Have you noticed that there isn’t job security in teaching any more?
There are two reasons I went into teaching – job security and to stay married.
While I had the same job, pay and hours when we were dating, my husband had a real problem with the job once we got married. Well, he probably didn’t realize how many late hours I had, nor did he realize I made almost double what he did. Switching to teaching really helped his attitude.
But the main reason for me was job security, I worked three jobs in a row that had no security, and they were constantly laying people off. I did a lot of research before I got my teaching certificate and realized the following:
- Math teachers had the best job security and I only needed a few hours of math to get math certified, so I did.
- Traditionally certified teachers had the best job security, so I got a traditionally teaching certificate rather than work on an emergency certificate (I had an offer), or an alternative certificate – many districts in our area wouldn’t hire someone alternatively certified from other districts (with good reason).
- Being multi-certified got you into smaller schools, which I prefer working at. I work at a 4a which means we are usually under 2000 students, and should be around 1500.
Even with all that, job security has gone through the window. My district uses CEI (Classroom Effectiveness Indices) which are determined by TAKS test scores (Texas Assessment of Basic Skills, our do or die test) and by ACPs (Assessment of Course Performance, our district finals). If your CEI’s are not good enough, your principal will release you and go find someone that will get better CEIs.
Since I teach Computer Science I don’t have CEIs, because the sample size is too low. What determines whether or not I teach CS is determined by the number of students I have enrolled. In my lean years (last year was one), I teach remedial math.
If push comes to shove, I have and can teach math full time exclusively and have good results when I do. I particularly like teaching remedial math, which I did last year. However, it is emotionally exhausting, since most of what I have to do is to find and solve the problems that are keeping students from passing.
The reason last year was a lean year, is because my Associate Principal of Curriculum (Dean) and I made the decision to not allow 9th graders to take my classes, which meant most of the interested students in the building had already taken my class. I even overdid the recruiting, meaning that we’re going to have full classes in every class period and are going to have to prioritize who gets to take the class (seniors will receive the highest, etc., especially since they still need a technology course to graduate.)
By the way, I actually recruited double the number of students I teach.
I still don’t feel that my job is secure as I used to. Two years ago, we were over staffed because of a spreadsheet error. Well, there was more to it than that. A lot of principals had not adjusted their staffing because of enrollment. Fortunately the last two principals I have had under hire teachers, rather than over hire. We’ve also had a lot of people released due to poor school performance. They are on the first hire list, as I would be if I were released by my principal.
By the way, there are not a lot of openings for Computer Science teachers – the good news, I can retire in 6 years, and have a decent pension to support me. However, I still really like teaching, especially the kid part.