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Job Seeker Holiday Hints

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It is tempting to spend all our time during the holidays eating and sleeping (at least it is tempting to me!). For the education job seeker, however, this is a time when you can do some things that might enhance your search. While I have a list of several, I will share only a couple.

First, if you are conducting a long-distance search, this might be a time for you to visit your potential new location. It takes a little bit of planning ahead and scheduling on your part, but it can certainly pay off, especially for the candidate who is currently a student. Keeping in mind that those of us in the “real world” (if there is such a thing) go back to work after New Year’s Day, the remaining two weeks or so that you are on break provide an opportunity for you to visit and scope out the area.

It is likely possible for you to set up some screening interviews with schools in your targeted area. When you have identified districts in which you wish to pursue employment, call the human resources offices, let them know when you will be in their area, and ask to set up an interview. Many will welcome the opportunity to meet a candidate, particularly if you teach in a field that is in demand in that locale.

Another thing to keep in mind is the after-holiday sale. Most of us could always use new professional attire, and the after-holiday sales present an opportunity to purchase clothing at bargain prices. Think about what you will need for your interviews and what you will need for the classroom. Most of us recommend that you interview in a suit (more on this another day) but you may want slightly more casual wear for teaching. The after-holiday sales provide an excellent opportunity for “wardrobe enhancement” in both areas.

Bon appétit!

--Kent McAnally,
Director of Career Services,
Washburn University

1 Comment

Kent et al.
I read your passage and came away feeling depressed. The career blog is full of advice to prospective teachers that I disagree with. For example:
"Stay away from graphics. Your résumé should be a summary of your education, your experiences, and your skills. It should not be a showcase of your creativity and inventiveness, unless, of course, you are in a creative field. As we have discussed in this forum before, educational institutions tend to be conservative, as do the hiring officials. For that reason, you want your résumé to be a businesslike, professional, somewhat conservative document."
Teaching is a creative endeavor! We spend a great deal of time and effort to get new teachers to think "outside the box" and be creative and interesting in their teaching. Our lives day to day in the classroom demand we approach our interaction with students, parents & colleagues with creativity. But when we look at new teachers, we screen applicants to weed out the creative in favor of the more "businesslike, professional, somewhat conservative" teachers. This is one of the many reasons new teachers do not get a chance in districts. This attitude about teacher resumes extends beyond our screening processes into our classrooms across our country. Good educators, no excellent educators(and administrators) are those rare folks who dig deep, use technology at Job Fairs, look beyond graphics, encourage new ideas and foster creative steps large and small as we search for exceptional teachers. Until schools and school officials change how they look at portfolios and resumes it's going to be only about test scores. Our children deserve creative teachers who are sought out and encouraged not culled in favor of business as usual.
Doug Herman - Educator

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