I passed!!

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
I passed!!
4
Wed, 04-12-2006 - 5:28pm

I took the Middle School Social Studies Praxis last month and I passed it! I was already highly qualified in 1-5 and middle school math & science, so now I have social studies on my list. I told my principal that I'll take the Lang Arts test if I NEEDED to (but I want reimbursement if I do, but I didn't add that in).

Still no word on a position for next year, but I found out today that I can't be given a contract until June 6 (day of job fair) anyway because our school system imposes a hiring freeze from the day contracts go out until job fair. I KNEW about this, but didn't know it included those who had already signed a 1-year contract last year. I'll be going around to all of the schools in the parish tomorrow.

Alysha


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-24-2003
In reply to: alygator
Thu, 04-13-2006 - 7:26pm

Congrats, but why don't teachers who've already worked for the district get first chance at new openings? Did they reduce the number of staff members and are waiting for enrollment? Are they shifting assignments? Why do you have to wait for a job fair if there's an opening or your assignment/position continues

Sherry

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
In reply to: alygator
Thu, 04-13-2006 - 8:50pm

This is my first year teaching, so I'll tell you what I know from last year and what I know from this year, but neither may be the WHOLE truth.

First, I'm in a very "political" parish. You have to KNOW somebody and really KNOW somebody (preferably to be related to them...it's even a question on the application). You have to put a picture on your application and all of your resumes, too.

The pay here is good, the discipline is great, and the test scores are really good. The quality of education is high. The quality of MOST teachers is high. People want to teach here.

I didn't KNOW anybody. I had connections to one principal through my daughter and volunteering at her school and one principal through student teaching (that principal said I should get in in 5 to 6 YEARS!!!). So, knowing I wanted to teach here (I live here, but I'm a transplant...lol. I didn't grow up here, I didn't go to school here, and I don't have family here.), I went out and took the middle school math, science, and PLT tests because the year before I graduated, the major areas of hiring were middle school math & science (last year, though, it was SPED and foreign language...go figure).

BUT, I did get in, and had 2 more calls after I got in (all middle school...elementary I won't get until I'm tenured I'm sure). People who know that I had 3 calls are furious.

There is a hiring freeze from the day contracts go out (mid-April) until job fair (early June). They cannot officially hire anyone, but they can promise jobs. Promised jobs still have to be advertised at job fair.

As far as I know, last year, even first year teachers (who are almost ALWAYS only hired on temporary contracts..one year only), got their contracts. But this year, that is NOT the case. I have not yet been promised anything. A fellow co-worker (first year in the parish, but veteran teacher) has been promised a job, but will not get a contract until June 6. The only thing that I can see that accounts for this is the fact that the superintendent has basically put a hiring freeze on the entire parish and has said that any teacher that LEAVES (retires, resigns, whatever) will NOT be replaced. He also said that he is increasing student:teacher ratios to something like 25:1 for middle schools (well, MOST schools in the system have a higher ratio NOW, some are pushing illegal...lose one teacher and you ARE illegal in almost all of the middle schools). So, I guess THAT hiring freeze has to do with current teachers on 1-year contracts not getting a contract yet.

I'm taking the place of a teacher on sabbatical that WILL be back next year (she came in yesterday, I'm sure to sign her contract). He told me that when he hired me. However, if another math teacher decides to not come back, I'm the only one currently hired highly qualified for the position.

Teachers currently on payroll sort of have first dibs on jobs. I say "sort of" because if somebody knows somebody who just graduated, they have first dibs only because the parish is THAT political.

Job fair is a joke! Last year, there were 30 openings and almost 300 applicants that showed up (over 300 applicants that actually applied). But, if you remember what I said earlier, even the "promised" jobs have to be advertised, so very few of the job openings actually exist. And they even explain that to you when you go to the school's table for the interview...well, most of them do. A school very close to me advertised a science position that I found out much later had been promised to the sister-in-law of a current teacher and a niece or something of the librarian I think. I was offended to not even get a call back knowing that there are VERY few highly qualified middle school science people out there, but they didn't have to call anyone back...they had known who their teacher was long before school ever ended. BUT, you have to "make an appearance" at job fair. Principals will only consider those who actually showed up for positions that DO become available.

Here, tenure starts the first day of the fourth year of teaching in the same school system anywhere in the state. Tenure does NOT transfer between school systems, although retirement, sick days, and experience does.

So, to answer your question, the school system is VERY unfair when it comes to hiring. But I can't complain because I was one of the few to actually get in! I think only 3 of the students in my senior methods class actually got in to this system, but not ALL were trying, just most of them. I was the only one of the 3 that didn't have connections (one has a mom, dad, and sister in the system, the other has an aunt, several friends, and student taught at Aly's school for a principal who LOVES to hire his student teachers) and both had been students in the system. I basically bucked the system (for only $400--eye roll--cost of 3 Praxis exams) which angers quite a few "residents" trying to get in.

I am on the job search regardless. I went to all but 3 elementary and middle schools in the parish (ALL of the middle schools) today..I had already gone to one (Aly's school), I forgot about one (doesn't matter anyway...it's farther than most schools and I won't get in anyway..I'll mail them my resume' or catch them at job fair), and the other had Kindergarten registration this morning and I didn't make it back before they closed, so I'll probably hit them Tuesday after next.

The next parish over is a horrible one (#62 out of 68 school systems in the state for test scores!) and in the 3 closest "good" systems, the closest school to me is more than 45 minutes away not counting traffic or fog, both major problems where I'd have to drive (interstate or backroads along waterways). I'm going to APPLY at these, but I'm not going to the job fairs this year.

Tired of reading yet? Sorry!!

Alysha


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-24-2003
In reply to: alygator
Thu, 04-13-2006 - 9:43pm

Some of the small schools around here are somewhat like your area. In the larger cities they only hire beginners because they cost less. It helps to cite good references, and if the principal knows you, you'll usually get through the first screening. Still money is usually a greater factor than ability or connectiopns in many cases.


I think it's illegal to ask for a picture on your application. If I remember my school law correctly it's a form of discrimination because it allows prescreening based on weight or age

Sherry

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
In reply to: alygator
Thu, 04-13-2006 - 10:23pm

I kinda lied. Sure the highly qualified status got me this job, but another major factor was one of my references!!!! I put one of my professors as a reference AND she wrote a letter. My principal hired at least 3 teachers on her reference in the past 4 years! I left her on my list of references this year.

Mike (my husband) said the same thing about the picture, and he spent a good 8-9 years in positions where he could hire people.

Thanks for the thoughts & vibes...I can use all that I can get!!!

Alysha