Knowledge is the key to success. That’s something, as an educator, you believe to your core.
You have gained the knowledge necessary to teach - having earned or currently in the process of earning your teacher’s license, and through work experiences. But, to find that perfect elementary school teacher position, you must show how the knowledge you have gained can transfer into your own classroom.
Creating an eye-catching and informative resume is critical in landing an interview for an elementary school teaching position - whether you’re:
a recent college graduate with a degree in elementary education
an alternative teacher certification program enrollee or graduate
a current teacher with several years of teaching experience under your belt
After all, a resume is a principal’s first glimpse into what ideas and experience you bring to the classroom. Without a powerful resume, the school administrators responsible for bringing you in for an interview may flip to the next resume, never knowing the skills and knowledge you possess that would make you an excellent elementary school teacher.
Here’s what you should include in your resume when applying for an elementary teacher position to ensure you end up at the front of the class.
Every resume, no matter what position you’re applying for, needs to include the necessities. However, not all basic information has to be … basic.
Amping up even the most routine information can make your resume stand out from the pack. In addition to your address, phone number and professional email, include:
An objective statement or resume summary statement: If you have experience as a teacher, you’re probably going to want to use a resume summary statement, since this type of opener allows you to tie together an overall theme of your work.
An objective statement, on the other hand, works well for resumes that address a specific need in a district - for example, your qualifications match perfectly with an opening. Read more about when you should use an objective versus a resume summary statement in our article, What Is A Resume Summary Statement?
Certifications: Include every certification that is relevant to your teaching career. These can be neatly displayed using bullet points. Make sure you include any subject test(s) you have passed in Texas and alternative certification programs such as ECAP.
Education: While most include their degree and institution in their resumes, don’t forget about any relevant certifications or minors. Minors can be a major plus when it comes to your degree because they show you are well-rounded and have supplementary skills and knowledge.
Targeted skills: If you are a computer whiz, describing how you have experience using software can be a big benefit to a district that regularly uses technology as part of the curriculum. Other skills to highlight include research, coaching, management and training.
If you are a certified elementary school teacher and are looking for a change or promotion in another school district, your experience will be the most important item to highlight on your resume.
If you’re new to teaching, but have student teaching experience in an elementary school setting, this will be the main focus of your experience section.
In either case, be sure to include the school and dates when you taught. Also, keep the following in mind:
List accomplishments. Avoid listing duties. Accomplishments show how you went above and beyond duties. Be specific as possible, such as “Developed curriculum that resulted in a 50% improvement in the students’ state test scores.”
Use action verbs. When describing your experience, use words such as “collaborated,” “created,” “developed” and “motivated.” This creates an impactful assessment of your work.
Tailor your resume to the position. When deciding what to include in your resume, tailor what you highlight to the environment you’ll be teaching in. For example, if you’re applying for a position located in a district that has a high percentage of English as a Second Language (ESL) students, experience that would make sense to highlight would be:
Any additional languages you are fluent in
Any experience you have collaborating with ESL students
Examples of how you individualized lesson plans to meet the needs of students
Any additional experience working with young children or developing curriculum can be helpful in showcasing skill sets on your resume. Whether they are paid or unpaid, relevant experience may include:
Camp counselor positions
Teaching musical instruments
Developing curriculum for a group of people or children
Make sure you include how each of the items you mention is relevant to the position you are applying for, including how you worked or developed curriculum for students and what you accomplished.
Don’t overlook impressive honors and experience that can make your resume stand out among the others. For example:
Professional development: Conferences and workshops you have attended relevant to early childhood education
Professional memberships: Any associations you belong to, especially those that relate to early childhood education
Honors: Dean’s List, scholarships or any other honors related to education
When you think you’ve compiled as much relevant experience as possible for your resume, don’t be afraid to send it to someone you know before submitting it to the principal or hiring committee.
A professor, a teacher you worked under as a student teacher, or a peer may provide feedback that you hadn’t considered - or even prompt a recollection of something else you accomplished that would be beneficial to include on a resume.
They may also spy a misspelled word or other mistake that could tank any effort you made to ensure your resume stands out.
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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