Author Topic: Case Study: poor school teacher...  (Read 21904 times)

kmb501

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Case Study: poor school teacher...
« on: January 31, 2015, 12:18:18 PM »
Hi Mustachians,

Most of my family subscribes to the ideal of frugality and savings and have retired at a pretty decent age. I on the other hand have yet to blossom. In fact, I manage to spend almost all of my income every month. Before you chide me for my lack of frugality, let me explain. I'm a recent college graduate with a master's in Education, but I have yet to find a job. I've been substitute teaching to make ends meet and keep my apartment. What should I do if I want to save money? I was thinking about moving back in with my relatives, but they do not live close to where I work, and I don't know what my chances would be looking for work in another state. I would like a job that does more than keep the bills paid, but that's all this one does.

Here's a brief list of my expenses:

Rent = $500 per month
Internet = $40 per month
Phone = $50 per month
Car Insurance = $90 per month
Food = $100 per month
Gas and transportation = $150 per month

Grand Total = $930

I make about $900-$1200 dollars at my sub job, and I put in 4-6 hours per week as a volunteer teacher at the community center.

I don't really know how to solve this problem. I would like to cut my expenses as much as possible, but really the only thing I can do is look for another job. Unfortunately, that might be a bit more complicated than I first thought. I'm not very good with kids, even though I have all of the teacher training; I was recently diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, so my lack of social connection may be more difficult to overcome than I first assumed. 
« Last Edit: February 23, 2015, 07:18:13 AM by kmb501 »

mustachianteacher

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Re: poor school teacher...
« Reply #1 on: January 31, 2015, 12:55:33 PM »
Hello! I teach too. :-) Can you give us some more information? Which state do you live in? What kind of credential do you have, and what kind of position are you looking for?

My first thought was that those 4-6 hours spend volunteering can probably be used more lucratively IF you're willing to branch out a bit. In my district, for example, long-term subs make about 30% more per day than day-to-day subs. Have you reached out to the secretaries (or whoever helps line up subs at schools in your area) to let them know you're available for long-term subbing?

If you aren't finding positions in your field, have you thought about Special Ed or adult education? I've been teaching for 16 years, and I've seen the following pattern play out over and over: A young teacher gets a job for a year, and then gets laid off due to budget cuts. Said teacher subs while taking some classes to get certified in SpEd, reapplies for a position in SpEd, and suddenly, they're 100% secure and can take their pick of positions available. Math and Science teachers, especially at the secondary level are a hot commodity around here too.

MoneyCat

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Re: poor school teacher...
« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2015, 01:26:43 PM »
I also work as a schoolteacher, so I know how hard it can be to save money on that kind of salary.  When I was starting out before I got my current job, I switched from renting an apartment to renting a room I found over Craigslist.  This saved me nearly $1000/mo in the area where I live.  A friend of mine who was also subbing started her own business selling homemade soaps on Etsy and that brought in hundreds of dollars in extra income for her each month.  If you have (or can develop) a crafting skill like that, you could earn more to put away in savings.

NV Teacher

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Re: poor school teacher...
« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2015, 01:27:34 PM »
If you are willing to move, Clark County School District (think Las Vegas and rural southern NV) currently has around 600 open positions.  The district expects to have 2500 open positions they will need to fill for year.  The starting salary with a masters is a bit over $42,000 and the cost of living is reasonable.  Plus there is no state income tax.  I'm finishing up my twenty-first year and still enjoying my job.

Red Beard

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Re: poor school teacher...
« Reply #4 on: January 31, 2015, 01:43:18 PM »
Somewhat echoing the post above - a fairly large portion of the country is beginning to go through what could turn out to be a long term teacher shortage. If there are no full time jobs in your area you should look elsewhere. A lot of places will do a majority of application/interviews/sample lesson reviews online, which takes the risk out of applying in a new city.

dandarc

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Re: poor school teacher...
« Reply #5 on: January 31, 2015, 01:53:20 PM »
+1 more to willingness to relocate being the key.

Zette

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Re: poor school teacher...
« Reply #6 on: January 31, 2015, 01:58:01 PM »
Dyslexia tutors make around $50 per session.  You could purchase the first 3 levels of Barton Reading (a very reputable program for dyslexia, intended for 1:1 tutoring), begin offering tutoring services (that would gross about $400 per month per student), and eventually become a certified tutor, and build up a very good practice.

Paul der Krake

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Re: poor school teacher...
« Reply #7 on: January 31, 2015, 02:09:06 PM »
I don't have any advice regarding teaching jobs, but I am surprised that no one has pointed out that you are spending about 7% of your take home on a cellphone.

Bicycle_B

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Re: poor school teacher...
« Reply #8 on: January 31, 2015, 02:41:11 PM »
Republic Wireless can cut cost to $10 per month or so for cell phone.  Search Mr. MM's posts for the one(s) on phone service as a shortcut to researching your options.

I also second the special ed recommendation.  My sister specialized in that and is always in demand. 


MrsPete

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Re: poor school teacher...
« Reply #9 on: January 31, 2015, 03:47:56 PM »
First, have you taken advantage of any job placement services offered by your college?
Spring is coming soon, and colleges will be hosting teacher fairs. 
Are you sending applications (along with copies of your lesson plans and recommendations) to individual schools that interest you? 
Every time you go out to a sub job, are you making contact with the principal to let him know you're looking for a job? 
Are you networking with teacher-friends who might know of jobs coming available? 

