What Is It Like To Teach In Texas?

If you want a short answer: it’s okay. It’s not picture perfect here in Texas public schools, but it pays the bills.

I have talked with a lot of out of state teachers from Colorado and Oklahoma, and the biggest perk they tell me about working in Texas, is the pay. Their pay jumped up by at least $15,000-$20,000 a year. When the former Colorado teacher told me that, I was completely blown away. Because Colorado’s cost of living is so much higher than Texas’s.

I’m originally from St. Louis, but I never taught there. The schools I went to were great the teachers eventually had big raises after long enough years. But that is the con to being a teacher in Texas after a while. Your pay does not increase much. If you are a teacher with 20 years of experience, you only make $5,000 more than someone who just got hired. I honestly feel for the teachers who dedicate their lives to teaching.

But, Texas has raised the minimum a few times in the last decade, and there are rumors it will increase again. But long term teachers will never make that much more than new hires.

Another pro of being a teacher here, is that it is kind of easier to get started in this type of career. I just needed my bachelors degree and had to apply to an Alternative Certification Program. The program wasn’t that hard to get into, and finding a job just took sometime. But once I got my first job and experience, I was very valuable and got picked up by higher paying, and better school districts.

Depending the school you work for, the students can be amazing, or they can be very difficult to teach. But I think that’s most states with wealthy and non wealthy school districts.

We get a week off for thanksgiving. About two months for summer bread, two weeks for Christmas, and one week for spring break. We do get most other holidays off, depending your district.

The cost of living in Texas is pretty low, in most areas. Austin is changing very quickly though. I have a feeling in a year or two, the cost of living in Austin will be close to that of California’s.

TEA is probably the worst thing about teaching here in Texas. They are the deciders of how Texas’s public schools work, and let’s just say they are not the smartest bunch. They tell the school admins the teachers have to do stupid tasks and random certifications. And if the Admin don’t make the teachers do it, they will penalize them. I also have a feeling that TEA is getting kickbacks from testing companies and other companies that are required to do the training. In the long term for teaching, this agency put’s Texas’s education system below average. I have seen other states do this way better than what this agency does for the state of Texas.

Please feel free to comment any questions you may have, on this post, and I will gladly answer them.

Cheers!

-E

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