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How To Get Hired As A Teacher

Scott Fikes
Scott Fikes on January 23, 2024

Embarking on the journey to become a teacher is an experience that requires careful planning, dedication and a strategic approach. 


Whether you are at the outset of your career or contemplating a shift into education as a second calling, the road to securing a teaching position demands a nuanced understanding of the steps involved. 


Here are some key milestones that will guide you in this rewarding quest.



Obtain Your Teacher Credentials



To teach in Texas, you must obtain your Texas teaching credential. If you’re at the beginning of your career and haven’t yet attended college, youhow to get tired as a teacher may choose to get your teaching credential through a bachelor’s degree program. 


If you already have your bachelor’s degree and are considering a career change or re-entering the workforce, you can obtain your teacher credential through an approved educator preparation program.


Nearly 50% of all new teachers in the Texas education system earn their certification through alternative education programs. This can be accomplished in just 4 to 6 months on average if you have a bachelor’s degree (which does not need to be in the subject area you plan to teach). 


To qualify for an educator preparation program, the Texas Education Agency requires that you earn either a 2.5 GPA during your undergraduate studies or in the last 60 semester hours of courses attempted. If you are in your final semester of school, you can still apply for this type of program as well.


There is a pathway through an alternative teacher certification program if you have an associate’s degree or no degree at all, but you must have full-time, wage-earning experience within the past 10 years in the field you plan to teach (two years for an associate degree and five years for no degree). You must also have a current license in the fields of Health Science Technology, Criminal Justice or Cosmetology that would allow you to teach in Career and Technical Education.


Once you are accepted into an educator preparation program, to earn your Texas teacher certification, you must then:


  • Pass certification exams
  • Complete your program requirements (including 300 hours of training and student teaching)
  • Pass the PPR (Texas Examinations of Educator Standards Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities)
  • Apply for your license
  • Complete fingerprinting and background check requirements


After you complete these requirements, you are legally allowed to teach. However, this is only the beginning of the answer to how to get hired as a teacher.


If you are a teacher in another state, it’s important to know that Texas does not have reciprocity with any state. However, the Texas Education Agency has a process in place that allows you to earn your Texas teacher certification, which includes submitting required documents and taking exams. You can read more about this process in our article, 6 Steps To Transfer Teaching License To Texas.

Build A Strong Resume



Embarking on your journey as a budding educator, crafting a compelling resume is a pivotal step in securing that coveted teaching position. While you may be at the starting line of your career, there are key strategies to ensure your resume stands out, even if you don't have prior teaching experience.


Emphasize Your Educational Background


As a novice in the teaching realm, place your academic accomplishments at the forefront. Clearly outline your degrees, certifications and relevant coursework. If you hold any specializations or endorsements, proudly showcase them to convey your commitment to specialized knowledge.


Showcase Transferable Skills


Focus on skills that are transferable to the teaching environment. Highlight any experiences, even if outside the classroom, where you developed communication, organizational or leadership skills. These qualities are valuable assets for an aspiring teacher.


Include Relevant Extracurricular Activities


If you haven't yet stepped into a classroom but have been involved in extracurricular activities, highlight them. This could include volunteer work, internships or roles that exhibit your dedication to community involvement and teamwork.


Tailor For Relevance


Tailor your resume for each application by emphasizing skills and experiences that align with the specific teaching position. While you may lack direct teaching experience, focus on relevant qualities such as adaptability, enthusiasm and a passion for fostering positive learning environments. If there are any connections you have with a specific school district, highlight those as well.


Use Action Verbs And Achievements


Kick off your bullet points with dynamic action verbs to convey initiative. Quantify achievements wherever possible. If you've been part of projects or initiatives that led to positive outcomes, showcase them to demonstrate your potential impact as an educator.


Include A Teacher Resume Objective Statement


A teacher resume objective statement captures the reader’s attention and gets them not only to read your resume but to be excited about the prospects of hiring you to teach at their school. The resume objective statement isn't very long. It should be just two to three lines and should be concise and engaging. Include who you are (experienced teacher, a recent college grad, a career-changer), what you want (such as a social studies position at Freedom High School) and what you bring to the table (the skills and talents you can offer to the school if you are hired).


