Home Forum General disscusions Tough Market

  • This topic is empty.
Viewing 23 reply threads
  • Author
    • #7591

      I graduated from DePaul University in Chicago IL. with an M.Ed in June. I must have applied to 50 schools with no call backs for interviews. What’s the deal about teacher shortages and not enough men in elementary education. Here I am – male and licensed to teach elementary education in the State of Illinois. WHERE ARE THE JOBS?

    • #7599

      I hear you. I also just finished my MA.Ed this spring, certified k-9, student taught first grade, great experience, applied to tons of districts, follow up letters to principals, but no interviews. Took a job as an aide and felt lucky so I can at least get my foot in the door. What I hear is that the shortages are very regionally based, and Illinois does not have a shortage. I can tell you that in the district I work in there are at least 6 student teachers right now plus many students doing pre-clinicals. There are lots and lots of teachers in the Chicago area looking for work. I applied for a middle school job and found out that in the week after the posting hit the web site 150 paper applications had been received by that district. Tough market for sure.

    • #7593
      Bryan G Nelson

      It really depends on where you live AND what age/subject you teach.

      Chicago has a glut of teachers and teacher education programs.

      Check out this posting:

      Some districts are paying bonuses

      If you teach special education – you can pretty much write your ticket anywhere in the USA.

      So – unfortunately, you may have to move.


    • #7587

      I just saw a news clip on NBC about our shortage. I have a BS in Elementary Ed. PreK-6 (social studies) and an MSed in School Counseling both from NYS… I taught English in Japan for one year, came back to NY and not a single interview, not even in NYC. Do I cost too much? I often hear uncertified people getting hired with the stipulation of getting their MST in 3 years. There is a cry for male teachers and yet we can’t even get an interview. What are we missing?? There seems to be a need but yet so many of us are not working in a school. Any ideas?

    • #7602

      I really do not want to be in the Chicago area…I applied to districts in the Central Illinois area and have heard nothing! I now regret going back to school for an M.Ed!!!

    • #7570
      chuck carter

      I think the “fluff” on NBC news was a crock. I have over 20 yrs experience. School districts everywhere want only the “newbies” that they can pay low salaries to and hope they burn out in a few years for a fresh supply. I predict that in the next 20 years, only about 10% of teachers everywhere will have more than 5 years experience, and the number of males will be non-existant. Which is quite coincidential, because 99% of school districts in my state (Arkansas) are run by men. We have let our own kind push us out of the field and hasten its decline! This site appears to me to be a recruiting ring mainly for new people. Forget us “Old Timers”!

    • #7585

      hi Chuck,

      I agree with what you say about this site– it only seems interested in recruiting men from other fields but neglects those of us who went through the certification programs, put in our time, and now can’t find jobs. It amazes me how the role of teachers– to produce citizens is so highly disrespected and neglected. Our society is formed of so many different kinds of people, but the only ones educating them now are women… Let’s not forget about the decline of regular education teachers. Nowadays, everyone is “special”… where did all the normal kids go? NCLB has created a massive flood of districts only hiring Special Ed. teachers. What are we to do? I’ve wanted to teach since I was 8 years old, and now at 27 I think I need to change careers because the education field has turned its back on those of us with the proper certifications. I had to teach in Japan because they were the only ones to actually acknowledge me.

    • #7595
      chuck carter

      Not true. I am certified in two areas of special ed and speak Spanish as a second language. I have experience and beyond a BS. In podunk or the big city, I’m not wanted because I have to get paid above base salary.

    • #7572
      Bryan G Nelson

      Hi, Chuck and gscalerajr,

      I’m really glad both of you posted. There needs to be additional experienced voices heard about what the struggles are for men in teaching.

      I agree that the NBC was a very short piece – almost all national news are soundbites that rarely go into the depth that an issue deserves.

      How did you find MenTeach.org? My guess is that it was from watching NBC Nightly News.

      I think it served our purpose and why MenTeach spent the time finding a young man to represent our profession well.

      With over 8 million viewers, I think we got a message out. That there are fewer men. And this has gone on for over 100 years – except after World War II and the GI Bill when there was a dramatic increase of men teachers.

      I would welcome your help at making this site useful for experienced teachers like yourself. We are run by volunteers so perhaps both of you would like to help out.

      What are your suggestions? And what would, using volunteer time, make this site better?


