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No Teaching Job for 2009-2010? Still Stay Involved in Education


If you are facing the prospect of not being employed as a full-time teacher this fall, you should consider what alternatives you have to stay involved in education throughout the 2009-2010 academic year to improve your chances of landing a teaching job in the future.

Substitute teaching is probably the most obvious alternative. School administrators often regard subbing as a job audition. If you are able to prove to administrators that you can handle the tough job of being a substitute teacher, you are showing them your talents rather than just providing a resume and an application. Some teacher candidates are concerned, however, that a school district will want to keep a talented substitute teacher as a sub and will pass them up to hire other candidates for full-time positions. If you prove that you are an outstanding teacher, smart administrators will want to employ you full-time when they get the opportunity rather than take a chance that you will leave their district for another job elsewhere. If that becomes the case, they lose you as a substitute teacher and as a full-time teacher.

Unfortunately, some teacher candidates do just an adequate job (or worse) as a sub. Since many schools need substitute teachers, if you show that you are a mediocre sub, you may still be called for daily sub assignments because someone has to be in the classroom, but the district will find better candidates for full-time vacancies. If you choose to sub, take each assignment as a professional challenge to showcase your teaching talents.

There may be para-professional jobs available for you such as being a teacher's aide. If you choose this route, work closely with the teacher or teachers you are assigned to demonstrating your professional capabilities. Don't try to upstage the teachers or to usurp their authority. First gain their trust and respect and then look for opportunities to excel in the classroom with the welfare of your students being your highest priority.

Other options for you may be coaching, getting involved with extracurricular activities such as a school play, tutoring (either in the schools or in private firms such as Sylvan Learning Centers), or working for an online cyber school, an early childhood center, or an organization that runs programs for children such as a YMCA. You may find employment at a community college or pursue a graduate assistantship related to education if you choose to seek a master's degree. If you do choose a graduate degree program, consider one that will earn you additional certifications making you more marketable in future job searches. Graduate classes also provide excellent networking opportunities with professors and with other students who may be employed as teachers.

If teaching is your passion, you need to stay involved in education somehow even though there may be higher paying jobs available outside of education. If you are not involved in education, you risk losing touch with teachers and administrators in the field who may serve as references, and you may have a hard time staying current with issues in education. A few years outside of education will be difficult to explain to administrators who will ask, "Why should I hire you when there are other candidates who have current, related experience in education?"

Stay involved in the field of education and gain additional experience, refine your teaching skills, and expand your professional network. Most likely, your efforts will pay off in a teaching job eventually.

--John F. Snyder,

Co-Director of Career Services,

Slippery Rock University of PA


I followed my heart, and with kids grown and gone returned to college to get a teaching credential and masters degree. Then, it took 3 years to get a teaching job. The job lasted for two years. Budget cutbacks have put me out of work. Substituting, coaching, volunteering, are fine if you live at home with mom and dad, but if you're an adult with a mortgage, student loans and real living expenses, substituting at $100 a day just won't make it.

I live in San Diego and I completed a Mild/Moderate credential in Special Education at SDSU in Spring '09. Much to my complete disbelief the job market is so tight that I'm unable to find a position. I have not kept in contact with many of my classmates that completed their SPED credential when I did but of those I have been able to contact, I estimate that around half of them have been unable to find a teaching job. I have put in just over 30 applications through EdJoin to districts up and down the state of CA and have only received two interviews through EdJoin. I applied to SD and LA Unified and I'm approved and on their wait lists, but I only received one interview through LA unified but no offer. Before receiving my credential I worked nearly full time as a sub but the last year I worked as a sub it was very difficult to get a full weeks worth of work and with the economy I expect it to be even more difficult now.

With all of the effort I've put into my education, I would absolutely love to stay in education, but I have bills to pay and I would prefer not to live in poverty. I'm not going to spend my time doing anything I can to stay in education regardless of the pay.I would find it much easier to tell an administrator that I left teaching because I was not offered a job rather than explain to a bill collector that I can't pay my bills because I'm a starving educator.

Hi, Just wanted to share my input. Wow it has been a hard row to haul. Teaching such a rewarding job but very discouraging at this present time.

