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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

Deciding where to start your career.

Deciding where to start your career.

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Greetings, friends! My name is Caleb Braudrick. I am a special education student at the University of Central Oklahoma (Go Bronchos!). I will be graduating (finally!) at the beginning of May. As with most education students in my position, the last week, and the upcoming weeks, has been focused on finding a job. We've been to job fairs, submitted applications, smiled, shook hands, and have waded through a sea of information regarding future employment. Personally, I have successfully narrowed my search down to 3 or 4 districts here in my home state of Oklahoma. Because I am a highly qualified special education student (due to certification), I have a bit more choices than some of my fellow graduates. This is where I've reached a stalemate. The school I spent the majority of my student teaching experience in is looking for a special education teacher. The principal has informed me that he would love to have me on board. I love the school, the faculty, the administration, and the students. It was an incredible experience, and I believe that working for this particular school would be a very easy and comfortable transition. I know my mentor teacher well, and would have great support. Sounds like an easy decision, right? Here's my problem...I have been offered a job in another district. This district is farther away (about 20 miles) and is much larger. I know very little about this district, other than what I've been told during my interview and through my own personal research. This district compensates their teachers very well; higher than our state average, and higher than the district I did my student teaching in. My question to you seasoned veterans is this: what is more important for a new teacher- having a great relationship with the staff and students, knowing the district very well, and feeling very comfortable in a particular school (before my first day teaching!) or being paid more to work in an unfamiliar district. Sorry for the length of this post, but if you're still with me; I'd love to hear your input. Hopeful in Oklahoma, Caleb

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