How to Get the Teaching Job of Your Dreams

Sign saying dreams come true

Teachers aspire to a dream job that will allow them to teach and mentor students using their own style and showcasing their skills effectively. Obtaining a dream job leads to increased job satisfaction and a rewarding teaching career.

Contrary to popular opinion, getting that perfect teaching job is not as easy as you may think.  Apart from fierce competition, there are many other challenges faced by teachers when they are seeking a new job. This is because schools expect a lot more from their teachers now, more than ever before. It is no longer enough if you can teach well. As well as being a good teacher, the school expects you to be a mentor, leader, and an expert in curricula and discipline.

As a result, the teacher selection process itself has undergone a drastic change in the last few years. Before, schools used to select teachers based solely on their teaching skills. Now, while selecting a candidate, school personnel look for a perfect match of teaching skills and expertise; alignment of goals and values with the school district's; good communication; leadership and teamwork skills; and much more. In addition, due to rapid advances in technology, schools expect teachers to have learned good computer skills, in addition to their teaching skills and experience.

With so many challenges facing an applicant, how do you make sure that you obtain the teaching job of your dreams?  While there are no shortcuts to success, you can ensure that you are better qualified than your competitors by preparing in advance.

Here are some essential steps that you must follow to improve your chances of selection.

Planning

Good planning is essential to being selected for a teaching position. Planning helps you to track both your job search and the interview process as you search.  The best way to plan is to ask yourself a number of important questions and document each of the answers. This will ensure that you have considered all of the details that can improve your chances of selection.

The first thing you need to think about is the position that you want to obtain. You need to reflect on your career and judge whether your current experience is enough to be selected for the position that you desire. If you are moving from a corporate job to a teaching job, you must think of additional qualifications required for such a move and how you will get them.

Then, you must find out about the school district and state in which you are planning to teach. A major consideration will be your research to find out whether you will need additional certifications or qualifications. If you need them, you must decide how you will get them.

Next, you must determine if you have professional looking documents to apply for a job. The documents should include a cover letter, resume, reference letters, and a philosophy of education document. If you do not have them, you must prepare them or get help from a professional.

You need to prepare for the job interview. Research interview questions and write answers to study. Decide whether you are going to do it by yourself or get help from a career coach. 

Finally, you must decide how you will plan your job search. You have to decide whether you are going to do it by yourself, by using the Internet (or good old-fashioned legwork), signing up with employment agencies, or contacting recruitment firms.

As you can see, good planning makes you aware of different aspects of your job search. If you plan well, you will be better prepared for your job search and interviews.

Preparation

The preparation stage lays a solid foundation that will help you in every stage of your job search and interview. In this stage, you begin the actual preparations for your job search and interviews.

The first thing you need to consider is working on getting extra qualifications or certifications, if required. Since this activity can take a long time, you need to research how to get those extra qualifications, create a timeline to finish, and immediately put it into action.

Next, you must work on getting professional looking documents for your job search. If you do not have reference letters, make sure you have them before you go to a job interview. If you do not have a professional looking cover letter, resume, and philosophy of education document, you need to start working on them immediately. Allow time for the initial creation of each document and time for revisions.

You need a cover letter to apply for jobs by fax, mail, or at teacher job fairs. A cover letter is usually a single page document that shows your interest in the position available and a summary of your skills and accomplishments.

Your teaching resume should not have more than two pages, and it must summarize your qualifications, skills, experience, and accomplishments. Make sure you include your core competencies at the beginning of your resume so that a recruiter scanning resumes notices them immediately.

The philosophy of education document is a recent development and not all teachers write one. However, it is highly recommended that you have one so that you differentiate your teaching philosophy from your resume. This document summarizes your philosophy regarding education; take it with you to interviews.

Make sure your resume, cover letter, and philosophy of education document include the current teaching keywords that summarize your qualifications, skills, and accomplishments favorably. If you do not know how to use teaching keywords, you can get professional help. There are many professionals who create excellent, keyword rich cover letters, resumes, and philosophy of education documents. Such professionals are aware of the latest trends and will make sure your documents contain teaching keywords that describe and promote you and your accomplishments.

