Post # 1
**We are not limiting this to Orange County, but it seemed like the most reasonable “central” spot.**
My husband and I *really* want to live in Coastal California. Currently we live in NYC (my husband is originally from Southern Turkey on the Mediterranean coast, and I am from Upstate NY).
We both really love the sea, the sun, the outdoors & nature, and spring weather. My husband is a swimmer/swim teacher/physical education teacher/athlete, etc. I am a teacher of English to Speakers of Other Languages. For these reasons, I feel like a move to California wouldn’t be a bad decision as I don’t think there would be a shortage of job opportunities for us (all things considered, i know we’re in a recession) considering our fields.
I’m looking for a place that gives us access to:
- beaches (we want something coastal)
- sunny weather
- immigrants needing English lessons
- an openness towards other cultures
- vegetation (I don’t want to live in the desert)
- relatively affordable (I don’t want an unsafe neighborhood, but I’m not a millionaire)
- Family friendly
- Things to do (we are used to city living, and though I don’t need a sprawling metropolis, we get bored easily — we like to be outdoors, to enjoy a variety of ethnic foods, shopping, swimming, etc.)
- Some proximity to different kinds of land/landforms (mountains within some reasonable driving distance, forests, etc.)
Ideas? Input? Advice?
Post # 3
Ventura County has everything you’re looking for. It’s quieter than the LA area, but only about an hour and a half or so drive from LAX.
I enjoy the city of Oxnard, personally. Ventura is also on the water. I’ll be moving to Oxnard in March, but I’ve spent a lot of time there in the last few years since it’s where my Fiance lives so I know a bit about it, but not everything.
If you have any more questions I’ll try to help.
Post # 4
Finding a teaching job in California is VERY VERY VERY difficult. I left California after being let go from my teaching job 3 years ago. They have done many more lay-offs and school closues since I left the San Diego area. I’m currently teaching in Oregon. The majority of teachers in California have certification to teach English Language Learners because it was part of our credential program requirements. I would say that you should DEFINITELY find jobs before you move there. Orange County coastal areas are very expensive (possibly comparable to NYC). San Juan Capistrano (an Orange County district) laid off about 250 teachers last year. They always hire back their laid-off teachers before they do new hires.
If this sounds negative, I’m sorry, just wanted to give you a realistic impression of the teaching field in Cali. It’s competitive and complicated right now.
The website for finding teaching jobs in California: http://edjoin.org/. I would say check it every day between now and August. Jobs pop up every once in a while.
Southern California is a lovely place to live if you have a good job. My Fiance and I plan on moving back once things get better in the eduation field. 🙂
Post # 5
Thanks for the input. It’s helpful. I’ll look into Ventura County. 🙂
Thank you for your reply. I am aware of the teaching situation in California, and I was afraid of that. It is also bad here in New York. I am, though, open to different kinds of jobs in the education field, but I am not sure exactly what. I would be open to some kind of consultation position, an out of classroom position, working with outside agencies and organizations, etc.
As you mentioned, all/most teachers have an ESL/TESOL credential which defnitely changes the game for me… Are there any “traditional ESL” type teachers left in CA?
We would definitely secure jobs before moving, that’s for sure.
Post # 6
@multinational: I thought you might be mad that I was bursting your bubble, so I’m glad you see I’m trying to be helpful. 🙂
There are sometimes traditional ESL teaching positions open. But the trend has gone toward all the teachers in California having the ELL (we call it CLAD–Cross Cultural Language and Academic Development) certification, and then every teacher is teaching with the ELL student in mind….because you might have a class of 33 kids where 28 of them are ELL (in elementary for example), depending upon the area in which you teach. The pull-out programs where the kids go see an ELL specialist for a small portion of the day doesn’t happen as much because you have many districts where the majority of kids are ELL.
Here is a list of charter schools in San Diego. They sometimes do hiring a little differently, and might love that you’re from a different part of the country and could bring something new to their schools. There is probably a list like this for Orange Country schools as well, but I don’t have it bookmarked.
I would say, with those schools, you could just start getting on the phone or emailing with their admins. The other public schools deal strictly with edjoin.org, and it’s much harder to get an interview because one job opening might have 700+ applicants. The charter schools are sometimes a little more personal.
Are you bilingual? There are sometimes positions for teachers who have a BCLAD (bilingual) certification…if they are fully bilingual in English and Spanish. You can take a test to get this certification, and it might help you get a job at a school that does English/Spanish emmersion.
Post # 7
Another area that might be worth looking into is San Luis Obispo. It’s located on the Central Coast and might be a little too “small town” but it offers most of, if not all of, the items on your wish list. It’s a college town with a really great downtown area. It’s proximate to Santa Barbara/Ventura (about 90 min to Santa Barbara), offers lots of hiking, and the homes have a LOT of character! I think there’s a lot of stuff to do in and around the area but then again, I’ve never lived in NYC!
Post # 8
I lived in Orange County and San Diego and hated it for the most part- moved back to the Bay Area because I missed trees (my friends in San Diego thought a forest was a hill with oak trees!!).
A lot of where you decide to live has to do with political standpoints as well as what you expect from a town. My two favorite coastal areas are SLO and Santa Cruz. I found OC and SD to be too conservative as well as too sunny (I enjoy seasons).
Price can also be a factor (Orange County is split in two- the 949 area code and 714- 949 is more affluent, 714 is more populated- Disneyland- more Hispanics- teaching opportunity possibly.)
Laguna Beach is one of the more liberal areas- a lot of artists etc, but more expensive because it’s basically all ocean-facing.
SLO and Santa Cruz are both college towns with great access to a multitude of scenery. Santa Cruz is just over the hill from Silicon Valley- many people who live there commute over the hill.
Good luck figuring out a place you would like to relocate to.
I would suggest taking a trip out with a few days to drive up the coast and really get a feel for each area.
Post # 9
Very helpful information.
We are planning to take a road trip up (or down) the coast this summer. Its in the mix already and we are soooooo excited.
Politics is definitely a concern for us. Someone mentioned Laguna Beach as a possibility, maybe that’s why. 😉
I’ll take everything you say into consideration.