Forum Replies Created
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.
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?
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.