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ollie5 ollie5 is offline
 
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If you are over 27 you need not apply
Old 11-02-2009, 09:45 AM
 
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I've been looking for a teaching job, in all 50 states, for over 4 years now and I haven't even been called for an interview. Why? I'm over 50, and principals only want young, under 30 teachers, who are pleasing to look at in their schools. I've done the online applications and I have physically brought my resume package to listed principals, but when I sub for these positions the following fall, who do I see? Blond, under 30 year old teachers, who are related to a school board member, a teacher, a principal of a school, or an administrator.

I was called by one out of state prospective employer, who proceeded to get all of my previous work information from me, which was omitted from my resume so they would just look at me, and when they realized that I was over 50 I received a "thank you for your interest in our school district, but no thank you" letter.

As for subbing....I've been subbing and working summer intervention programs the entire 4 years, in my midwest state, hoping to get in the "old school network," and I know now that all I am to my school district is a "certified BODY that is needed in the classroom on that particular day" and that is all I will ever be to them.

Yes I have the patience, work ethics, and what ever else a person over 50 has [including a 4.0 GPA, high Praxis scores, and an initial educator license], but I'm not 27, and in fact I'm older than most principals if you think about it. Therefore they won't hire me or anybody else over 27 regardless of my qualifications.

Do I sound bitter....yes and no. I'm bitter because of the nepotism and ageism in the school districts around the country and, if my university had told me the truth about this, I would have chosen another major. No, because now I know NOW that I'll never be hired as an elementary teacher, so now this gives me the freedom to persue life outside of education field while all of you still continue to hit your heads against the wall.


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Old 11-02-2009, 09:53 AM
 
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I understand what you're saying, but I think more so than looks and being very young, it's all about who you know. I just turned 23 and have been applying for jobs like crazy. Still haven't received an interview and I am getting very frustrated. I am aggressive and push to get answers and was told by several people that they must have thrown my resume away because I did not speak with some administration people before sending it in. BUT you can't speak with them about job openings unless you have subbed there before or know them in another way, like you said. Also, many places won't take you unless you have experience teaching in their district, but how can you GET experience if no one will give any?!

I'm sorry you're going through what you are, but you are not alone. Please don't feel isolated and attacked.

Last edited by MandyTeaches; 11-02-2009 at 09:54 AM.. Reason: spelling
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Old 11-02-2009, 10:54 AM
 
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Thank you Mandy Teaches, but have you looked around this site? Pinacolada is getting an INTERVIEW, in CA, because she KNOWS somebody....if that isn't nepotism, I don't know what is.
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Old 11-02-2009, 11:06 AM
 
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I know, that's what I mean. It's about who you know, unfortunately. Qualified teachers are getting their info thrown away because our names and experience mean nothing since there is no reason to look at it. The next step is having experience in that school/dictrict but, if you don't have any, you can't get any. It makes no sense.
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Old 11-02-2009, 03:01 PM
 
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You absolutely have to know someone. I don't think age necessarily has much to do with it, though; it's just the crappy job market. And as incredibly frustrating as this all is for us, when I talk to a principal that's just gotten 250 resumes for a single job posting, I can understand why they only interview the "connected" people--unfortunately, most of those other 249 people look just as good as you do on paper, and how are they supposed to figure out who's worth interviewing?

Again, I don't think it's necessarily ageism. I'm 32 but look younger (someone asked me if I was still in college last summer! ) and have been job-hunting and subbing for 3 years. In that time, I've gotten exactly one public school interview--at a school where I generally sub at least once a week and everyone knows me. (Not good enough--that job ended up going to a relative of a teacher in the building.) I know many, many other subs in their late 20's/early 30's who are in the same boat.


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Old 11-02-2009, 03:12 PM
 
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Yes, you have to know someone. Plain and simple truth. Many other jobs can be like that, but teaching is one of the worst. The people who get jobs know somebody. If someone has connections and uses them, you can't fault them for it. Think about it - if two teachers are equally qualified but one has connections, who are you going to hire?
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Old 11-02-2009, 04:08 PM
 
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I was hired for this year and I am over 40. I had been looking for over a year, and it is all about who you know. Yes, it sucks. Good luck, I hope you find something to make you happy whether it is in education or not.
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Old 11-02-2009, 04:15 PM
 
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I have been at a new school for 3 years now. When I decided I wanted to get closer to home I applied to 4 schools and somehow got an interview in all 4 schools. I did not know a single person in any of the schools but I still got interviews. They all called for interviews within two weeks and I only went on two before I accepted a job at a school district where again I knew nobody and I turned down the interviews for the other two. I was also over 30 when I applied. I am not saying that nepotism is not common I am just saying that it can happen. You can be that one that gets an interview even when you don't know anybody. Good Luck.
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Old 11-02-2009, 08:52 PM
 
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Yes, I agree, unfortunately this job market is not the best to try to find jobs at District schools. I'm almost 50 and applied and/or sent out over 50 resumes to schools who had close to 300 applicants for each position available. I know that some of the jobs I applied for went to people who were known by someone in the District. Regardless of qualifications, it is who you know and not necessarily how qualified you are.

