Sunday, May 23, 2010

Tough Times for Unemployed Teachers - or not.

According to the NYTimes: Teachers Facing Weakest Market in Years, it's tough to get a job because of all the other teachers out looking. Of course, this IS Westchester County, Long Island so it's not surprising that there are 3000 applicants for 8 jobs.

With all these teachers available, I wonder about the other complaint floating around the blogosphere: that of unavailable people to fit into charter school jobs. Charter schools were complaining to the Wall Street Journal about the oh-so-onerous restrictions on hiring non-teachers that I wrote about the other day. Either they can't find or are simply offering too little money for too much work. Gotta keep up the salaries of the administration - inexperienced teaching at any cost.

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Back to the NYT and that glut of talent ... I wanted to know how many of these applications were from qualified people? Certified in some state? Certified in NY? Certified by Teach for America? Certified by the Online University of Wheaties Box? Reading further in the article reveals that there seemed to be qualified applicants; 200 were winnowed out of that 3000 and asked for interviews. Then they were given a timed writing test to further demonstrate ability, which shows the school's confidence in their resumes. There are probably 50 qualified people in that pile. Now at about 6 per job, how many would really fit the position and enjoy working with the kids?

Applying is not like it used to be. It's easy to apply for multiple positions on - click a button and done. No fuss, no expense, no effort. Click on one, click on fifty. No Problem.

Any mention of a position really brings out the flakes, whackjobs and mouthbreathers. Some aren't qualified to drive to the school, never mind teach. Others are frantically clicking "Apply" without even reading whether they've got any training for the particular courses. I guess the thought is "I can click, why not apply?" The answer, for those not catching the sarcasm, is "because you're applying to teach math and you got Cs and Ds throughout college and never once took a class higher than Algebra for Non-College Bound Students."

What's tough is for truly qualified teachers who are suddenly laid off is to get through that enormous crowd and make it into the final stages. Once there, they have a great chance because quality is so rare these days.

PELHAM, N.Y. — In the month since Pelham Memorial High School in Westchester County advertised seven teaching jobs, it has been flooded with 3,010 applications from candidates as far away as California. The Port Washington District on Long Island is sorting through 3,620 applications for eight positions — the largest pool the superintendent has seen in his 41-year career.

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