B.A. in education, and the credential is an additional year or more on top of a B.A. I'm currently in a K-6 multiple subject credential program. My university has downsized their credential program significantly, partially due to less people applying, and partially due to budget cuts hitting universities, as well!

    I had to really count the cost of entering a credential program last year, when I was a senior in college. Was it worth it to enter a program, knowing I would probably have to wait years after graduating to get a classroom teaching job?

    I decided it was. Teaching kids is my calling and my passion, and whether I have to sub, work as a para, work in after school programs, work in a preschool (side note: preschool teachers make a pitiful wage here) or some combination of these, I'm going to do it. I just try to have faith and hope that it will get better eventually. Sometimes there are little glimmers of hope, even in CA - one of my friends got her credential last May (2010), when things were the absolute WORST they have ever been here, and she is currently teaching 1st grade at a private Christian school. I'm trying to hold on to positive stories like that one.

    McKenna - I think it's good that you're telling high schoolers the truth about what they'll have to face. They will need to count the cost, just like I did towards the end of college.
     
  32. porque_pig

    porque_pig Comrade

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    Feb 19, 2011


    I sincerely hope that's still the case in a few months!
     
  33. Emily Bronte

    Emily Bronte Groupie

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    Feb 19, 2011

    I think that what McKenna says about too many students in ed. schools is partly true. I had a friend go to grad school for higher education administration, and she echoed what McKenna has infered about keeping coffers full at many a college and/or university. There just are not enough jobs out there even in good times.
     
  34. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

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    Feb 20, 2011

    Yeah, I keep hearing that "there are jobs in Special Ed, Science and Math!" speech...but I just don't think it's true anymore, especially where I am. Maybe they're only getting 1,000 applications per job instead of 5,000...

    I just wish university teacher prep programs (including mine) didn't candy coat things so much. I understand the realities because I've worked in schools, my mom is a teacher, and I keep up with current events in education. My own views of the state of education are much different than what I am told in my program. Oh well, reality will hit everyone eventually, I guess.
     
  35. Galois

    Galois Companion

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    Feb 23, 2011

    After talking to a teacher who was hired, along with 50 others, eight
    (8) years ago when the districts have money from property taxes, I can make a good prediction that districts will be hiring teachers again when they have money. It is simplistic but that is the reality of things, you cannot give what you don't have.

    On the other hand, my district rehired the teachers they laid off because of an increase in student population. Now all these will keep us thinking. When will districts have money again? What is the rate of increase of student population?
     
  36. John Lee

    John Lee Groupie

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    Feb 23, 2011

    :spitwater: Thanks for the sage prediction! (Sarcasm: don't take it personal :p) Care to predict when this would happen?
     
  37. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    Feb 27, 2011

    I think that for every debbie downer out there saying there are no jobs, there is a job right around the corner that you never expected. You just have to be looking for it, you have to be good at networking and you have to be willing to take a job that may not have been your #1 choice in your #1 location.

    I never, ever thought after finishing school in December that I'd be hired for a teaching job (not a sub, an actual open position) mid way through the year in this economy. But I got an interview and now I'm starting tomorrow. It's not my ideal grade level but I'm definitely excited and already realizing all the positives about teaching 4th rather than 1st or 2nd which I really would have loved.

    I know I'm extremely lucky but I actually went on 2 other interviews in January, 1 for a long term subbing position another for a full time job. I'm just telling those of you out there looking or graduating in May to stay positive, something will come along.
     
  38. Mellz Bellz

    Mellz Bellz Comrade

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    Feb 28, 2011

    I think it really depends on where you are. It is definitely bad all over, but it's only recently began to get bad in some states, whereas others it has been an ongoing problem.

    Take me for example. I was living in NY which has had an overabundance of teachers from pretty much the minute I started college. I know that in my old district in NY they had offered a big retirement package about 8 years ago, but a lot of those positions were filled with bilingual certified teachers. For a while the big thing was go get Rosetta Stone and learn Spanish and get your bilingual extension. I chose not to do this because I just could not imagine myself being comfortable teaching in another language. Well, by the time I graduated anyway and started subbing in 2007, the economy was already slowly heading down the toilet and then many of those bilingual teachers were let go. Each year it got worse and worse and more positions were cut. A lot of our consultant positions were now gone and those teachers were put back in the classroom. It trickled down to the subs to where I all of a sudden found myself being one of like 250 per diem elementary subs in my district and only getting two days of work a week.

    I went to school at a college that was very well known for their teaching program and were one of the first in the area to offer a dual certification program in Elementary and Sp Ed Birth-6th. The problem was that once word got out that this was THE school to go to if you wanted to teach, every potential teacher flocked there and the college began to mass produce teachers. Soon even having a Special Ed degree meant nothing because EVERYONE had the same qualifications.

    I finally got fed up with NY and was ready to quit teaching altogether because quite frankly I was broke, had no way to pay my bills, and was in desperate need of health insurance. Then my friends husband who had done the smart thing and moved down to NC after graduating and was now very happily teaching 5th grade, informed me that a Sp ed position had opened up in his building and urged me to apply. At that point I figured I had nothing left to lose so I gave it a shot. Now almost 6 months later I'm living down here in my own apartment (I would've been living in NY with my parents until I was well into my 30's) and I have a job. Is it my dream job? No, but it's a lot better than praying that the phone rings every morning so that I can afford to make my car payment this month and having to wait tables for extra cash. Things aren't perfect, but they are a lot better and I think it'll take some time for things to settle down.

    Anyway I know I am digressing here, but even in NC they are talking major teacher lay offs. (And NC used to be the place all us NYers flocked to for jobs.) My district did hire about 25 new teachers this year. Out of that only four including me are elementary and I'm the only Sp ed. The rest of the positions are middle school and high school. I think there are about 4 or 5 of us that are Special ed. Today we had a workshop that all the new teachers had to attend and we were told by the head of personnel that they are going to try not to lose any of us, but we will probably be shuffled around next year to compensate for teachers that are retiring, resigning, etc. I think that being Special Ed I will be safe, but you never know. I guess it helps that I'm in a rural area. Still, I'm just about the youngest in my building. There are two or three other teachers my age, but they've been teaching at least 3 years now. I don't believe that we have anyone really near retirement age either.
     

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