If you’re about to embark on a career in education, the good news is, teachers are in high demand in Texas.
However, even though there are many positions that need to be filled, the application process can still be time-consuming and even a little overwhelming at times since each district typically has its own hiring process in place.
Before you begin, however, it’s a good idea to know what’s required of you, as well as what you should include in your resume before sending it off to potential employers. These two steps can save you a lot of time and are important initial steps in the application process.
Below, we’ll provide some tips you should know before you apply, as well as what materials you need to gather and the procedures most school districts use when taking applicants.
Know The Requirements
If you’re ready to apply for teaching jobs in Texas, or are doing some research in anticipation of a career change to education, it’s a good idea to make sure you have met all the state requirements before you apply for a position.
The Texas Education Agency requires teachers to be certified in certain subjects or for a specific set of grades. Based on which subjects or grades you want to teach will then determine which set of certification exams (known as Texas Examinations of Educator Standards, or TExES) you must pass in order to teach in the state.
While nearly a third of teachers are prepared through undergraduate programs, nearly 50% of all new teachers come from alternative education programs.
These alternative programs are convenient for individuals who want to get their certification as a post-baccalaureate option or with some education and career experience. Even if you don’t have a degree, you can still qualify for an alternative certification program with work experience and passage of an appropriate TExES test.
If you aren’t sure if you qualify for an alternative certification program, check out our article, How To Become A Teacher With A Texas Alternative Certification Program.
Important note: School districts may have additional requirements you must complete in order to apply or upon hiring. Private and charter schools, for example, may set their own guidelines for employment and teacher requirements.
Craft An Attention-Getting Resume
First impressions are critical. That’s why crafting a resume that grabs the attention of a principal or hiring committee is a must before you begin applying.
Here’s an important note to remember as you develop your resume. Principals aren’t going to spend an hour - likely not even a few minutes - pouring over your resume. Most principals will spend about 10 seconds initially scanning your resume to see if it warrants a closer look.
In fact, resume experts say you’ll be lucky to get an average of 6 seconds before a hiring manager decides whether to trash your resume or keep it for further review.
That’s why if you’re trying to seek their attention:
- Your resume should clearly say “I am legally employable,” meaning you must show you are certified to teach in Texas or are on the path to certification
- Your resume should have a style and substance that convinces a principal that “you want to hire me.”
So, how do you do that? Our article, How To Create A Resume For A Texas Teaching Job, explains in more detail what you should do to make a powerful first impression in this part of the application process.
In the meantime, however, here are a few tips to remember:
- A resume summary statement is one of the most effective ways to stand out in your job search. This provides an overview of your work experience and why you’re the best candidate.
- Keep your resume to one page. Don’t waste the principal’s 10 seconds (maybe 6) flipping through your resume looking for key points.
- List the subject test(s) you have passed in Texas that makes you eligible to teach.
- Highlight your education, whether you have a bachelor’s degree in education or you are pursuing/have earned an alternative certification program.
- Pick a style. If your resume is a hodgepodge of different styles and fonts, it won’t leave a good first impression.
- Proofread, and have someone else proofread again. Nothing will land a resume in the trash can faster than spelling and grammatical errors.
Don’t forget your cover letter as well. Many districts require you to submit a cover letter when applying for a job. Our article, Tips For Writing A Great Texas Teacher Cover Letter, shares great advice on how to stay professional while hooking administrators by giving them a glimpse into your personality or style.
Gather Your Materials
Because the application process can take some time, you can make the process go more smoothly if you gather your materials in advance.
Here are some items you should have readily available when applying for a teaching position:
- Specific dates of employment (if not included in your resume, so you can easily access them)
- Academic history, including your GPA
- Professional references (up to 3, including names, work and home phone numbers, and email addresses)
- Proof of Texas state certification or enrollment in a certification program
You may not need all these materials for every application, but having this information easily accessible will make applying go much more quickly. There may be instances where a resume is not needed, but you must fill in an online form with much of the same information found on a resume.
Follow District Procedures
Each school district typically has its own procedures to follow when applying for a teaching position.
While some may offer job seekers the opportunity to apply online, others may still require a hard copy submitted to the human resources department. Some districts will offer both: the opportunity to apply online or pick up an application at the central administrative office.
Whether online or through snail mail, the application process often involves several steps, beginning with the application and ending with an interview (often more than one).
If you apply online through a district’s hiring portal, you’ll have to create a username and password, so make sure you keep track of this information so you can follow up on the status of your application.
After you submit your resume and get called for an interview, before you go make sure you read our article, How To Answer The Top 4 Toughest Interview Questions For Teachers, so that you’re prepared for this next step in the application process.
Preparation is the key to give yourself the best shot at landing a job.
In addition to knowing what’s required of you in order to teach, crafting the best attention-grabbing resume and gathering any other materials you may need, it’s important to do your homework.
Make sure you not only follow a district’s procedures for applying for a position, but make sure you’re well educated about the school and community as well. Doing so will help you tailor your strengths in your cover letter to meet the school’s needs, as well as give you an advantage if called for an interview.
For example, familiarize yourself with the school’s standardized test scores, how technology is incorporated into the classroom, what kind of support the school has in the community, and special needs programs available to students.
Now that you know how to apply for teaching jobs in Texas, do you need help finding job opportunities?
Our article, Texas Teacher Search Tips For Landing The Best Job, shares popular job posting sites, tips to narrowing your search, and reasons why your network may be your most powerful tool in your search.