Friday, December 16, 2011

If at First you Don't Succeed, Try Try Again!!

Finding a position that is your career dream may be very difficult in this economy right now. With the budget crisis at the national, state, local community and district levels, districts are cutting teaching positions in order to balance their budgets.

For candidates looking for positions, the search can be very discouraging. Here are some tips to continue to remain upbeat and still pursue your career dream:

1. Get into subbing. When you are subbing you develop relationships with teachers and students in the school.

2. Take a maternity leave. Taking a maternity leave for a teacher for 6 weeks, 12 weeks, or a semester, can be an open door for future positions. Your team will get to know you, you can get involved in the school, get to know the students and the parents.

3. Find a way to volunteer in the school. Ask if you can help out on the school improvement plan, a committee, volunteer coach or help on an activity, like the speech team.

4. Have your resume and application ready to adapt to newly posted positions. This way as the positions are posted you can quickly adapt and apply. Remember to add your subbing, maternity leaves and volunteer work!!!

Don't give up your dream to teach!!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Answering Questions in an Interview

Responding to questions in an interview can be nerve racking!!! No matter how much you prepare with sample questions, you are always to be sure to be asked a question that you never have heard of!! What do you do then? Or how do I answer questions about practices, when I just finished student teaching and have not had my own classroom?

1. You should respond to questions in an interview with answers that will reflect the practices that YOU want to put into place in your own classroom or setting. Do not answer questions with, "when I was student teaching, my supervising teacher did...." or "in the classroom that student taught in, we used this behavior management system." Review how YOU will set up your classroom management system, how YOU will create a balance literacy program in your classroom, how YOU will set up labs in middle school science and how YOU will assess students in U.S. History.

2. It you are unclear of the question being asked, ask for clarification, rather than answering in a vague manner or misunderstanding the question being asked.

3. Know your audience -- if you are in a group interview with principals, teachers, and parents, be sure that you are able to address the question for a variety of the audience.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Social Networking-- Use Carefully!! But It Can Be Helpful!

The benefits of social networking when searching for a teaching or administrative position can be HUGE!! You may have used social networking to reconnect with old friends and to keep updated on friends and family. So why not try to use social networking to find a teaching position?!

If you are not yet on Linked In, you need to get an account set up and get your profile out there! Linked In is a great way to network and get your name out there! Nearly one million teachers are on Linked In. There are various groups that you can join on Linked In that can provide contacts for you. When sharing your information, include your full name, educational background, recognitions, projects you have worked on, interests, strengths and any other information that will perk the interests of the employer.

When using social networking, teacher candidates need to make sure that your information is presented in a professional manner. Information that you post is critical too; you want to make sure that nothing slips through that can show you in a questionable manner. Remember that most employers are now googling prospective candidates and checking out your Facebook page.

Twitter can also be used to network with people who may have positions available. Some districts have Facebook and Twitter pages that you can check out!!

Good Luck!!!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

What to Wear to an Interview?

The first five minutes of an interview are critical to the image that you want to portray. What to wear? If you are a recent graduate, your professional wardrobe may not be very developed. Male candidates should always wear a shirt and tie-- an ironed shirt that is crisp and and sharp. Taking a shirt to be pressed at the dry cleaners costs about $2 and is well worth it. Candidates that come to an interview with a wrinkled shirt look unkempt and that does not make a good initial impression. If you have a suit, wear it; if you have just a sport coat, wear it.

Female candidates have a number of wardrobe options for the interview. A suit, a jacket and a skirt or a jacket and pants are all suitable for the interview process. If you don't have a jacket, choose your blouse/shirt well that looks polished and has a finished look. Make sure that whatever top/blouse that you wear is not revealing and is professional looking.

Many times you will be taken on a tour of the school at the first and/or second interview. Make sure that you have comfortable, but professional looking shoes to climb stairs and to walk a school building.

If you plan on taking notes, put your tablet for note-taking in a portfolio that you can carry in to the interview with you. These are inexpensive at Target or even at Walgreens.

You are ready to go on your interview!!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Your Cover Letter:
The first view of your application material by an employer is usually your cover letter. When writing your cover letter, be concise! This is your introduction of yourself to the employer and you want them to continue reading the letter, to "grab them" so they want to read more. Your cover letter should be only page and should be strategically written. If you are a recent graduate, find two areas that can highlight your skills and experiences that are pertinent to the goals of the district. If you are a second career candidate, it would be important to highlight that you have finished your education, highlight your work experiences (especially if you have worked in the schools as a paraprofessional) and your dream of teaching. Let the employer know that you have completed the online application and are available for interviews. Double check your letter to make sure that spelling and grammar are correct and that you have the correct employer in the opening. This is your first impression with the employer!!!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Welcome to The Teacher Guru!! The Teacher Guru provides a variety of services: First, coaching sessions to recent graduates or second career candidates pursuing teaching positions. Coaching sessions include resume review/development, suggested interview strategies, local workshops on educational topics and much, much more for those looking for a teaching position!!

The Teacher Guru also provides professional development for districts on pertinent topics that will improve the teaching and learning in their district. Get on the e-mail list to continue to hear from The Teacher Guru!!