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Teachers on the Move:
Relocation Resources for Educators


Curriculum Center

When a teacher has to relocate, he or she faces a brand-new home, a brand-new school, and perhaps new licensing. Where to start? Right here! Education World editor Sherril Steele-Carlin talks with national experts about relocating without the hassle and headaches. Included: Links to online resources, including an online tool that will create a time line for your move!



Your spouse walks through the door with a bottle of champagne and a huge smile, and you know what that means. You're moving! Your spouse just got a new job, and you're heading across the country to a new city, a new home, and a teaching job in a new school district.

After the initial excitement, the reality of what the impending move means begins to sink in. Your heart sinks. What will you need to do to prepare for the move? Will you need to be re-licensed to teach in a new state? Will your new school be a comfortable place to teach? What will the students be like? What about your seniority and your benefits? You've worked hard to get where you are today. Are you going to lose it all when you start over in a new school district?



"In the fourth quarter of 2000, 26 percent of job-seeking managers and executives took positions in new cities," according to the Challenger Job Market Index, a quarterly survey of 3,000 discharged managers and executives conducted by the outplacement firm of Challenger, Gray, & Christmas, Inc. That figure represents a 30-percent increase from the first quarter of the year, when 20 percent relocated.

Now your spouse has been transferred -- and you've become part of that statistic!

"We call it the "trailing spouse syndrome" in the [relocation] industry," says David Slotwinski of the Employee Relocation Council, a Washington, D.C, trade organization.

Moving affects more than just your job -- it affects your entire family. Your children will say good-bye to their friends, their familiar classrooms, their favorite playgrounds and parks.

Relocation ranks among the three most-stressful events in life -- right alongside death of a spouse or loved one and divorce or separation. If you're the spouse of an uprooted business executive, you're feeling that stress right now!





Have You Seen ...?

The following Education World articles might be helpful if you are a teacher about to relocate.
*Education World Employment Center
Before you go anywhere else, visit our own job-search resource!
*State Certification Requirements

Looking for a job? Be sure to sign up for this mailing list!
* Professional Development Channel
Check out the resources here!
* The Super Substitute!
Just in case you have to substitute until you find that full-time job!


More Ed World Resources

* Principals Offer Advice to Job Seekers
* What Qualities Do Principals Look for in a New Teacher?
* National Board Certification: Is It for You?
* National Board Certification: Tips from Teachers Who Have Done It!
* NYC Program Fast-Tracks Teachers to Needy Schools
* Scrambling for Staff: The Teacher Shortage in Rural Schools
* International Teaching: What Is It Really Like?

Cheer up! You can prepare your family for the move and keep stress to a minimum. First, sit down and talk to family members about their fears and expectations. Everyone will have different feelings about moving, and it's better to face them before they are blown out of proportion.

Begin to plan your move as soon as possible -- you're going to need every minute you can get! Even if you use a moving company, you still have personal items to pack, people to notify, and plenty of details to track. Try using an organizer, such as The Relocation Wizard, an online tool that can help you get organized. Enter basic information about your move, and the wizard will create a time line to help you keep track of all the relocation details. Give checklists to everyone in the family so that you're sure nothing is missed or left behind.



Don't despair -- there may be plenty of good news concerning your pending relocation. For example, your spouse's company may actually help you find a teaching job in your new location! A recent report states that "48 percent of organizations [responding to the report] have some type of support for employed spouses written into their formal policies," according to the Employee Relocation Council.

Many school districts actively recruit teachers from around the country. To find jobs in your prospective location, search for a job by state at the National Teacher Recruitment Clearinghouse Web site. You will find lots of information there.

In some regions, school districts offer relocation bonuses to new teachers. If you're lucky enough to be moving to one of those districts, you may find incentive packages available to help with your move. Other districts offer credential shortcuts so you can qualify to teach quickly and get into a classroom as soon as possible.

Even if your spouse's company and the school districts near your new home don't offer moving incentives, you may find some online resources that will be of assistance. You'll find a handful listed in the Additional Resources section at the end of this article.



When you land that new job, will you have to start at the bottom and work your way up the ladder again?

"To start all over again is a bitter pill," Haselkorn comments to Education World. Many teachers don't have to start all over. The State Higher Education Executive Officers (SHEEO) has issued a series of publications that support school districts across the country as they recruit and retain "accomplished teachers by facilitating their mobility across districts and states."

If your pension, benefits, and seniority don't transfer to your new district, Haselkorn suggests negotiating with the district. Many districts will work with teachers who are relocating and will transfer some or all of their seniority and benefits. Refer to the SHEEO resources for more tips and information on districts that will help facilitate your move.



Now that you have the impending move under control, it's time to think about getting licensed in your new state. You can learn about the requirements for each state quickly and easily at 50 States' Certification Requirements. Some districts now accept National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) certification in place of local certification. If you're nationally certified, you may not have to get local credentials.

If your new district requires special classes for certification, you may be able to complete them before you move or shortly after arriving in your new home by taking online courses. Most state education boards have listings of distance-education classes that they accept for credentials. You can learn more about the requirements in your new state's teacher certification office.



You've gotten to the very best part of your move -- it's over! You've settled into your new home and your new school, and your spouse loves the new job. Now, sit back and take a well-deserved breather ... you did it!



The Internet offers many resources to help movers deal with the "relocation blues." Following are links to relocation tips and resources. You'll find resources related to salary and certification, finding a new job, and tools to help make a smooth move.

Salary and Certification Resources

  • The Salary Calculator
    With this handy tool, you can calculate your current salary vs. your salary in your new location and find out the difference in the cost of living.

Finding a New Job

Tools for a Smooth Move

  • Community Close Up
    If you're wondering what your new community is like, you can find out all about it with this handy tool!
  • The School Report
    This tool helps you learn more about the schools in your new home.