Many school districts around the country are planning layoffs for next year. Some of you may be out of a job come next September. Good news is that layoffs for teachers are the last step in budget cuts, but still, some teachers will get laid off. Can you do anything to protect your job? Well, this blog post will probably rankle some feathers, but here goes!
Math and science teachers are always in demand. Since you already have a teaching credential, you may think about taking some math and science courses to at least qualify to teach middle school.
Charter schools are under different rules. Seniority does not count. If you are a great teacher at a charter school, the principal can save you.
If you are an elementary teacher, the sad truth is, you probably have more of a chance at being laid off than a high school or middle school teacher. One reason is class size. The big thing in the 1990's was to reduce class size in k to 3. Now, many districts are making the classes bigger, hence they need less teachers at those levels. So, unless you have tenure, you may be one of the first to go if you teach elementary school. In most school districts, secondary teachers who don't have as much district experience are not replaced by an elementary teacher just because they have more. State rules require a different credential. This refers us back to the previous paragraph.
You may have thought about it, but if you work at a charter school, probably union rules do not apply. If the principal wants you, they will keep you. Not so at traditional public schools. You may get bumped. You may rethink your job prospects by applying to teach at a charter school. Then if cuts come, charter schools are almost exempt. This is because they do not have to follow seniority rules, and have much more leeway when spending money. In other words, if you are a first year teacher at a charter school, and the principal wants you, you will probably not need to worry about being laid off.
Don't think principals are immune. Many districts are cutting back on the number of principals. Not more assistant to the assistant. So, don't go getting a principal's job thinking you are immune from cuts. And senior principals with seniority will bump a lower teacher if they go back to teaching.
Remember, the peripheral staff will get cut before teachers. So, if you were thinking of becoming a specialist, like reading, you may want to go for something else. Same for counselors, etc.
Are you eligible to coach a varsity team, especially football, perhaps basketball? These are normally teachers hired specifically for that purpose. They are many times given classroom teaching jobs as well. Do you think they will be laid off? Fat chance. They probably have a contract for the season and beyond.
Look for surrounding cities and districts in the state where you live. Many times districts side by side are having different problems. You may have another job on the burner just in case.
A lot large cities are on the borders of states. Check across state lines for opportunities. In other words, if California has problems, how about looking to a neighboring state?
Remember, if you are part of a union, it is probably last hired first fired, no matter what. No exceptions. You are not protected by just being a fantastic teacher.
And we want to reiterate that not all teaching jobs are equal. Band and art teachers are looked upon as more expendable. You have got to think about that if you are preparing to teach.
The best thing a teacher can do is a little research. If you do not have tenure, you especially need to get your ducks in a row.
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