I have been looking for a full-time position for a year and a half now. I have interviewed about ten-twelve times with mostly CVESD, and once with Cajon Valley and once with SDUSD. Wow it has been a huge blow. When I was in my program I felt so little competition. Now I see a lot of people out there I am interviewing against have already had their own class. I have only had a support staff position, which has been a great way to meet wonderful teachers and learn from them. I have been in this position going on my second year. I got the position through knowing staff as a result of student teaching. The district NSD is a little district so it's kinda difficult to acquire full-time status. Plus on each sight there is usually three part-timers like me waiting for that full-time position, one of us gets picked up as the full-timer and the others (our close colleagues don't get the job, OUCH !
We will see. I hope to get a position this year ! BUT if I don't miraculously get a position this year I loose my status in the APLE loan forgiveness program which I could have been excused for 19000 of loans.
I am so mad though because I was offered a long-term sub position that turned into a full-time in SDUSD, which I didn't take because the principal said there would be no way to get picked up as full-time for the year to follow. You really never know. The administration says one thing and then it all changes.

Its very frustrating. I feel lucky to have a part-time with extra hours teaching intervention classes.

Teaching was a second career choice after raising children and a career in commercial finance. No one said while I was attending school that finding a job would be this difficult - just the opposite everyone said that my experieince as a mom and nursery school teacher and a grade student with a 4.0 cum and excellent recommendations would get me ajob. NOT TRUE! Oh I've had interviews but they turn out to be courtesey interviews because the contract says they must interview 3 people. They already know who will get the job but have not problem wasting my time to fill their quota. And do you know who gets the job? People with a connection - they know someone in the district, on the school board, their father/mother/brother went to school with the principal or superintendent. My son is now considering education as a major and I'm torn about what to tell him. Not to mention that I'm extremely frustrated and will most likely leave the education field. I too have expenses and need to pay bills. Too bad, I really enjoy teaching and the kids. My husband says the principals and schools will be missing out - I will too.

The economy being what it is, the teachers who were "supposed to" retire, are staying put. When will new people be needed? Who knows? When the economy gets better and the 55 and over group hopefully retire, perhaps new people will get a chance. I have two master's degrees and no prospects. I also am a sub, which only proves helpful, if you are a drill sergeant personality!

I have been in the field for nearly 5 years now and I WONDER what is being done to ensure teachers are employed and posted.

I have 10 years of teaching experience, although only 2 of it as a fully credentialed teacher. I lost that job and since then, can't even get a single interview for a teaching job. It is very discouraging and depressing, and I am considering pursuing a different career- perhaps nursing.

I'm a good teacher who always got good reviews, etc., but I guess now I am just one of many who are applying to teaching jobs. But when I can't even get a single interview... that just really makes me feel like I will likely never teach again. I believe that my experience counts against me because I am higher on the pay scale.

I never thought teaching would be like this... where it'd be so dang hard to get a job. I love the kids, but I really regret going into teaching and honestly wouldn't right now recommend it to anyone. It is far too unstable of a career at the moment.

I live in CA and have been fortunate enough to find a job teaching each of the last 3 years, only to lose it to budget cuts. I have spent thousands moving around the state each year, hoping to maybe have the chance to stay, but no luck. I've had great evaluations and wonderful student performance, and even this doesn't help me now. I'm a single mom, and am terrified of the lack of prospects for the coming year. Unfortunately, subbing just doesn't pay enough, so it is really not an option for me...but at this point, I don't know what is.

It’s difficult to find knowledgeable people on this topic, but you sound like you know what you’re talking about! Nice one.

When in my college program, I chose to teach on my off days through a college program. I substitute taught at a rough inner city school for 2 years for $7.50 an hour. Everyone thought I was crazy, but I was one of only 3% of the 2000 educators in my graduating class to get a full time teaching job. It was because the principal at the school I subbed for spoke so passionatly about my teaching! This year, she was let go because her school did not imporve enough. I was cut at the end of the year, so I moved to Korea for some fun teaching here! Now I am coming back to USA through Teach for America! I am excited about education, stay on top of trends and issues, and stay in contact with previous principals and even superintendents I meet at banquets and such. Although if I were not a single male, things would have been different.