It's going to be summer in about 10 minutes, so lots of kid-places will be looking for workers, and teachers are prime candidates for those jobs:  YMCA and other summer camps, tutoring places, and other kid programs.

As for your relatives not living near where you work, let's be truthful:  You don't have a job.  You're going in as a sub.  They need subs where your relatives live too. 


Christof

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Re: poor school teacher...
« Reply #10 on: January 31, 2015, 04:05:07 PM »
I was thinking about moving back in with my relatives, but they do not live close to where I work, and I don't know what my chances would be looking for work in another state. I would like a job that does more than keep the bills paid, but that's all this one does.

You, too, seem not to live close to where you work, or why do you spend 20-30% of your income on a car. Move somewhere where you can walk, bike or take a scooter and sell the car.

If you don't know what your chances are in another state, go and find out. Ask teacher, schools, organizations, apply for jobs, etc. Most people want to help, but you have to ask them.

gaja

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Re: poor school teacher...
« Reply #11 on: January 31, 2015, 04:17:28 PM »
I don't know the regulations in your area, but can you teach/sub at a different level? Here it is much easier to get work at the junior higschools, than at the high schools. Also, as others mentioned, it is possible to get assignments both day and night, weekends and holidays, if you consider teaching adults or tutoring someone.

kmb501

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Re: poor school teacher...
« Reply #12 on: January 31, 2015, 05:19:40 PM »
Thank you for all of the replies. I think it's clear that I need to try a different area. I don't know how to relocate, and I'm sort of new to supporting myself, though. I got into a bad habit of living off of student loans and letting how the kids treated me affect how much I worked as a sub when I was still in college. I'm regretting that I didn't take the frugal person's route, but I still see it as very difficult to get a job that pays well. I see people around me who have jobs that pay well, but no one has offered me one. I've gotten a lot of training, and I have a great resume. No one seems to be interested, though. I survived college and kept really good grades, but this experience is different. I'm afraid that I might go on like this for years if I don't start doing something different.

I'm also a bit leery of people. I really find myself just trying to stay out of their way. My last couple of interviews did not turn out great. I wasn't able to control the classes.   

kmb501

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Re: poor school teacher...
« Reply #13 on: January 31, 2015, 05:37:03 PM »
I'm guessing my first step would be to make a list of my job options and go through and apply for those one-by-one. Sorry if I seem a bit needy, but could someone suggest the options that come to mind? I know I need to get some books on specialized teaching, like for SpEd and Dyslexia. I could also apply to be an online teacher, and I could interview via Skype for jobs in other states.

There are a few things I need to do:

Get some teaching competence
. To be honest, I don't feel like I know a lot about the kind of teaching my district requires. The only teaching I've done was directly out of a teacher's edition of a textbook. I didn't make up my own stuff. I incorporated it into the lessons here and there, but I admit that I would have been totally lost if I would have had to make up my own material. My lessons don't flow when I make my own things up. I skip several steps because I think they are common sense, and then I'm bewildered when the students act like they have no idea what to do. 

Capitalize on my strengths. I'm best working with students one-on-one in a very structured environment. I like getting into routines and doing the same kind of work over and over. I also love learning and explaining things to people.

Get better at interviewing
I really haven't done great on interviews with potential employers. I wasn't really prepared. I looked over interview questions, but I was so nervous that I didn't remember a lot of my answers. Interviews make me so nervous that sometimes I just wish they would be over.   

« Last Edit: January 31, 2015, 05:45:12 PM by kmb501 »

MayDay

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Re: poor school teacher...
« Reply #14 on: January 31, 2015, 07:09:28 PM »
What grades and subjects are you certified to teach?

MoneyCat

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Re: poor school teacher...
« Reply #15 on: January 31, 2015, 08:06:31 PM »
When it comes to teaching, you need to know people to get a job in a school that isn't horrible.  That's what subbing is for -- getting to know the administration at different schools.  I hope you are building up your professional network while working as a substitute.  That's the name of the game.

kmb501

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Re: poor school teacher...
« Reply #16 on: February 01, 2015, 06:13:57 AM »
I also work as a schoolteacher, so I know how hard it can be to save money on that kind of salary.  When I was starting out before I got my current job, I switched from renting an apartment to renting a room I found over Craigslist.  This saved me nearly $1000/mo in the area where I live.  A friend of mine who was also subbing started her own business selling homemade soaps on Etsy and that brought in hundreds of dollars in extra income for her each month.  If you have (or can develop) a crafting skill like that, you could earn more to put away in savings.

I admire those who can start their own businesses. I don't really know how to get started, and I feel a little discouraged. Yes, I have a master's degree and could be a great tutor, but I don't know where the jobs are.
« Last Edit: February 01, 2015, 06:16:20 AM by kmb501 »

kmb501

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Re: poor school teacher...
« Reply #17 on: February 01, 2015, 06:21:40 AM »
I was thinking about moving back in with my relatives, but they do not live close to where I work, and I don't know what my chances would be looking for work in another state. I would like a job that does more than keep the bills paid, but that's all this one does.

