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Re: What's it like out there?

    I don't know of any class size limits. Since I am in a smaller
    school (approx. 400) my classes range from 12-28 or so. I also
    teach secondary. Again, I'm not sure what it is like in the metro
    areas. You are definitely right in assuming there is little union power.
    We have a union but I don't think it gains us a whole lot.

    What subject do you teach? What area of the state are you looking
    at? I'm sure you have gone to the State Dept. of Education
    website. They have a job search you can access through there.

    Sorry for the delay in response. I don't check this board very
    often. (You can find me on the English board or hs board more
    quickly if you want an immediate answer.)
    On 4/04/07, Jeffrey wrote:
    > 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
    > is
    >> 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.