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Google Alerts can be a useful tool for current teachers and job seekers.  Google Alerts are email updates of the latest relevant Google results (web, news, etc.) based on your choice of query or topic.

Some handy uses of Google Alerts includes:

  • monitoring current on education initiatives, trends, and reform, and
  • keeping tabs on your school or schools (districts) that you would like to work in.  Knowing this information may give you an advantage over another job applicant.

Go to http://www.google.com/alerts to sign-up.

The education job market is in the midst of a major downturn.  It’s hard on anyone looking a teaching job.  Consider broadening your job search to on-line job market places.  Road to Teaching recommends K-12 Jobs.com.

Don’t lose hope.

-Eric

P.S. Check out Road to Teaching’s Teacher Interview page – the web’s largest collection of teacher interview questions.

Stop and think before you answer this question.  The interviewers really don’t want to hear your life story or the names of all your 20 cats.  Rather what they are listening for is how well you will fit into the school, work with your colleagues, and relate to your students.

Talk about yourself and 1-2 life experience, but ALWAYS tie it back to how it will help you in teaching. 

For example:

“I would describe myself as adventurous and outgoing.  Last year I traveled throughout Southeast Asia, traveling to four countries.  I love learning about new cultures and meeting new people.  This is one of the reasons I want to teach at {insert school name}.  It has amazing diversity.  I would take this same enthusiam and apply it to learning more about my students and their backgrounds.”

we-need-youWe need you!  Try your hand at answering any of the teacher interview questionsWe will then post your answer by linking it to the teacher interview question you choose.

Everyday hundreds of pre-service teachers and other job seekers visit Road to Teaching’s Teacher Interview Question page – the largest collection of teacher interview questions on the web.  This is a free resource, maintained by a teacher.  So, with your help we could turn this to the web’s largest collection of teacher interview questions with ANSWERS!

Feel free to email your question and answer to eric [at] roadtoteaching [dot] com.  Alternatively, you can simply leave a comment to this post or comment on the teacher interview question page.  We will extract your Q&A and make the link.

Please help us expand the usefulness of Road to Teaching.

Hundreds of preservice, beginning, and RIF’d teachers attended a local teacher job fair.  There was a line of teachers that streched around the block to enter this job fair.  It was record attendance!  “Hiring” principals were ready to greet each perspective candidate and then rank them on a predetermined scale.  The scale is different for each principal, but its basically from the low end of do not to call back this candidate to, as one principal said, candidate “walks on water” and must be called to interview

I listened to several principals talk about their experiences at this job fair.  Some were funny and some were scary.  Each principal had their own approach when interacting with each prospective candidate.  One principals said he listens to candidates, only asking a few questions here and there.  Another principal said she asks the prospective candidates interview questions.  Her favorite questions was, “What is your ideal classroom?”  She said that many of the candidates would be stumped and just say “ummmmm.” 

How do you think these candidates were ranked?

I solicited advice from the principals on what candidates should do to help improve their chances of being called back on an interview.  Here are some nuggest of their advice:

Social Graces

Remember your manners and how to properly greet someone.  When you (the teacher candidate) approach a hiring principal at a job fair be sure to shake their hand, introduce yourself, and make eye contact.  From the start you need to establish a personal connection with the principal.  Next, ask the principal if they would like a copy of your resume.  A principal told me that too many candidates would come up, not introduce themselves, and hand them their resume without asking.  This is a no-no.  Start off your interaction on the right foot.

Do Your Homework

When you get notice of an upcoming teacher job fair do some basic homework.  Make a list of school districts and schools that interest you.  Then, do research on the schools (see my book for research strategies/tips).  Copy down your notes and review them right before you speak with the principal from that respective school.  This demonstrates to the hiring principal at the job fair that you have a strong interest in their school and you are familiar with it.  This will set you apart from other candidates, improving your ranking.  Also, it will give you some conversation material when it’s your turn to talk. 

Come Prepared

Another tip the principals told me was that job candidates should come to the fair with their resumes and, if possible, a few letters of recommendation.  The letters of recommendation give the prinicpal greater insight into who you are.

Additional Resources to Get You Hired

Road to Teaching: A Guide to Teacher Training, Student Teaching, and Finding a Job

Web’s Largest Collection of Teacher Interview Questions

We can’t get through the day with0ut hearing about the economy.  Well, the bad economy has impacted education, specifically teacher hiring.  In some districts, hiring has been frozen.  Why?  Districts have no money for new hires or they are waiting to see how the stimulus money will trickle down from the the federal level to the state level to eventually the district level.  This weekend I spoke with a principal who said his hands are tied.  He can’t move on any hiring until this summer (when the District will release their budget).  This is extremely frustrating to principals who tend to want to wrap up their teacher hirings in April and May.  Its even more frustrating to aspiring teachers (job applicants) who are wondering when they will get an interview.

I asked the principal what his advice is to those teacher job applicants.  His advice was to ” keep being persistant.”  Here are some other ideas:

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Now, aspiring and student teachers can order Road to Teaching as an e-book, SAVING close to 40%!

Preview my book at Lulu.com for free.  Learn how to differentiate yourself in your teacher preparation classes, create a positive relationship with your cooperating (master) teacher, establish effective classroom management, perform well in your interview, and much more.

Purchase your copy as an e-book version (Lulu.com $8.99) or as a print version (Amazon.com $13.99).

I recently posted Is There a Teacher Shortage?.  I read an article today that argues that the perceived teacher shortage is mainly due to teacher retention – a unique twist to this topic.  The article stated, “Our inability to support high-quality teaching in many of our schools is driven not by too few teachers coming in, but by too many going out, that is, by a staggering teacher turnover and attrition rate.”

I strongly agree with the recommendations stated in the article.  Of course, higher salaries are a given – who wouldn’t support that?  Just as important to me are the other recommendations: improving teacher preparation and supporting student and beginning teachers through an intensive mentoring program.  It is ridiculous to simply train teachers in a university classroom setting, require they complete a short stint student teaching, and then expect the majority of these beginning teachers will be highly effective in their own classrooms.  We all need constant feedback and support to grow professionally, thus greatly reducing teacher attrition and improving student achievement.  

The article was written in a few years ago, but the point is still relevant.  Click this link to read the article: Teacher Retention / Teacher Shortage.

 

“Both my husband and I are getting certified now (in the same subject) and will both be looking for jobs during the Summer 2009 hiring season.  Are there any articles or advice for those that will be looking for two jobs, not just one? In some countries its normal for employers to ask about your spouse’s situation when you interview for a job, but in America that’s against the law of course.  We think our situation would be an asset to most schools, but how does a couple “sell themselves” on this without seeming pushing or make their interviewer nervous? For example, should we go to job fair booths together, or make our rounds separately? Other teaching couples I know weren’t looking for jobs in the same hiring season, were certified in different subjects, or simply didn’t get married until they were both out of school.”

– Student Teacher

Click on comments for responses

Please email your student teacher questions to eric@road2teaching.com.