You, too, seem not to live close to where you work, or why do you spend 20-30% of your income on a car. Move somewhere where you can walk, bike or take a scooter and sell the car.

If you don't know what your chances are in another state, go and find out. Ask teacher, schools, organizations, apply for jobs, etc. Most people want to help, but you have to ask them.

Well, it's not that I don't live close enough to take a bus or a bike, but public transportation is unreliable, and biking on busy streets is somewhat dangerous. The bus only runs about once per hour, and that means I would have to get up at 4:30 in the morning to get to some of my teaching assignments. That would be doable, but I also volunteer at night and get home at about 9:30-10:30. The buses stop running at 7:00. Bike lanes here are very narrow and on the side of the road; it's very dangerous, not to mention there is a good chance of my bike getting stolen at some of the schools where I work. It's much more convenient to drive. Also, some of my assignments aren't on the bus route, and schools sometimes call me in too little time to bike or catch a bus to work but plenty of time to drive. I need my car for situations like that. Plus, my volunteer assignment is at night and requires me to have my own running vehicle.

I did manage to cut my car insurance bill, though, by switching providers. I may keep shopping around until I get even lower rates. My bill is now about $70 per month. I could have opted to get it even lower, but I decided that I needed roadside assistance.
« Last Edit: February 01, 2015, 06:37:14 AM by kmb501 »

kmb501

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Re: poor school teacher...
« Reply #18 on: February 01, 2015, 06:48:28 AM »
Hello! I teach too. :-) Can you give us some more information? Which state do you live in? What kind of credential do you have, and what kind of position are you looking for?

My first thought was that those 4-6 hours spend volunteering can probably be used more lucratively IF you're willing to branch out a bit. In my district, for example, long-term subs make about 30% more per day than day-to-day subs. Have you reached out to the secretaries (or whoever helps line up subs at schools in your area) to let them know you're available for long-term subbing?

If you aren't finding positions in your field, have you thought about Special Ed or adult education? I've been teaching for 16 years, and I've seen the following pattern play out over and over: A young teacher gets a job for a year, and then gets laid off due to budget cuts. Said teacher subs while taking some classes to get certified in SpEd, reapplies for a position in SpEd, and suddenly, they're 100% secure and can take their pick of positions available. Math and Science teachers, especially at the secondary level are a hot commodity around here too.

My certification is English / Language Arts for grades 6-12 and English as a Second Language for grades K-12. I wish I could go back to school for something more in-demand, but I'm just about maxed out on student loans. If I absolutely had to, maybe I could find the money, but my current job leaves me with almost nothing in savings, so I can't register for even one class without borrowing money.  If I go back to school, I need a plan of attack. I can't just do what I did before and have only a part-time job to show for it. I was told that teaching any subject was in demand, but apparently not enough to find work in the field. I'm tired of the lies people tell about the job market.
« Last Edit: February 01, 2015, 07:02:13 AM by kmb501 »

ltt

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Re: poor school teacher...
« Reply #19 on: February 01, 2015, 08:51:55 AM »
I don't have any advice regarding teaching jobs, but I am surprised that no one has pointed out that you are spending about 7% of your take home on a cellphone.

Yes, the cell phone is really high.  We got a cheap plan through Republic Wireless--works great for our daughter.

I am surprised that you are unable to find a full-time job in teaching?  What do you have an endorsement in? 

Wait a minute, I just saw another post. You have an ELL/ESL endorsement and have been unable to find a position.  (I was going to suggest to get an endorsement in that area.)

With all of the children that have come up from Mexico/Central America, ELL/ESL should be in high demand.  In one part of the country do you live, and are you willing to relocate to another state?  Have you thought about teaching overseas, also?

Red Beard

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Re: poor school teacher...
« Reply #20 on: February 01, 2015, 09:44:40 AM »
You are ESL certified?!? I'm not sure where you live but where I live and work (Denver) that can be the equivalent a golden ticket.

My quick advice to you - take the next month and do the following things:

1. Determine if you see yourself leaving where you currently are. Be 100% honest with yourself and accept the decision you come to. IF you decide trying a new place out might be for you, make a list with your top 3 locations and use it for the following step.
2. Spend one week looking up jobs like it IS your job. 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. We post EVERY available job online and most other places do as well. For certain areas, this could result in literally hundreds of jobs. In my network alone, you would be eligible for 18 jobs, and we are tiny compared to some of the large public districts.
3. Draft a solid cover letter focusing on your skills and more importantly WHY you want to teach.
4. Practice your interviewing skills. It sounds like you live close to home, so recruit your family to help. You should get to the point where muscle memory takes over for the standard questions.
5. Apply, apply, apply (soon too, recruiting is happening earlier and earlier)

6. Most importantly, remember - you are a new teacher. No one is going to expect you to be great your first day in the door, so don't let that expectation hold you back. Most great teachers didn't just walk in the door that way.

Good luck!

kmb501

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Re: poor school teacher...
« Reply #21 on: February 01, 2015, 09:50:42 AM »
I don't have any advice regarding teaching jobs, but I am surprised that no one has pointed out that you are spending about 7% of your take home on a cellphone.

Yes, the cell phone is really high.  We got a cheap plan through Republic Wireless--works great for our daughter.

