looking for a teach...
 

looking for a teaching job on St. Thomas  

 

hdembins
(@hdembins)
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August 22, 2012 1:32 am  

Hello All!
I will be moving to St. Thomas by October 1st, with my boyfriend who just accepted a job on the island. I am a public school teacher who has taught in Oregon and NYC and I am hoping to find a teaching position on the Island. I have already called a bunch of private schools and they all seem to be fully staffed for the upcoming school year. There appear to be positions in the public schools, however, I can't really get a feel for the climate of the public schools. Does anyone know about the likelihood of getting a teaching job on the island, either public or private? I have taught inner-city Brooklyn, NY, so I am not worried about teaching in the public schools and I would be happy for a teaching position in any capacity. Does anyone have any tips to navigate the HR department of the public schools? I have already submitted my application (via snail mail) but I'm not sure about the likelihood of getting contacted. Any tips would be greatly appreciated, considering the new school year is about to begin! Thanks, in advance, for any help!


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Marty on STT
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August 23, 2012 12:17 pm  

I have no tips for you, however, I can relate what I do know...My girlfriend, who was a teacher, then a counselor, at a public school in Texas, moved here, and got a job at Cancryn (taking about a 50% pay cut from her TX job...the pay for public schools here is a crime). She lasted for two weeks before she quit. Does that tell you anything? It's that bad here. The teachers that are doing their jobs here are saints for doing it, as I don't know how they can without losing their minds, but the difference between Brooklyn and here is wide and varied....they aren't even in the same class. Brooklyn would be a breeze after teaching here. And it's not just the kids and their behavior that I referring to here, because it's mostly a cultural difference concerning that, but the support, or lack thereof, of the government, and the community, make this a thankless job. My girlfriend had to buy her class pencils and paper, for crying out loud. How bad is it when the community and government don't even give the kids what they need to learn? A shame here, truly a shame. Best of luck to you.

~Marty 🙂
"We're all here...cuz we're not all there!"


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Alana33
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August 23, 2012 4:12 pm  

I have had many friends that have been teachers and they loved their jobs and were always willing to go the extra mile for the kids they taught. What you make of it and how you do, is up to you. It's not always easy but can be rewarding.
Here's a link you can check for info on schools: https://www.vimovingcenter.com/schools/stthomas.php


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hdembins
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August 23, 2012 7:09 pm  

Thank so much both of you. First hand accounts always help. Any other stories/tips for teaching on St. Thomas?


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AliceandRalph
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August 24, 2012 6:20 am  

All Saints Cathedral School seems to have openings: www.allsaintsvi.org. Also, I would just say be persistent with the DOE, they need good teachers, so read all of their info on their website, and call to check in on your application. I haven't had experience with VI schools, but jobs are tough to get all over! You will get out of it, what you put into it. Persist, but be patient.


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Marty on STT
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August 24, 2012 2:22 pm  

@Alana: They loved their jobs HERE?? Were they in public or private schools? Don't get me wrong, I think the teachers deserve to be put on a pedestal here, but I didn't know they thought it was rewarding...my girlfriend was so disenchanted with it...

~Marty 🙂
"We're all here...cuz we're not all there!"


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Linda J
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August 24, 2012 3:05 pm  

I, too have friends working in the public school. They find it challenging and sometimes rewarding, but I've never heard them say that they LOVE it.


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Alana33
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August 24, 2012 3:32 pm  

@Alana: They loved their jobs HERE?? Were they in public or private schools? Don't get me wrong, I think the teachers deserve to be put on a pedestal here, but I didn't know they thought it was rewarding...my girlfriend was so disenchanted with it...

Both, Marty.
Have a good friend that lived on a boat in lagoon and taught CAHS for decades. Great teacher. Her students loved her and she loved them. Makes a big difference the way you are percieved and reacted to. Other friends taught both public and private schools. 1 sister taught at CAHS, moved off island due to family - husband relocation, came back taught at St. Peter & Paul as there were no openings at the time at CAHS. When she is here, visiting, we often run into many students who stop to chat and remember her. Another sister was a school nurse at Eudora Kean. The only thing she wasn't crazy about was her office being located so close to steel pan practice room. You have to take the good with the bad, School systems all over have difficulities. The system is difficult, yes. but good teachers can make things work and their kids are grateful for the attention. Plus, Look at ALL the VI Holidays they get plus have all the summer off!

It's really what you make of it. If you aren't interested in the kids and just biding time to be somewhere sunny to go to the beach, thay sus that out pretty quick.


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Alana33
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August 24, 2012 7:05 pm  

I, too have friends working in the public school. They find it challenging and sometimes rewarding, but I've never heard them say that they LOVE it.

That's the difference between adequate, good and great teachers. We all remember the ones that were passionate and involved us. The others, not at all! The teachers that are passionate and not just counting the days are the ones that make the impact and I doubt anyone out there can disagree because we have all had at least some of those great teachers that make the others pall in comparison.


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BeachcomberStt
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August 24, 2012 8:35 pm  

I would like to hear first hand stories from teachers that actually taught in USVI public and/or private schools. Any on this board?
What were the pros and cons? How did it compare to teaching in the states?

I agree with Alana's two above posts about dedicated teachers and others that are not, etc.


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Alana33
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August 24, 2012 8:36 pm  

Marty,
I might add, 2 weeks is hardly any time at all to figure anything out whether it's if what's you can like ,adapt to and enjoy whatever you are doing or any school system in any place in the world.


