Congratulations on your decision to become a teacher! Education is one of the noblest professions. If you're still pursuing your degree, consider taking online courses. They'll offer the flexibility you'll need so you can get out there and start your job search early.
Looking for a job in any field can be stressful, and teaching is no different. Here are some tips on how to find, and land, a job as a teacher.
- Search the want ads. Most schools hand out contracts for the following year in March and April. When their teachers do not sign back on, they start advertising for the open positions. Your local newspaper or online job search engines are filled with teaching positions in the spring for positions the following school year. Check back often, as many additional positions come open as teachers decide to take other jobs even if they already signed a contract at their current school. You may even find openings as late as July or August, so don't give up!
- Check with your State Board of Education or the websites of schools in your area. Many State Boards of Education have a website or job database that schools can advertise their positions on for free. Also, almost every school district is now online with a school website. Many of those have a page dedicated to open positions in the school or district. If you have a particular school or several schools in your area in mind, go to their websites and see if there are any openings.
- Use national teacher placement websites. There are several websites dedicated to helping place teachers in schools across the country. Some of them allow you to upload your resume and what you are looking for and the schools can find you. Check the sidebar of this article for links to a few of these websites.
- Create an outstanding resume. Once you have found some positions for which to apply, it is time to polish up your resume. Teachers need to be well-spoken, organized, and passionate if they want to find a good teaching job. Your first impression is the resume and cover letter you send in to apply for jobs. Administrators are turned off by disorganization, too much information, or poor grammar when reading your application. Take your time when creating these documents. Proofread and edit several times before sending anything to potential employers.
- Be professional at the interview. If you get an interview, go into it as the professional you truly are. Dress appropriately and come prepared with any questions you might have as well as answers to questions you think the interviewers will ask. Teachers are authority figures and need to portray that during interviews.
Good luck with the job search and keep trying...and don't forget to keep your skills sharp by taking online continuing education courses. Before you know it, you'll be making lesson plans and teaching!