I am surprised that you are unable to find a full-time job in teaching?  What do you have an endorsement in? 

Wait a minute, I just saw another post. You have an ELL/ESL endorsement and have been unable to find a position.  (I was going to suggest to get an endorsement in that area.)

With all of the children that have come up from Mexico/Central America, ELL/ESL should be in high demand.  In one part of the country do you live, and are you willing to relocate to another state?  Have you thought about teaching overseas, also?

I'm from the coastal region of Alabama. There are plenty of ESL students here, but the schools claim they just don't have the budget to hire many teachers. It's very hard to get a position teaching ESL here; the kids are usually placed in SpEd programs, given to special tutors, or shared by a handful of ESL teachers that serve several schools. I was thinking about relocating to where I may have a better chance of getting hired, but I don't really know how to get started. I know from prior experience that I do not interview very well, and they usually end up choosing someone else.     

kmb501

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Re: poor school teacher...
« Reply #22 on: February 01, 2015, 10:00:46 AM »
You are ESL certified?!? I'm not sure where you live but where I live and work (Denver) that can be the equivalent a golden ticket.

My quick advice to you - take the next month and do the following things:

1. Determine if you see yourself leaving where you currently are. Be 100% honest with yourself and accept the decision you come to. IF you decide trying a new place out might be for you, make a list with your top 3 locations and use it for the following step.
2. Spend one week looking up jobs like it IS your job. 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. We post EVERY available job online and most other places do as well. For certain areas, this could result in literally hundreds of jobs. In my network alone, you would be eligible for 18 jobs, and we are tiny compared to some of the large public districts.
3. Draft a solid cover letter focusing on your skills and more importantly WHY you want to teach.
4. Practice your interviewing skills. It sounds like you live close to home, so recruit your family to help. You should get to the point where muscle memory takes over for the standard questions.
5. Apply, apply, apply (soon too, recruiting is happening earlier and earlier)

6. Most importantly, remember - you are a new teacher. No one is going to expect you to be great your first day in the door, so don't let that expectation hold you back. Most great teachers didn't just walk in the door that way.

Good luck!


Yes, I would be okay with leaving this place if I could find a good job, but I can't even save enough money to get an apartment somewhere else right now. I need to increase my earnings here so that I can save enough money to leave.

I was thinking about going overseas, since they pay for housing, but that would require extensive research to find a good deal. Plus, I would still need to have a bit of money saved just in case things don't go as planned. I need to be able to get out if I find out the pay is bad or my visa doesn't cover what the company said it would.

kmb501

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Re: poor school teacher...
« Reply #23 on: February 01, 2015, 10:03:09 AM »
Republic Wireless can cut cost to $10 per month or so for cell phone.  Search Mr. MM's posts for the one(s) on phone service as a shortcut to researching your options.

I also second the special ed recommendation.  My sister specialized in that and is always in demand.

Wow, I need to look into that.

mozar

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Re: poor school teacher...
« Reply #24 on: February 01, 2015, 10:10:58 AM »
States that I'm assuming have a lot of jobs for ESL teachers: California (San Diego), Arizona, New Mexico, Texas and Florida. Start by googling "esl jobs" tons of stuff to look at.

Some parts of the country are so desperate for esl teachers that they won't care too much about your interviewing skills. But interview skills are important. I recommend checking out the website of ramit sethi.
Also now you know that most people don't know what they are talking about, so you have to do your own research.

Edited to add: living with your parents for a couple months might be a good idea. So you can save 1k. When I was 24 I had 100k in student loans and 1k in the bank when I decided to move to Canada. It was a pretty dumb decision as I had no place to live and no job, but I learned a lot about myself. I took an accounting class at the local community college and decided I liked that so when I ran out of money I moved back (oh and my car died on the way back) in with my mom for a month, got a waitress job and saved 500 dollars so I could rent a rally cheap apartment.
But you don't have to be as dumb as me. You have a lot of options if you are willing to relocate. Yes you have to a lot of research to find a quality teaching abroad job. But you are extremely fortunate to live in the era of the internet. Research is a lot easier now. And yes, you will have to start doing  a lot of research anyway. This is how you will learn to take care of your own life.

I can't believe I'm recommending this, but get a credit card. You can use it if you suddenly need to book a ticket home from South Korea or wherever. 3k to 5k should be an ample limit.
« Last Edit: February 01, 2015, 10:29:22 AM by mozar »

Psychstache

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Re: poor school teacher...
« Reply #25 on: February 01, 2015, 10:13:30 AM »
I don't have any advice regarding teaching jobs, but I am surprised that no one has pointed out that you are spending about 7% of your take home on a cellphone.

Yes, the cell phone is really high.  We got a cheap plan through Republic Wireless--works great for our daughter.

I am surprised that you are unable to find a full-time job in teaching?  What do you have an endorsement in? 

Wait a minute, I just saw another post. You have an ELL/ESL endorsement and have been unable to find a position.  (I was going to suggest to get an endorsement in that area.)

With all of the children that have come up from Mexico/Central America, ELL/ESL should be in high demand.  In one part of the country do you live, and are you willing to relocate to another state?  Have you thought about teaching overseas, also?

