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Finding a Job Presenter: Shannon J. Holden www.newteacherhelp.com
Overview of Today’s Session • Why is this important? • Being ready to pounce • Your Cover Letter • The Resume • Your “Philosophy of Education” • The Interview • This mistake is a “Game Ender” • The Aftermath
Disclaimer • I am just one administrator • I do not presume to know what EVERY administrator looks for in an applicant • I do know what I like! • These tips were gathered from friends & colleagues who are in the business of hiring teachers
Why is This Important? • Wouldn’t it be great if YOU were the one in control of the hiring process? • Wouldn’t it be great if you could choose where you worked? • Knowing the skills necessary to find a job is one of the most important skills to have!
Be Ready! • I have missed out on a ton of jobs because I wasn’t ready to act fast when one became available • Many school districts make it intentionally difficult to apply for jobs in their district • My response when jobs became available and I wasn’t ready: • “It is going to take so much work to organize all of my materials”
Be Ready! • Make packets with these documents • Resume • Reference letters • College transcripts • Copies of your teaching certificate(s) • Your “Philosophy of Education” • Large envelopes with postage already on them • All you need to do is make a “personalized” cover letter, put an address on the envelope, and send it away!
What if They Are “Online”? • All of the documents should be in a folder on your computer in PDF format (except your cover letter) • After you do your first online application, print out all of the answers you gave so that the NEXT one will be way easier and faster! • Keep a folder of all of the answers you gave on all of your online applications
Be Ready! • I have made an open DropBox folder which contains ALL of my application materials • http://bit.ly/shannonholden • I direct potential employers there, and they can download any piece of information about me that they desire!
Your Cover Letter • Your cover letter should NOT be more than three paragraphs long (not more than one page) • Administrators are reading dozens of these, so get to the point! • Less is more…we don’t have time to read your life story
Cover Letter (Paragraph #1) • “Dear (name of person who is the ‘contact person’ for the job)” • You could do “To Whom it May Concern” • I am excited to present my application materials to you for (specific job opening) • Tell where you saw the job opening (optional) • Tell why you are interested in the specific job or school/district
Cover Letter (Paragraph #2) • Tell them you have really been focused on learning more about… • Cooperative Learning • Positive Behavior Interventions & Supports • Response to Intervention • Professional Learning Communities • Common Core State Standards • Tell how you take student failure personally, and you do whatever it takes for students to experience success
Cover Letter (Paragraph #3) • Thank the person for reading your application materials • Tell him/her that you are looking forward to meeting them and the interview panel • “Sincerely, • (four lines of space for your signature) • “(Your Name)”
The Resume • Your career objective • Your education • Your experience • Hobbies/outside interests • References
Your Career Objective • Your career objective should match the job you are interviewing for • “To help students reach their fullest potential” is a good career objective • “To instill a lifelong love of learning in all students” is another one
Your Education • List your highest degree/most recent degree first • It might also be a good idea to make a section called “Certifications” so that you can show you are certified for the position you are applying for
Your Experience • List your most recent experience first • If you are applying for your first teaching job, put your student teaching experience first • If there are any “gaps” in your employment history, be prepared to explain them in the interview • Include any volunteer work where you have worked with children
Hobbies/Outside Interests • Reading (You better have this one!) • Physical activity (Another good one) • Volunteer work (Obvious) • Sports (They may want you to coach one)
Clean Up Your Facebook! • Wouldn’t it be terrible if you didn’t get an interview because your Facebook page had pictures of you engaging in bad behavior? • More and more employers are checking Facebook pages! • Better to be safe than sorry!
