Updating your resume and drafting an eye-catching cover letter takes time. But even when you’ve completed both, searching for open positions can be just as time-intensive. The search alone can feel a little overwhelming, especially if you’re still enrolled and taking classes in a Texas teacher certification program.
Searching for a teaching job doesn’t have to be a stressful experience, however. There are many tools available to you to make the search easier. Below are some tips that will guide you as you embark upon your search.
Search Hiring Sites
This is usually the first place applicants start when searching for a job in any field.
If you’re looking for a teaching position, however, there are specific sites that only feature educator jobs. This makes the site easier to navigate without having to sort through jobs in other fields that may have an education component.
Popular educator sites include:
Some sites like Teachers-Teachers.com allow applicants to post their resumes that can then be viewed by the more than 1,400 school systems that are site members.
Go Right To The Source
At one time, school districts primarily posted open positions in the spring. In Texas, and across the country, districts are so desperate to fill openings that they now post year-round.
That’s why going straight to school district websites where you’d like to teach is a great way to locate your preferred positions. Many districts will list employment opportunities under a “human resources” or “employment” section.
While searching these sites, you also may come across other positions that can get your foot in the door, such as teacher’s aides or substitutes. This is important if you have a few districts where you’re especially interested in securing a position. Substitute teaching also may give you the opportunity to teach in a variety of grade levels, helping you narrow down your top choices.
Narrow Your Search
If you’re still refining which certification areas you’d like to obtain, the U.S. Department of Education has produced a listing that can help you narrow down which subject areas are in most need of teachers in the state of Texas.
It’s also important to note that in Texas, you may be eligible for teacher loan forgiveness should you choose one of these areas that are listed as being in shortage.
If you know which areas you would like to specialize in and have taken the appropriate content tests, but don’t have a preferred district, you can narrow your job search to regions that are experiencing teacher shortages.
Texas is one of the fastest growing states, with student enrollment increasing more than 19% between 2002 and 2012. That’s compared to a national average of just 3.3%. Nationwide, rural areas have the most difficulties in filling teaching positions, and Texas is no different.
Attend Job Fairs
Educator job fairs are a great way to get you in front of school district representatives. They also are a great way to learn more about districts and schools you may not already have considered.
Face-to-face interactions allow you to develop connections with administrators, who may be more likely to remember your name when you submit an application because of that in-person contact.
If you attend an education job fair, make sure you dress professionally and speak confidently. First impressions are important, and administrators are looking for teachers who both are articulate and have great credentials.
Make sure you have copies of your updated resume with you as well. For tips on what to include in your resume, our article, How To Write A Teacher Resume, can help you sort through what experience and skills to promote.
Use Your Network
Now is not the time to by shy. Connections can help you land a job - or at the very least be one of the first to find out when one is open.
Let people know you are looking - old classmates and professors, administrators you met when you were student teaching, and even friends and family. You never know who may be friends with a principal who is looking to fill a teaching position in her district.
Plus, using your network provides a built-in reference who can vouch for you before the application process even begins.
Use Your Certification Program’s Resources
One of the best networks you have is your teacher certification program.
Not only does the right alternative teacher certification program support you through the certification process and prepare you to become the best teacher possible, it also helps you fulfill the goal of getting to the front of the classroom.
You’re now in a position to have the career you always have wanted. Following these tips and taking advantage of the connections you have made will put you on the correct path to landing your dream job.
Micah is the Director of Curriculum & Technology. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in British Literature, from the University of North Texas and a Master of Arts in Teaching, from Louisiana College. In his previous career, Micah served for 14 years as a banker and bank manager. For the majority of this period, Micah managed the Downtown Fort Worth location of Frost Bank.
In 2005, Micah finally surrendered to his true calling to be an educator. After a brief, but fulfilling term teaching high school English at Flower Mound High School in Lewisville ISD, Micah went to work for the family business, training teachers.
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