I have been certified in Social Studies (a dead field, it seems) Oregon, Washington and California. I have taught one year in a charter school and was invited back, but they so screwed me, and the pay was at the subbing level that I’d rather sub than endure that treatment again. I have been looking for a full time position for 8 years, withonly the above success. I know these damn apps take forever to fill out because in those eight years I have spent the equivalent of a full year of full time work doing so. For a more complete story of my efforts see my other post in general discussion My Story, I think. Anyway.
A quick and dirty ‘who I am.’ I spent 22 years in the Navy as a firefighter, trainer, teacher, leader. I traveled the world, lived in France, Spain, Scotland, Israel, Bahrain, The UAE in the Middle East and Brazil. I visited 27 other nations in South America, Africa, Australia, Carribee Islands. I have many unique experiences that suit me well to the teaching of S/S. I have a Masters in Teaching, BS in American History, BS LIberal Studies and I’ve done all the course work for a BS in Political Science. I got my Masters at 50 years old and I am now 56.
I read several thoughts that districts are run by men, which is true, BUT the superintendents are rarely involved in hiring. To see who does the hiring, go to the HR department, look around and you will mostly see women – they make the hiring decisions. At most, the super signs off on their decisions.
In my eight years I have come up with some ideas that I feel are problems, at least for me.
1. Age discrimination. I’m 56 and my hair is gray. This helps with the kids because they assume I’m an experienced teacher.
2. Marital discrimination. I’m not married, and they don’t want unmarried, older men in their classrooms. Unspoken here is that they are nervous about sexual abuse if they hire a male…don’t hire him, not a problem. Or is he Gay.
3. Disability discrimination. All applications come with a disability disclosure form. If I don’t complete it will my application be considered? I don’t think so. But, completing it may keep my application from consideration as well. Why? As health care costs rise, school districts are reluctant to hire someone who, on paper, looks as if they may cost their health insurance company a lot of money. If the forms sole purpose is to collect statistics, why is my name and/or social security number required on the form? If you believe that the form isn’t used in hiring decisions, I’ve got a bridge…in Brooklyn. At an ed fair I asked a HR administrator from the South if he used the forms in making decisions, and he straight up said he did. My disabilities are transparent, and by that I mean to look at me you would have no idea I am disabled. My disabilities are knees, and being sighted in one eye. Neither of these disabilities affects my work performance in any way. My disability care, what little there is, is the responsibility of the Veterans Administration, and would not be borne by my employer provided health insurance.
4. Gender discrimination. In a field composed of 60 – 70% female, I can’t see how a gender bias doesn’t seep into the institution. Think about it, for many years teaching was nearly exclusively female, and change takes time. Also, related to #2, most sex offenders are male. In Men Teach there was a item about a family who wanted their child removed from a class room just because the teacher was male. If it has been noted once, the actual rate is greater.
5. Social Studies. There is little demand for social studies teachers, that’s just the reality of it. It was made worse by the shift in emphasis caused by Bush and his NCLB.
6. At least in the North West, and probably in many other regions as well, Spanish speaking teachers are preferred.