Advice for a Young High School Applicant

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by kt_bug, Mar 5, 2018.

  1. kt_bug

    kt_bug Rookie

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    I'm very young (like I'll be younger when I start teaching with my BA and credential than most people are when they get their BA). I also look very young. I've been told a few times that I look to be in my mid teens. I'm starting the interview process for high school English jobs this week and I'm wondering if anyone has advice on how to approach this. I'm obviously planning on dressing VERY professionally to make myself look as old and professional as possible, but slacks and a blazer only go so far. My cooperating teacher and clinical coach have mentioned that it might be beneficial for me to directly address my age/appearance at the end of the interview, even if I'm not asked about it (they don't think I legally can be asked) to mitigate any concerns about classroom management.

    Any secondary teachers who are very young or look very young - was it an issue for you in the job search? Were you ever asked about it in an interview or did you address it on your own? What did you say?
     
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  3. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Groupie

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    I don't imagine it to be an issue. I would say 60-70% of the new teachers we hire are in their early 20s, and many don't look much older than the HS seniors.
     
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  4. kt_bug

    kt_bug Rookie

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    This is something I've been thinking about as well. I am the youngest person in my credential program by 3-4 years and many people in the program are career changers. Most are at least in their late twenties. I think that another program in the area has many many more people who are coming fresh out of college. Perhaps it's just the demographics of my program and that my cooperating teacher/clinical coach are used to seeing older candidates because of it.
     
  5. pommom

    pommom Comrade

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    Mar 5, 2018

    How old are you op?
    I can relate. People tell me I look 16, and I am alomost 30. I am size zero with a baby face, so that makes me look young.
    Wearing my glasses helps. I always wear my glasses and dress overly professional in an interview.
     
  6. kt_bug

    kt_bug Rookie

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    I'm 21 and will be when the next school year starts. I also have a major case of baby face. The dental assistant thought I was 14 last year (it's possible that I wasn't wearing mascara) and my younger brother's basketball coach asked me two years ago whether I was his younger or older sister (he's 6 years younger than me and I was visiting from college at the time).
    I'm planning on dressing overly professionally. I've honestly even thought about buying a pair of non-prescription glasses to see if that makes me look older for interviewing and teaching, but it seemed like a little much lol.
     
  7. Been There

    Been There Habitué

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    Everyone has their own style, but I have a couple of suggestions based on what worked for me. When I first started out, I looked about ten years younger than the competition so I always wore a suit, carried a briefcase and wore fashionable "window" glasses to interviews in order to look as professional as possible. I also whipped out a legal pad in a portfolio to take a few notes. Be sure to practice your responses to a few generic interview questions in order to come across as articulate as possible and don't forget use the jargon du jour. Lastly, if you should have a tendency to do so, avoid using words such as like, rad, tight and others that are commonly used by young people. Good luck!
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2018
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  8. viola_x_wittrockiana

    viola_x_wittrockiana Comrade

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    I'm in the same boat as pommom- 00, 5'0", and baby-faced. It has been a major issue for me getting hired k-12, but ironically it hasn't been a problem to get hired for college positions. Last summer, I had the office ladies at one school tell me I looked just like one of their 8th graders. Many an office lady has done a double-take when I say I'm there to interview with xxxx.

    I try for very refined styling. Classy, classic garments, simple small accessories, and sometimes a vintage shoe just to give some personality to my appearance. I personally don't do a suit, but my frame is very narrow, so it always kind of looks like playing dress-up in mommy's work clothes. Everything is always steamed/pressed and no scuffed shoes. I find that my manner of posture and speaking carries more weight than what I wear. Speak with me for two minutes and you'll know I'm an educated adult.
     
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  9. ssgirl11

    ssgirl11 Companion

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    I look 12 (I'm 25, size 0 maybe 00 and 4'11.) It's all about the walk and an air of confidence!

    Might I just mention that it's incredibly difficult for petites to find dress pants that fit correctly. Make sure you find a good tailor!
     
  10. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Impress them with your smarts. Don't bring up your youthful appearance.
     
  11. kt_bug

    kt_bug Rookie

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    Thanks everyone! Apparently they called my references today and my clinical coach raved about my classroom management, which helped mitigate their concern about my appearance (according to her). I'm just going to stress my classroom management strategy/techniques in the interview because it sounds like they actually talked about how young I look already and my clinical coach assured the HR woman that it wouldn't be an issue.
     
  12. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Groupie

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    That's great!

    I wonder though if it's your clinical coach bringing up your age, rather than the school district. It sounds like shes more concerned about it than anyone.
     
  13. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    I was 21 when I started too. My eye doctor asked me how I liked junior high.
     
  14. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    I had just turned 22 when I got my first job. I taught seniors. It wasn't an issue.
     
  15. Been There

    Been There Habitué

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    After managing to overcome the challenges that a youthful appearance brings to teacher interviews, I had to do all of the above and more when I decided to apply for a principalship! It’s hard to beat the enthusiasm and energy that are often so obvious with young applicants. They’re actually not allowed to ask any age-related questions, but if they do, simply respond that it’s never been a problem.
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2018
  16. kt_bug

    kt_bug Rookie

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    Thanks everyone! Apparently it wasn’t an issue because the principal informally told me to expect a call from HR sometime soon. They did ask me what I thought the biggest challenge would be transitioning from having been a student there to being a teacher (my old high school). I addressed it there and said that between my classroom management and credibility from content knowledge and the way I carry myself it wouldn’t be an issue.
     
  17. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Phenom

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    How long have you been a principal? Do you have to be a vice principal first before you can become one. Did you get the job?

    I’m thinking about becoming a principal eventually because they make bank! I already have a Masters degree and next year will be my 5th year teaching, so all I would have to do is get my admin credential following the successful completion of said year.
     
  18. Been There

    Been There Habitué

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    Hi futuremathsprof,
    Now retired, I'm a product of the educational reform movement of the 70s and 80s. Much like you, after seven years of teaching, I decided to prepare for the principalship. If you would like to send me a private message, I would be glad to tell you how and what I did to land three out of three administrative positions. BTW, the extra money wasn't worth it and after a few years I returned to the classroom to work on innovative instructional design.
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2018
  19. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Phenom

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    I can’t start a private conversation with you. In your privacy settings, your conversation setting might be set to receive messages from followers only. Or you can send me a private message.
     
  20. Been There

    Been There Habitué

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    Have never gotten private messaging to work for me. This is a tech problem that they are working on. Click on the butterfly > Profile Page > Information > Home page (scroll down left column) > Contact.
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2018

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