Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Chico, no shortage there.

I'm always interested in keeping up with the old stomping grounds of Chico, California, especially when it comes to teaching. I got my credential from CSU-Chico, and I feel very fortunate that I went through that program and not from the programs from Dominican or Sonoma State, both of which have bad reputations up here. However, Chico was challenging, demanding, and still flexible enough to benefit your education. Out of the many classes that I took in the credential program, only two I found total useless. One was because the teacher was new and had no concept of the State Standards, the second was Multiculturalism, which I have discussed at great length in previous posts. But for the most part, Chico prepared me pretty well.

Saying that, it was pretty well known in the program that if you were looking for a job in Chico, you had better know someone very well. As stated in the Chico Enterprise Record, the city is not short of teachers by any stretch of the imagination. Good student teachers are snatched up by Chico Unified fairly quickly, and those are usually student teachers that are working with master teachers of exceptional influence. On top of that, teachers should be aware that housing prices in Chico have jumped and wages are not keeping up at all. In fact, when we left Chico in 2001, the Union and the District were in a nasty, nasty battle over wages. At one point, teachers were threatened not to cross a picket line or their pictures would be taken and they "would never teach in California again", as was quoted to me by a union member. Although it was settled, the financial situation was never fully rectified and there is still tension. On top of that, the district is continuing to slide in terms of enrollment. As stated in the Chico ER, 7 years ago the district was busting for a new high school. Now they are looking at losing students for the next 15 years, something that is not a positive note for prospective teachers.

Be wary, and go south. Elk Grove seems to be dying for teachers in that neck of the woods.
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