End of the Road

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by newbie0809, Aug 23, 2013.

  1. newbie0809

    newbie0809 Companion

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    Aug 23, 2013

    Well another year and I dont have a teaching job and school starts Monday. I had a few last minute interviews last week but nothing. I have technically been out of my own classroom 4-5 years and was last in a classroom subbing about 2 years ago. Also both my certifications expire in December. Ive been working a full time job in the mean time to make ends meet.

    I just think I am not desireable. So many college grads getting teaching jobs because they have that "fresh" and "current" knowledge. I just dont know what else to do and its so depressing. All I want to do is teach but each year I dont grt a job puts me further and further away from it.

    Only thing thats been suggested to me is to sub one day a week(my only weekday, day off) but idk how that will help either

    rant over
     
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  3. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Aug 23, 2013

    Unless you've done something awful to a child, you're NOT "undesirable."

    My guess is that you're simply not packaging yourself in a way that invites those calls for interviews.

    I realize that the hiring season is winding down. But I say you give it one last full court press for this season. And, if that doesn't work, go full force next spring.

    Post both your cover letter and resume. The people here are incredibly good at finding those things about you that showcase your talents and abilities. Spend this weekend emailing your new and improved cover letter and resume to every single public, private and charter school within an hour's drive.

    (Kind, I know, to offer to let other people help. But we're leaving for Boston in about 2 hours, so I'm not any help this weekend.) Oh, and as a head start: in addition to your resume and cover letter, post 2 stories of small classroom successes. No, not the time you saved the planet, but the time you made a difference in the education of one child. Tell us about the time Timmy...

    You know what Yogi Berra says: "It ain't over till it's over." And my gut tells me that it ain't over for you.
     
  4. newbie0809

    newbie0809 Companion

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    Aug 23, 2013

    Thanks. I will post it when I get home and get some sleep later this afternoon. The emailing is tough. Theres at least 50 districts in my metroplex withe 20-85 elementsry schools in each a few with maybe about 10 schools or a little less. Its very time consuming to chsnge the coverletter, resume and email to put the individual school and principal then save attach and repeat. One district could take me the weekend or at least one day
     
  5. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Aug 23, 2013

    Yep, it's going to take a good chunk of your weekend.

    Then again, think of all the opportunities it presents!!! And only ONE has to "hit."

    But include a story of a success... it has worked WONDERS for so many here. It enables the reader to SEE that you're effective, instead of hearing a list of adjectives that promise effectivenss. And it gives them a little insight into you as a person.
     
  6. newbie0809

    newbie0809 Companion

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    Aug 23, 2013

    I will try. Also I dont have a story its always hard for me to come up with because I d9ont feel like ive done anything no one else has/ wouldve done. And the only thing that really ever pops in my mind was more of a reteaching moment when I was subbing one day
     
  7. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Aug 23, 2013

    It doesn't have to be something no one else has done, merely a time when YOU taught a child something. When one of your kids had an "aha!" moment. When you explained something in such a way that made a child's eyes light up. Those moments happen every single day in every single class...just highlight one or two for us.
     
  8. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    Aug 23, 2013

    Take Alice's advice! It got me a job 4 years ago! You don't have to do things that others don't do to be noticed. You need to showcase the things you do really well and those 'small' successes are noteworthy!
     
  9. BookReader813

    BookReader813 Companion

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    Aug 23, 2013

    newbie0809, I know EXACTLY how you feel. I was actually having the same feelings this week because there were people I knew who just graduated getting jobs before me.

    Are there any classes you can take to renew your certifications? I know where I live you can renew certain types of licenses just by taking some semester hours related to classroom teaching and/or your content area(s). Maybe you could just take a professional development class or two to refresh your memory on educational concepts or to learn more about new trends in education (such as the Common Core). If you're looking for an inexpensive place to take some classes online, PM me!

    Aliceacc gives great advice. I think you should listen to her! She gave me the same advice you gave, and I am going to go "full force" (as she says) next spring to make sure I land a permanent job next school year. It may take a lot of time to adapt your cover letter to each principal and school, but I really think it will be worth it in the end. Maybe you and I will BOTH finally have a chance to begin earning our stripes next year!

    :hugs:
     
  10. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Aug 23, 2013

    Definitely follow Alice's advice on the cover letter and resume. She has helped so many posters here with theirs...and there are plenty of members here that are willing to give their input. Also, as far as reapplying for your certification, in TX, it just takes paying the $77. If you haven't already taken a look at the region center closer to you, I would do that as well. Find some PDs they offer on the day that you are off and start attending some of those to keep yourself fresh in the education world.
     
  11. geoteacher

    geoteacher Habitué

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    Aug 23, 2013

    I agree! Let us see what you are sending out, fix it, and then send it out to literally every district that you can think of.
     
  12. Rainbowbird

    Rainbowbird Groupie

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    Aug 23, 2013

    I endorse the advice to add a teaching anecdote to your cover letter. I noticed an increase in the number of interviews after I added one or two to mine. In fact, when a p. called me a few weeks ago for an interview, he told me that he REALLY liked my cover letter!
     