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meowruff
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August 24, 2012 9:38 pm  

My husband and I are both teachers in the public school system on STX. It is definitely different than teaching stateside. But, we came here with a purpose - to make a difference - because we knew that there was a desperate need for dedicated, qualified, certified teachers.

I can't speak for my husband, but I LOVE IT! Are there challenges? Yes! Is it easy? No! Do we get paid enough? Definitely not!!!!! But, at the end of each day, I know that I have made a difference in some child's life.

Feel free to read my previous posts and/or PM me with specific questions. If you are one of the crazy few who are really passionate about teaching and seeing children prosper, then we welcome you with open arms. Good luck!


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Alana33
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August 24, 2012 9:57 pm  

My husband and I are both teachers in the public school system on STX. It is definitely different than teaching stateside. But, we came here with a purpose - to make a difference - because we knew that there was a desperate need for dedicated, qualified, certified teachers.

I can't speak for my husband, but I LOVE IT! Are there challenges? Yes! Is it easy? No! Do we get paid enough? Definitely not!!!!! But, at the end of each day, I know that I have made a difference in some child's life.

Feel free to read my previous posts and/or PM me with specific questions. If you are one of the crazy few who are really passionate about teaching and seeing children prosper, then we welcome you with open arms. Good luck!

Thank you for loving it. It makes a big difference.
Hang in there!


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Marty on STT
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August 25, 2012 6:18 pm  

@Alana:

Well, she only lasted six months on island...she's been an 'ex' for quite some time! Haha!

~Marty 🙂
"We're all here...cuz we're not all there!"


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blu4u
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August 25, 2012 10:22 pm  

@Alana: They loved their jobs HERE?? Were they in public or private schools? Don't get me wrong, I think the teachers deserve to be put on a pedestal here, but I didn't know they thought it was rewarding...my girlfriend was so disenchanted with it...

Both, Marty.
Have a good friend that lived on a boat in lagoon and taught CAHS for decades. Great teacher. Her students loved her and she loved them. Makes a big difference the way you are percieved and reacted to. Other friends taught both public and private schools. 1 sister taught at CAHS, moved off island due to family - husband relocation, came back taught at St. Peter & Paul as there were no openings at the time at CAHS. When she is here, visiting, we often run into many students who stop to chat and remember her. Another sister was a school nurse at Eudora Kean. The only thing she wasn't crazy about was her office being located so close to steel pan practice room. You have to take the good with the bad, School systems all over have difficulities. The system is difficult, yes. but good teachers can make things work and their kids are grateful for the attention. Plus, Look at ALL the VI Holidays they get plus have all the summer off!

It's really what you make of it. If you aren't interested in the kids and just biding time to be somewhere sunny to go to the beach, thay sus that out pretty quick.

I have to agree with alana. Although, I was never employeed at Vi school, my kids have many friends who graduated from CAHS. These young people now attend top tier stateside univeristies (howard, us naval, tulane, boston college) The public school can't be "all bad". (it's worth noting that drop out rate is very high, too) I really think that if your motivated and aren't afraid of working with large group of kids with a range of backgrounds and varing levels of family support (from horrible to hands-on) you'll find some satisfaction. I think the real challege is reaching the kids who really need help (bad home life, poverty, english learners, gang influenced, LDs, etc)


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BeachcomberStt
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August 26, 2012 12:39 am  

I think I read in the paper that there is a school supply wish tree in the Tutu Park Mall.
It is where members of the community can buy school supplies for students in need.
Supplies like: book bags, pencils, paper, notebooks, etc.

I haven't been to the mall, so I don't know if it is there or not or if it some place else

Does anyone know about this program or seen the tree in the mall? I would like to buy some supplies to donate.

I've been reading the paper and there hasn't been any updates about it and I also tried a search on the web, but can't find anything.

@Marty, this is a way for community involvement. As you say above, lack of community support. Here is a way to get involved.


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blu4u
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August 26, 2012 1:44 am  

Another thing that's really fun is to attend a high school athletic event. Hiring a high schooler as a paid intern helps too.


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N737AA
(@N737AA)
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Joined: 7 years ago
Posts: 11
November 17, 2012 6:52 pm  

How large is the need for teachers on St Thomas? My wife is an elementry teacher here in the states and we have toyed with the idea of moving to St Thomas.

N737AA


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Exit Zero
(@exit-zero)
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November 17, 2012 11:23 pm  

I think there is a continual need for teachers in STT - I meet new teachers who come down every year - some leave for various reasons - and I have friends who have stayed long enough to retire from the schools - the payscale seems to be lower than many stateside districts, especially in the private schools but dedicated teachers are always appreciated. Your wife would likely be able to find a full time job teaching, possibly securing it before your anticipated move as well.


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congasan
(@congasan)
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Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 234
November 18, 2012 3:05 am  

My friend teaches art at a STT school. They have so little respect for what she does, they expect her to teach special ed art cause art is just BS anyway; for true. I have taught at the college/ university level stateside for 30+ years and I would not even consider teaching at any VI school. I'm sorry, but even the school administrations are incapable of proper email exchange or telephone communication from my experience at almost all institutions. Be ready for massive frustrations! Finding another occupation would be easier.


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N737AA
(@N737AA)
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Joined: 7 years ago
Posts: 11
November 18, 2012 8:44 pm  

Sounds like the enviroment here in Oklahoma......from looking at the website, the pay seems similar to here. I know the costs of living there and we are saving a large amount for the move.

N737AA


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