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How To Find Your Dream Teaching Job

Published on Monday, 20 Apr 2015
How To Find Your Dream Teaching Job

When you’re on the hunt for a teaching job, it can be incredibly difficult to find a school or institution that matches your own personal and teaching goals. At times it can be tempting to accept the first job offer that comes along from any school, but as the working environment of the school you ultimately end up teaching at will be a deciding factor in how happy you are as a teacher overall, it would be wise to hold out until you can find your dream teaching job. In order to help expedite the process so that you can begin your teaching career at a great school, it’s imperative that you use a smart and calculated approach in your job search. This can be the difference between merely settling for a teaching job and getting hired at a school that suits you well, adding to the general job satisfaction you will experience. 

In order to determine which school may be the right one for you,it’s important for new teachers to take stock of their own strengths and weaknesses as a teacher. Determining what teaching style you follow will also help narrow down which schools may be the most ideal for your teaching preferences. For example, if your teaching style is more precise and analytical, you may not be suited to teach at a school that may promote more creative problem solving tasks.  

Next, you will need to figure out where geographically you would like to teach. Are you willing to relocate to a new neighborhood or city for your new position, or would you rather continue living where you currently are now? How will the daily commute affect you and your work life balance? If you have your own family to think about, are there schools in your area that you would be satisfied to send your own children to? Once you decide on where you want to live and teach, then you can start researching specific districts and schools to find the right one for you. Whenever possible, scout new locations out for yourself to see if you truly would enjoy spending time working in and with that particular community.

Once the location is set, then you can start looking into specific schools. What teaching method does each school employ? What is the average teacher to student ration per classroom? What sort of benefits package do the schools offer their teachers? What starting salary can you expect? If the starting salary is lower than you would like, don’t jump ship just yet. Find out if the school offers higher salaries after a few years as part of a teach retention programme. If you’re looking to settle into a community for the long term, the retention salary increase may be worthwhile even if the starting salary may not be.

When you’re finally ready to formally apply for a teaching post at your chosen schools, send your resume to both the school district office and the individual principals of the schools you’re interested in. Although it’s customary to go through the human resources department of the school district when searching for a teaching job, contacting the principals directly can help accelerate your job search as they might be willing to contact the HR team themselves if they like what they see on your resume. As an added bonus, making contact with someone directly at the school you’re interested in working at can give you insight to the work environment and your potential colleagues. 

Once you’ve been contacted for an interview, it’s crucial to prepare and practice for your meeting. Bear in mind that the principal will want to learn more about your teaching style, your philosophy on classroom discipline, how you interact with different types of learners in a single classroom, and how you work with other faculty members. You may have a panel interview so be ready to present yourself confidently and professionally even if you may be intimidated by the group sitting in front of you. Be prepared with your answers and be sure to give truthful responses. It’s not a dream job if you have to lie in order to get an offer. 

Remember that at the end of your job search, your goal is to have found a teaching position with a school that is right for you. Be honest with yourself regarding what you want and don’t allow yourself to settle for something less than that. Hold out until you find the right one.

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