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Hunting for a Teaching Job: Some Points to Beef up Your Game

Mar 12, 2008
Whether you are a college graduate or a seasoned teacher out of work looking to get back into it, you may want to do some self analysis before launching a full on job search. This will be a brief on how to spruce up your professional background and some advice that may give you inspiration to be in a teaching position that you've dreamed about.

Creating Your Portfolio

The life you have chosen as a profession is an intimate one. It's a life that involves a lot about sacrifice for the good of others to make pupils educated citizens and ultimately more effective in society. Unlike many professions it's hard to really draw a circle around what you've done. But as a teacher, jobs like this should be documented and your accomplishments should be given their merit. Bringing with you a body of work from either the school you graduated, or your former employers, is just as important, for instance, as an architect or a photojournalist.

Remember that gathering your portfolio is looking deeper than your daily lesson plan. Look for specific artifacts during your career that can help. Examples like support letters from parents, students, administration or anything that represents some aspect or phase in your teaching career. If you are a graduate aspiring to a teaching profession, a reference letter from a professor would be ideal to stuff in your portfolio. Other artifacts you can glean are examples of class recordings that you may have, or student handouts that exemplify your teaching.

When you start creating your portfolio, you will see that this is more than just a task to present to your future employer, but it's a look back at the body of work you've created. You can even find further strengths to show off to your interviewer through this whole recapitulating event.

The Interview

When it comes down to the interview, your portfolio is going to back you up with evidence to the school, jobs and accomplishments from your past in better detail. The interview will be the face to face impression, but preparation is key before the big day.

In the field of education, jobs will vary as far as curriculum, salary, and district policy. Before you go, make a point to gather as much info as you can about the school district. Find out how much funding goes into the curriculum there and break it down per child. It's good to know what's in the interest of the children and the district as a whole so you can have questions and relate to your interviewer when the specifics come up with school economics. When you contact the school or jobs referral location, make sure you go through the prescreening interview just to make sure you make it through the minimum qualifications they are looking for.

During the interview be articulate with how you answer their questions, and use examples as often as possible from your past classroom experiences. At the end, thank the committee and always follow up with a letter to leave a lasting good impression whether the interview was nailed or not.
About the Author
Art Gib is a freelance writer. Scholastic (http://www.schooljobsnow.com) aims to help children read and learn while providing tools and reference material for teachers and parents. Scholastic is a helpful reference database for teachers finding jobs in education.
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