DODDS Hiring Question

WeDoDude
Posts: 136
Joined: Mon May 07, 2012 11:46 pm

Post by WeDoDude »

Iogi, hiring is in full swing right now. Highly unlikely that you would get activated for this year unless you are a high needs area filler like SPED, or robotics.

January starts have happened in the past under various circumstances, but if you were interviewing for an open position in the summer then it is doubtful that a school admin would be okay with you delaying until Jan.

What are your certs in? Not many admin are familiar with what the top international schools are. We would mainly be interested in what you would bring to us. For isn't aces, what trainings have you had, what committees have you participated in. Could you bring fresh ideas to our school and offer quality training/PD on it. That's what a lot of admin in DoDDS look for.

trmoon
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Jul 08, 2012 6:15 pm
Location: USA

Post by trmoon »

@WeDoDude,

I am planning to apply with DODEA soon and had a few questions that excessive research doesn't help me comprehend. If I remember right, when I first started looking into the DODEA (like over ten yrs ago) I understood that you signed on for a 3-5yr committment and could be transferred around to a group of stations connected to that committment. Now, I don't understand how everything is organized, especially with everything overseas being DODEA.

1) When certain Japan stations are listed as 1yr Tour of Duty, is this like a public school contract where it must be reconsidered and renewed each year, making it possible to stay put in one place? Or does it mean you work there for 1yr and then get transferred somewhere else?

2) If working for the Virtual High School, is that for a specific high school or the district? Say, if you were hired and were sent to Okinawa, would you be on a housing waiting list for all bases/posts until something became available (I understand everyone is required to live on base, with the exception of several factors)? Or will you be assigned to one base/post and one waiting list? If you've had your kids in one school and are staying in temp housing on Kadena, but then offered housing too far to commute, is it justifiable to turn down the offer and then live off-base? And with the Virtual High School, will you have to work from the facility or from home?

3) I know that you should never turn down a job or get blacklisted. Is it better to apply for specific openings, or apply in general and hope you get selected for something? Is there a way to only apply for DODEA and not for DDESS or undesirable locations? Like only applying for PAC? Is it possible to only apply for regions?

4) You may not know this, but if you are selected for a position later in the school year and are already teaching, what kinds of penalties (with the departing school) are involved for breaking your existing contract to go to work for the DODEA?

5) I don't understand the RAT info. Does this mean that you and your family will be able to return home and back for the summers with travel expenses paid?

6) How does SOFA work? Is this something that can be obtained before applying for employment or only after you've been selected? Or does this even apply to the situation? To be honest, I don't have a clue what the mess this is.

I'm sorry for the many questions, but so much has changed since I first considered employment with the DODEA. By the time I apply, I will have a Masters in Teaching, ESL endorsement, TAVP, and certified in History, English, Speech, and Drama. I will only have one year of teaching experience, and three dependents (spouse and two children). Will this work to push me up a waiting list? Thank you so much if you've read down this far! :D I have so many more questions, but these are the ones I'm completely stumped on and can't find info for.

WeDoDude
Posts: 136
Joined: Mon May 07, 2012 11:46 pm

Post by WeDoDude »

With only1 year of classroom experience you won't meet the minimum 2 years requirement that DoDEA prefers.

Have never heard of them moving you around, that is up to you to request a transfer. There is a guy in Sasebo that has been at the school there for over 40 years. Your contract is generally for 2 years and you can put in for transfer after that. Join the DoDDS Facebook group for more info on transfers.

I have no info about how Virtual School works. Alli know is that you wouldn't be hired for virtual school and sent overseas. If you are overseas you can teach summer classes for virtual school. I've heard they are expanding it and making changes.
If you were hired for a school in Oki then you would live and teach in Oki. I don't know the specifics of Kadena's housing but DoDEA teachers are offered the option. You get a very generous housing allowance, so not sure why you would want to live on base.

It's best to apply worldwide and take the job that you are going to be the happiest with. DDESS is so different that DoDDS and with the way things are shaping up there are no guarantees that a DDESS position will land you a DoDDS position. If you don't want to live in say Kentucky, why would you accept an offer to move there?

No idea how international schools work, sorry.

RAT is dependent how how many years the post is RAT-Ed at. If you take RAT you and all dependents will receive paid airfare from your post to your HOR. If you take it you are basically signing up to do another tour at your post so you can't put in for transfers. You'll also get a small per dime to cover meals and such while you are traveling to your destination.

SOFA is granted once you reach your country and varies by country. It grants you certain privileges and gives you more than 90 days to stay in the country.

Good luck to you.

PsyGuy
Posts: 9590
Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2011 9:51 am
Location: Northern Europe

Answers

Post by PsyGuy »

A one year duty/tour means you can apply for transfer after one year. Your first 2 years in DoDDS are probationary, but DoDDS has effectively gotten rid of the tenure system for new teachers. So at the end of any tour you could essentially find yourself non renewed. As long as your contract is renewed you can stay in a place for your entire career. It only means your eligible for transfer after that.

