Post # 1
I graduated in May with a degree in Elementary Education. My husband and I had to move 3 hours away so he could attend medical school. I couldn’t get a full time position in this district, so I’m subbing. I love a lot of the things about my job – I love seeing the different schools and learning which ones would be ideal to work in. I love working with children and (most days) have a smile on my face from all the silly things said or cute things that they did. I love the teachers that I come in contact with who have gone through what I am going through and give me advice to help get my foot in the door. I love that I already have some teachers who ask for me by name when they need a sub. And I LOVE when I’m actually left lesson plans that allow for me to TEACH instead of babysit.
But I desperately want my own classroom. I’m tired of the uncertainty of my job. I have no idea if and when I will be working or where I will be working. I hate getting last minute phone calls. I don’t like having to crawl out of bed super early on days I’m not booked to sit and wait/search for job positions (I especially hate this when I end up not getting anything for the day). I hate the attitude that the majority of teachers and staff have towards me as a sub. Many have been nice, welcoming, and helpful. But just as many have been condescending and just downright rude. I hate feeling alone and awkward because I don’t know anyone at the schools. I hate having to follow lesson plans that aren’t very detailed or don’t make sense. I hate feeling like I’m crossing a boundary when I discipline students. I RARELY discipline the students and feel that I’m pretty lenient, but I still have had a teacher act upset because a few of her boys got in trouble with me. Which leads me to another point – I HATE when a group of students decides to be extra mean and obnoxious because there’s a sub. This is to be expected to some degree, but some of the classes are just mean. I hate not having any type of benefits. And I hate not contributing as much as I could be if I was working full-time.
The district tells me that there are subs who have been subbing for over 2 years and still haven’t gotten a full-time position. They tell me that for each job, there are about a hundred applicants. What teachers have told me show that the district is not lying – it takes about 2 years to get a job up here. The problem is in less than 2 years now, we have to move again because of my husband’s medical school program. Luckily, we will be closer to home and where I did my student teaching so I feel I have a better chance of a position there. But part of me is afraid that I’ll be subbing for several years, and it’s just so depressing because I put so much effort to do well throughout all of college. I had a great student teaching experience and I KNOW that I will be a great teacher if someone would just give me a chance.
Any teacher bees have to go through this? How long did you sub before getting a full-time position? Advice?
Post # 3
I think most people with education degrees have gone through this recently. Cutbacks in education funding have been deep across the country. My cousin is a teacher in San Diego, and the only reason she hasn’t been pink slipped is because she is a severe special education instructor….there are too few like her around for them to be able to cut her, and her job is legally required. All of her friends are stuck in subbing hell until funding bounces back and they can regain a permanent position.
Unfortunately, I think it’s part of “paying dues” in that field right now :-(. So sad how underfunded teaching positions are right now!!!
Post # 4
@crayfish: I guess the main reason it bothers me is because I know that quite a few people that graduated with me were able to get positions right away. They all have positions closer to where I moved from, so I feel like if we did not have to move, I would have had a better chance. There’s just a lot more competition where I am now. =(
Post # 5
I wish I could give you hope but I have none. I graduated in May 2009 with a degree in Early Childhood Education. I applied everywhere and only got one interview. I was forced to get a retail job in order to have money and get benefits.
I’m still at that retail job. I apply to all jobs within an hours drive and sub on my days off from my full time gig. I wish I could quit my retail job in order to sub more but there is a lot of uncertainity about whether I’d make enough to get by. PLus we really need my steady income at the moment.
If it’s something you really want to do in life, keep at it. I have my really sad days where I know I am not where I want to be in my career. I want to be in front of kids teaching them, not stocking shelves. And I know one day it will happen. Even if I have to go back to school and get my special education certificate or something else to make me more desirable than the 100s others that are applying for the same job. Keep your head held high. You are making an impression and it’s really great that certain teachers are asking for you when they need a sub.
Post # 6
- Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL
Maybe look into a homeschooling network locally to see if you can regularly teach/tutor certain subjects or classes to groups of children. That way you could have a lesson plan.
Early childhood education is difficult to start out in pretty much everywhere because colleges graduate thousands of them every year. Half of my sorority (~100 ladies) were majoring in and graduating with degrees in early childhood education. Less people seem to want to teach middle schoolers and high schoolers. Are there better prospects if you specialize or get a certificate in a certain area (like special education as rec’d by PP?)
