Networking to Find the Right Teaching Position
In today's economy, however, actually getting a job can be more of a challenge than it was just a few years ago. Many individuals outside of education have taken to the education field to find meaningful employment and new opportunities. With this added competition, how does one successfully gain an edge and obtain the highly acclaimed first teaching position? My advice is to network for the right teaching position. Networking is the key. Gone are the days that you, as a new education graduate, can walk into a college job fair and walk out with the perfect teaching job offer. You will have to network. You will have to know people who can help you. We have all heard the maxim that it is all about who you know. Well, there is truth to that adage.
The following are some key guidelines that will help you in networking for the right teaching position.
1. Start early: begin your job preparation early. Develop a solid resume, attend a job fair, and print student business cards, Make sure that you research school systems.
2. Resumes and cover letters: get them out to principals at individual schools. Catch their attention. If possible, drop them off in person - show your face.
3. Visit School Districts - get to know key personnel and volunteer in the classroom. Get noticed...and don't forget to bring your business cards.
4. Follow up - always follow up with your contacts. Send hand written thank you notes to people you recently met. Stay in touch along the way.
Start writing your network list. It should include family, friends, faculty, past employers, teachers, principals, etc. You never know who knows someone that knows of a job opportunity! Think of it this way - 80% of all jobs are filled by networking, not advertising. Get to work on your network today!!
Diane Sledden Reed
University of North Carolina Wilmington