Confused and frustrated about teacher hiring practices?

Question:I am more than a little frustrated about teacher hiring practices. I am a certified teacher in Elementary Education in two states, graduated with honors from college, passed all the state required tests (at 90% or above), passed all the background checks, worked as a substitute teacher for several districts for the past 4 years, worked as a tutor for Resource students, and taught at a private Christian school for one year (really low pay!).

However, when a new teacher is hired at a public school, it is invariably one who has recently graduated from college, has student teaching experience only, still has to pass the state required testing (they have two years after being hired), and, as far as I can research, has been a woman.

The most frustrating part is when people with no experience teaching are hired as interns which allows them to teach while they work on getting certified.

Can anybody explain these hiring practices? Is it age? Gender? Who you know, not what you know?

Answers:
first and foremost it's money. your experience and education puts you higher up on the pay scale. and as much as school officials wax poetic about highly qualified teachers they'll take--almost without fail--a teacher that costs less every time. this gives the administrator 2 benefits. first being cost savings of course. interns are often paid less than even fresh out of college teachers. some are only paid as long term subs. the second is control. interns are often bound to work at a particular school for a set time so the school can recoup their initial investment. this allows administrators to keep new hires on for a longer period of time.
lastly, i just read this article in the wall street journal that the u.s. as a whole is teaching today's youth generation to be afraid of men. some child protective groups say that lost children should seek out a pregnant woman over a man with his children as if one was safer than the other. john walsh (america's most wanted guy) warns never to hire a male babysitter. the stigma of men working with children is such that nearly every man working with them is presumed to be a potential child molester. as a result men are almost never hired as teachers, coaches, or mentors for young children. it is a distinct shortcoming as many disadvantaged children come from homes with no strong male role models.
i ran into the same thing when applying for elementary positions. i could tell straight away that the principal would not hire me simply because i was male and outspoken. it didn't bother me too much as i was already employed at the hs level. and i took it as a sign that that is where i belong. but i miss working with that age group. young kids are so eager to learn and they haven't developed those bad study habits that make working with older kids so difficult.
i sympathize with you but until people can grow up and stop believing everything they see on tv the problem will persist and the students will continue to suffer.
In a word.money
I think that it depends upon the school that you went to and your personality. I got a teaching job over the summer, and I just got my master's in teaching from a private, extremely reputable university. I know that I interviewed against a more experienced teacher (from my student teaching placement site), but they told me that they hired me because of my personality. I know, though, that it had to do with schooling. She went to an expensive state university, and I didn't. I went to an expensive, private university. Because my school is so locally known as being prestigious, I know that their reputation helped me.

If you've been subbing for a while, I know that it makes the panel question why you haven't been able to secure that permanent position. If I were you, I'd come to each interview with a packet of my resume, transcripts, letters of recommendation, and copy of my license along with an open letter about your educational philosophy for each panelist. I did this, and I know that each district that I interviewed with was impressed. It shows that you are prepared and that you really want a position. Be careful, though...it could backfire on you if you don't edit the paper very well.

Also, have someone read through your resume. Maybe there is a glaring mistake that you are just not seeing. If you want, you could email it to me and I could read it over/make it over. My email address is mrs.smiles@comcast.net. Good luck!
Sometimes it is about the salary the teacher would have to be paid. But it may be about other things, such as how you present yourself in an interview. I have been the person doing the interviewing and hiring many times, and the interview is very important. With my school district, gender and age were not factors. Who you know can be a factor in any hiring situation, but it is not likely that it is the deciding factor if you are talking about many instances. Sometimes your interest in extracurricular clubs, etc. can be a deciding factor. It is very difficult to suggest one particular issue that could be affecting your problem.
Schools are just like any other business. They look for people that can help them solve problems within their organization. Things that schools consider when hiring are:

1. What does the candidate have that the organization needs? Does the candidates experiences match what they are looking for?

2. What will it cost to get the candidate that is the "best fit" for the organization?

3. Can the candidate be hired quickly?

4. Does the candidate have good references?

5. Has the candidate presented themselves to the interview committee in a professional and articulate manner?

6. Does the candidates personality demonstrate character consistent for the position?

I am rather shocked to see that a man can't get hired in an elementary setting. Districts are usually extremely interested in hiring males at the elementary level because its such a rare thing. They realize that kids need male role models.

I would say that if you can't get hired where you are, MOVE!

Somebody will need you. If you have to leave your current area, DO IT!

Polish up that resume! Get a good interview suit! Practice the interview process by having people ask you questions that might be asked in an interview!

Strange hiring practices are not unique to education. Don't let that frustrate or confuse you. Just learn how to play the game and be the best at it!
You have to convince them you are a male feminist - that you support the agenda that women have been victims for ages and now it is their turn to be in charge of everything. American schools are run by feminists.
You sound very frustrated with the situation. I have had similar experiences, so I sympathize. Can you talk to a teacher you respect at the university you graduated from? Ask for some tips on how to interview well. Also, think about what makes you stand out from others. Do you speak a second language? Have you had classes in anything unusual like sign language? Do you have musical talents that you can use in the classroom? Make sure these interest/talents/special classes show up on your resume and find a way to mention them during interviews. If you are friendly with anyone in an administrative position at any of the schools you sub at, contact them with your questions. Don't approach it like you are seeking a favor. Instead, let them know that you are genuinely interested in a permanent position, and genuinely puzzled as to why you haven't been hired. Ask what you could do to make yourself more appealing to them as a permanent teacher.
Wow! You sound like an excellent candidate. I think you might need to call upon some of your other qualifications to get a job, specifically, your gender. There aren't enough strong male teachers at the elementary level. I would use this as my hook to reel in interested employers. I would emphasize this in my resume and cover letter. You picked this age group for a reason. What unique qualities and perspectives can you offer that a female candidate might not be able to?
Don't be too hard on the system. It is antiquated, in the sense that females have historically been the "nurturers" of society's children. People like you are the only ones who can change that.
I think it's great that you are trying. Keep it up and know that the right school match is out there!
This is a good question...while I think all of the answers given were good...I think it comes down to who is easiest to hire. It is easier for a principal to hire an already known intern--it is less work for the interviewer...and if they don't pass the exams--they are dispensable because there are always new interns waiting for a job. But frankly, it is a mystery to me too. Good luck to you.
I am going to add a different take to the good answers above. This may sound strange, but districts prefer interns. Here is the thinking...(im not saying its correct, just that ive heard it expressed a few times)

interns are contracted for two or three years
interns are the lowest on the pay scale
interns have built in-must take- staff development associated with them
administration has a support person to talk to with interns who are not cutting it, or need more support
interns can asked to teach (and usually will not complain) any out of the box curriculum the district wants.
interns have already been interviewed and worked with by district staff repeatedly.. you or I would have a harder time... some admins dont like to take the time to really learn about a candidate.

I certainly sound negative - no? I really do appreciate interns... this is not a knock, I just have witnessed some admins taking advantage of these teachers.

If you can widen your net, you may have more success. the bigger the city is... the more openings...

good luck to you!

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