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Bruno: Two Lessons From My Job Search

43000_43554_neubeckerprotestheadBack at the beginning of June I posted about my attempts to find a new teaching job in Southern California. Here's a quick update.

As I explained back then, I thought it was looking increasingly likely that I was going to end up at a charter school if for no other reason then that they seemed to have faster hiring timelines. District schools were telling me they would have openings, but couldn't post them until later in the summer.

What I hadn't counted on was that a number of districts in Southern California (and elsewhere?) have recently adjusted their school calendars so that class starts as much as 3-4 weeks earlier than I had come to expect. I was pleasantly surprised, therefore, to begin seeing postings for positions in district schools  in June and managed to secure a job with one of them in early July teaching science to 7th and 8th graders.

Since I feel like I should include some "lessons learned", here are two:

  1. Hiring flexibility still matters. As I said in my June post, charters have an advantage in their ability to recruit and hire early. Some districts may be able to compete if they've got the right calendar, but others can't; I got a call back from one district school that had just opened up their hiring process weeks after I'd taken a job.
  2. Pay differences between districts don't always make a lot of sense. In moving from Oakland to my new district I received a pay bump of ~20%, but it'd be hard to make the case that my new placement is that much more challenging or higher-need. If anything, the opposite is true. Ditto for cost-of-living adjustments.

And here's something else for me to think about: I'm lucky to have a job at all. The unemployment rate in my new school's community is over 11%. - PB (@MrPABruno)


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I assume you were able to land something because of a continuing shortage of science teachers, and probably also saw postings for math teachers, ELD, and special ed, and that's about it. I'm just checking: am I right?

I have no idea, actually. Since CA's postings are all centralized on EdJoin, I just saved a search that included certificated middle school positions in my desired counties including the key word "science". This meant that I never saw postings for anything except MS science positions. (Except, I guess, "social science" positions, of which there appeared to be quite a few, though fewer than science and largely in charters.)

Thanks, Paul.

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