Hello good friends!! Hopefully you have started your summer break, I haven't, but I only have one more week! With summer, comes many teachers retiring, taking leaves of absence, moving schools, or leaving the teaching profession. This means schools are looking for teachers to hire!! Maybe you are fresh outta college, or a few years out of college putting your time in with substituting (thank you for this by the way, we all need good subs), or maybe you are relocating, or just looking for a fresh start! Whatever your situation may be, I am writing a 3 part blog series about Jobs in Teaching!
Ok, let me start by saying, I am
no NO expert! I am a first grade teacher, just finishing up her 3rd year in Maryland. However, I do have some insight into the teacher hiring process! Before going back to school to be a teacher, I worked in the Human Resources department for my county's public school system. I witnessed first hand the type of educators that got hired, as well as the ones that were looked over. I worked in that position for 5 years, and loved every minute of it. BUT, I always wanted to be a teacher, so with the support of my family and co-workers I was able to go to school full-time while working to make that dream a reality!
So, let's get to the good stuff! This blog post is all about landing an interview. Some schools/districts/counties have hundreds or even thousands of educators applying to them. So here are some tips to help with standing out and landing an interview.
Make sure you have turned in/uploaded/sent in everything that is required for your application to be complete. Some school system will not even send your name out if you haven't completed all the necessary steps.
For example, the county I work in, you have to have a complete online application (which is many pages that many people fail to complete all the pages). You also have to send in your educational documentation (such as official transcripts, praxis test scores, teaching certifications). You also have to have 3 references fill out an online survey about you.
Choose wisely when choosing your references. Make sure you are choosing someone who respects you and who has seen you teach! Some good ideas to ask to be your references may be professors, cooperating(host) teachers, administrators that have seen you teach.
The reason this was a MUST-HAVE on my list was because I've seen great educators get references from poorly chosen people. Having a reference say, "He's a nice person, but I've never seen him teach" will not help you get an interview.
Put in your time. Substitute. Volunteer. Mention while you are subbing or volunteering that you are looking for a teaching position. You never know the connections you could make. Don't wait! Get your name on the substitute list while in college. This way, you are able to build those relationships, and principals are able to come and watch you grow as an educator. Obviously you won't be able to sub that much if you are in college, but working during breaks or whenever you come home from school really helps to build your reputation and your relationships within schools
Use your connections. A job came available in a school you frequently substitute in, e-mail the administration to remind them of your interest in their school. There is a fine line here though. Don't harass or look incredible desperate. Showing up every other day to remind them you are ready to work may seem like a persistent attitude, but it can also come off as annoying and naive.
Luckily, when I was finishing with my degree, my old boss (who I worked with in Human Resources) now was a principal. I e-mailed her in April, she came and watched me teach in my student teaching placement and I got hired in May! Our school also had another opening, and I mentioned to my principal about a fellow educator I had graduated with, and she got hired for the 2nd grade position. Sometimes it's all about connections.
If you have any tips on landing an interview for a teaching position, please feel free to leave them in the comments below! The second blog post in this series is all about Rocking that Interview! Check it out here!
Happy summer friends!