There are three virtual schools in DODEA the pacific is in S.Korea, Europe in Germany, and one in the States. If you work for virtual school you will be in one of those facilities (not home), and you serve students from the entire region. It is not district or campus specific.
Most people live off base and DoDDS provides a very generous housing allowance (LQA). if the base temporary housing is full, you can get a voucher for a local hotel.
If your on a waiting list, your on a waiting list for just that district.

If you want to be hired you should select world wide availability and take whatever DoDDS position you are ever offered. if you really would only accept certain regions, then select that on your application, but understand you may never get hired. generally new DoDDS hires go to the Pacific and then transfer to europe, this makes european CONUS hires that much more difficult to be successful.
If you decline an offer that matches your preference you are ineligible for further consideration until the next recruiting cycle. Yes you can select on your application only DoDDS, as well as certain regions (europe, asia) and locations (Just japan, and not S. Korea).

In the USA breakinga contract can have different consequences depending on the state. Some states will suspend your certificate for a year for contract abandonment, if the school pushes it. If your certificate is suspended, you no longer have a valid state certificate and could loose your DoDDS position as a result. That said its not likely to happen, and many teachers would dump their school mid year for a DoDDS offer.
At an international school your likely to get a bad reference to begin with, and if you were placed through an agency they will likely require you to reimburse the placement fee and will no longer represent you in the future. You could get sued, but that almost never happens.

RAT basically is renewing your contract for a the same duty post. You and your family will be provided airfare to your home of record, essentially summer break. Its not an all expense paid vacation. Its not much different then your annual, or 2 year airfare at an international school.

SOFA or Status of Forces Agreements, is an agreement between the US government and the host nation. If defines your status once your in country. Its not something you apply for, but describes the relationship you have with that country when your there on official business (thats why you have a red official business passport). While not technically accurate its a limited version of diplomatic privilege. Basically it exempts you from a variety of host country regulations that mostly relate to immigration, and visa requirements. It provides you some limited government immunity for official acts, but really is just a legal "vehicle" to get you in the country and allow you to live there.

Being certified isnt the same as being qualified. DODEA (DoDDS) uses credit hours to determine if your qualified. being certified means you get a 50% reduction in the needed hours, but you cant just be certified in a field and not have the credit hours to be qualified. Some of your fields (such as ESL) have pretty strict qualification requirements.

You do not have enough experience to be considered by DODEA, and you are a long way away from having enough experience to be competitive.

DoDDS doesnt care about the size of your family. It will not effect your hiring probability, in any meaningful way. If interviewed steer away from your family size during conversations.

Emmerness
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Feb 26, 2012 3:18 pm

Post by Emmerness »

Hi!

I applied and am eligible for the 2012/2013 school year. I've been reading through this board and it seems as if it will be a really tight year for employment. Would anyone know if I have a good/poor chance of getting an interview with my qualifications? I'm especially interested in working as a librarian.

I've taught for 11 years and I'm qualified and certified in the following positions....

Special Education

Elementary, General Classroom

I wlll also be certified in English and Technology Education (K-12) when I graduate with my Masters degree in Literature.

Also, does anyone know of a newbie who has gotten an interview yet?

Thanks for your help!
Last edited by Emmerness on Sun Feb 03, 2013 1:52 pm, edited 3 times in total.

PsyGuy
Posts: 9590
Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2011 9:51 am
Location: Northern Europe

Reply

Post by PsyGuy »

Librarians are referred to as Library Information Specialists. To be qualified you need to meet the following qualifications:

Requires a minimum of 12 SH in library/information science distributed over at least four of the following areas: library administration; cataloging and classification; reference; children’s or adolescent literature; collection development; selection of print/non-print materials; current issues and trends in information science; and library automation.
Also, requires a minimum of 12 SH in technology distributed over at least four of the following areas: computer applications; multimedia/audiovisual production; internet technology; on-line information/services; desktop publishing; network management; distance learning systems; and library automation.

Its the specific class requirements that usually hang people up.

Your chances are almost zero, librarians are often hired internally, its somewhat of a promotion, since you dont actually need a masters in library science to be qualified for the position.

WeDoDude
Posts: 136
Joined: Mon May 07, 2012 11:46 pm

Post by WeDoDude »

Just to clarify something. When you first arrive at your post you are under no obligation to use temporary base lodging. We are free to secure our own lodging. We are given a rate and as long as our lodging is within that rate then no out of pocket expenses are occurred.

We still pay out of pocket up front for everything, but are reimbursed once we file our claim, which you do weekly while on TQSA.

With that said Europe is generally more comfortable to obtain off-base lodging than say Japan is. Japan has small hotel rooms and you are often very cramped. Many teachers traveling with pets elect to find off-base lodging while getting settled in since most bases don't allow pets in their lodges.

We are very spoiled as DoDDS teachers in terms of pay, and benefits since we are also able to stay at military/DoD only hotels in cities around the world. This spoiledness unfortunately crosses over into the working mentality which does cause interesting conflicts.

Iogi
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Jul 07, 2012 5:39 pm

2012 Hiring

Post by Iogi »

Hi WeDoDude

Without going into too much detail, I am pretty confident that I would have a lot to offer. I have an MA in my field, have conducted dozens of teacher training workshops/presentations in Singapore and Japan in technology use, methodology and classroom practice, am fluent in Japanese (and have taught it) and have fifteen years experience in the classroom.

