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IllinoisTeacher
(@IllinoisTeacher)
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Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 5
February 5, 2007 11:26 pm  

Wondering… How hard is it to find a job teaching Elementary School? I am graduating with my bachelors in education and can’t take Illinois anymore. Is there a good place to get a teaching job in the Virgin Islands?

Thanks
Carolyn


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MARIE
 MARIE
(@MARIE)
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February 6, 2007 3:24 am  

THEY ARE DESPERATE FOR TEACHERS DOWN HERE. HOWEVER, IT IS VERY THIRD WORLD TEACHING...CLASSROOMS FLOOD, MOLD ON WALLS, RATS, FILTH, NO ADMINISTRATIVE SUPPORT, FUNDING GETS "LOST", AND IT TAKES FOREVER TO GET A NOPA (YOUR GREEN CARD TO WORK), WHICH MEANS YOU WORK WITHOUT GETTING PAID. REALLY, REALLY, INVESTIGATE WHAT YOU ARE GETTING INTO DOWN HERE.


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Trade
(@Trade)
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February 6, 2007 7:32 am  

Send your resume to some private schools. A NOPA isn't a green card. If you're a US citizen you don't need a green card. A NOPA is approval of your hiring for a government position.


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Melody
(@Melody)
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Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 224
February 6, 2007 2:49 pm  

Yes they need highly qualified teachers in the VI. The conditions may or may bot be what you have experienced in the states. More importantly you some difficult situations with students who need good teachers who are going to push tem to excellence. Yes the NOPA might be a challenge. I knew about the NOPA so I stayed on everyone that I needed to so I could payed on time. I prayed also and my prayer was answered. Please contact through a priviate message if you would like more details.


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SuzanneB
(@SuzanneB)
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Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 121
February 6, 2007 6:20 pm  

Marie,
I resent you referring to the public school system as "Third World Teaching". Are you a teacher in a public school? A large percentage of us are stateside educated teachers with Master's Degrees. What's so Third World about that? Yes, we have infrastructure problems and other issues, but how many people living in the VI DON'T live with many of these problems in their own homes? I've been to the most amazing villas on STT that still have to contend with mold, rats, etc. The NOPA thing is an issue, but I have high hopes that our new governor will select a commissioner to revamp the system. I suggest you adopt a more positive outlook on life and get involved in the community rather than complain about what you think is not working. I know a few places on the CAHS campus that could use a good clean-up. When would you be available to come and volunteer? PM me 🙂


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bnk1227
 bnk1227
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February 6, 2007 6:52 pm  

The problems with our local public education system are fairly deep rooted and will most likely not be addressed in any meaningful way inthe short term. Our new governor just announced the other day there is no budget provision for ongoing maintenance at the schools in the 2007 budget, the NOPA issue is rooted within the antiquated personnel system the school system uses, which in turn isdriven in largepart by the fairly restrictive CBA in place. These are issue not solved in a year, regardless of how much our elected leaderssay they want a better public education system.

Yes, the teachers are a dedicated group, for the most part. They are just one part of the issue, however. The VI Government spends a higher than average amount per pupil for public school eductaion, yet you are calling on the citizens of the community to come down and provide basic maintenance. Responses to the original post state that there is a need for teachers here, yet we all know that when they get here, they won't get paid for several after they begin teaching. The schools are ill supplied and the physical plants would not be acceptable in any community in the United States.

As with most VI Government departments, the Education Department is corrupt and ill managed. You indicate that the Governor has a chance to make some strides here by appointing a quality Education Commissioner. That person will HAVE to come from inside a corrupt organization because the job only pays around 95K a year, far less than a superintendent is paid stateside for a similarly sized system. The problems are deep and systemic, they won't get solved by having citizens come clean the schools, although that wouldn't hurt, and they won't get solved by appointing a new commissioner, although that COULDbe a good starting point.


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Cheri Berry
 Cheri Berry
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February 6, 2007 7:07 pm  

I noticed someone mentioned a NOPA (green card)? I thought US citizens didn't need a wothisto work on in USVI? The lady writing was from Illinois...just wondering.


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Cheri Berry
 Cheri Berry
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February 6, 2007 7:08 pm  

Sorry about the terrible mix-up in that last posting...don't know what happened to me while I typed!


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Tara489
 Tara489
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February 6, 2007 7:52 pm  

Ignore Marie. While I'm sure she means to give you a general warning, her attitude is always negative and she has nothing constructive to add. It's very sad that people are so negative and have to shout on these boards.


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Trade
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February 6, 2007 8:06 pm  

Cheri, read my first post. A US citizen doesn't need a green card. A NOPA is the approval of hiring in the government sector.

Why don't the parents help with the school clean-ups? Just wondering. I'm sure some do.