References (In THIS order) • If you are looking for your first job: • Your student teaching “cooperating teacher” • Principals of schools where you have “subbed” • Your college advisor • Professors in your major • If you have teaching experience: • Your Principal • Your Asst. Principal(s) or Superintendent • Your Department Chairperson • Other colleagues
Your Philosophy of Education • You need to go beyond “All children can learn” • “All students have different learning styles” • “It is the teacher’s responsibility to determine how each student learns, and present lessons to them that match their learning style” • “Learning is a participatory process, and I will present lessons that engage students”
Your Philosophy • You should be able to articulate your philosophy in an interview setting, and be able to write it when necessary
The Interview • When to get there • Dress • Questions they can’t ask you • Do your homework • When you don’t know the answer • Asking the right questions
When to Get There • Don’t show up late! • Don’t show up more than 10 minutes early • Drive to your destination before your big day in order to know exactly where to go • Give yourself 30 minutes of cushion • Sit in the parking lot and go over possible answers
Dress • Administrators are always fighting the fight with teachers about what “professional dress” is • Show your potential employer that YOU know what professional dress is • Most of the interviewers are old, so you are going to have to go “Old School” with your outfit (see next slide)
“Old School” • Men • Suit (or at the very least…a shirt and tie) • Shave! • Shaggy hair? • Women • No flip flops! • Excessive jewelry • Stay classy
“Old School” • It would be a good idea to minimize the appearance of any piercing and/or tattoos you may have • Old people just don’t get it that you are trying to express your individuality
The “Game Ender” • When you introduce yourself to your interviewer, do this: • Look the interviewer in the eye • Shake their hand with a “firm” grip • Do NOT give a “limp” hand shake • Almost every administrator I talk to says the same thing about this
Questions They Can’t Ask You • Your age • Your marital status • Your health • Any handicapping conditions you may have • I like to tell my interviewers this info. when they ask the first question: “Tell us a little bit about yourself.”
Questions They Will Ask You • Tell us what you know about… • Cooperative Learning • Positive Behavior Interventions & Supports • Response to Intervention • Professional Learning Communities • Common Core State Standards • How do you motivate unmotivated students? • See the December, 2012 webinar in this community!
Questions They Will Ask You • “How do you know if a student ‘got it’?” • “What do you do if a student doesn’t ‘get it’ the first time you teach a concept?” • “How can we reduce the dropout rate?” • “What would your classroom look like if you had an unlimited budget?”
Questions They Will Ask You • “What are 21st Century skills?” • “How will you implement ‘Tech Tools’ in your classroom?” • “How is the role of the teacher changing?” • “Tell us about the last book you read”
Where to Learn About this Stuff • www.edweb.net/techtools • Free staff development for teachers • Monthly webinars about free tech for teachers • www.newteacherhelp.com • What you weren’t taught in college • Classroom management, lesson planning • Dealing with difficult parents • Scoring high on your teaching evaluation
Do Your Homework • Go to the district’s website • Find out important information about the district: • Demographic information • Accreditation/test scores • What initiatives are being implemented • Your interviewers will be impressed
When You Don’t Know • It’s O.K. to say “I don’t know” when you don’t know the answer • That is WAY better than trying to fake it!! • Your interviewers will like your honesty • You can probably only do two of these
Better Than “I Don’t Know” • If you give me • 48 hours • A computer with Internet access • A pot of coffee • I can be an expert on any subject you like
Asking the Right Questions • At the end of the interview, you will be asked if you have any questions for the interviewers • The WORST thing you can do is say “Nope…no questions” • Also bad is to ask more than five questions
Asking the Right Questions • How far along are you in the implementation of • Whatever initiative they are implementing • What is the nature of the specific position you are trying to fill? • Are you looking for someone to coach a particular sport or sponsor a club?
Asking the Right Questions • Do teachers work together as departments, or interdisciplinary teams? • What types of interventions are teachers encouraged to attempt with students who are struggling?
Bad Questions • How many sick days do I get each year? • How many holidays do I get? • Can I bring my pet to work? • Is my salary negotiable? • Am I going to be supported when I have a conflict with a parent? • What is my classroom budget?
“Theme” of Your Interview • People may not remember what you said, but they WILL remember how you made them feel • Your interviewers should feel like you: • Love teaching & students • Are friendly and easy to get along with • Will do whatever it takes to help students experience success in learning • Are available for “extra” responsibilities
The Aftermath • Hurry up and wait • Thank you cards • To call or not to call
Hurry Up & Wait • Your interviewers will call you when they make a decision (probably) • This is probably the worst part of the interview process • There is a chance you will not receive a phone call or letter
Thank You Cards • There are two schools of thought on thank-you cards • Some like them, some don’t • My personal opinion is that they don’t affect me one way or the other
One Exception… • One applicant impressed me with her “Thank You” card • She said “Thanks for taking the time to interview me” then: • She elaborated on an answer to a question that she didn’t answer well during the interview • I thought that was pretty cool…she got the job!
To Call or Not To Call • It will be tempting to call when you do not hear anything • Fight the urge to call! • Don’t be the person who calls daily to check on the “status” of the decision-making process • You will be seen as “high-maintenance” • You will not get the job