Put your teacher resume in Word, PDF, and text formats. Word and PDF formats are helpful in sending resumes as e-mail attachments, uploading to job portals, or simply making more copies. A text format resume is the text version of your resume and is usually prepared using Notepad software. When you prepare a text resume, make sure it does not contain any special characters, especially abbreviations, and that each line is limited to 60 characters. You need text resumes because many schools have a strict policy against e-mail attachments, and many job portals ask you to paste your resume into your profile. The most important point to remember is that when you change your text resume, make sure you change the Word and PDF resumes as well and vice versa. This will ensure that there is only one version of your resume available for recruiters at any time.

Make sure you have the perfect resume and cover letter prior to embarking on your job search. You can review our resumes sampleshere

Once your documents are ready, decide how to search for jobs. There are numerous ways to search for jobs using well-known sources, as well as computer technology. You can look for teaching jobs in newspapers classified ads, on job portals, in web classifieds, on teaching boards, on the internet, or by using recruitment firms.

An excellent source of employment is teacher job fairs, many of which are located in hotels and convention centers. Teacher job fairs are also held on a regular basis in many school districts and on university campuses, so visit them. When visiting a teacher job fair, make sure that you dress conservatively and carry several copies of your resume, cover letter, and reference letters. You do not want to run out of these documents at a teacher job fair!

Finally, you must prepare for the interview itself. You need to research the type of questions that are asked during a teacher job interview. You can get teacher interview questions on teacher community boards and other teaching websites. Try to gather as many questions as possible so that you are prepared for all kinds of questions.

Some of the most commonly asked questions at interviews are:

Practice

This step is an extension of the preparation stage. After you have done extensive research for teacher interview questions, you must practice your answers.

You need to produce answers to all the questions that you have collected. Try to learn more about the educational and discipline philosophies of the schools in which you want to be hired. Such information is usually available on a school's website or on teaching boards. Try to write your answers to align with a school's educational philosophy. Also, include teaching keywords in your answers.

You must practice the answers of the interview questions with a friend. If you are not confident about the interview, you can get the help of a career coach. Coaches will help you prepare so that you can face the interview confidently and be successful. Practice all answers until you are confident when answering them.

Apart from interview questions, you must also practice other social skills, such as the way you greet people, shake hands, speak, walk, sit, and dress. As far as dress is concerned, men should wear a suit and tie and women a modest dress and high heels.

At the end of this stage you are ready for teacher interviews.

4) Presentation

This is the actual interview stage. Remember that every detail counts, so try to make a favorable impression right from the beginning.

Try to reach the interview location at least 15 minutes in advance.  If you are unfamiliar with the area in which the interview will be conducted, use the internet to find the location.  If necessary, go to the location a few days before the interview and find out where the buildings are located and where you can park your car. Once you arrive at the interview, be polite to everyone. While you are in the waiting area, appear relaxed and smile.

When you are lead into the interview room, greet the interviewer with a firm handshake and sit only when you are asked to do so. Sit with an upright posture and appear confident and attentive. When you talk to the interviewer, maintain good eye contact. Smile occasionally.

The interview will include questions related to your qualifications, skills, experience, accomplishments, and future goals. This is where your practice sessions will help you. Answer the questions in a positive way while making sure that your passion for teaching shows in your replies. Do not forget to include teaching keywords in your answers.

There might be a few difficult questions in the interview. Answer them without appearing nervous. If you disagree with the interviewer, do so politely and make sure you can justify your point of view; end your answer with a positive statement, such as, "While I disagree with you on this point, I always try to keep an open mind when it comes to considering others' opinions."

In the final stage of the interview, you will have an opportunity to ask questions. Make sure you ask a few questions related to the position available, challenges faced by the teachers, and the school's philosophy on discipline. This will show your interest in the job available.

Before leaving the interview room, shake hands with the interviewer(s) and thank them for taking time to meet with you.

5) Post-interview Process

Many people think that an interview ends inside the interview room. In fact, this is far from the truth. Make sure you send a thank you note to the lead interviewer on the same day or the next day. If you do not hear from the school district in a few days, call and ask about the outcome of the interview. This will show that you are still interested in the job. Call every few days until you are told the outcome.

Conclusion

Preparing for an interview is tough, but the rewards are worth the time and effort. If you follow the above steps diligently, you will be better prepared than your competitors and have a better chance of securing the teaching job of your dreams.

For professional assistance in these areas of your job search contact Candace at A+ Resumes for Teachers by clicking here or call toll-free 1-877-738-8052.

 

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