Teaching has been referred to as one of the most important professions in the world. Teachers help to shape young people into the adults they will one day become. Many places in the United States have a shortage of teachers. They advertise, offer signing bonuses, and recruit any way they can to fill the positions that are open in their school districts. Some systems hire professionals who do not even have their teaching certificates.
However, this isn’t always the case. There are also many areas that report strong competition among applicants seeking teaching positions. In some areas, there are as many as fifty applicants for one position. If you live in or around a college town, chances are there are many new education graduates every year. They graduate and immediately begin job hunting. Most start their job hunts even before they graduate.
You may also be in a small city or town. The schools are probably small, and the teachers tend to stay at their schools until they retire. Of course, when they do retire, that opens up a position, but how many positions will open, and what are the chances that position is in your field of study? If you have just graduated with a teaching degree, or maybe you have been a stay at home mom and are ready to begin teaching or continue your teaching career, don’t get discouraged at the lack of positions that are available. There are some things you can do to stand out among all the applicants.
First, invest in a good resume paper and write, or hire someone else to write, the best resume you possibly can. That doesn’t mean that you make up information, but you don’t want to ignore all of the wonderful projects and organizations you were involved in as an education major. If you spearheaded any education projects, list those projects. If you were a member of any service and honor organizations, list those also. You want your resume to stand out in the stack of applications that are on that superintendents or principal’s desk.
Hopefully, you had good relationships with your professors. If so, ask them nicely to please write a letter of recommendation for you and place those letters with your application. You should have had a faculty adviser. This person probably came to your classroom while you were student teaching and observed your teaching methods. Ask him or her to write a letter of recommendation for you.
More than likely you did some type of internship at a local school. Even if there aren’t any openings at that particular school, the principal and assistant principals there can go a long way towards helping you get a job. Administrative personnel from other school systems tend to know each other. They attend seminars and workshops together. Many times, if they need to fill a position, they will call each other to see if there is a particular application that should be recommended. You can, also, ask them to write letters of recommendation to put in your application packet.
One of the best recommendations you can receive is from the teacher that you student taught under. He or she observed you daily for an extended period of time. They know what type of teacher you are, how you handle pressure and discipline, and how knowledgeable you are in your subject area. Their references are very important.
Finally, if you graduated in the middle of the year, or you weren’t able to find a teaching position your first time out, you need to substitute as often and in as many school systems as possible. Many times, certified teachers that are working as subs are the teachers who end up with a position as soon as it needs to be filled. When you substitute, make sure your principal sees you in action. Try to handle as many discipline problems as possible on your own. A good substitute is a gold mine, and principals realize that if you can handle substituting for a classroom, you can certainly handle your own class.
Finding a teaching position can be challenging and sometimes discouraging. However, if you are persistent, pleasant, and responsible, you should eventually make your dream of becoming a teacher come true.
Finding a teaching position