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 Post subject: Moving to Portland. Job prospects for teachers?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2012 7:17 pm 
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Huffs Nooch
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Hello all. My partner and I are planning a move to Portland in August. We really just want to get out of the northeast and experience a more vegan-friendly area (FOOD!) I am a certified k-12 English teacher who adjuncts at a community college. I have a master's degree in Teaching English as a Second Language. My goal would be to at least get a job that is similar to the one I have now (adjunct) but teaching ESL to adults. Of course, if something full time became available, I wouldn't mind that, either, but I would be content with a few part-time gigs. I am also willing to consider English Language Institutes, high schools, middle schools, etc- I would really just like to work with ESL students. If all else fails, I am willing to substitute teach until I find a better job, but I am not sure how easy that is to get in to. Also, I have a car, so commuting is not a problem if there are neighboring cities with better prospects.

I am going to be sending out my resume to the area colleges, etc, but in the event that I do not hear back, our plan is to move there, find a place to live, and live off of our savings for 1-2 months if necessary while actively seeking employment. Of course, moving in August makes this much more difficult considering a lot of schools start up then (I am just now realizing this!) so we may need to leave sooner.

What are your thoughts about moving there with the expectation of finding such a job?


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 Post subject: Re: Moving to Portland. Job prospects for teachers?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2012 10:42 pm 
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Can't Dance, Isn't Part of Revolution
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Have you visited Portland? Jobs are hard to come by. Might want to apply for jobs and secure one before moving, IMO.


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 Post subject: Re: Moving to Portland. Job prospects for teachers?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2012 10:50 pm 
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Banned from Vegan Freaks.
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Location: Portland
I think finding an adjunct teaching position would be more likely than a middle or high school position - the market is just really over-saturated and teachers are constantly being laid off due to state budget cuts. My good friend's hubby teaches adjunct English at 2 different community colleges and has been applying for any full time positions for the last couple of years but a TON of people always apply, and the schools like to hire mostly adjunct so they can pay less. Yay!

One helpful tip I can give you: schools (except some private universities) start in late September here and are on the quarter system rather than semester (fall, winter, spring, summer optional) and go through mid-June, so an August move should work!


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 Post subject: Re: Moving to Portland. Job prospects for teachers?
PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2012 12:23 am 
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Saggy Butt
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I think that only leaving yourself 1-2 months to find a job is VERY optimistic, even if you have highly specialized training and a great resume.

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 Post subject: Re: Moving to Portland. Job prospects for teachers?
PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2012 12:29 am 
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Hoards Peppermint Jo-Jos
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Would you have to get a new teaching license (for k-12) since you're moving to a new state? I don't have direct knowledge of teaching in Portland, but a lot of my friends in Washington state have had a hard time getting teaching jobs here (k-12). If you are certified in OR you could maybe sub in the public schools until you find a full time job/adjunct jobs?

Personally I wouldn't move anywhere now without a job, but maybe I'm just over paranoid?

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 Post subject: Re: Moving to Portland. Job prospects for teachers?
PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2012 12:52 am 
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Huffs Nooch
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You are all giving me a lot to think about. Maybe you're right...maybe it is too much of a risk to move without a job. I am not yet certified in OR and need to look into what that entails. I think in most cases, as long as I have certain scores on the Praxis I and II and have the documents (transcripts, etc) it's just a matter of applying and waiting. But I could be wrong; I have to look into how to become certified. Thanks everyone... and if anyone has more advice/a different perspective, please keep it coming!


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 Post subject: Re: Moving to Portland. Job prospects for teachers?
PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2012 1:50 am 
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Drunk Dialed Ian MacKaye
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I'm not sure about Portland specifically, but adjunct teaching has been easy to get wherever I've been (community colleges earn far, far more in tuition than they're paying you, so as long there's a demand-- and for basic English the demand is almost always there--they'll happily exploit you). So there's that. Just depends whether and how far you're willing to drive between campuses to make a living wage.

Of course, you're at the mercy of academic calendars, though, but if you time it right, I think it's doable. There are quite a few PCC campuses, as well as Mt Hood, Clackamas, Pioneer Pacific, and Chemeketa. And if you're really desperate, you can always pad your income (and swallow your pride and professional ethics) and teach for the online for-profits. University of Phoenix is always hiring.

I wouldn't do it, though, without at least six months' living expenses in savings, just in case you don't find anything the first semester or so.

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 Post subject: Re: Moving to Portland. Job prospects for teachers?
PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2012 4:59 am 
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Santa is a WELFARIST!
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I go to PCC and check their job listings often...they usually have an ESOL position open!

https://jobs.pcc.edu/applicants/jsp/sha ... 7744622173

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 Post subject: Re: Moving to Portland. Job prospects for teachers?
PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2012 11:05 am 
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So Totally Yiffy
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Good Luck Bella! All I have to add in addition is to look at Concordia University, it's a small private school located in north PDX. They have (I think...) a pretty strong ESL program with an extra ESL building that's located off campus next to my house. I get the feeling they get lots of international students and have a ESL program for them. If you look on CU's website they just have a phone # to call about teaching positions. BTW - I also adjunct teach, mostly in BSN programs because I'm a nurse and it pays well...but I've also seen lots of other adjunct positions out there. You will have better luck looking for adjunct work than full time - so it's good you are open to that!


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 Post subject: Re: Moving to Portland. Job prospects for teachers?
PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2012 11:48 am 
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Hoards Peppermint Jo-Jos
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The college teaching scene here is absolutely brutal. I don't know as much about ESL, but there a lot of highly trained people in Portland who remain unemployed or underemployed. There are an incredibly large number of PhDs battling for adjunct and other college teaching gigs here. I emphatically recommend as well that you secure a job, or at least some contacts, before you get here. I work at a liberal arts college, and tons of new professors come here who have partners who are also academics, and very few to almost none of the partners can find jobs, even with doctorates from very good schools. Last year we had a job open in our English department and over 600 people applied.

This may not be the case for ESL, but in general Portland's unemployment rate, even among those with highly specialized skills, is astonishing.

That's not to say it can't happen, of course. I wish you good luck as you continue looking into the move! Portland is indeed a great place to live (and eat). I just think a lot of people move here with no plan, and it can be a hard place to make a living.

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 Post subject: Re: Moving to Portland. Job prospects for teachers?
PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2012 1:07 pm 
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Huffs Nooch
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Thanks everyone. So my new plan is to start sending out my resume/CL/applying like crazy. Today alone I have applied for/submitted my resume to about seven jobs. I took some of your suggestions and looked into area colleges. I applied to Mt. Hood, PCC, and am about to look into Concordia. I am also applying to the Berlitz Language Center and Portland English Language Academy. As hoveringdog suggested, I am also applying for a few online teaching gigs. I am hoping for the best, but if we can't secure employment beforehand, our back-up plan is to move to LA where my partner has family and there seem to be more opportunities. I am also mentioning in my cover letter that I am available to travel for an interview. I will let everyone know how the search goes. Thanks for the support!


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