I'm from the coastal region of Alabama. There are plenty of ESL students here, but the schools claim they just don't have the budget to hire many teachers. It's very hard to get a position teaching ESL here; the kids are usually placed in SpEd programs, given to special tutors, or shared by a handful of ESL teachers that serve several schools. I was thinking about relocating to where I may have a better chance of getting hired, but I don't really know how to get started. I know from prior experience that I do not interview very well, and they usually end up choosing someone else.     

You should seriously look into relocating. Here in just my one district in Texas (50k-ish kids), we have many openings for ESL teachers. If you get sped certified to go with ESL certification, you would never have an employment problem around here. If you were sped certified I could get you a job yesterday (okay, maybe not since you are not certified in the state, but you get my point).

If you know that interviewing is a weakness of yours, work on it. Find some questions online and have a friend or relative practice for you. Record yourself so you can watch it later and see what you are doing wrong.

Teacher job fair will be coming up soon so you need to be looking into districts and colleges that host teacher job fairs. Seriously, go to every local universities and districts web pages and look around for their job fair information.

MoneyCat

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Re: poor school teacher...
« Reply #26 on: February 01, 2015, 10:29:02 AM »
If you can, you should move away from the South to the Northeast or West Coast if you are teaching.  Southern states universally pay teachers very poorly and most are "right-to-work-for-less" states, so teachers don't have representation to protect wages and benefits.  Teaching never pays very well, but at least you would have a living wage and good health insurance (and possibly even a pension) if you could move.

ClaycordJCA

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Re: poor school teacher...
« Reply #27 on: February 01, 2015, 12:17:56 PM »
It strikes me that there may be more than locale at play here. You state your classes were out of control, you just want interviews to be over, and not doing well at preparing your own lesson plans. I suggest first focusing on your competencies. Remember that being paper-qualified is not all that's required. You have to sell yourself to the potential employer.   Are there career counseling services - interviewing workshops - you can access through your master's program? 

To boost income, and since you seem to like it, consider dropping the unpaid volunteer work and start your own tutoring business for late afternoons/evenings.  Don't worry about where the tutoring jobs are, make your own. You'll have to figure out how to best market - we had several tutors work with our daughter in elementary school, all of whom were teachers.

Christof

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Re: poor school teacher...
« Reply #28 on: February 01, 2015, 04:08:27 PM »
Can I be honest with you? You do seem to have other issues than just finances. Almost every second of your responses has "I don't know" somewhere in it. As a teacher you know the answer is that you need to learn or at least figure out what you don't know. You also don't seem to check facts. If the street is to dangerous to ride a bike, move somewhere else. If all streets are too dangerous, there is something wrong with your perception of danger. Get a cheap bike on craigslist. I can get a new bike every week for what you are paying on insurance and gas. A stolen bike is an inconvenience for a few days, not a financial issue. You can keep multiple bike in various safer places that are closer to your work. When we talk about a bike we talk about $40-100.

red7

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Re: poor school teacher...
« Reply #29 on: February 01, 2015, 04:52:19 PM »
To be honest, I don't feel like I know a lot about the kind of teaching my district requires. The only teaching I've done was directly out of a teacher's edition of a textbook. I didn't make up my own stuff. I incorporated it into the lessons here and there, but I admit that I would have been totally lost if I would have had to make up my own material. My lessons don't flow when I make my own things up. I skip several steps because I think they are common sense, and then I'm bewildered when the students act like they have no idea what to do. 

I'm best working with students one-on-one in a very structured environment. I like getting into routines and doing the same kind of work over and over. I also love learning and explaining things to people.

I have to agree with ClaycordJCA that it doesn't sound like locale is your only issue here. IMHO, it sounds like the *classroom environment/dynamic* itself is your issue. There are 2 ways to deal with that: (1) find an awesome veteran teacher to mentor you (after you've moved and gotten a job) or (2) go out and become a private tutor (may also require you to move to find the best market).

I subbed for a long time and had similar qualms about teaching in a classroom, so I chose option 2. I LOVE it. You can have a pretty predictable schedule with lots of outside structure, especially if you get into test prep tutoring (SAT and ACT). You use the materials that the teacher gives or the test-makers publish, and you get to work one-on-one with a variety of different students. You might need a little outside material, but nothing a quick Google search can't find you. If you're good at it, you can charge upwards of $60 per hour on your own (in a metro area). You'll need to work for yourself or a small business who agrees to give you a nice percentage if you want to see most of that, though. Big companies tend to charge $90+ and pay you maybe $20, $30 if you're truly amazing (and still consider you an independent contractor -- i.e. responsible for your own taxes, etc.).

If you really, truly want to be in a classroom, have you thought about moving to Atlanta? There are always lots of positions because it's a large metro area, and ESL/ELL teachers are certainly valued and in-demand. Plus, it's really not very far from where you live, so it shouldn't cost too much $ to move. You can probably manage to visit for the huge job fairs that the different districts hold every spring/summer. That might make it feel much easier (and less intimidating to get started) to get a job in a new area than filling out a million online applications all over the country. Georgia offers a teacher's retirement fund which is similar to a pension, and depending on the district, you can get pretty good pay for the COL. They will also let you transfer your AL teaching license to GA with a few reasonable requirements/restrictions. Even if you decide not to stay, it might make a good transitional area for you.

