Letter to an unemployed teacher

In Letter to an unemployed teacher, Michael Salmonowicz of The Report Card responds to a New York City woman who graduated from an excellent university, earned a master’s degree in education and spent two semesters student teaching. She’s been job hunting for a year with only a single phone interview.

She wonders if she should apply to schools before they post an opening. Should she apply to Teach for America?

Salmonowicz suggests applying for TFA and KIPP, getting on the substitute teacher list, teaching overseas for a year or two and thinking about moving to a state with more teaching opportunities.

If there’s a school that you really like, but they say they can’t hire you solely because of budget reasons (i.e., they’d hire you if they could), then volunteer there. Develop relationships with the administration and English teachers, and set yourself up for a position next year.

If classroom teaching isn’t an option, he suggests working for Kaplan doing test prep, tutoring students in low-performing schools, tutoring wealthy kids in the Hamptoms or working for an education non-profit.

This is someone who really wants to teach. What should she do? Get special ed certification?

We don’t need more public school teachers, writes Cato’s Andrew Coulson on Big Government. Over the past 40 years, enrollment rose by 9 percent while the number of public school employees nearly doubled.

To prove that rolling back this relentless hiring spree by a few years would hurt student achievement, you’d have to show that all those new employees raised achievement in the first place. That would be hard to do… because it never happened.

How many young teachers will wait around for a year or two or three till older teachers retire and the job market improves?

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