I wish the PM function were activated! Would you mind contacting me at iogijapan@gmail.com? I would really appreciate it.

Thanks

Iogi

trmoon
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Jul 08, 2012 6:15 pm
Location: USA

Post by trmoon »

Thanks WeDoDude!! this helps understand a lot! I will be subject-certified because I hold degrees in those fields, not because I just tested out for certs. I was worried if having dependents would bump me down, and I know there are many teachers to choose from that don't have a family and a dog in tote. I'll keep that in mind when applying:D Plus, my fields aren't widely needed, which is my current problem--I can imagine the competition when there's a waiting list of 60K for DODEA jobs. I just don't want to work DDESS, and Japan is desirable.

I already hold my degrees, just need to get licensed. I wouldn't want to live on base, but I was confused on the requirements for that. It's nice to know there's a choice.

@Psyguy: The Virtual High Schools outside the states list the same allowances that overseas educators get, so it makes sense that they'd teach at their duty location. I'd love to work for this section, especially because they seem to be planning for expansion as time runs on. Thanks for clearing that up, it was confusing.

I'll wait a few years to gain the teaching experience. Maybe go through an IB program while I'm marinating...I just want to get the minimun qualifications out of the way and then sit on it for a while. I've procrastinated for many years. Dissappointing, but you have to adjust to life, not the other way around. Hey, if I procrastinate a little longer my dependents will be out of the house and I can afford to work for an international school Haha.

PsyGuy
Posts: 9590
Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2011 9:51 am
Location: Northern Europe

Comment

Post by PsyGuy »

@Iogi

No offense but your resume is just like everyone else's. Most DoDDS teachers have a masters, and a decade+ of experience, and DODEA doesn't care what your Japanese language experience is. One issue you may have is that it sounds like you've been out of an American public school classroom for a while, and that's the relevant experience they are looking for. It's that demographic that DoDDS schools serve.

WeDoDude
Posts: 136
Joined: Mon May 07, 2012 11:46 pm

Post by WeDoDude »

Iogi, I'm actually on a family vacation right now and am not in Japan. I will shoot you an email when I return later in the summer. My wife is limiting me to only an hour on my iPad per day.

Your experience sounds perfect for DoDEA but the competition is very thick. Every admin has a different way of approaching hiring. There is no one size fits all model for us. We just hired a teacher with only a BA and 5 years of teaching experience because she nailed the interview and her current admin wrote a glowing recommendation for her.

We have a teacher at our school that was hired on our 2nd day back a few years ago. He was 3rd on the list. When the other 2 fell through for one reason or another he interviewed us because we were so desperate for his position and for a warm body. Lucky for us he turned out to be an excellent hire.

It really is part luck, part experience and part interviewing well. The advice that I give DoDEA hopefuls is to network with current DoDEA teachers. Create a PLN and invite them to collaborate with you. Advertise it on the DoDDS Facebook page. You'll get a few interested in possibly doing projects with you. Cultivate those relationships and be diligent when the hiring season comes along to inquire about open positions and express your interest. If you have worked on creating a positive professional relationship and if there is a position that you are interested in at a location that you desire then ask for the teacher to drop your name to the admin.

I can't express enough how much weight a valued and trusted teachers recommendation can be worth for you with some admin. Not all, but some. But it takes more than being anonymous on these boards and really rolling up your sleeves to make and build relationships with us.

Good luck!

Iogi
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Jul 07, 2012 5:39 pm

Post by Iogi »

Hi WeDoDude

Thank you for being so positive and helpful. I'll look forward to speaking with you offline. It is good that your cyber-time is limited while on vacation. :) I can definitely appreciate that.

I have extremely positive evaluations from each school where I have worked.

Do you think there is any value in contacting principals at schools directly or would that be a nuisance email, the type that principals receive from interested applicants all the time?

PsyGuy
Posts: 9590
Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2011 9:51 am
Location: Northern Europe

Don't

Post by PsyGuy »

I dont advise sending out a cold email to principals. One, they get these all the time and they are a nuisance. Second, in DOD there is a recruiting procedure, and a number of principals are very serious about rules, and procedures.
You could end up burning a bridge. I usually email the principal after I have made a referral list as a 'follow up' email.

mockingbird
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2011 7:50 pm

?

Post by mockingbird »

Hi, WeDoDude!

Out of curiosity, how "in demand" would being certified in both Social Studies and French make an applicant?

I am aware of the difficulties in finding a Social Studies-only job (though, I do teach AP Economics--Micro and Macro) is, but would having French help?

Thanks in advance! :)

PsyGuy
Posts: 9590
Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2011 9:51 am
Location: Northern Europe

Response

Post by PsyGuy »

I assume you know its not enough to be certified in a foreign language? In DODEA you need the credit hours and in this case with a certification you would need 15 hours in French courses.

Foreign language teachers tend to be hit an miss. When they are needed they are hard to fill, but the turn over is very low, as foreign language teachers tend to stay until they retire.
It really depends what the combination is, though social studies is a common component of a foreign language vacancy.

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