It took me almost 3 years after graduating and two years after I became licensed to get my first full time job in my career area. (Graduated May 2008, licensed October 2008, and worked contracts until October 2010 when I received a full time position.)
Post # 7
@dayl20: You graduated in May?! That was not even a year ago…maybe because I’m in NY, things are different…I graduated with my undergrad in elementary and special education, certified birth-6th grade in May 2007. I worked in the same district waiting for a full time probationary teacher position doing different things for 4 years. I was a teacher assistant (treated as a co-teacher), and then a leave for a teacher on maternity leave for 2 years. Finally, they had so many budget cuts and my position was eliminated along w/30 other teachers. After all of that experience, it took me 6 months of being out of work completely (occasionally subbing in the same district)…In addition, after my 2nd year of graduating college, I attained special education certification through 12th grade-I have a total of 7 NYS teacher certifications. Finally, last March, I got my first full time probationary teacher appointment-5 years after I had graduated with my undergrad.
I don’t know how the market is in your area, but I would have never expected a teacher position 8 months after graduating-it’s basically unheard of here. Most expect to sub or do leaves for more than a couple of years before getting hired. A very sad truth I’ve seen so, so many times is that is really is who you know. The superintendent’s friend’s daughter will always get hired over the person who has put their time in. Good luck-I’d suggest laying roots in a select few schools and committing to subbing there, while trying to build relationhips with other teachers and admin there.
ETA-When I graduated in 2007, my class was told for every teacher position, there are 640 applicants. I just re-read your post and saw your comment about the # of applicants in your area, figured I’d include mine to maybe add from my perspective.
Post # 8
@dayl20: I live in Canada and it’s the same way over here. In fact, I know many people with education degrees who have pretty much given up the idea of being teachers… ever.
I know that’s not exactly encouraging, and it’s not going to really help for anyone to say that you should be grateful for these subbing opportunities, but it’s the truth.
I would say that you need to keep plugging away at it. In the grand scheme of things, 2 years isn’t a lot. On the bright side, this is great experience.
You could look for a totally unrelated job for the time being, but that won’t help you when you move back and try to get your own classroom.
It seems like everyone wants to be a teacher… it’s scary.
Just keep at it, and you will have your own classroom one day. All this experience keeps your resume current.
Post # 9
@WhatMaeBee: I guess it’s just difficult because the district and surrounding districts that I student taught in is in such desperate need of teachers that students do get positions right after graduation. Everyone that I know that stayed in the area was able to get full-time positions right away or sub for a semester and then land a full-time position. It seems to be that the southern part of the state is always in desperate need of teachers, but I’m in the northern part of the state now because of my husband’s schooling and things are different up here. I don’t think I’d mind the subbing if it wasn’t for the fact that when I go home to visit, certain family members question me and basically make me feel like a failure because I’m not a full-time teacher.
Post # 10
@dayl20: I think people seriously misjudge how difficult it is…don’t let them make you feel bad. You’re trying…I cried in his office when my principal hired me, it’s a hard pill to swallow when you’re trying to do something you love (as opposed to some others who graduated with a business degree or something less specific). Keep your chin up-it will take a while, but it’ll be worth it.
Post # 11
Don’t feel like a failure because you don’t have a full time spot yet. Like others said, teaching is very unique and limited (if anything, there are less jobs every year which is the opposite of other career paths).
My husband is a full time teacher here in Chicago. While he has been teaching long enough to the point where he is tenured, he is still at risk of having his school shut down, at which point he’d have to be a sub for a year. He had to work in the WORST neighborhood in the city for 3 years before he could even find another job at a better school, and even then, it’s still not in the best area. We desperately want to move to the suburbs but we legally can’t because we have to live in the city limits due to his job.
We are both glad he has a job, but recently he has been questioning his career path since there are so many problems and so many obstacles when you are a teacher (especially in our area).
He has even debated quitting his job in the city so we can move to the suburbs just so he could sub around that area in hopes of getting to know administrators at the other schools. It’s not always worlds easier when you do have a full time teaching position.
Post # 12
I’m a teacher – in my 11th year now. I’d suggest two things.
one – Look at what grades your degree covers. If it goes up to 6th or 7th grade, apply for jobs in those areas as less people want to work with that age group.
two – if you don’t already have a Master’s degree, use this time to get one. Most school districts don’t pay for advanced schooling and in most palces you are required to have one after so many years (in VA, you have to have classes towards a Masters within 3 years). It is SO much easier to get the degree done BEFORE you are teaching full time than to try to do it while in your first few years.