Short answer – NO.

Longer Answer – Last year, I moved 2000 miles across country, from a conservative area to a liberal area, and since I am a social studies teacher, I was plagued constantly by the inevitable “and what do you coach” question. Since I am as far from athletic as you can possibly get short of paraplegia, my answer to that question seemed to consistently and repeatedly doom me to the “we like you, but” response to an interview. But I did get a job, although it wasn’t as soon as I would have liked, and I got the perfect job….eventually.

Don’t despair if you don’t yet have a job and you are beginning to panic. Several of my close teacher friends weren’t hired until after school had already started. Is it ideal? No, but many districts and schools, for whatever reason, end up having to hire teachers after school starts. Most of the time it is a budget issue that gets worked out at the last minute, clearing the way for them to hire you.

So what can you do to expedite the situation?

1. Keep checking the online job postings. By this time, you probably have an idea of the district (or two or three) that appeal to you the most.

2. Be open to applying for a job that wouldn’t necessarily be your first choice. For example, teaching junior high instead of high school or part time instead of a full time position. Getting your foot in the door will make a difference down the road. One of my friends accepted a position as a junior high math teacher, and then the next year when a high school teacher retired, was moved up into the high school into the position that he had originally wanted.

3. Seriously consider substitute teaching. Many teachers have gotten positions because they got to know the administration, faculty, and students in a particular school or district by subbing – giving them a leg-up in the interview process. In some cases, subbing can be ideal for a first year teacher. There is generally no grading to do and little to no planning. You can work as much or as little as you want, and a good sub will most likely be employed every single school day. Believe me, teachers long for good subs they can trust.

Finally, and above all, do not get discouraged. Not getting a job doesn’t mean you aren’t a good teacher – you just haven’t found quite the right school yet. Good luck!

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