Skip to main content

View Diary: My Recent Adventures in Job-Hunting Land (59 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  These days, I'm not sure I'd want to be entering (10+ / 0-)

    public school teaching, given the attacks on public sector employees that have become all too commonplace since 1981.

    Truth in advertising: I did try to get a teaching job with the LAUSD teaching English iin high school. Apparently, the No Child Left Behind program required LAUSD to only hire ceritifed teachers, even though I have an M.A. in English. So I never got beyond the application stage and taking this qualifying test called the CBEST.

    But thank you for your support. Used to be a shop steward in a galaxy far away and long, long ago, so I'm always supportive of labor.

    •  An MA in English will not help you teach school (8+ / 0-)

      I was in a similar situation and it was a disaster. English is a hard subject to teach, andmost of the teaching is unrelated to anything you did in grad school. Hint; you won't be dissecting Moby Dick or Finnegan's Wake in a public school classroom.

      •  Get your teacher cert and you are gold. (5+ / 0-)

        Your degree qualifies you to take the teachers cert exam, it does not guarantee it. Expect to take it twice. If you pass it in one go, congratulations are due.

        And then, you can get one of those $#!tt^ substitute teacher jobs. But it's better than living in a cardboard box. And you can always list it on your resume.

        CBEST is one hard test, best wishes.

        •  Not these days, you can't (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          PeterHug

          I have seven years of subbing experience under my belt and couldn't even get a call back in the Chicago area this year. So many full-time teachers have been laid off, they've taken all the subbing gigs.

          "The great lie of democracy, its essential paradox, is that democracy is the first to be sacrificed when its security is at risk. Every state is totalitarian at heart; there are no ends to the cruelty it will go to to protect itself." -- Ian McDonald

          by Geenius at Wrok on Thu Jul 26, 2012 at 07:00:59 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Well, I didn't plan on teaching Moby Dick (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        glorificus, Vatexia, llywrch

        or Finnegan's Wake. Maybe 'Bartleby' and "Araby' would be more appropriate for high-school students. Definitely 'Billy Budd' and "The Dead".

        I actually think works by authors like Robert Cormier ("The Chocolate Wars") are way more age appropriate for the high-school cohort. But that's just me and the resentment I remember from being forced to trudge through Silas Marner as a HS Junior.

        Now that I've got my name dropping out of the way, the funny thing was that LAUSD ran an ad in the LA Times saying no certification was necessary. After investing many hours in the application process, taking and passing the CBEST and jumping thorugh other hoops, I found out that, thanks to NCLB, schools in LAUSD that received federal funds were required to hire certified teachers only. In other words, LAUSD ran an ad that was wrong on its surface.

        N.B. That was not the union's doing. UTLA had nothing to do with the genius moves of the LAUSD's management.

        •  almost all public schools require certification (0+ / 0-)

          as well they should. Most states allow some form of alternate route where you can earn certification while teaching. I don't agree with this; I want teaching to be on a level with law and medicine, or any other profession ( you can't practice social work without a license in most states, but you can teach school????) Also i went thru one of these alternate route programs and honestly, they do not prepare you. There are post-master's certification programs out there aplenty; you need a job and a person with an MA in English has lots to offer kids. You can get a job in most states if you pass the state certification test and work under some kind of alternate route certification process. If you only have to take the subject exam, like in NJ, don't worry you will pass the English exam with no problem. If you are required to take the elementary exam ( for some reason some states require this of everyone ) this is harder because it will have material you may not have seen since grade school and you won't remember it.Getting a job in education is time consuming and will simply not happen overnight. Further, the jobs open for people like yourself are invariably in places most fully certified teachers won't go. That's why they hire alternate route teachers. And, frankly, you probably won't like it, not because of the kids, who will be challenging, butbecause of everyone else; the administrators, the politicians, the newspaper editors, the parents ( some of whom will thank you and others who will blame you; don't expect some feckless administrator to take your side unless his own ass is on the line ). Still, it used to be a stable job with a pension and benefits. Both repubs and dems are trying to end that too. And they are largely succeeding. By the way Bartleby would still be too hard for most of the kids you'll encounter. Think more in terms of Steinbeck and Bradbury. But no matter, you will be told what to teach anyway, so don't even worry about that. Mostly, you would be doing writing promps for standardized testing prep, and reading short passages for comprehension. That's what it has come to.

          •  I think I would love it because of the kids (and (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            hoof32, leftangler, llywrch

            colleagues) and hate it because of the adminsitration and politictians. You may be correct about 'Bartleby,' as I had students in college not get it (all Business majors, I might add :)

            I totally dig what you're saying (altho your paragraphing skills could use some practice :) The LAUSD ran an ad for teachers saying 'No Certification Required' and I got sucked into their maw via that ad. Turns out certification was most definitely required.

            One of the hoops required me to 'observe' some high school English classes. I selected a very middle-of-the-road high school in Westwood, CA and both teachers there whose classes I observed told me they hated that NCLB had them exclusively teaching to the test. (Well, the classes I observed they were not, but both were excellent teachers and would not be without constantly rebelling against mindless authority.) In short, I loved the students I observed and was absolutely blown away by the teachers.

            I go back on forth on the certification requirement thing. I can't tell you the number of friends I had who started down the certification route only to abandon it in disgust due to the 'advanced basket weaving' nature of some of the initial coursework. These were friends who (I think) would have made wonderful teachers. That said, I totally understand your point about teaching as a profession and the need for professional licensing requirements. As I say, I go back and forth.

            But thank you for responding. I can tell you are very engaged.

            •  think of my paragraphs as (0+ / 0-)

              stream of consciousness...:) good luck and I'd love to know how it works out for you. I left teaching a decade ago to pursue a masters in social work; i still work in the schools, and I like to think I make a difference. if you are serious, why not check out some of the better post certification programs ( you can do this even if you have an offer of a job ) i'm sure UCLA and other major schools have engaging programs. Rutgers and College of NJ have good ones here in NJ, with Columbia Teachers across the river. if you are tech savvy as well, you'd be surprised how much the schools would want you around.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site