By Teachers, For Teachers
Finding a teaching job in today’s economy is not easy. Although there is always a need for teachers, the competition has become fierce. With layoffs at big corporations, many people are choosing the field of education. And with so many people vying for the same job, it is essential that you have a leg up on the competition. Here are a few strategies that can help you get a teaching job.
If you want to stand out against the competition, then find out which subjects or teaching areas are in need and get certified in those areas. This important credential will show your prospective employer that you have the specific skills for the job. With a variety of certifications, you will be able to apply for a variety of teaching roles, which will put you that much more able to get a teaching job.
If you are willing to relocate, then you have a better chance of getting that dream teaching job. Be open to opportunities outside of where you live and you will see that your chance of landing a job will increase.
Think of your student teaching experience as a very long interview. This is the time where you need to shine and bring your “A” game. Go to school each day with the mindset that once you have completed your experience, you will get hired at the school. Student teaching is the perfect opportunity to shine and show everyone everything that you learned in college. Take this moment to network, learn from your mentors, and talk to anyone and everyone. If you make yourself memorable, then you will have a good chance of getting hired at the school.
A great way to showcase yourself and your skills is by putting together a strong, professional teaching portfolio. This tangible extension of your resume gives prospective employees a visual reference of all of your best attributes and achievements. If you want to land a job in the education field, then a teaching portfolio is a must.
A great way to get your foot in the door is to be a substitute teacher. An even better way is to substitute teach at the school at which you just finished student teaching. You will already be familiar with the school, staff, and students, which is a great way for the principal to see how invested you are in their school. Substitute teaching is a great opportunity to get your name out there. Talk to everyone, not just the administration, because you never know who will put a good word in for you. Your reputation is everything, and you never know if a job will open up midyear, so it’s a good idea to keep your resume updated and let it be known that you are looking for full-time employment.
For every teaching application that you fill out, they will ask you to provide a letter or letters of recommendation. These letters are to show the prospective employee a general idea of how others in the profession view you. Be sure to ask each professor and mentor teacher for a recommendation. If you think that they are going to write an unpleasant recommendation then do not ask them.
Networking may just be the key to getting that teaching job. Talk to everyone that you know and let them know that you are actively looking for a job in the field of education. Every time that you meet someone new, talk to them about your skills and desire to become a teacher. Ask them for their business card, or make your own and hand them out. Join teacher-related discussion groups, or groups where you can meet others in your field. Keep in touch with your old professors and classmates from college. Always try and find a way to work getting a teaching job into a conversation. You never know when one of your connections will come through for you.
Education has changed considerably over the past few years. Teachers are now finding themselves having to keep abreast of emerging new technology in the classroom. If you really want to stand out in an interview, then you better know the latest education jargon and how to use technology in the classroom. Knowing these skills will definitely put you in the front of the line for a teaching job.
Landing a teaching job is not an easy feat. But, by using these strategies listed above, obtaining a teaching job in this economy will be much easier. Once you land a teaching interview just remember to breathe, be yourself, and show off your achievements in that professional teaching portfolio that you worked so hard on preparing.
Do you have any tips on how to find a teaching job in today’s economy? Share with us in the comment section below, we would love to hear your thoughts.
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 also the elementary education expert for About.com, as well as a contributing writer to TeachHUB.com and TeachHUB Magazine. You can follow her at Twitter @Empoweringk6ed, on Facebook at Empowering K6 Educators, or visit her website at Empoweringk6educators.