It's interesting to see the comments posted since my last posts. When I completed my my credential in m/m special ed. in May '09 I was confident I would get a job offer somewhere in CA. Presently I live in San Diego and presently I have not been able to get a single local interview. I have only received two interviews from LAUSD, two out of the San Bernardio area, one in Lancaster and two out of Northern CA....after 50-60 applications through EdJoin. I consider myself fortunate to be able to sub nearly every school day, but the APLE progarm does not give loan forgiveness for subbing and I can't pay my loans back on a sub salary. To be continued....

People with the white collar mindset often look down on blue collar workers. Early in my college career I got a commercial driver's license one summer and drove a semi truck to make some money. I was making $10.50 an hour for a job I spent two weeks training for. People, teacher's especially love to tell you that going to college pays. If I had continued to drive a truck for a living I would have been able to quickly move into much better paying trucking jobs, I would have no debt, and I would have easily been able to afford my own house and it would probably be paid off by now. If I had chosen to join the Navy I would be halfway to retirement right now. Well I chose to go to college, get a degree and a teaching credential and now I make $21 an hour as a sub, I spent years of my time going to school at night part time, I have massive student debt,and I don't have experience/senority in any other career. I'm also just barely too old to join any desirable branch of the service along with other similiar careers. I hope I can get a teaching position for the next school year and I will be pleasantly suprised and overjoyed if I do. I have lost faith in the educational system, particularly at the college level and I will never again be able to tell kids that getting a college education pays as so many teachers do every day because it has not payed for me. On top of that I don't hesitate to tell anybody who will listen not to even consider going into education.

Wow! I can't believe there are so many of you experiencing what I'm going through right now. I shouldn't be surprised though. I knew the market was flooded with teachers looking for work when I'd hear people say, "We received 100 applications for this one position..." It seems hopeless. I too passed on the subbing jobs when I was nonrenewed because I wanted to be able to depend on a salary to pay bills. Now I'm afraid it's made things worse for me. I remember when I was teaching, the subs would tell me, "Have people not been out as much? I haven't gotten calls to sub in a while..." I couldn't take the risk of that happening to me. And I have a master's. I heard that they keep the subs without degrees busy because they don't have to pay them as much. I pray this economy turns around, maybe that will help us.

I also earned a masters degree in education along with a CA teaching credential. I've been unable to find a fulltime position. Currently work for as a Sub. Although I love teaching I would not have switch to education from a secure corporate job, had I known the difficulties of finding a teaching job. The time and money spent to earn a teaching credential was not worth it. Very difficult to live on a sub salary.

I would love to be a sub, however every year I apply to every district in driving range and despite getting interviewed I never get o the roster. I have an MAT; 30 credits in grad level history, a license in both Oregon and Washington; endorsements in math, English, and social studies. However, despite being an active volunteer both at my local school and the ESL program in my church, I have never and I repeat never landed a paying job in teaching. I hate to say it, but I think it is impossible to be employed in Oregon period.

It is important that while seeking to continue in the educational sphere, that you keep your finances under control. We've seen far too often people taking on heavy consumer debt when undertaking this kind of endeavor.

Wow. It's like some sort of plague. I sort of thought that I simply lived in a very desirable area of my state and that's why there were so few teaching jobs here. Now I know it's all over the country.

Another thing is that I'm a man and my degree is in Early Childhood. I was told over and over that I would be hired practically the moment I walked at graduation. "We need more men!" Well, so much for that. I'm still just one of hundreds of applicants. So I took a steady job that pays 8.50 an hour (average entry level wage where I live) and I'm going to hold out there until something opens up.

Colleges let in too many people. It shouldn't be so easy. My college of education graduates roughly 50-75 people every year with the same degree I have. That's a lot of competition. Especially considering that most of those people should have not been allowed in to begin with.

I know this makes me sound like a jerk. Just think about it. The market is only going to be as saturated if there are too many applicants. And, we would want only the best and brightest people to become teachers.

Problem is, I only have 3 years until my initial license expires, and in my state it can't be renewed.


