Finding a teaching job may have you searching outside your hometown, Michigan, or even the county, but wherever you go, you need to think about the climate of education in your new community.
Although you may be familiar with services, funding, and teacher interactions in your own community, you may have to do some research to familiarize yourself with the climate of education in your new community. Here are some of the things you may want to consider when moving to a new place. We would suggest prioritizing which factors are the most important to you so when you do have to make a decision, you will know what services and educational ideals you can’t live without.
- Does your new district have ESL and special education programs? Are they well supported?
- How does that state (or country) view education and teachers?
- Would you be allowed to unionize?
- How well does the district pay in comparison to cost of living?
- Is the district well organized?
- Is the district growing?
- Does the community surrounding the district support the schools and students?
- Is there an MSU alumni network in the area?
This list may look long, but there are a few ways to get answers to these questions. First, do some research on your own. Check out the district and city websites as well as the Department of Education website for that state. Next, if you get an interview, ask the interviewer some of these questions. Lastly, search for alumni or alumni groups in the area using Linkedin, Facebook, or even College of Education Career Services. You can even ask administration if there are other Spartans working in the district you could connect to. Other Spartans can often help you get settled into your new geographic location and answer some of your questions.
The more you know about your new community, the more likely you will feel comfortable moving there. Don’t hesitate to ask a lot of questions and do some of your own research ahead of time – even before the interview process.
If you have thought about moving to a new community to teach, what are you most nervous about and why?