    • #7581
      chuck carter

      I think it would have been good to have had the numbers on what part of that tiny 9% had a traditional vs. non-traditional education. I see it as all based on discrimination. Both age and sex. Which is ironic, since most school systems are run by men over the age of forty. Nobody wants to pay anyone for their experience or education, no matter their sex. How about some ideas on how to comabat that? At 9%, yes, we are a minority. Who do we contact that cares? It isn’t politicians. At least not in my part of the world. Yes, in answer to your baited question:) What can we (me) all do? The future looks dim.

    • #7583

      The future does look dim. In my experience, most of the school systems are still dominated by women, especially at the elementary level. While I was in training to be an educator, I was the minority. In many classes I was the only male. Who do we contact about getting more men hired, that are certified, at the elementary level? Many want us, but we don’t even get called for interviews. We are faced with discrimination and a lot of prejudice too. I’m debating either leaving New York state or changing careers. There is a need for teachers, but where? And with our technology nothing is personal anymore. Who reads (ha) resumes now?

    • #7597

      I think that’s what Bryan means when he says it depends on your location and why, unfortunately, some districts concentrate on the money they’re paying their teachers, as opposed to the quality of the teacher. One of my acquaintances even made a joke, stating the school district he works for is a “family business”, and that he was lucky to get a job.

      However, reading that post about the extra pay for math and science teachers down south gives a sense of hope; that there is a realization of the importance of teachers in general.

      Instead of the number of currently working male teachers, I am interested to know the number of qualified and highly-qualified male teacher candidates trying to get a job. If it is a high number, maybe we can begin to find more answers as to why there aren’t more male teachers.

      CHUCK – it sounds like you would be a great resource for any district. You can only keep trying, and if your circumstances allow you to, maybe applying further away to see what comes of it?

      I wish you the best.

    • #7589

      Gscalerajr, I recently started subbing last November closer to home after leaving an urban elementary school after 8 years. I got burned out there. Anyway, in the short time I’ve been subbing, I’ve noticed something. The classroom aids were extremely impressed with how much more behaved and focused the students were with me than the regular teacher. If you meet me face-to-face, I’m in my early thirties and look like I’m barely out of high school. Several parents like how I do things and maintain control of a class. One even called administration on my behalf. The teachers I have subbed for tell me they liked me and wanted to request me again. Principals are impressed with me. Even the sub caller told me I’m one of the more preferred subs. Back when I was in college, I was told by many professors how I would be snatched up in an instant. Yeah! Right! As if! Thing is, everyone knows that male teachers are needed. Teachers, aids, parents, the kids, possibly principals, and professors. The only people who have yet to receive that memo are the ones doing the hiring. I mentioned the kids in my list because when a bunch of retirements happened in one district, the kids were telling me about the possible openings. Now why would they tell me that if they weren’t aware of the need for male teachers? We’re like the elephant in the living room, only the ones who see us aren’t in a position to help us.

    • #7574

      I’m a former computer professional who changed careers to become an elementary teacher. I’ve applied to local school districts, been to job fairs (“place resumes here” in a box that you know is really labeled ‘trash’). I rarely get a reply or confirmation that they received my application, and some applications take hours to prepare. Even so, one school district said that if you want receipt of application, to include a stamped self-addressed envelope. I didn’t even get that one back! Coming from a corporate world, I’m shocked how inept and unprofessional district employment offices are, or… perhaps they are overwhelmed with candidates? Is there such a glut of applicants, or is it just a phenomenon local to Fairfield County, CT? Are the advertised jobs really out there? Or are many already filled and just listed due to statutory requirements?
      Anyway, I abandoned my attempts at elementary, and got my secondary certification so that I can teach in middle or HS. I finally landed a long-term sub gig at an inner-city school (through an agency, I pay a fee), but that’s going to end soon, and I want classes of my own. I search the local sites daily, those sponsored by CEA (NEA) and REAP, as well as careerbuilder and my university website. In my search, I find that many jobs are exclusively listed on the local school sites. So I created some ‘favorites ‘ with direct links to those district HR or ‘job openings’ pages. I can offer my list of Southwestern CT district HR offices if someone could use it?
      Is there a resource available to us that links to all the local school district employment offices? How about one that lists contact info for school principals, VP’s or department heads?

