Sunday, March 04, 2007

Getting Certified

Lately, I've been going through the process of trying to get a job for next year. Although I said yes on my letter of intent with JPS, the principal knows that I probably won't be coming back next year. Recently, I've been checking out my options for teaching in other places.
At first, I was looking to teach in a private school in NYC or Miami. I even found a diversity teacher fair for private schools in the state of New York. I signed up and got my plane ticket. At the same time, I was using Carney Sandoe and Associates (a placement agency) to help with nationwide private school teacher vacancies. In researching employment possibilities at private schools, I have found that placement agencies are an essential element. This is because private schools, especially the more prestigious ones, don't typically post all of their vacancies to the general public. They use the agencies, which are paid by the individual schools, to find good candidates for them. So from what I understand, you're not really going to have a good shot at employment unless there is an agency vouching for you and your abilities. In addition, it is apparently harder for teachers with less experience to get jobs in private schools.
I was pursuing the private school route because I thought it would lead to a teaching position where I wouldn't really have to worry about excessive behavior problems. In addition, my hands would not be tied by what, how, and when a school district wants me to teach things. Plus, no state testing.
After several weeks of this, I realized that my heart is in public schools. While I would love to teach in a great school, that's not why I originally joined Mississippi Teacher Corps. Ultimately, I realized that I love teaching in public schools. I feel that I have a greater impact on the students, because most of the students at good private schools are probably going to succeed and go to a great college with or without my help. I appreciate private schools and the opportunities that they provide, but everyone isn't privileged enough to have that kind of education--and I want to help those who aren't born with that silver spoon.
After reaching the conclusion that I want to teach in public schools, I had to decide between NYC and Miami. While New York City is supposedly the greatest city in America, I have wanted to move to Miami since the 9th grade. Because of this, I chose Miami. I've sent in all my materials for a temporary 3 yr license in the state of Florida (this was a pretty easy process). However, now I'm dealing with the paperwork for Miami-Dade County Public Schools. There is a mountain of paperwork, and I haven't really seen that many vacancies available for an English teacher. It's weird because last year JPS posted roughly 20, and M-DCPS is the 4th largest district in the U.S. I've only seen roughly 10 vacancies, but maybe it's still a bit early. Anyway, I'm trying my hardest to get a job there. If I do, I'm definitely gonna rub it in when its 75 degrees in January and Brian (NYC), Joel (Boston), and others are trying to reach 32 degrees. I can't wait!


Anonymous Rhoda said...

Good post.

7:53 PM  

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