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General [Question]

The Job Hunt

Started on Apr 14, 2012 by JenniferLucas
Last post on Mar 08, 2013

Hello! I have had my certification for about 2 years now and am having trouble finding a teaching job. I could use advice on cover letters, strategies for getting a job, or stories on how you got hired! (or even some recommendations on where to apply ;) Thanks!

4 Keeps, 1 Likes, 9 Comments

  • AmyHall 04/14/2012 at 08:25pm
    Ugh, I feel for you - I was in the same position for some time. What state do you live in?
    I was teaching K-5 in Raleigh, NC when my job was cut in 2009. I subbed off and on for a year.... I then moved (for my fiance, now husband). I was able to get the position I now have (and LOVE!!!) by meeting a parent at a party who told me about an opening. I started as a long term sub, which then turned into part time and now full time. When I was applying I brought a three panel brochure highlighting work experience and personal artwork as well as a packet in a presentation folder with lesson plans, awards, recommendations, teaching philosophy and any other information I thought would help. Presentation helped... It was all done in InDesign and matched... I think it made a big impact. The packet cost about $10 in printing, but was well worth it. Good luck to you and hang in there!

  • lightARTed 04/19/2012 at 06:20pm
    I also did what AmyHall did and it does make a great impact. I created a portfolio so interviewers could see what i have done in the past. It was a big hit. I also spend a lot of time researching the school and district I am interviewing for so that when they ask if I have any questions I can bring something up to let them how I've done my research. The school I teach in now is huge on technology which I found out in my research, I was able to bring that up a few time in my answers to show how I would implement that in my classroom. I spend a lot of time coming up with possible questions they may ask and writing my thoughts to them so that I do not stumble or go blank. Don't memorize though. You may want to sub for any districts near you so that people get to know you and then can offer in house recommendations when a job comes up.

  • JenniferLucas 04/22/2012 at 02:06pm
    Thank you both! That is some really really good advice! I will work on putting some more stuff together to take with me to interviews. And writing things out would be good. I look at so many different school websites that it could be really easy for me to forget what was on what website. You guys sound really organized! I can see why you got hired!

  • JenniferLucas 04/22/2012 at 02:07pm
    Also I live in Mansfield, OH.

  • RVArtist 05/30/2012 at 09:14am
    If you are interested in moving there are some open positions in the Richmond, VA area. Henrico and Chesterfield Counties have openings. Establishing an online portfolio as well as a book version was helpful in my search.

  • RebeccaAnn 06/16/2012 at 09:06am
    It is so frustrating! I received my certification in 2009, took a position as a 1-year art sub in an elementary school, then I got a permanent but part-time position for the next year, that was cut, so I took another 1-year only position this time in a middle school. I have just lined up my first permanent, full-time position for next year and am very excited.
    While I was going through the process, I was wildly frustrated. Starting over somewhere new each year was very stressful. However, I would not have traded the experience that I have gained from working in 4 different districts for anything(6 if you count my internship)! I feel so much better able to navigate the politics that come along with don't be afraid to try something temporary!

  • RebeccaAnn 06/16/2012 at 09:12am
    I also always brought a book that I bound in a report cover from staples. It had a table of contents and all of my letters of recommendation, my resume, notes from parents, publications about art shows etc. and half of it was photos of my student's work and my classroom spaces. I actually made several copies so that multiple people on the interview committee could flip through them at the same time. At the end of the interview I asked if they would like to keep one. They often did and I regularly got positive feedback on how helpful that was.

    I always drew a simple drawing on the back of the manila envelop that I sent my packet in. I don't know if it did anything, but I figured it helped to stand out.

  • MsFoushee 07/11/2012 at 07:35pm
    YOU CAN DO IT!!! Be sure to dress nice (you'd be shocked at what I've seen people wear!) and just be conversational instead of formal, since they are looking for someone they can be comfortable working with. I took a few sample lessons with pictures of student work, as well as a small book with photographs of my own work. I also created a resume website on Wordpress so the principal could look at it later. Finally, I also suggest looking in rural towns over cities. I found a job in the rural part of my county, and despite the 30 min. drive, I think the small school is perfect for me as I start my career.

  • lhARTz 03/08/2013 at 09:36am
    I know this is NOT the norm, but I put in my first application while finishing college, got my first interview, and got the job right away. Seemed SO easy. BUT, for people still stuggling with this, my biggest advice is to be yourself.

    When I applied, they were taking online applications. That's all well and good, so I did that. However, the man I student taught for physically mailed in his reccomendation letter. I was told that his letter was the main reason I got called for the interview. Out of 100+ applications, only 3 were called for interviews. So finding a way, any way, to stand out RIGHT away before the interview is ideal. Make sure your cover letter/resume stands out. You're an art teacher. Be creative. Admin gets bored going through the same stuff over and over. Add some color, fun (not crazy) fonts for the titles (readable and still professional, but designed well). Do your research BEFORE you write your cover letter and incorporate words from the districts mission into your statement.

    When you're called and go in for the interview - be 10-15 minutes early. Don't overdo perfume or makeup. Dress nice and professional, no cleavage, but add some of your funky fun flare that all art teachers have. Like one bright piece of jewelry or a funky pin or colored heels. Have a portfolio of student work, lessons, as well as your own work. Have questions for them. Have something to leave-behind (a disc works well).

    Send a THANK YOU note IMMEDIATELY to all who were involved in the interview. I had 7 people in my interview. I wrote down all their names towards the end and e-mailed my thank-yous as soon as I got home because I knew they were making a decision THAT NIGHT.

    I know you posted this over a year ago and I HOPE and pray you have a job now. But if you don't or if others reading this need more advice, I hope this helps. It clearly worked for me.

    Above all, just be yourself. You're awesome. You're creative, you're fun.