    • #7576

      Hi Mike, I feel your pain. I’ve been searching for a teaching job since January and still nothing. It’s been 2 years since I’ve graduated and not a single interview to teach. I believe there is a surplus of teachers in the North East and in many areas, it’s a popularity contest, you have to know someone in the district. You’re doing the same as me, bookmarking the HR offices of actual districts. In NY we have BOCES that provides postings. On the national level there is schoolsprings and teacher-teacher.com; they are all free and both have listings. What schools often do is post things for a very short time, just to cover their asses. Keep trying your newspapers too; I’ve found that a posting will be in the paper but not on the school site. They wonder why men aren’t in the field– it’s because there is so much to do with just applying/finding a job and with NO feedback we get discouraged.

      I to would love my own classroom. Hearing that they don’t even send your self-addressed confirmation is discouraging. Perhaps trying printing your materials on resume paper or an off-white; something that will “stand-out” against all the others. It is still frustrating because so much is done online and there is such a lack of personalism and human-ness to this process.

      I really wish we had some direction on where the MALE teacher NEED was… anyone out there have a clue? I know in my NY area most of the elementary schools are still composed of women- from the principal down to the art teacher… we hear a “CRY” for men and yet we’re still DEAF…. WE NEED A VOICE, how do we get one???

    • #7568
      Bryan G Nelson

      There is a good resource for finding teaching jobs, not in all markets or regions, in select markets.

      This is taken from their site:

      Recruitment Programs and Initiatives for Traditionally Certified Teachers
      In addition to its alternate routes to certification, TNTP operates other recruitment initiatives designed to attract and hire high-quality teachers who are already licensed to teach.

      These include:
      * Oakland City Teacher Corps
      * Teach KIPP-YES (Houston, TX)
      * Teach California Charters NEW!
      * Teach Charleston NEW!
      * Teach Memphis
      * TeachNOLA (New Orleans, LA)

      You’ll find additional lists of resources here: Resources

    • #7566

      I am currently considering finishing my degree in education that I started 25 years ago. It sounds like some positive and negative thoughts on the demand for men in education. I live in Missouri and want to teach Middle School Biology. Any comments?

    • #7561

      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.

    • #7563

      I am in my early 30’s and having no results in finding a job. I have a business degree and obtained a teaching liscence (at a cost) in Social Studies. I did not play Football. Seems to be a popular “bi-product “of having a Social Studies certification here in Ohio. Seems to me I picked a bad time to have an intrest in teaching. My wife (who is a teacher) seems to think that if I were to get an ESL endorsement my marketability would improve. I have a hard time accepting that. What hapened to educating in English? When I took French in high school, the instructor did not speek a lik of english the entire time. I see your point about feeling discriminated against based on your resume. It is sad that there are people out there with your life experience that cannot even get a good look(all I have to my credit is a series of successful business turnarounds and a colege degree). We are victims of No Child Left Behind. I choose not to speak to employers about my political positions as they pertain to NCLB. Normal children have become the second class student. I understand helping those students who need it, but when it comes to hiring 4 special ed. teachers instaed of 6 regular ed. teahcers, we have a serious issue. Thanks W.

    • #7604

      Thank you, everybody, for your replies. I thought I was alone in my wanderings towards a job. However, it is sad that I have so much company.

      I posted the original, and since I posted it I’ve driven to 18 local districts to ‘show my face’ and drop off a resume, hoping to give ‘chance’ a chance to work. Didn’t happen.

      I’ve also attended two job fairs, where I got the good old HR glad hand. Texas, “Yeah, we got jobs. Move down here and we’ll talk about it.” I wonder if he even realized the absurdity of his statement. After returning from the fairs, I checked out all the districts who said they had social studies openings. Most of them had no openings listed, so why did they say they did? I’m not going to invest all the time those maddening applications take for districts with nary a job listed! I’m siding with those who feel HR are not very professional, no, I’m going to say after eight years of observing them, they are incompetent. I did get interviewed by one district in Columbia, SC. They told me they had one job, but speaking Spanish was required. There’s always something! I would have so liked that job, because my grandkids live there.

      So, I have decided to quit the circus, admit defeat and move on. After all, 400+ resumes delivered, 250 applications, countless administration building visits have netted me, since 2001, just four interviews, including the one above.

