Thursday, July 29, 2010

0.5% chance of becoming a real bone fide teacher!

A half of a percent. That's the chance I have. Thousands of dollars, hundreds of thousands of tears, one hundred quarter units in twelve months from a top fifty education graduate school, one year of keeping my head above water in a sub pool/contract teaching, and now I have earned myself the chance to roll the dice on a HALF of a percent chance at a job.

Today I received an email from a district I applied to, stating that I was "one of over 1,000 applicants for five positions". Let's be generous and forget to read that little word "over" and estimate that there are 1,000 people vying for five positions. Straight up that's half a percent chance if we're looking at name drawings out of a hat.

If it were me, and thank goodness it's not, I wouldn't pick me. I'd pick someone with a couple of years experience but no tenure to transfer over. That would be the cheapest way to get a teacher with some experience. What can I say? I'm a numbers person. But today, just for once, I wish I wasn't. Because then I wouldn't realize how dire 5/1000 really is.


  1. Ugh.

    The good news is that's your chance in one corpoaration, not considering anything on your resume that makes those chances better. Sub pool/contract teaching is better than no experience, so that already puts you ahead of some people. You went to a good education school, so that's more. If you go visit the school, especially if you bring something that stands out (I hear good things about brochures/e-portfolios)... that's increasing your chances.

    It's got to be at least slightly higher than you think- and you probably applied other places, too.

    That said... it's a frustrating time for the education market. If you don't have at least 10 years under your belt, you're probably without a job or at least a little worried you'll lose the one you have.

    I hope something works out, even though chances aren't good. And if not... just remember it won't be like this forever.

  2. I know how you feel--I had a very hard time getting my first teaching job, and that was before this horrible recession. They all want experience, and you have to get a job in order to get that experience. Hard to blame them, anyway--with teaching, it is impossible to tell which new teachers will be able to cut it and which will burn out after a year or two.

    My solution? (Again, this was ten years ago when the economy wasn't so grim. Might not be an option for you.) I took a job in a really rough neighborhood, one I normally wouldn't even drive through. But it gave me experience, and then, when I did want to change jobs, I had the best kind of experience. The kids ended up being great and I worked there seven years before I looked again. I'd worked with the hardest population, and employers knew that if I could teach in an area that was 90% poor and gang-infested, I could teach anywhere. Now, I work in a nicer suburb, and every time the other teachers complain about anything, I can be all "Hey, at least there are no rats! Plus, our kindergarteners might get into fights on the playground, but they don't flash gang signs."

    Just my two cents. Best of luck with the job hunting. I know how nasty it is out there--I was nearly RIF'd this year, too.

  3. It's frustrating, isn't it?! Luckeyfrog gives good advice. I've helped hire before and your sub/contract work places you with experience but not too much ($) experience. And you never know, if they decide to throw the papers down the stairs and pick 5 up, you may just be on top!! Best of luck! :-)

  4. Thank you so much for all your encouragement! I'm over the mopes today... trying to remember to stop being negative and start being awesome instead :)