 

expatartist

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Re: poor school teacher...
« Reply #30 on: February 01, 2015, 05:04:31 PM »
ESL teaching can be quite lucrative in foreign countries compared to where you are now, and could be a way to pay off your loans quickly. You'll want some actual experience in the US before applying for jobs overseas. Asia and the Middle East are the most lucrative regions today. With your passport and degree and 2 years experience you could do very well. If you're interested in this option, while building your resume domestically you'll have plenty of time to research options abroad.

Hint: look for international schools and quality university jobs rather than private institutes or part-time university gigs. And this doesn't always require sending out resumes blindly; international schools recruit at fairs in the US during autumn and winter - the best place to land a job.

amyable

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Re: poor school teacher...
« Reply #31 on: February 01, 2015, 05:27:30 PM »
Let me echo what others have said: there are tons of ESL jobs in Texas.  I loved working as an ESL teacher (currently I'm a school counselor studying to be a principal).  Are you a Spanish speaker?  I speak only intermediate Spanish, but it's improved my prospects a lot! 

Also, you sound very unsure of yourself.  When most administrators interview, they are (above all) looking for someone who can step in and take charge of a classroom.  Do you think you may be accidentally communicating your uncertainty about the teaching field in your interviews? 

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Re: poor school teacher...
« Reply #32 on: February 02, 2015, 05:12:55 PM »
With an ESL certification, you should have offers. 

Something is holding you back -- dig deep and ask yourself what it is.  You said you were having trouble controlling your classrooms; is classroom management an issue?  It is probably the #1 thing teachers have to do.  Even keeping good records come second to that.  Do some reading (for free!  no need to enroll in another class) and see what the experts have to say about it.  Then go into your next sub job, grit your teeth, and DO IT. 

mustachianteacher

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Re: poor school teacher...
« Reply #33 on: February 03, 2015, 11:32:12 AM »
I'm guessing my first step would be to make a list of my job options and go through and apply for those one-by-one. Sorry if I seem a bit needy, but could someone suggest the options that come to mind? I know I need to get some books on specialized teaching, like for SpEd and Dyslexia. I could also apply to be an online teacher, and I could interview via Skype for jobs in other states.

There are a few things I need to do:

Get some teaching competence
. To be honest, I don't feel like I know a lot about the kind of teaching my district requires. The only teaching I've done was directly out of a teacher's edition of a textbook. I didn't make up my own stuff. I incorporated it into the lessons here and there, but I admit that I would have been totally lost if I would have had to make up my own material. My lessons don't flow when I make my own things up. I skip several steps because I think they are common sense, and then I'm bewildered when the students act like they have no idea what to do. 

Capitalize on my strengths. I'm best working with students one-on-one in a very structured environment. I like getting into routines and doing the same kind of work over and over. I also love learning and explaining things to people.

Get better at interviewing
I really haven't done great on interviews with potential employers. I wasn't really prepared. I looked over interview questions, but I was so nervous that I didn't remember a lot of my answers. Interviews make me so nervous that sometimes I just wish they would be over.

OK, so I'm going to be brutally honest, but this little list concerns me. I have taught 7th and 8th grade English for 16 years and have supervised quite a few student teachers during that time. Being effective in the classroom often comes down to personality: a willingness to "wing it," to take calculated risks, to interact with large groups of kids, to manage occasional chaos, to challenge kids, to figure out what isn't making sense and to meet the kids at that point, etc. Being a good student doesn't mean you will be a good teacher. Loving your subject also doesn't translate into teaching it well.

It sounds to me like you might enjoy tutoring or teaching in/with an online school. If you are doubting your ability to create a presence in the classroom, then a classroom of forty kids might not be a good fit. Teaching adult school, becoming a travelling teacher for sick kids, or becoming a resource specialist (RSP, a component of Special Ed) might be a better fit.

Also, just to show you what's out there, my district has multiple openings pretty much all the time: http://www.teachinla.com/

Michael792

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Re: poor school teacher...
« Reply #34 on: February 03, 2015, 07:18:02 PM »
(Did not read any replies-sorry if repeated info) With a master's, you should be able to get a side gig teaching at a community college or even become an adjunct at a larger college. My sister quit her full time job as a teacher when she started a family, and now only teaches online at a community college. She makes pretty good money for the time she spends doing it. You could also start a Youtube account and monetize it. Content could be covering your favorite subjects, or just really high-quality (information wise, not in terms of video quality immediately, though that does help) on a wide base of useful knowledge. People like learning, you just need to make it fun and low cost. Youtube is an extremely cheap (free) medium for the user. So maybe that helps, I don't know.

pbkmaine

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Re: poor school teacher...
« Reply #35 on: February 03, 2015, 07:38:38 PM »
 You say you don't interview well, and that you don't function well in a classroom. These are skills to be learned, not innate talents. Find people who do these things well and ask them to teach you. You are too young to place limits on yourself.

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Re: poor school teacher...
« Reply #36 on: February 04, 2015, 10:15:42 AM »
My wife and I are both teachers, so saving on a teacher's salary can be done (our savings rate of 75%ish indicates that even if we only had one income we could save ~50% of it - though obviously that's on real salaries, not sub salaries).

