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Tips for Job Searching Teachers
posted by: Melissa | July 11, 2017, 05:13 PM   

Some teachers spend their summers relaxing pool side, some work on their curriculum for the upcoming year or increasing their knowledge on a subject, and some find themselves looking for a new position at a new school. Every summer, teachers all over the country find themselves between teaching positions. Perhaps their old position was cut or a life change caused them to move to another part of the country. Whatever the reasons, those teachers are spending their summer looking for a job.


For those teachers, summer can seem a bleak time where the promise of a perfect position can easily turn into despair when it goes to someone else. Job searching can be difficult for morale, and very few things will ever be able to change that, but there are a few things teachers can do to help make the process easier.


The most important thing for any job seeker is networking. Teachers sometimes feel as if this doesn’t apply to them, given the often automated process of applying for positions, but networking is as important for teachers as in any other profession. In some ways, it’s easier for teachers to network given that almost everyone personally knows someone in education. Teachers also have ample opportunities to meet in person with those in decision-making positions. Job fairs for teachers abound in summer and are where the mind immediately goes, but so do school board meetings, conferences, edcamps, school sports, etc.


Once teachers find themselves face to face with an administrator, there’s a tendency to undersell themselves. Teachers may not even bring up the possibility of a certain position because they feel that they don’t have the right license or enough experience, when in reality an administrator may view that teacher as highly experienced and would be willing to work with them on licensure in order to get the right person into the right position.


Teachers should also make sure they sell themselves on their resume and not just in person. Quite often, I see resumes from teachers with bland statements of responsibilities like “maintained classroom discipline for 30 students.” These statements are not only bland, they are unnecessary, given that failure to do so would mean the candidate failed to do their job. It’s more important that resumes reflect a teacher’s accomplishments and achievements in their school, along with their specific skills and knowledge. For example, teachers can focus on school positions they have held, committees they have joined, certificates earned, LMS or other technology or software in which they are proficient, associations of which they are a member, classroom initiatives that they drove, and professional development they completed or gave. If a teacher maintains a professional blog or similar, they also shouldn’t be shy in sharing that information. Almost any teacher that’s been in the classroom for a year or two should have several items under this category to add, even if it’s just a few association memberships.


Belonging to a professional association, like AAE or a content-area focused association, can be essential to the job search. Your membership communicates to administrators that you care enough about your position and education that you’re going to invest money in it. It also signals to them that you are keeping on top of trends and research and are likely to be open to new ideas as research in the area develops. Finally, associations can also be helpful in the job search themselves. For example, they will often maintain their own job searching page (AAE does this for members!), provide networking opportunities, or offer job search specific resources.


What advice can you offer to teachers looking for a new job this summer?

Share below!


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