  13. newbie0809

    newbie0809 Companion

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    Aug 23, 2013

    I don't know how to attach them so I'll just paste them

    cover letter

    My name My address email@sbcglobal.net, phone #
    Dear Principal,

    I am interested in a teaching position at (school) for the 2013-2014 school year. I will do my best to ensure that every child in my class is given the opportunity to succeed. In my classroom students will be active participants in their learning. I will do this by differentiating instruction, hands on learning experiences and provide opportunities for student choice. I want my students to experience meaningful learning that applies to their lives and will help them become responsible, productive individuals in society.

    I have had the opportunity to teach and learn from a diverse population of students including those with ADD/ADHD, severe emotional disturbances, above grade level and at risk youth with low socioeconomic backgrounds. I taught a wonderful group of Second grade students. These experiences have increased my ability to adapt as an educator. I have learned that every child has strengths and challenges, and my relationship with those children is rooted in the way I acknowledge them. My hope is to give all children the desire to learn and become successful.

    For my complete employment history and applicable skills please see my enclosed resume. I am confident that I will be an asset to this diverse and growing district. I am excited about the rewards and challenges of teaching in this district. I would love the opportunity to meet with you for a personal interview at your earliest convenience to further discuss my experiences and qualifications with you. I can be reached at the above address and phone number. Thank you for your time and consideration.* I look forward to hearing from you soon!

    Sincerely,
    me



    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    resume

    Name,address,phone,email are all up here

    EDUCATION
    School,degree,graduation year
    LICENSE
    Standard EC-4 Generalist Certification
    ESL Certification

    PROFESSIONAL TEACHING EXPERIENCE

    Second Grade Teacher August 2008- May 2009
    ISD, school
    Planned and implemented daily, quality lesson plans aligned with state and district curriculum standards
    Implemented differentiated instruction by using various teaching methods to accommodate children with different learning styles such as pacing, using manipulatives, hands on activities, modeling
    Facilitated small group, whole group and one-on-one lessons and assessments to meet the unique needs of the students
    Displayed classroom management by directing children towards an ordered and positive environment and expectations

    STUDENT TEACHING EXPERIENCE
    Second Grade-school,city January 2008-April 2008
    Co-planned and co-taught class of second grade students within an inclusion classroom model;reviewed student IEPs to ensure all teaching modifications and testing accommodations were met
    Differentiated instruction to support students’ varied learning styles and abilities
    Designed and taught hands on,interactive lessons and activities

    First Grade-school,city April 2008-May 2008
    Responsible for the development and implementation of daily lesson plans in accordance with state standards and guidelines
    Implemented Guided Reading Instruction
    Created learning centers and lessons weekly that correlated with the curriculum taught
    Practiced classroom management








    SUBSTITUTE TEACHER
    ISDs October 2010-May 2011
    ISD January 2006- October 2007

    Provided educational continuity by implementing established lesson plans to ensure an environment conducive to learning
    Prepared daily reports for teachers outlining lessons completed and student behavior issues
    Requested as a substitute by numerous teachers

    OTHER EDUCATIONAL FIELD WORK / EXPERIENCE

    City Police Dispatcher July 2011-Present

    Receive and evaluate a wide variety of emergency and routine requests from the public to 911 and officers by following specific procedures and guidelines

    Using computer aided equipment input and transmit call information;operate two way radio to dispatch calls to patrol units and receive and communicate information

    Educational Counselor
    Busn,city May 2010- January 2011 & October 2007- May 2009
    Responsible for care and supervision of residents aged 5-16 with severe histories of abuse, neglect, emotional disturbances, and learning disorders
    Managed residents by implementing de-escalation techniques, redirection and positive reinforcement
    Established routines and structure by setting reasonable limits

    Case Manager
    Busn,city June 2009- April 2010
    Developed and implemented treatment plans for 15 residents with severe histories of abuse, neglect, emotional disturbances, and learning disorders
    Collaborated with interdisciplinary team to discuss resident needs
    Evaluated resident progress in goals and objectives




    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------

    my email

    Dear Principal,



    My name is and I am e-mailing you to find out if you have any teaching vacancies for the upcoming school year at Elementary. I have my Generalist EC-4 certification and ESL certification. I have one year experience teaching 2nd Grade. I also have experience as an educational counselor for children aged 5-16. I have attached my resume and cover letter for you to review. I do have an application on file with the district as well. My phone number is () if you would like to schedule an interview at your earliest convenience. Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing from you soon!
     
  14. Rainbowbird

    Rainbowbird Groupie

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    Aug 24, 2013

    You need that anecdote. A brief example of how something you did or said affected a child in a positive way. Maybe you taught a lesson on xyz and a student who had difficulties suddenly got it. Maybe a child who was withdrawn blossomed under your responsive classroom program. Etc. think of one student or lesson you've taught that went well, and pull something from it. It doesn't have to be about test scores or data, it can be any small moment that was a great moment for a child.
     
