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Five Key Aspects to Finding a Teaching Position with Confidence and Competence!

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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
Career Counselor
University of Texas at San Antonio

6 Comments

Your article was very helpful. But it is very hard to keep postive when I have been out of school for 4 years and still no teaching job. It is even more complicated when I apply and apply and dont even get a call for an interview. I have even gone and handed the resume to the principal myself, still nothing. Can you give me any other advise? Other than the economy.

I too am looking for a position. I am expanding my certifications and looking at schools I never thought I would. I have worked in very difficult school environments where teachers were psychologically assaulted every day. Now I think I will look for a support position just to get into the school system where I want to be. As a family, we are cutting back on a lot of things and I really need to have full time employment.

I, too, am a member of the ranks of unemployed teachers. I have 5 yrs experience, volunteer in multiple child-centered organizations, have 15 yrs experience in the business world prior to getting certified...but nothing. I have rewritten my resume and cover letters so many times but nothing seems to work. I, too, got additional certification in Middle School Math and Family & Consumer Science as well as K-8 but still no job. I am anxious to hear some practical advice, not the general advice given above. I know I have a lot to offer a school district but am obviously not communicating that properly.

Also, as an experienced teacher, do I still need a portfolio from my school days? Seems obsolete...

Dear All Who Seek Employment,

I too am looking for work as a Special Education teacher. I am much better working than at interviewing. Often I go blank during an interview and realize later that I had experience in the area asked about (that I went blank for). My best advice is a professional portfolio (including lesson plans and photos of classrooms, perhaps a substitute/paraprofessional binder(s) as well) and substitute teaching. If you tend to be nervous and not do so well in interviews it will be especially difficult to get a job in this economy. Substituting allows experience doing what you love, getting to know other teachers/schools where you might enjoy working eventually and your work will speak well for you if you always do your best. It has worked well for me countless times. The only reason I am not substituting is because I need to take my last (student teaching) class this semester. Good luck!

F.Y.I. You genuinely need to tidy up your blog. It really is a cluttered. There's loads of remarks on here that don't make sense. Besides that your blog is a good read. Peace.

Very interesting. Do you have a facebook or twitter page I can follow you on?

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The opinions expressed in Career Corner are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.

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