During my college experience I always heard how much of a shortage of men there is in teaching. My credential is in special education and I had hoped that being a man would help me get a job. I've gone to more than one job interview where I was not hired only to find out later on that a female applicant was hired. I really think that being a male teacher means nothing. It can work for you as well as against you. When interviewing you want to find a way to connect with the administrators and other teachers who are interviewing you. This is much harder to do when you are male and just about everybody interviewing you is female and often 20+ years older than you. Based on years of experience working with teachers in the classroom as an assistant and a sub I've found that I'm much more likely to encounter problems on the job when working with female teachers and administrators.

What am I supposed to do if I can't get a job in order to complete my BTSA training for my credential? It's so ridiculous that I'm going to lose my credential and paying for a year's worth of college just because the job market sucks.

I'm glad that other men have addressed the issue of being told hundreds of times how easy it will be to get a job, only to find out there is no advantage whatsoever. I just graduated this year, and after applying to 30 districts, I only got called back for two interviews. I think that with more women in administrative positions, the male teacher is simply not seen as being as all that necessary. I have heard for so long that more men are needed in elementary schools, but every school is still dominated by women. It just seems like school districts are not even trying to recruit male teachers because they have a predominantly female mindset.

I also saw that a few people mentioned on here that it is all about who you know. I feel like this is very unfair because I have seen several cases where a poor or unqualified teacher is hired simply because they knew an administrator.

I only wish that someone had told me about all of the flaws in the way teachers are hired. It seems like it is almost expected to substitute teacher before getting a job now. They might as well include a year of substitute teaching in teacher education programs. It is just unbelievable how many college-educated teachers are making only slightly more than minimum wage subbing.

And I thought I was such a loser because I couldn't find a teaching job in California,have a Multiple Subject Credential, that will expire.

I am beyond stunned. I left my job to go into teaching; I have enough debt to follow me to the grave and here there are no jobs. I cannot believe this is happening. The older teachers, and the ones without certification are being allowed to remain as long as they get their paperwork in at least 3 to 5 years. God have mercy on me and my family, how is this happening?

I have been looking and considering moving to another state, and yet the news is the same everywhere!!!

I am an educated, broke, disillusioned teacher who needs a job so bad that I do not know what to do... What a complete let down. And what about the debt from those loans. Mercy, Mercy, mercy on me...

Teaching is a closed fill in Californianow, people who are looking for a teaching job should consider other options, because the school districts won't be hiring during the next five years, what is the point of becoming a teacher if there are no teaching jobs in California

Well...It's been nearly 1.5 years since my first submission. In this time I've received only two interview offers for a full time position to teach mild/moderate special ed. in San Diego and not a single full time job offer anywhere. Sure I get interview offers for part time positions and long term sub positions once and a while, but all of the responsibility of a full time position and none of the benefits is not very appealing. Jobs are so hard to find that I think it's no longer a matter of who you know, rather it's a matter of how much seniority you have as a full time teacher in a district and working as a sub full time does not seem to count for much of anything. I have heard of districts offering their laid off general ed. teachers special ed. teaching jobs even though they are not credentialed special ed. teachers to avoid laying them off. Meanwhile new graduates like myself who are fully credentialed to teach special ed. are not hired. Yes baby boomers will be retiring but I don't believe they will be retiring fast enough to make way for the new graduates who need jobs and others who have been laid off. With the bad economy boomers are not retiring and many who are at retirement age may work for another 10 years. I can't keep waiting for the teaching job I may never be offered so I'm working towards a major career change. I don't think I could invent a career path that would have provided me a worse monetary reward for the years I spent studying and paying university tuition.

I think all teachers could wall out, in California, and there would be enough want to be teachers to replace them. Is this not true?

Like most of you, I too have been a victim of teacher layoffs. With over 13 years experience (but only 4 of which were in ny which is the reason I was not on that "seniority" list) and a master's degree, I feel hopeless and ridiculous for even going into education altogether. One of the perks to make up for the lack of pay in education WAS job security- now that has been demolished! I keep thinking at some point this has to turn around, but I am not holding my breath.

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