Where Are You Willing to Serve?
The majority of teachers enter the teaching profession to make a difference in the lives of children. However, many teachers put limits on the geographical areas in which they will serve. Large urban and small rural districts often cannot recruit enough teachers to serve their communities. The majority of these communities serve at-risk youth and are in need of highly qualified teachers to meet the varying needs of students.
So often new teachers want to secure a job in the district in which they student taught or where they went to school as a child. Many new teachers limit their job search to one or two districts and find themselves without a job after graduation. This is especially true for teachers with certifications in saturated fields such as elementary education, language arts, social studies, or physical education.
As a new teacher, you have your entire career ahead of you. Why not look at where your service is desperately needed and take the risk to serve a community other than your own? The experiences and professional growth that come from leading your own classroom cannot compare to years of subbing while you wait for that 'perfect' job to open up in your favorite school or district. After gaining experience and learning the ropes, teachers can always apply and come back to that district where they student taught.
Research the districts in your state and find out where there are teacher shortages. Find out what each district has to offer in terms of technology, professional development, and mentoring. Many times teachers are shocked at how much urban and rural communities have to offer. It may not be in the form of a high salary, but it could be that every classroom has a Promethean board, a class set of iPads, or professional development opportunities with leading educational researchers. As you begin to apply for teaching positions, stay open to urban and rural districts, as they need teachers who want to make a difference in the lives of children, too!
Director of Human Resources
Boulder Valley School District