Have you tried Charter Schools. I know it is kind of risky, depending on the one you interview with. Do your homework and search for as much information as you can online.

I'm currently working at a Charter school, but before accepting the job, I made sure I knew what I was getting into. It's not a good situation although my principal is great. I'll try to network with teachers I know who work at a District school and try to land a job there.

Good luck :-)
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Old 11-04-2009, 03:41 AM
 
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First off, I'm sorry you are having such a difficult time.

Secondly, my three years of experience will not mean anything in CA. My father in law does know people and said he can get me an interview but we will see if that happens.

Thirdly, are you familiar with The Columbia Readers and Writers Workshop Model (Balanced Literacy)? If not, I suggest you take some workshops and read up on it (so you can put it in your resume). I know in NJ that's what many elem schools are looking for and speaking from personal experience I started getting many offers/interviews once I showed that I was familiar with that program.

Hope that helps!


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Old 11-04-2009, 03:33 PM
 
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I lived in NJ for 15 years. I couldn't get an interview in the public schools. I'm good at what I do, but it was an extremely tight market when I lived there.

I moved to NC and had my choice of jobs each time I looked to change. It's tighter here right now, but jobs are still available in some areas.

It depends on what area of the country you are in, and maybe even what district within a state. But, I will add that in some places it's all about who you know and even sometimes what you are willing to do to get a job (Yes, this does happen!!)
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Old 11-06-2009, 11:35 AM
 
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It does seem to be all about who you know! And it does stink.

However, on the flip side, at our school, we have been "burned" several times, hiring people who *seem* great at the interview and turn out to be horrendous. But weʻve given them a contract and all we can do is wait for the year to end to not continue them. Now our admin is really hesitant to hire people unless they have heard good things.

I hope you get in the door soon! That stinks
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I don't think that is a truth that your
Old 11-07-2009, 10:59 AM
 
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university could have told you about. Older people do get hired. Most individuals coming out of teacher programs are younger. The majority of my cohort was between 27 and 32. There were a few in their earlier 20s, and a few who were in late 30s to early 50s. I was in that group. I was 40 were I was hired for my first teaching job, and 44 when I was hired for my next teaching job. I was also relatively expensive for a beginning teacher because my education level put in the second highest lane. I knew absolutely no one on either hiring committee. My first search was relatively easy. I think it took about a month, but I took a job that my instincts warned me against, and ended up having a very hard time. My second job search was incredibly disheartening and frustrating. I think I lost count after 80 applications, and I can't even remember how many applications I put in before I got really serious about my job search. I only got about 5 interviews. I repeatedly redid my resume and cover letter, volunteered at one particular school (where I was not hired), took courses, substituted. Finally I got a job and there I remain. I reapplied for a position that I had tried for months earlier and got no response from. The original person changed her mind about taking the job. Through my substituting and the practicum I had taken years earlier during student teaching, I had gained a specialization that few others have and was becoming in demand in my district.
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Old 11-07-2009, 03:18 PM
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Old 11-07-2009, 03:23 PM
 
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I definitely feel like I'm experiencing age discrimation. I'm 47. I've been working part time non-continuing contracts for several years and they'll hire me for those. They rave over me and tell me what a good job I do, yet when a full time opening comes up they hire a brand new teacher.

I do know people. I even consider our human resources director a friend. It's not getting me hired.

Based on the schools I've worked in, I've come to the conclusion that if the prinicpal is younger than me I'm not getting hired permanently. Now if I could just find some schools with principals that are older than me - hard to do in our area.

I also think the the fact that I was didn't teach or worked part time for many years while I was a SAHM (I taught prior to staying home) is held against me by many principals becase they see it as a weakness that I'm not as career driven as someone who chose to continue working might be.
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What's a teacher to do?
Old 11-13-2009, 01:22 PM
 
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After reading all the replies to ollie5's message, I just want to crawl under my blanket and cry. I have been teaching for 22 years in a private school. Last may I left my position which I loved because of a personal disagreement with the new administrator. I started subbing at the public schools in my area. I love teaching, but I don't know anyone that can help me get a permanent job. I am also 50 years old. Is there a place for teachers like me?
I really don't want to end my career. What else would I do?
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Don't know.....
Old 11-13-2009, 04:31 PM
 