Maintain Clarity And Readability


Ensure your resume is easy to navigate. Use clear headings, bullet points and concise language to present your qualifications. A well-organized resume, coupled with a genuine enthusiasm for the teaching profession, can make a lasting impression.


Remember, every teacher starts somewhere, and your resume is your initial canvas to paint a picture of your potential as an educator. Tailor it to reflect your unique strengths, commitment, and eagerness to embark on this rewarding journey.

teacher resume


Create An Impressive Portfolio



Teaching as a second career brings a wealth of experience and skills that can enrich the educational landscape. While you may not possess an extensive teaching portfolio, there are strategic ways to showcase your potential impact as an educator.


Here’s what to include in your portfolio:


  • Lesson Plans and Teaching Philosophy: Given that your teaching experience may be limited, focus on developing robust lesson plans that showcase your creativity, instructional design and understanding of pedagogical principles. Your teaching philosophy becomes the cornerstone, expressing your beliefs about education, learning and the role you aspire to play as an educator.
  • Student Work Samples and Assessments: While you may not have a backlog of student work from previous teaching positions, incorporate samples from any student teaching or training scenarios. These can include assignments, projects or assessments you've developed, providing tangible evidence of your ability to engage students and evaluate their progress.
  • Professional Accomplishments and Awards: Highlight any professional achievements or awards that demonstrate your dedication and contributions, even if they come from your prior career. This could include recognition for mentoring, leadership or any other accolades that reflect your commitment to excellence.


In crafting your teaching portfolio, focus on quality over quantity. Showcase your adaptability, commitment to student growth and the unique perspectives you bring from your previous career. Your portfolio becomes a dynamic testament to your potential as an educator, offering a glimpse into the innovative approaches you would bring to the classroom.

Don’t Overlook Networking And Professional Development



Leveraging the support of an effective educator preparation program becomes important as you begin searching for a teaching position. The highest quality programs are designed not only to equip aspiring teachers with essential pedagogical skills but also to assist in the development of a robust professional identity.


The best educator preparation programs also have an extensive network of relationships with Texas schools across the state. The goal of any teacher education program should be to put you at the front of a class once you’ve completed the required training and you’re ready for that next transition into the classroom. 


It may benefit you as well to join any relevant local and national education associations, which can broaden your network, expose you to current trends in education and provide opportunities to learn from seasoned educators.


Engaging with alumni networks can connect you with alumni who can offer insights into their own teaching experiences, share tips on navigating career transitions and potentially serve as mentors in your journey.


Attending events and career fairs also exposes you to potential employers and provides platforms for networking with fellow aspiring teachers, educators and administrators.

Master The Job Application Process



In the pursuit of a teaching position, mastering the job application process is a crucial skill set, particularly as you embark on a career transition. 


Begin by researching potential employers and schools, understanding their values, educational philosophies and the specific qualities they seek in educators. Tailoring your application materials for each position is important. Align your resume, cover letter and portfolio with the unique requirements of the role to demonstrate your genuine interest and suitability.


Crafting compelling Texas teacher cover letters is an art that should not be overlooked. Use this opportunity to weave a narrative that extends beyond your resume, showcasing your passion for education and how your background uniquely positions you as an asset to the school community. 


As you prepare for teacher interviews, dive into common interview questions for teachers that interviewers may pose and equip yourself with effective responses. Highlight your teaching philosophy and methodologies, illustrating how you plan to engage students, create inclusive learning environments and contribute to the school’s educational objectives. 


By mastering each step of the application process, you not only increase your chances of securing a teaching position but also convey your commitment to becoming an impactful educator in your new career path.


teaching job in texas


Written by Scott Fikes

Scott is the Deputy Executive Director and Program Consultant. Scott earned a Bachelor of Science in Human Biology from Texas Woman's University and a Master of Education from Texas Woman's University. Scott has extensive experience in both the classroom and as an administrator in districts in North Texas.

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