Advice on Standing Out - Trying to Find a Job

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by MAteacher, Jun 26, 2018.

  1. MAteacher

    MAteacher Rookie

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    Jun 26, 2018

    A little background, I've been teaching for two years and decided to leave the school I'm working at. I was sort of bullied into resigning (my principal said, that I had to make a decision or she would make it for me) so I don't currently have a job.

    First off, I'm in Massachusetts which means that there is ALOT of teachers also looking for jobs.

    I'm struggling because I haven't even been able to get an interview, I've had one so far and it went really well and the hiring committee really liked me, but ultimately they went with someone that would be a better fit. I'm bummed, but feel good that I left a really strong impression nonetheless.

    I'm struggling because most of my rejections have come from schools that haven't even opened my application. Most of the jobs here are through SchoolSpring so I can see if they've reviewed it or not. Most of the places, I never get word that they even open it before they list me as not hired.

    I'm applying to as many places as possible, but a big part of the reason I'm leaving my current school is that my husband and I are just too far away from our families and his doctors (he has a condition and sees quite a few specialists). We really want to be at least a little closer, but it's making it hard and we've already expanded our search area.

    Do you guys have any advice on how to stand out? I feel reasonably confident in my interview abilities, not cocky, but I feel good about my answers to most questions and all that.
     
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  3. svassillion

    svassillion Companion

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    Jun 28, 2018

    I'm a fellow teacher in MA and I just happened to be on an interview committee this year. My P had me look through all the resumes. For this position we received 200 applicants. It's impossible to read that many resumes, so we automatically filtered out teachers with less than a Masters and didn't bother reviewing their application. Of the remaining 130 resumes, the ones that stood out the most to me highlighted extra credentials whether in SPED or SEI. The cover letters were the most powerful influence over whether we invited the candidate to interview. Letters that mentioned working collaboratively as a team, project based learning, strong behavior management, and growth mindset caught my eye the most. The letters of rec from admins were also more favored than co-teachers, literacy coaches, etc. We interviewed 9 candidates and after all that work, someone in the district bid on the position so we didn't end up hiring anyone. I honestly feel that so much of it is just luck.
     
  4. Been There

    Been There Habitué

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    Jun 28, 2018

    Don't you just love the process? Imagine persisting for 28 years like the happy teacher in another thread!
     
  5. MAteacher

    MAteacher Rookie

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    Jun 29, 2018

    Thank you, I'll definitely need to look at my cover letter and see where I can revamp it a little. I do have my Masters and SEI certification. I want to go back for SPED eventually, but money is always an issue.

    I'm just starting to panic because I'm running out of time to find a job and if I can't find a full time position anywhere, I'm not going to be able to teach and I'll need to look for something else. Unfortunately, I can't afford to sub.
     
  6. Educat

    Educat Rookie

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    Jul 27, 2018

    Oh MA teacher, I was in your shoes last year. I am also in MA. I went on 12 interviews, I had great recommendations, I was dually licensed, had the SEI endorsement, a Masters and a PhD, and I got rejected by 10 schools because I "wasn't the right match." I went to talk to a career counselor about it, and he said that the PhD means they have to pay me more, so some schools were turned off by that. I also felt that I had great interviews, and I came off confident and had a good rapport with the interviewers. I also remember that many of my resumes weren't being opened on SchoolSpring and I was getting frustrated and stressed out. My only advice to you is perseverance, because I was getting very discouraged as well, but I just kept applying and going to interviews, and eventually, I got an amazing job in a good district. My best wishes to you!
     
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  7. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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    Jul 27, 2018

    ,
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2019
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  8. Educat

    Educat Rookie

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    Oh yes, I got rejected by the schools I interviewed with. I also have multiple certs in shortage areas (ELL, SPED). I also speak multiple languages. I felt I answered the questions confidently and presented myself well. It became a pattern, getting interviewed, getting rejected. My guess is it was the PhD and/or also insiders who got the job, as is most commonly the case. Some of them acted like they just wanted to meet a person with a PhD, like I was a novelty. Now that I work in a school, I noticed how many times the "open" jobs are scooped up by people who already work in the district. It's tough for an outsider to break in. I don't know if you saw the end of my post, but I did get a great job eventually that I really love, it just took a lot of rejection to get there. It is as you say, in the world of elementary, they will hire people for less cost if they can.
     
  9. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Phenom

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    Jul 27, 2018

    Why not leave off the PhD and then reveal it after you are hired so that you are further along the salary schedule?

    For example, make it known how many units you have over a Masters that maxes you out on the salary schedule at first and then when you negotiate salary you reveal that you are “unsure” if your PhD can be applied to the salary schedule. I say this because I know some public schoolteachers who did this and since districts oftentimes award stipends to Masters degree AND PhD holders, at least here in CA they do.
     
  10. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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    .
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2019
  11. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Phenom

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    Great ideas. I second the posting of the resume, of course, with personal information redacted.
     
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  12. MAteacher

    MAteacher Rookie

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    It's definitely hard, I've come so close to two jobs. One they had someone that was a "better fit" and another they said they had someone apply that had worked at the school before. Both teams sent me very kind emails and mentioned that they would like to see me apply for future postings.

    The most frustrating thing is when the application isn't even opened.

    I'd love to share my resume! Any feedback would be great! Is there a way to upload it?I can't seem to find it.
     
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  13. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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    Jul 28, 2018

    .
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2019
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  14. Rabbitt

    Rabbitt Connoisseur

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    Jul 29, 2018

    Could you deliver in person? Sometimes those first vibes make people want to see more.
    Maybe mention in the cover letter that you reside in the area. I think it helps to know that they will not be re-hiring next year and you have a personal connection with those you teach.
     
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  15. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    Jul 29, 2018

    I am also a new teacher in MA and I know the hiring process is very difficult, especially for elementary teachers. I was hired to teach middle school math, so was able to get hired around April, but it was still difficult.

    Firstly, I would recommend getting an ELL and Special Education certification. It seems like many districts are looking for these certifications in addition to a general ed.

    Which districts are you looking into? It is difficult to get a job in a suburban district as a new teacher. I had a few friends looking in some of the wealthier districts for high school math and they were not able to secure positions there.
     

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