Five Key Aspects to Finding a Teaching Position with Confidence and Competence!
Since I started working as a Career Counselor with student teachers three years ago, I knew I was in my element. As I began developing specific programming to help student teachers prepare for their first teaching position, it occurred to me that finding a teaching position can be competitive and for some student teachers a rude awaking once it comes time to start their job search. So what can students do to be better prepared and approach their job search with confidence and competence?
Preparation - Developing a well-organized resume, preparing a professional portfolio and practicing interview questions are a good start. In addition, identifying unique qualities that one can bring to the teaching profession such as, a study abroad, volunteering, fluency in a language, school involvement and real-life work experiences can help you stand out among other candidates.
Research - Selecting the area or schools that you would like to work for and exploring why you would be the best candidate for that school. Visit the school/districts website, talk with people you may know in the district and be sure that what they are looking for in a teaching candidate match with what you can bring to the profession.
Networking - Do you know an “insider” that you know who is teaching in a school/district that you are considering? Making connections, attending events related to the field, and letting everyone know you are looking for a job. Tapping into your network can assist in finding a teaching position. One word of CAUTION, do not ask people for a job, rather let people know that you have started your job search. You will be surprised of others that might have a lead or know someone who might be looking to hire teachers.
Professionalism - Dressing and acting like those you aspire to be is important. If you have not invested in a “power suit,” it will be important in helping you feel confident and prepared. Think conservative and remember you can always visit your Career Center for tips on dress.
Patience - Finding a teaching position takes time, and developing an action plan is important. If you do not find yourself teaching right away, make it a point to look for positions that will keep you connected and working with children in some way is recommended. Substitute teaching is a good idea! Having patience and staying positive are key elements in searching for your teaching position.
Eric A. Arellano
University of Texas at San Antonio