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Re: What's it like out there?

    Thank you very much for taking the time to get back to me. I
    really appreciate the "real world" feedback. I looked at a
    bargaining agreement contract from a district (I can't
    remember which one), and the evaluation process was very hard
    to understand, and I imagine it must be even more confusing to
    go through. That is promising to hear that some district do
    still pay benefit costs, because my jaw keeps dropping when I
    see the employee costs for benefits. (I would be insuring my
    family, so I do know I would pay more anyway, but my jaw still
    drops). Can you (or anyone else who reads these postings), an
    apporximate number of students that you have? I teach at the
    secondary level, so is there a class size limit in CO? (My
    district in CA is approximately 35:1). No to get to
    political, but do the unions have any power out there? It
    sure seems like they do not, based on the wages and benefit
    costs, but I am a union man, and I do not want to judge.

    Thank you again for taking the time to respond to my posting.
    If you (or anyone else) can offer me any more information, I
    would greatly appreciate it.

    On 4/04/07, tle wrote:
    > I teach in a small town (not the metro areas) so my
    > experience isn't the norm. The teaching environment in my
    > area is alright, though by far not the best system I have
    > taught in. I was certified in California (and a product of
    > California schools myself) and have taught in New Mexico,
    > Texas and Colorado. This system seems the most backward in
    > attitude and achievement. It may be because it is a smaller
    > system, but they have quite a lot of turnover both
    > administrative and teachers.
    > The evaluation system they have implemented in this system
    > very difficult to feel positive about. I had always had
    > strong evaluations in all previous systems, and yet in this
    > one, I often feel that they don't appreciate the challenges
    > and strengths of their staff. Sometimes it feels like they
    > have to knock you down so they have something to say
    > you "developed" in later. They are not using performance or
    > merit pay in this area yet. The district does pay insurance,
    > but the pay overall is very low (but again I'm in a small
    > district).
    > I hope this is some help.
    > On 4/01/07, Jeffrey wrote:
    >> I am looking to relocate to Colorado, from California, and
    >> I am trying to get a feel for the teaching environment, as
    >> well as the market. From the little web research that I
    >> have done, it doesn't look promising
    >> Can anyone please help me with a dose of what the reality
    >> is like for teachers in Colorado? For instance, how do
    >> you pay your health insurance costs? From the district
    >> information that I have looked at, your insurance costs
    >> are quite high, to say the least. How many districts are
    >> using perfomance-based, or merit pay? Coming from CA,
    >> where that idea was recently shot down by voters, it
    >> appears that several districts are using it. How do you
    >> like it? Does it destroy the collaborative environment
    >> among teaching colleagues? I thank you all for your time,
    >> and for any tips or suggestions. Thank you.