If you are willing to move, Clark County School District (think Las Vegas and rural southern NV) currently has around 600 open positions.  The district expects to have 2500 open positions they will need to fill for year.  The starting salary with a masters is a bit over $42,000 and the cost of living is reasonable.  Plus there is no state income tax.  I'm finishing up my twenty-first year and still enjoying my job.

+1 to this specific recommendation.  We teach in CCSD, and they need a ton of teachers, and your take home is decent with no state income tax and no contributing to social security either, and COL is low (cheap housing especially), and you're almost guaranteed to get a job based on need right now).  You could take home over 3k/mo. easily.
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and are now settled with two kids.
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kmb501

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Re: poor school teacher...
« Reply #37 on: February 05, 2015, 02:35:24 PM »
Thank you all for the replies. I think I may have some personality issues due to having Autism Spectrum Disorder. Maybe that kind of keeps me from connecting with the kids and coming off as competent as I can be. It seems very easy for me to upset the students at times. I try to keep misbehavior to a minimum, though, by implementing strict rules, procedures, and routines when I sub. Consequences definitely help minimize the misbehavior, but the kids often act like they do not enjoy my presence.

pbkmaine

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Re: poor school teacher...
« Reply #38 on: February 05, 2015, 03:06:12 PM »
Aha. ASD might indeed be incompatible with classroom teaching. The gifts I see in my ASD friends - focus, intensity, pattern recognition - work well in engineering, computer science, and financial and statistical analysis but not as well in fields that require a lot of interaction with other people. You can learn how to interact better with others, but it will never be easy. I am curious to know why you chose this field?

kmb501

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Re: poor school teacher...
« Reply #39 on: February 05, 2015, 04:19:35 PM »
Aha. ASD might indeed be incompatible with classroom teaching. The gifts I see in my ASD friends - focus, intensity, pattern recognition - work well in engineering, computer science, and financial and statistical analysis but not as well in fields that require a lot of interaction with other people. You can learn how to interact better with others, but it will never be easy. I am curious to know why you chose this field?

I naively thought that competence was something that could be taught, so I focused on what I wanted to learn instead of my areas of competency. I found out about having ASD after I graduated from college and never considered it might be a factor until then. I just thought I was shy and believed I could work my way out of it. Well, maybe I can, but it takes a lot more work than I initially thought; working your way out of Asperger's is a full-time job in and of itself. I'm not great at math, though, and I got frustrated with the higher level math, so I avoided all of the careers that required it. Unfortunately, that left me with the liberal arts. 

mozar

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Re: poor school teacher...
« Reply #40 on: February 05, 2015, 05:26:18 PM »
From what I understand kids struggle around people who are autistic because they seem "off" to them. Are you female? People give woman a much harder time about personality then they do for men. Disregard if you are male. Even so you have to decide if learning to be a classroom teacher is worth it to you. I do think that classroom competency can be taught. But there are lots of other jobs in education as well. Like administration, tutoring, just google education jobs.

kmb501

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Re: poor school teacher...
« Reply #41 on: February 05, 2015, 05:59:38 PM »
From what I understand kids struggle around people who are autistic because they seem "off" to them. Are you female? People give woman a much harder time about personality then they do for men. Disregard if you are male. Even so you have to decide if learning to be a classroom teacher is worth it to you. I do think that classroom competency can be taught. But there are lots of other jobs in education as well. Like administration, tutoring, just google education jobs.

I'm female, and people seem to think I'm a jerk until they really get to know me.

frugaldrummer

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Re: poor school teacher...
« Reply #42 on: February 05, 2015, 07:21:49 PM »
Re: your anxiety when interviewing - ask your doctor about prescribing a low-dose beta blocker for stage fright.  This is used often for people with performance anxiety, it is a type of blood pressure pill that keeps your heart from racing and your palms from sweating, you take it an hour before your interview and it can work really great.

Remember that subbing is way harder than having your own class - kids are always on their worst behavior for subs.

Is there some way you could end up working with Asperger's kids, or a highly gifted class?

mozar

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Re: poor school teacher...
« Reply #43 on: February 05, 2015, 07:48:05 PM »
I don't mean to make light of your situation.
Fake it till you make it!
« Last Edit: May 10, 2018, 12:50:54 PM by mozar »

expatartist

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Re: poor school teacher...
« Reply #44 on: February 06, 2015, 01:03:25 AM »
I don't mean to make light of your situation... but I am a woman, people tend to think I am on the autistic spectrum when they first meet me, but I actually am a jerk.
...
Fake it till you make it!

+1 on faking it! People sometimes think I'm on the spectrum, too. I joke about it now, but don't care about getting a diagnosis. Classroom management is tough. Yes it's harder if you're a sub, but there's a level of empathy necessary - and, dare I say it, love for the students - to be effective.

I have just come from giving a one-off arts workshop and was reminded that it's important to put yourself in the students' shoes when designing a course. The teacher asked questions which filled in the gaps, thank goodness.

At any rate, personally I prefer giving short-term workshops and/or tutoring individually/small enthusiastic groups, vs. teaching a class over a long period of time. My current position enables this, and I'm very happy with it. You do have something to teach the world, we all do, regardless of our career path. The question is: what context suits your personality best? You're at the stage of life when you're trying things out. Keep trying, don't get discouraged! The online course suggestion is a good one, too.

kmb501

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Re: poor school teacher...
« Reply #45 on: February 06, 2015, 05:09:23 AM »
I don't mean to make light of your situation... but I am a woman, people tend to think I am on the autistic spectrum when they first meet me, but I actually am a jerk.
...
Fake it till you make it!