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mmilhauser
(@mmilhauser)
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February 6, 2007 11:49 pm  

IllinoisTeacher,
What school are you graduating from? I am also in Illinois at the moment...student teaching. I have also been searching for jobs in the VI. It sounds like it could be such a great experience! 🙂


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Cheri Berry
 Cheri Berry
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February 6, 2007 11:51 pm  

Thanks, Trade. 🙂


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jane
 jane
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Posts: 532
February 7, 2007 12:47 am  

Parent involvement (or lack of) is a problem on StX - I guess it is the same on STT. This would be a good place to startt improving Ed. on the Islands.


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Anonymous
 Anonymous
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February 7, 2007 7:58 am  

Illinois Teacher,

Many teachers find it an easier transition from the states to VI private schools rather than public, for the reasons outlined above. But the pay is much less, so it's a trade-off rather than an easy decision. Do send your resume - to the VI Dept. of Ed. as well as to the private schools, and see what happens. Remember that when you come here you will be adapting to a new culture and (almost surely) to a lower standard of living in terms of material goods. But you will be enjoying natural beauty that makes your jaw drop. This board has lots of advice, most good, some not so good, but you can use the search function and read for yourself. Good luck.


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SuzanneB
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Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 121
February 7, 2007 1:10 pm  

Valid points bnk, but I'd like to know the names of schools that you know of that operate solely without parent or community volunteers. It's not just the basic maintenance, I 'd love to have someone help me in the computer lab during the hectic lunch period or supervise students in the lab before and after school. CAHS is sorely lacking in volunteers. I am calling on the community to get involved with the public schools and lobby for education reform.

You said, "The schools are ill supplied and the physical plants would not be acceptable in any community in the United States." I think that you need to travel more and explore stateside inner city schools before you make such general sweeping statements about school conditions. I taught under appalling conditions in East Hartford, CT.

I agree that corruption is a problem and I have heard rumors that the Governor may bring in someone from outside as Ed. Commissioner. Then again, the former Governor of CT is currently in jail for accepting bribes.

I am not trying to downplay our problems, I'm just looking for positive solutions.


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Melody
(@Melody)
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Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 224
February 7, 2007 4:16 pm  

Parent involvement is a problem in most public school systems. There have been national conferences and other types of forums that address this problem. I do not know the percentage of parents that participate, but generally they are the same ones. There are so many factors that hinder parent involvement and again it does say more than we can imagine to our youth.

Someone mentioned that it is going to take more than having parents come in and clean up around the schools. Yes it will, but it will be a valuable lesson for our youth,especially if we require that they complete 100 hours of community service before they graduate from high school. Changing a system historically takes time 9years)sometimes its the little efforts that make the move us in the right direction. Students are watching our every move. Let's show them how much we care in little ways that might change them in a big way.

Also working in the VI Dept. Education is not like working in a 3rd world country. In some respects it's like working in some schools in Washington, DC and Baltimore right down the street from our President. That something to think about huh.


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mashomack
(@mashomack)
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Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 2
February 7, 2007 8:02 pm  

Back to the point...

Can I apply for a NOPA before I have secured a position?

Can I apply for a NOPA after attaining a position but before I move there?

Must I apply for the NOPA in person?

What type of problems are the "problems" in USVI schools: discipline, no resources (working copiers, chalk, books, paper for the copiers, basketball-hoop nets, etc), high teacher turnover, pay and benefits, or something more sinister?

I am in my 7th year teaching English, with six of those in NYC. I doubt anything in USVI could offer worse physical conditions than I experienced there. The building I worked in was un-condemned so they could put our school into it, with nary a drop of rehabilitation to the rooms/floors/halls/bathrooms.

Thanks.


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East Ender
(@east-ender)
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February 7, 2007 8:20 pm  

You don't apply for a NOPA. You apply for a position and when you are hired, your NOPA (Notice of Personnel Action) is processed. You hope to receive it fairly soon after you start work! 😉


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Anonymous
 Anonymous
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February 8, 2007 7:56 am  

mashomack, you outlined the problems very well! As you implied, those are things teachers at many U.S. schools deal with. If you know you are going to face all of those issues, then you have the right mind-set. There are probably a few more that didn't make it onto your list, but they are similarly predictable. If you come with the idea that you are going to rise above those issues and do a good job on your own without the support of a copy machine or other resources, you'll be fine.


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SuzanneB
(@SuzanneB)
Advanced Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 121
February 8, 2007 11:38 am  

Well said, sttarfish-this is the type of positive mindset that we need to encourage in education. I'm not saying that we have to settle for poor conditions, but be prepared to make do with what you have and figure out creative ways to solve problems.


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Yolanda
 Yolanda
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February 16, 2007 3:26 pm  

I plan to also teach on St. Thomas when i graduate from college. I heard somewhere that they help teachers find housing. Does anyone know this to be true?


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