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I don't have an answer to this situation, however, I can spread hope. Five years ago I started applying for teaching jobs and got the first one I interviewed for...I was 50 at the time......and I'm still in the classroom (hopefully for 5 more years).
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Old 11-15-2009, 08:46 PM
 
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I appreciate everyone's input. I am looking for a job, too, and I am over 50. I live in NC and there have been lay-off in the grades higher than third, because of budget cuts. Teachers have also taken a small pay decrease, but I don't know if that will continue. As a result of layoffs of the upper elementary grades, some teachers are moving down to third grade or below.
I was going to attend the annual ele. educ. job fair at East Carolina University this past summer, but it was cancelled because of the lack of jobs!! Can you believe that? What does that tell you? It had not been cancelled prior to this year.
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If it makes you feel any better....
Old 11-24-2009, 11:24 AM
 
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I'm younger than 27 and I couldn't even land an interview at the school district I graduated salutatorian from...
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May I please see your resume
Old 12-17-2009, 01:45 PM
 
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Hello, I enjoyed reading your post about your success on getting an interview at all 4 schools and congrats on landing a job. Is there anyway I could take a look at your resume? There must be something on there that helped you standout and I could use any tips available. Please let me know and perhaps we could exchange email address? Thanks and hope you have a great and safe holiday!

Sarah
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Old 12-19-2009, 08:18 PM
 
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I really donít know where to really begin. I feel age discrimination is present when trying to find a teaching job, but it goes both ways. Iím 26, have applied to 100+ jobs, and Iíve only had six interviews. At the school where I completed my student teaching (the school that I also attended as a child) I was unable to land a job teaching there. Both of the jobs that have been open there in the last 2 years have gone to women who are in their 40ís, have children, and have much more experience than I have. Ironically, both of these women have also known someone within the district.
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Old 12-24-2009, 01:55 PM
 
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I am reading all of this and I am like the majority 50-yr old female with a 4.0 GPA on my MAT degree, with no job prospects on the horizons. However, I know several of my graduating cohorts - who have not taken their PRAXIS II, have lower GPA's than mine, and are younger who all have been hired complete with contracts - so much for NCLB highly qualified in the SPED area. My endorsement is in SPED - one would think I could find something there.

I already know this rather large metro area school district pulled the age card on me, and I cannot wait until I turn in my PRAXIS scores, ask them about middle-career people with high scores, and wait to see what they say. Oh, yes, I will turn them over for age discrimination.

In the meantime, I expect to be un-hired because I am no longer a young 30 something blonde and appear to be worthless.... Totally ridiculous and if I would have known how bad the good ole boys club was in education, I would never have wasted the $40K on this degree and would have pursued the PhD instead. Not sure how I will pay back those loans without the job!
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age discrimination
Old 12-24-2009, 03:16 PM
 
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Yep, there is definite age discrimination and nepotism in education, as there is in almost every other field.

Recently I was part of an interviewing committee to hire a teacher at my school. I was the oldest person in the room. The committee consisted of the principal, three teachers, the custodian, and a parent. All male, except for another teacher and me.

We saw 8 candidates, two of whom were clearly over 45. One of those two was the most qualified person in the bunch, and came highly recommended. I was the only one who voted for her. The rest of the group voted for either the pretty 23-year old who looked (and acted) like Brittney Spears, or the attractive 28-ish woman who was related to a school board member.

Brittney won out, and now, after a year and a half on the job, she is still struggling with her class. We should have hired the most qualified person.
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I know how you feel.
Old 01-02-2010, 10:10 PM
 
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I was a non traditional student who returned to school after twenty years. I areceived my initial license last summer. There are four schools within thirty miles of my home and each one of those schools only hired one teacher last year. In every case the teacher hired had connections to the school. I certainly don't blame them. If I am honest I would have to admit to being jealous that I don't have the same advantage. I have subbed at two of the schools this past year and will continue to do so. They advertise that there is a teacher shortage but that is honestly not the case right now. Teachers who are eligible to retire are not doing so because they don't feel that they can afford it. I do not plan to move from this area because my son is eighth grade and I don't want to move him and quite frankly it would not pay me to go anywhere else. I have very low rent payments and low utility bills. I will continue to pray for a permanent position and in the mean time I may have to continue my education just to avoid paying back student loans and hopfully expand my job opportunities.
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Old 01-27-2010, 09:26 AM
 
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I did get a job, but not in elementary education. It is nice getting a regular paycheck and it is wonderful that I do not have to call the district sub office, at 6 am, begging for work.

Like all of you, right now, I am applying online for full or part-time teaching positions, however, if I am not called to be interviewed by a Principal, who wants a young & under 27 year old to be in his/her school, I do not have to worry or stress out because I have a job.
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