+1 on faking it! People sometimes think I'm on the spectrum, too. I joke about it now, but don't care about getting a diagnosis. Classroom management is tough. Yes it's harder if you're a sub, but there's a level of empathy necessary - and, dare I say it, love for the students - to be effective.

I have just come from giving a one-off arts workshop and was reminded that it's important to put yourself in the students' shoes when designing a course. The teacher asked questions which filled in the gaps, thank goodness.

At any rate, personally I prefer giving short-term workshops and/or tutoring individually/small enthusiastic groups, vs. teaching a class over a long period of time. My current position enables this, and I'm very happy with it. You do have something to teach the world, we all do, regardless of our career path. The question is: what context suits your personality best? You're at the stage of life when you're trying things out. Keep trying, don't get discouraged! The online course suggestion is a good one, too.

I think one of my main problems is that I'm used to getting things handed to me. It's a new experience to actually have to go out and do the job hunting myself. I've had to evaluate my own strengths and weaknesses, keep records of what went right and what didn't go so well, hunt for career alternatives and extra training, etc., without having anyone guide me. Letting other people make decisions for me is where I messed up the first time. At this point, I'm just ready to find something that will earn a decent wage and start working.

MayDay

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Re: poor school teacher...
« Reply #46 on: February 06, 2015, 07:08:43 AM »
I am subbing for the first time, and although not ASD I am definitely an introvert.  Its been insanely hard.  I will say that being an aid or a specialist (like reading specialist- pulls 3-4 low level readers out to work in a small group) appears to be a much better fit for me than teaching a whole classroom.  At this point, maybe you can consider narrowing your focus to, say, CCSD (or other districts recommended here that have big needs) jobs that are either aid positions or small group instruction positions.  Then you could gain some confidence, working with the same kids consistently, in smaller groups. 

Another thought, see what services might be available to help you as person with autism.  The kind of struggles you are having are the reasons that 85% of people with autism are unemployed.  I have a strong suspicion that there are career counseling opportunities you could utilize either through a workforce development agency, or a disabilities agency. 

kmb501

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Re: poor school teacher...
« Reply #47 on: February 06, 2015, 04:55:48 PM »
I am subbing for the first time, and although not ASD I am definitely an introvert.  Its been insanely hard.  I will say that being an aid or a specialist (like reading specialist- pulls 3-4 low level readers out to work in a small group) appears to be a much better fit for me than teaching a whole classroom.  At this point, maybe you can consider narrowing your focus to, say, CCSD (or other districts recommended here that have big needs) jobs that are either aid positions or small group instruction positions.  Then you could gain some confidence, working with the same kids consistently, in smaller groups. 

Another thought, see what services might be available to help you as person with autism.  The kind of struggles you are having are the reasons that 85% of people with autism are unemployed.  I have a strong suspicion that there are career counseling opportunities you could utilize either through a workforce development agency, or a disabilities agency.

That is a good idea, but I'm finding just the act of looking for a good job overwhelming. I wish I could hire someone good to help me.

MayDay

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Re: poor school teacher...
« Reply #48 on: February 06, 2015, 05:34:16 PM »
I am subbing for the first time, and although not ASD I am definitely an introvert.  Its been insanely hard.  I will say that being an aid or a specialist (like reading specialist- pulls 3-4 low level readers out to work in a small group) appears to be a much better fit for me than teaching a whole classroom.  At this point, maybe you can consider narrowing your focus to, say, CCSD (or other districts recommended here that have big needs) jobs that are either aid positions or small group instruction positions.  Then you could gain some confidence, working with the same kids consistently, in smaller groups. 

Another thought, see what services might be available to help you as person with autism.  The kind of struggles you are having are the reasons that 85% of people with autism are unemployed.  I have a strong suspicion that there are career counseling opportunities you could utilize either through a workforce development agency, or a disabilities agency.

That is a good idea, but I'm finding just the act of looking for a good job overwhelming. I wish I could hire someone good to help me.

Hiring someone is absolutely not reasonable (hello, you have no money!) but you should definitely ask friends, family members, people from church, etc, for help.  Think of who you know that is super organized and ask if they might have some free time to help you over a beer (or whatever).  Once you get yourself organized and over the hump it will be much easier, but you NEED to get started now as the hiring season is fast approaching.

frugaldrummer

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Re: poor school teacher...
« Reply #49 on: February 06, 2015, 10:40:55 PM »
Just some thoughts for you based on the things I see in my mildly Aspergers son -these may or may not apply to you:

1) Ask a good friend or family member for input about your clothes and grooming. You want to make sure you come across as professional. Many with aspergers might not recognize if their clothes are inappropriate to the situation, although it can be learned.

2) As I mentioned before, a low dose beta blocker can help control anxiety symptoms during interviews.

3) I second the advice above to find someone to help you organize your job search.

4) Try yoga or meditation to help with anxiety. Take vitamin D and try a gluten free diet.

You can do this. Try finding an online aspergers support group too.