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Tuesday, February 12, 2008

I need a geographical change.

Perhaps in contrast to the sentiment expressed in my last post, I actually am actively looking for and applying to teaching jobs.

I currently reside in the midwest (home of even more snow).

I am thinking about applying to teach in kind of randomly chosen school districts in the southwest (home of much less snow).

I have a question for people who have at some point in their lives acquired teaching jobs -
Is it a bad idea to blindly apply to school districts? Or rather, apply to school districts based only upon what I can find out about the district and the town using a combination of the district website, wikipedia, and ZIPskinny? Will I end up in a really bad situation if that is what I do, or is that how people usually find jobs?

(At the same time, I'm applying to teaching jobs in bilingual schools throughout Latin America, which is a post-in-progress, at the moment. Needless to say, these out-of-the-country schools are my "reach schools," in college application speak.)


Blogger BrightStar said...

That is how I had to do it -- apply blindly. I didn't know about other options. I don't know that it would have worked out any better or any worse if I had more information about the place ahead of time.

Best wishes.

6:57 AM  
Blogger MsAbcMom said...

I wish that I had the freedom to just blindly choose and go. That sounds really cool to me.

Go to South America! I used to attend Nido de Aguilas school in Chile as well as Asociacion Escuelas Lincoln in Argentina from grades 4-7. I have fond memories of learning there so I must have had good teachers, right?

If you have the opportunity to go abroad, do it while you can because you may never have the chance again.

Good luck to you wherever you go!

7:08 AM  
Blogger ZIPskinny Blog said...

If you've got a specific area in mind, it might be a good idea to look for bloggers who live in that area, make contact with them, and pick their brains. Most people in large metropolitan areas have at least a good general idea of which districts and schools in their areas have good reputations and which do not.

I love it when people use my website, but the idea that someone might choose their future employer and location based on ZIPskinny gives me the heebie-jeebies.

Pick people's brains when you can find brains to pick. Also look around to see if there are any district and school "scorecards" (a fair number of state education agencies now publish this kind of information, I suspect) which might point you towards the more successful/well-run districts and schools.

Best of luck!

9:03 AM  
Blogger Not Quite Grown Up... said...

Brightstar - Thanks for the input.

MsABCmom - If any of the schools I'm applying to in Latin America offer me a job, I'm most certainly going to accept! However, most request 2 years of experience, which technically speaking, I do not have. But, I agree that if I'm ever going to run off to a new-to-me country, now is the time to do it. And that is also why I'm applying to those schools now, instead of waiting the two years for me to get real experience. I'm afraid if I don't do this right away, I'll either chicken out, or get too settled to be able to rationalize picking up and leaving the country for a year or two.

ZIPskinny - I'm using your site primarily to tell me the demographics of the schools: the number of students, the student:teacher ratio, the racial makeup of the student body, and the number of students on free/reduced lunch. Assuming your information is fairly accurate, it is very helpful, since the district websites don't necessarily share all of, or certain parts of, that information. And, if I can find people's brains to pick, I will do that too. But as of now, I don't know anyone from those areas, and in some cases I don't know of any bloggers from those areas either. (But don't worry, I'm not just using ZIPskinny.com to choose a job/home.)

7:52 PM  
Blogger J said...

way to go! you're making some choices and that is great. choosing blindly means you'll be more open and receptive to whatever happens. as for applying overseas, WOW! awesome!

11:03 AM  
Blogger Not Quite Grown Up... said...

J - Your response made me really happy. Thanks for the enthusiasm!

8:46 PM  

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