Relocating from NYC, inquiry about teaching in the Bay

Hello BPN, 

I'm a new father and my family is transitioning to live in the Bay Area for the first time. I'm looking for some advice specifically about substitute teaching but also more generally about the teaching job market. I have eight years experience as a high school english teacher at a small public school in Brooklyn, two years experience teaching at a private school in Massachusetts, and have taught English Comp as an Adjunct at a small college. 

I'm reaching out to the BPN community to find out if anyone could tell me about their experience with subbing (there is some older advice in the archives about this but wanted more recent reports) in the Berkeley/Oakland public school systems? And/or the private schools in the Easy Bay? How steady is the work, what is the pay like, what is the lifestyle like? How sustainable is it over a year long period? Does it lead to possible employment? 

I have looked through school websites at job openings but applying cold hasn't produced results.

Any advice or personal antidotes would be appreciated!

- Chris

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Chris, you can make a decent living doing being a sub around here. In fact, I think if you sub in SF proper, committing to 4 days a week, you can even get health care. And there are tons of jobs that go begging for decent teachers because the pay is so terrible. I am hoping for my own sake that you'll also take a look at the West Contra Costa Unified School District. You sound like you've got a ton of great experience and I'd love for my kids to have you as a teacher. Good luck! 

There are jobs for substitutes. In terms of long-term public school jobs it depends on whether your credential is transferable. You should be able to figure it out (or at least what questions to ask) on the Commission on Teacher Credentialing Website. You can't get a permanent job in the public schools without a credential. Cal State East Bay or SFSU offer courses you could use to fill in your credential. To teach as an adjunct in CA, you need a MA in the field. That said, there are very few jobs in English at the Community College level, and relatively few colleges here compared to the East Coast.

The substitute pay in BUSD isn't much. It seems like something to do as a transition, rather than as a long-term job. In general CA teachers are paid less than those in NY or Mass, and there is a greater discrepancy between salaries and housing costs. On the positive side more jobs are opening up because many teachers are retiring now. Usually people with experience other places can get jobs if their credential is ok. I've heard of new hires getting their out-of-district years counted on the salary scale.

If you are open to Charter schools, East Bay Innovation Academy is expanding each year and looking for dynamic teachers to join the team.  See here:

Welcome! I work in the Hayward Unified School District and we have an acute shortage of subs. I bet you could work every day if you wanted to. I think the sub pay in my district is up to $150/day - I'm not sure, but I think the subs have been getting pretty frequent raises (and we still don't have enough). As for the private schools, there is a consortium - EBISA, I think it's called. They can give you a list of schools that you can reach out to. Everybody loves a good sub!

Huge teacher shortage in California. You can get a full-time job with an emergency credential from another state and you have some period of time to go through CA's process. (My daughter's teacher in the WCCUSD is doing this right now.) No problem to find the full time job if you want it, you'd only need to sub if you wanted to check out different systems before committing to one district. Here's the sub credentialing for WCCUSD:

My son's school, The Athenian School, in Danville, has a lot of hiring to do for next year due to a wave of retirements and programmatic changes. You should check out their web site and see if anything interests you! Danville is a helluva shlep if you live in Berkeley or Oakland, but he teachers LOVE it there (and many of them commute from all around the Bay Area).

good luck!