We know. The job market for teachers is not the easiest. Even though it’s one of the most important jobs on the planet and we trust our local teachers to train and teach our future leaders of tomorrow, it’s hard to get a job. Nothing beats having a rewarding career that you love sharing your knowledge with children who are excited to learn and grow up to be astronauts and doctors. Sadly, if you’re not already in that position, the first step can feel like the most daunting of all. But it doesn’t have to be. With the right advice, your dream teaching job is just a few short steps away.
When I first married my husband, he wanted to be a teacher. Although that was almost 10 years ago, many of the same principles for getting a job are exactly the same today. I interviewed him to learn what he did and how he sees current teachers getting jobs in the market.
Maybe you’re just about to graduate. Or perhaps you’re looking to get back into teaching after having a baby. Alternatively, you might just be looking for a change of career direction and teaching sounds like fun. In truth, the reason behind your need for a new job doesn’t matter. The key is that you use that motivation to your advantage. After all, nothing in this world is more powerful than your personal drive and your determination.
Choosing a teaching career path is one of the most important decisions you’ll ever make. Before jumping in at the deep end, you should take the time to confirm that you’ve made the right decision. Then, follow our steps below to turn you love of teaching into a full-time career.
1. Sub As Much As You Can
Becoming a substitute teacher is an excellent way to get your foot in the door and determine which school you want to work for. You’ll find many schools are different and the culture, community, and support can be very different. When you sub, you can get a feel of what other teachers are like and the values and mission of each school district and make sure it lines up with the type of system you want to be in.Your most important first step is to sub as much as you can in the district and at the school that you want to work at.
When you are subbing, hang out in the teacher’s lounge every single day. Talk to teachers who are working in your subject and get to know the teachers you would be working with. If you are subbing or in a student teaching position, ask for a meeting with the principal to talk about what ideas you have for improvement and if there are any job openings coming up that would fit you. If there aren’t any opening at that school, maybe the principal knows of openings or people to introduce you to at a different school. Ask who else he knows you can talk to.
The key to getting the teaching job you want is to always have your eyes peeled for opportunities. Whether you’ve got a job or not, networking can be the key to finding the next step up on your teaching ladder. As they say, it’s often who you know that really counts.
3. Get Your Credential
One of the hardest aspects of transitioning into a teaching career is knowing how to get your foot in the door. Teaching Credential Programs are a fantastic way to get the support and experience of other teachers who will give you an advantage. But this alone won’t guarantee success. Make sure you get your teaching credential from an accredited university and that you take advantage of the required student teaching. There will be some hard work with no pay during your student teaching time but it will be worth it in the long run if you follow tips #1 and #2! Do you best work every single day and try to go above and beyond at all times.
4. Review Job Postings
Most districts post online job postings. Make sure you keep an eye out for them while you are getting your credential and student teaching. When it comes time to needing a job, you want to know what the requirements are for each job and make sure you fit all of them.
5. Build Your Portfolio
Make sure you build a portfolio you can keep with you during your interviews and always keep it up to date. Most importantly, make sure you are documenting all of your accomplishments. Ask for recommendation letters and keep them in your portfolio. Don’t forget to build your online portfolio as well. You should be utilizing LinkedIn as well as blogging to demonstrate your expertise to your future school.
6. Start a Blog
As a teacher, you need to be able to teach and engage students. There is no reason why you can’t throw up a video camera or take a quick video on your iPhone and post it on your blog so that the people doing the hiring can watch you teach. After you demonstrate your skills, they will want to meet you. Blogging is how you can stand out from your competition and get your dream teaching job. Also, if you are blogging about the topic you teach, they’ll see that you know your stuff.
7. Start Teaching Online
What’s your topic? Why not create an online course around that topic? There’s no need to wait until someone hires you before you share your information with the world. Often, you can reach way more people and make an even bigger impact if your job search isn’t going well. We recently wrote a post about how to launch an online course in 5 easy steps that you’ll want to read first!
8. Start Holding Your Own Workshops
Set a date and create your own workshop. Invite parents or students and teach something you are really excited about. This is a great way for people in the community to get to know you. If you do a great job, you will get a lot of buzz and when they see your resume on their desk, they will know who you are and want to hire you.
Related Post: The Top 6 Things You Need to Know About Teaching Adults
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