  15. charlottesome

    charlottesome Rookie

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    Aug 24, 2013

    I would have an English teacher look over your cover letter. You have a considerable amount of grammatical/mechanical errors. For example, in your second paragraph, I noticed you capitalized the "S" in second grade. This is a grammatical/mechanical error that a teacher should NOT be making in formal communications. Consider that if I'm a principal looking over 500 cover letters, I would pass up ANY that had errors. Sorry to be harsh, but I am just trying to be constructive. You don't want to let that be a barrier to getting your foot in the door. Also, you should vary your sentence beginnings - too many of your sentences start with "I". I (hehe) understand this can be a challenge when you're talking about yourself, but it makes for a more impressive cover letter. I would also suggest just using your second and third paragraphs and cutting out the first one out altogether. I'd be more interested to learn about that experience. It draws me in as the reader.
    Sorry - English teacher :( advice. :whistle:
     
  16. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Aug 24, 2013

    Alice and I have worked through a great many cover letters here on A to Z. We've found something like a template that helps many applicants write more engaging letters:

    1. First paragraph focuses on the job and on the school: this is the place for the bit of information that shows you've researched the school at least a little.

    2. One or two short anecdotes, suitably introduced, that show you in action; the most common anecdote is one that has you making a difference to a student, though there are certainly other possibilities (an anecdote about your own lightbulb moment, for example, that impelled you to teach what you teach).

    3. A much more terse conclusion

    Not only are anecdote-based letters more engaging, they're also often less likely to contain grammatical errors or infelicities.

    For the moment, tell us - here on A to Z, I mean - a couple of stories, would you?
     
  17. txmomteacher2

    txmomteacher2 Enthusiast

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    Aug 24, 2013

    Also have you considered moving to another part of Texas? In the Odessa/Midland area huge teacher shortage. We still have some vacant spots that our principal is going to try and fill by Christmas.
     
  18. newbie0809

    newbie0809 Companion

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    Aug 25, 2013

    2 stories...when I taught 2nd. I had a student that was diagnosed adhd but mom didnt have him on meds. He was very bright really above grade level in reading and math but he was failing math mostly because of incomplete work. He couldnt focus, fidgeted etc. So I moved his desk to where it was against my main table where I taught the class lesson had projector etc. He would "help" me doing the lesson by passing me materials, writing a problem etc. He could not dit still so I allowed him to stand when needed. His chair would sometimes be way away from his desk and he would crawl on the floor instead of working. I put tape on the floor for a boundary on where his chair could be. Also had a goal sheet on his desk that we came up with together. He would earn stickers for and so many stickers equaled something.



    Substitute class. I was teaching esl class a few knew no english only spanish. I was doing a lesson on patterns with shapes. They were not getting it. Turns out they weren't really familiar with the correct shape names. So I did a mini lesson on thst before proceeding.



    I dont know how or where ill fit those in without it being wordy. Andvi really only have today to send emails. Ive been busy working this weekend
     
  19. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Aug 25, 2013

    For both of your anecdotes, what was the outcome for the students?

    The point of using anecdotes is to show you as teacher in action bringing about a good outcome for one or more students. That being the case, adding either or both of these to your letter as it stands wouldn't work: instead, you restructure the letter so they get across the points that you were making much more wordily and with many more buzzwords. You need to reframe your anecdote in prose that's suited to a formal letter (use "chiefly" or "primarily" instead of "mostly", eliminate contractions except for quotations, clean up the grammar, and the like), and use it instead of some of the material you now have between your introduction and your conclusion.

    Writing an effective cover letter takes time, I'm afraid.

    Let me add that the object of this kind of rewriting is not to eliminate the buzzwords altogether. Several of the buzzwords in your existing letter would work well in your first anecdote to help you tell it more professionally - and, since they're relevant to the story, they will belong to it rather than looking pasted on to impress.
     
  20. isabunny

    isabunny Comrade

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    Aug 25, 2013

    "I will do this by differentiating instruction, hands on learning experiences and provide opportunities for student choice."

    This sentence needs some work. It always helps me to read out loud for corrections. Sometimes you just look at a piece of work so many times that problems almost become invisible. I wouldn't use the word "this" and you just list hands on learning without saying what you would do with it. Same with the provide opportunities. I might correct it by saying:

    Differentiating instruction, creating hands-on-learning experiences, and building student choice based curriculum are all major priorities in my classroom structure.

    Wording some of your sentences differently eliminates the need to add "I" for each sentence start.

    You have quite a few grammatical errors in your cover letter. We can work on it in this forum or you can take it to someone you know who is a great writer (or has a fresh set of eyes).
     
  21. newbie0809

    newbie0809 Companion

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    Aug 25, 2013

    I dont mind the corrections on the errors. As far as the outcome theres nothing much to say other than the math grade went up and the other students were succesdfully able to complete the lesson and create their own patterns.
     
  22. Lynn K.

    Lynn K. Habitué

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    Aug 25, 2013

    You make it sound like those aren't great outcomes!

    "As a result of creative interventions, the student earned x-improvement in just six weeks."

    "The quick mini-lesson allowed my ESL students to understand what was being asked and they were successfully completing patterns, and creating their own patterns by the end of the period!" Proves your ability to veer from the plan when necessary to ensure success!
     

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