      What will I do? I used to sub in Oregon, where I also taught full time for a year. I am just 75 working hours away from being vested in their retirement system. At one of the April job fairs I was interviewed by the Oregon district where I subbed for four years, and they will likely rehire me. Unlike many people, I love the challenge of subbing, (maybe its that Navy life where everything was always changing) and I love being with the kids. Like someone else above that had a successful subbing career, that is exactly what I had. I had a list of teachers that requested me (they were my clients), and quite a following of kids, who liked me in their classroom.

      So, I’m going to semi-retire. I’m already retired from the Navy. I’ll return to Oregon and sub for 10 more years (who knows, maybe I’ll get a full-time position), giving me 15 years in their system at age 66. Then, I’ll apply for social security at full retirement age (I know, if it’s there) and have my Navy, my Oregon PERS and social security with their attendant medical coverage… and I can still sub.

      I have started writing short stories, and working on some other long neglected projects that subbing will give me time to attend to. I like that subbing allows me total control of my time. If a story or project needs me, I won’t take a job that day.

      Yes, it saddens me to know that the ‘education system’ has no use for me cause I’m male, too old and gray, have a MA and 2 BS, don’t coach, suffered disabilities serving in the forces that protect the nation… etc. But, for me, all that is really important is to ‘be there for the kids’. They need males as examples in their lives, and as a sub I had real influence on some of my kids, and it showed in what they went on to do, and in decisions they made. I’ve even had graduates stop by my subbing room to say ‘hi’.

      So, the chase is over. If I had it to do over again, maybe I wouldn’t. But, it’s all about the kids.
      A note to Bryan. This site seems geared to preK and elementary. What about all of us who are/want to teach middle and high school?

    • #7606
      Bryan G Nelson

      First, how frustrating trying to find a job teaching.

      I hope we’ll hear that you have a success in Oregoion with finding a fulltime teaching job.

      As for who MenTeach.org serves: We tend to focus on Early education because that is where the greatest disparity is for men teaching. Look at the percentages if male teachers:

      Data about male teachers

      It only makes sense to put the most resources towards the greatest need. If we end up with more male teachers at the youngest ages, then we are likely to get them for the older grades.

      What do you think?

    • #7608

      I like Bryan’s answer to your question Lance. It really describes how I understand MenTeach today. Bryan was being modest in that he did not mention that he has been supporting men in education for over 25 years now. His first efforts were with men in early childhood programs in Minnesota, but the scope of his efforts have greatly expanded since then. If I have it correctly, he was a Bush Fellow at the Harvard School of Public Health for a few years, studying this very topic.

      Although I can really understand and commiserate with your struggles with finding a teaching position, Oregon will be better with you coming here. I have recently taken a position with the Oregon Department of Education in Salem and have access to some of the hiring needs. What area of the state are you planning to move to?

      One bright spot in your plan is that as you are hoping to gain a full time position, school districts in Oregon are needing lots of new teachers to replace the hordes of baby boomers who are retiring each year. The shortage is especially acute in districts outside of Willamette Valley. Oregon has a plan where teachers can retire and collect state retirement and come back to teach full time in those remote areas of the state.

      I hope your plan works out and good luck.

      Bruce Sheppard

    • #7610

      Thanks for the clarification on the forum focus. What do I think? I think it makes sense and I hope it will get more men into education. For me, it will do little as I am already 56 and have 9 years to full retirement so my career is coming to a close, and I don’t have the time (not to mention the money as I’m $37K in the hole to student loans for my Masters and social studies education) to go back to school for the elementary cert.

      I am going to the Beaverton/Hillsboro area where I can sub every day as I look for a full time position. I have heard that there is so much demand for teachers, yet, when I go to the Portland ed fair (3X), and search school web sites there is just nothing there for social studies teachers. Demand for teachers, Yes, for social studies teachers specifically, very little. I also wonder if there is something fatal on my resume; that I have a masters, that I have three BS, that I’m 56, that I’m unmarried, that I’m disabled, that I’m retired military. I am not a new teacher as I am a boomer myself, so I am nearing retirement as well, and at worst I can earn a livable income subbing in Oregon along with my small Navy pension. At best, a job will come up. I love being with the kids, it is that simple, and even as a sub I have had worthwhile influence on numerous students as I became a regular in several schools in Beaverton and Hillsboro. Due to my retirement from the Navy, I have counseled several students in their military choices, and what to expect.

    • #7424

      Just posting to let those interested in teaching in Indiana that it is a tight market. I am licensed in elementary education and have been looking for three years for employment.

Viewing 23 reply threads
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.