By Teachers, For Teachers
When is the best time to get a teaching job? While most prospective candidates think that it’s possible to get a teaching job anytime of the year, there are actually specific months during the year that are better than others. Generally, it goes without saying that as soon as you complete your schooling, get your degree and certification, then you can begin to apply for jobs as soon they are posted. However, it’s important to keep in mind that every school district that you apply for may have a different processing system. This means that the application process may take longer than you think or be more complicated, so it’s wise to know the best time to get a teaching job so you won’t miss out on any deadlines.
Is the best time to start applying for a teaching job in the winter, spring, summer or fall? Here are our guidelines to help you decide when the best time to apply for a job is.
The summer months can be ideal for trying to land a teaching position because any positions that weren’t filled in the spring will get filled during the second round of interviews, usually at the end of summer. In fact, my first teaching interview experience was during the month of August, and there were a lot of potential candidates vying for the same position. I found this time of the year to actually be the busiest in terms of hiring, because enrollment numbers and budgets are in by then, and administrators are trying to fill every last position right up until the first day of school. If you had an interview in the spring and didn’t get a call back, don’t worry just yet, because if you made a good impression, then you may get your call back during this time.
The winter months like December and January can sometimes be a good time to look for a teaching job because some teachers decide to leave during winter break or are allowed to retire midyear. This then leaves the district in a rush to quickly fill a position, so it’s a good idea to have your application on file. During the month of January, many teachers will have let their administrators know their intentions of leaving the next school year. This gives administration a good idea of how many positions they’ll need to fill the following year, and some school districts will list these positions online as soon as they know. However, most jobs are posted in late February.
Spring is the ideal time to apply to get a teaching job because that is when the bulk of hiring is. Right around February, March and through April is when school districts will advertise for possible openings. You will also find job fairs during the spring as well. Typically during the month of April after spring break is when you’ll find school districts will start the interview process. However, this may carry on until the summer months, depending on your district’s school calendar. If your school doesn’t let out for summer break until the end of June, then you may see interviews go until mid-July, because teachers and parents that are on the hiring committee are still available.
School districts will get their final headcount during the month of October. You may still have a chance to get a teaching job during this time, but it won’t be easy. Sometimes new positions will open up if more students than expected are enrolled and the classes are too big.
In November, you most likely won’t see any new job postings, but you never know when something is going to come up, so it’s always wise to keep your application on file. In fact, I once received a phone call during the month of November for a long-term substitute position because a teacher had to leave unexpectedly, so there is hope. Long-term substitute positions are a great way to get your foot in the door, and may help you get a full-time position.
It is possible to get a teaching job throughout the school year because you never know when someone is going to go on maternity leave, retire early, or change jobs. However, the majority of teacher hires happen around the spring and summer months. That is why it’s essential that you have your resume, cover letter, teaching portfolio, and letters of recommendation always ready and on file. Keep these important documents together in a safe place so you will be ready in the spring.
What is finding a teaching job like in your school district? Is there a better time than others?
Janelle Cox is an education writer who uses her experience and knowledge to provide creative and original writing in the field of education. Janelle holds a Master’s of Science in education from the State University of New York College at Buffalo. She is a contributing writer to TeachHUB.com, TeachHUB Magazine, and Hey Teach. She was also the elementary education expert for About.com for five years. You can follow her on Twitter @empoweringed, on Facebook at Empowering K12 Educators, or contact her at Janellecox78@yahoo.com.