Getting a Job as a Teacher
School districts like to fill all open positions the school year before the positions begin. However, many times positions open up the summer before or even sometimes after school is in session. Whatever the case, you should be prepared to jump at any opportunity to interview for a position that interests you. And remember that not only do additional certifications make you more marketable when looking for a job, they may also boost your position on the pay scale.
Administrators want to hire to teachers who are certified to teach in a variety of classroom settings and grade levels. Also, as virtual programs like online elementary schools continue to grow in popularity, the need for teachers with experienced in these environments will continue to grow as well.
Below listed are the some things that helps to make a teacher applicant desirable to any school district.
- Master's Degree
- Additional certification in Special Ed and/or English as a Second Language
- Collaboration skills and experience
- Understanding of school goals and initiatives
- Willingness to offer talent and energies to the school community at large
- Experience and/or completion of training on one or more of the curricula used by the school
- Experience in or understanding of the importance of communicating with your students' families
- Knowledge and understanding of your content area
- Understanding and integration of the state's learning standards
Different school districts have different hiring processes. Some will ask you to apply to a teacher pool where they draw for additional interviews as jobs come available. Other districts ask that you apply individually to each available position.
What goes into a Teaching Resume?
Submitting a high quality resume is important to securing an interview. Keep in mind that some positions may get a large response so your resume should "stick out." In education, you can creatively express your teaching philosophy and skills in a variety of ways in addition to a traditional resume. Attach a lesson plan that demonstrates your abilities or include some printed pages of any educational technologies or websites you have designed. Highlight your experience (teaching or non-teaching related) with collaboration among peers. Include any special skills such as playing an instrument or experience with technology applications. Research the school's goals or philosophies and include a statement that reflects your commitment to the same values. Include photographs of projects you completed in your degree program. Anything visual is a bonus!
Teaching Job Search
Once you have compiled a resume and portfolio you should research and attend any teacher job fairs in your area. A job fair will have representatives from several schools and/or districts under one roof so you can maximize your exposure to a larger number of schools. Be sure to shake hands, make conversation, and have some questions to ask each school representative to show your interest. Once you have identified schools where you would like to apply, drop off applications, resumes and/or portfolios in person whenever possible. Mailing submissions can sometimes mean that you get overlooked. Often the administrator(s) may not be available when you show up so be flexible and ask the school secretary to pass on your application or ask about a specific time that would work best for meeting the administrator.
When you are called for an interview you want to make sure to do your research on the school's philosophies and programs so you can respond to questions appropriately. Many school districts do panel style interviews with an administrator and several teachers. Others will ask you to teach a specific lesson in front of a class in order to observe you. Whatever the scenario, show up for the interview on time, prepared, and relaxed. Good luck!