A teacher resume needs to have the “wow factor” in order to earn an interview. The document must have substance and make a person stand out from the crowd. The best way to set yourself apart from the competition is to highlight your relevant accomplishments that have been achieved in past teaching positions. Some of these accomplishments may spring to mind quite easily such as boosting students’ grades by 20%, eliminating absenteeism, or organizing a school-wide read-a-thon. However, if a person digs deeper, he or she is sure to find additional achievements.
The key to unlocking hidden accomplishments is to ask uncommon questions that you may or may not hear in an interview. You will want to address issues in-depth and think really hard about how you as a teacher have performed during the school year. Start by looking at your instructional methods. How did you actively engage students? Did you utilize manipulatives, cooperative learning, or group activities? What were the results? If you were able to facilitate all styles of learners, make certain that you highlight this in your resume. Being able to accommodate multiple intelligences is a crucial skill that principals and superintendents look for.
Next, assess your disciplinary techniques. What methods did you use to maintain a calm and work-oriented classroom? Were there any discipline models that you followed? How did you handle peer conflicts? Were you able to establish a harmonious and inclusive learning environment? Though these achievements do not have any numbers or statistics attached to them, they are still triumphs that you need to showcase. Administrators are looking to see that you can take control of your classroom, minimize the problems, and maximize the time students spend learning and growing.
There are other probing questions that you want to ask yourself as well. These may include:
• In what ways do you help students develop self-esteem and confidence?
• Is there any particular student or group of students you helped? How?
• Did you assume new responsibilities that were not part of your job?
• Did you incorporate multiculturalism?
• Did you introduce any new or more effective techniques for increasing student learning?
• Were you able to mentor new teachers or fellow educators?
• Are there any methods, projects, or systems that you have successfully pioneered and implemented?
• Did you sponsor any after-school clubs or activities?
And the list goes on. The key is to analyze all aspects of your job responsibilities and discover what makes you different from (and better than) the rest of the candidates. Assess what you have achieved on a daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly basis. Ask yourself if your teaching methods have affected one particular student, the whole class, or perhaps even the entire school. Even though you may not be looking for a new job right away, it is a good idea to keep track of all of your work-related accomplishments, no matter how big or small you think they are, as they could be significant to someone else in the future.
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