"Every time you stop a school, you will have to build a jail. What you gain at one end you lose at the other. It’s like feeding a dog on his own tail. It won’t fatten the dog."
— Mark Twain
I have gone through the hiring process a number of times because my certification is Prek-3 (plus K-12 reading endorsement) and I live in a state that has many, many teachers with that certification and continues to have more graduate from its many colleges and universities every year. I am not exaggerating when I say I have made into the final interview rounds for ONE open position when that district had over 2,000 applicants for that position.
Now, obviously sometimes I’ve gotten it, and sometimes I have not. Currently, I am in a tutor position which does not come with the same hours, pay, and benefits as a classroom teacher. So, this summer I have to decide whether to stick around or try moving out of state where there are more openings.
I am leaning towards moving out of state, even though I hate leaving my very large extended family most of which lives within 20 minutes of me here.
However, I have been told outside of the interview process more than once by members of the interview panel that because I have my masters and a few years of experience, I am higher on the pay scale. That has been what knocked me out as a contender at least a few times.
I’m not claiming to be the best candidate they saw. I do think I am an excellent teacher. I know I have room for growth. I also do not know any of the candidates that they selected.
But, let’s assume the best candidates that schools have to choose from have their masters and some experience (and I’m not knocking first year teachers, I’ve known some very dedicated first year teachers… this is just a hypothetical to discuss a problem I see). If I am being knocked out because of my price tag and that alone, are students getting the best staff available?
What is a way of structuring the hiring process and pay scale so that teachers are not knocked out of the running because of how much they cost? Don’t we want teachers who have their masters (since it is required eventually by my state) and successful experience in our classrooms?