Tuesday, January 29, 2013

How to Find a Teaching Job

After being a teacher for over ten years I've had my share of student teachers and graduate students observing in my classroom. I get a lot of people asking me advice on finding a teaching job and I have a few things to help them of course, there are no guarantees but one must try. 

For those of you interested in finding a teaching job, enjoy a few pieces of advice from a veteran teacher, here we go:

1. Substitute

This might seem like a no-brainer to those of you who've been in the trenches doing your time in the sub pool for a while now, however, not everyone understands just how crucial this can be. Even if you have your "in" to the school (principal neighbor, mother is a teacher, etc.) you have to prove yourself worthy of the opportunity through subbing. A lot of the tips mentioned here tie back to this first one.

2. Make Friends

Make friends with EVERYONE you can. I know it can be scary or awkward to eat in the teacher's room but go ahead and be part of the group. Seek out the other teachers on your team for the day and build relationships with them. Teachers LOVE to be flattered and most teachers have a controlling personality combined with a love for talking so get them talking about their strategies and how they deal with situations that arise in their classroom. I mean, look at this blog.....you are reading thoughts of a teacher who loves to share ideas with people and there is something flattering in knowing that you're reading this. 

3. Maintain Control at ALL Times

No one expects you to be perfect but it never looks good if other teachers or administrators need to help you out with classroom management. Keep the students active and engaged during lessons, remain respectful of your students with clear boundaries and expectations. If you work with the younger grades and walk with students in the hall, keep them quiet and orderly. Walking in front of the line will not work, keep an eye on your students in the hall and walk with them at about the halfway point monitoring the front and back of your line. 

4. Dress and Act Professionally

You need to remain professional when substitute teaching, even if you are working with little students or other students you think won't notice, you need to remember that you are being watched and teachers give feedback about the substitutes in their rooms. The students tell on you when you do something a teacher shouldn't....we always hear about it. Unfortunately some of the teachers in the building will not be good examples to follow. Just remember, they have a job and you don't. Don't worry...one day that role will be yours.

Those are just a few of the many hints to name....stay tuned for a few more tips over the coming weeks.