Feeling very down and out

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by MsManda3, May 20, 2010.

  1. MsManda3

    MsManda3 Rookie

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    May 20, 2010

    Hey everyone. I really, really need some advice.

    I have been looking for a year since my student teaching ended and I graduated college. I have been to 3 job fairs since then. Not a single interview. I had a prospective interview at a school in December, only to discover that if I had emailed the P one day before (I found out a day late from a friend that the position was available), I would have been interviewed but the position had been filled. ARGH! I have no luck what so ever. I live in Texas.

    So I have been substituting ever since, and have gone on to add two more certifications AND gifted and talented credit hours. I have applied to two districts. I will possibly apply to a third or fourth that are not in my hometown. I do not want to move out of state because I have a lot going on here, especially a boyfriend I have been with for 5+ years. Sorry, but I'm not risking that.

    I was an LTS for 2 months recently and had a positive experience where I learned so much. I spruced up my resume with help from people that work in the corporate world and fellow teachers. There is one district that teachers have been recommending me at their schools left and right. Unfortunately, they will not even look at new hires until late June because of budget issues.

    I feel like giving up a lot lately. I don't know if the aforementioned district will have openings, though I hope after they figure stuff out that they will. I just want one interview. I feel that the fact I have never had an interview is a bad sign that I shouldn't teach. I'm only 24, but I'm sick of waiting to get my career started. I want to teach, and I'm ready. I try to be positive, but I'm at my wits end.

    I called a principal today to let her know how much I want the job and that I sent my cover letter and resume to her office. I really, really want this job.

    If anyone has advice or anything, please send them my way. I really don't want to sub next year, and I'm tired of being embarrassed that I am the only one in my student teaching group from college to not have a teaching job.:help:
     
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  3. Unbeknownst

    Unbeknownst Cohort

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    May 20, 2010

    This is a great start. To get that interview, you need to be proactive, and this shows that you're willing to do what it takes to snag that interview away from someone else.

    Secondly, you can always post your resume on the boards and let us have a look at it. There is so much insight here, and it might be that little "extra" that will make your resume stand out.

    Stay strong. Keep the faith. You'll get there :)
     
  4. MsManda3

    MsManda3 Rookie

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    May 20, 2010

    Thanks. It's just tough.
     
  5. emmakate218

    emmakate218 Connoisseur

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    May 20, 2010

    There are plenty of us in the same boat - teaching is a tough field to get into right now because of the economy and if you're elementary, it was already tough.

    You've applied to two districts? You definitely want to apply to more. I have always applied to all districts within an hour radius of my home, which is about 15-20 districts. This year, I'm also willing to relocate so that significantly increased the amount of districts I applied to. I've probably applied to about 50 districts. I check each district's website daily and use a spreadsheet to keep track of which district/school I need to send a cover letter and resume to for any positions that were posted. More districts, more opportunities. You'll kick yourself that you didn't apply to more districts if you end up not finding a teaching position for the upcoming school year.

    Do you have a brochure you send out with cover letters and resumes? Do you have an online portfolio?
     
  6. MsManda3

    MsManda3 Rookie

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    It makes me feel somewhat better that I am not alone. Though, I wish I could get over the embarrassment factor of being the lone person without a position from student teaching.

    I ended up applying to four. I will relocate around Texas, but will not leave the state. I don't have the money to do so. Still looking though.

    I have sent out cover letters and resumes, but have not sent out a brochure. I have been told that most districts only look at resumes and cover letters. They also don't look at online portfolios. I brought my portfolio binder to a screening interview, and it was never mentioned nor looked at. I did refer to lesson plans and activities from the binder though.

    I guess having a screening interview and being placed in the hiring pool is a good thing. The district I did the screening interview in told me that if they like you, you stay in the hiring pool until you are hired. I was told after the interview that I would be placed in the pool to be considered.

    I called the HR department of the district my heart is set on and was told that they will be looking at new hires as soon as transfers and the excess list is cleared. Luckily, my applications are in, resume is in, certifications are in, and my references have been completed. Now to hope schools I subbed at will interview me!

    Trying so hard to stay positive.
     
  7. emmakate218

    emmakate218 Connoisseur

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    May 20, 2010

    I wouldn't believe what you've heard, about principals not viewing brochures or online portfolios. Now, some principals may not for whatever reason - the main being that they already have an applicant in mind. Wouldn't you rather have all your bases covered?

    What area of Texas are you looking at?
     
  8. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    May 20, 2010

    In Louisiana, principals do not look at big portfolios, brochures, things online. In fact, I watched some principals throw away stacks of folders from candidates after a job fair once. They store a file of resumes.
     
  9. Mommyserenity

    Mommyserenity Devotee

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    May 20, 2010

    Most of the principals around this area are the same way when it comes to portfolios. Most don't even look at them. They want the standard resume, cover letter, etc....deal.
     
  10. SCTeachInTX

    SCTeachInTX Fanatic

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    What part of Texas are you in? Have you got a brochure? This seems to be a big seller in interviews. It gives a snapshot of who you are.
     
  11. newbie23

    newbie23 Comrade

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    May 20, 2010

    Could you get a letter of recommendation from the principal or teacher where you did your LTS? Maybe even a parent?

    I realize that not everyone is in the same position, but I relocated 2 hours away for my job. It's not ideal and I miss my family and friends terribly but I'm willing to tough it out for another year or so if it means I get that all-important experience.

    Keep on top of openings. My advice would be to apply for ANY opening you are qualified for. Even if you don't think you'd like the grade, it at least gets your name out some more and you just might end up liking it if you are offered the position.

    Think of it this way, your job search is now your job. I know we need things to pay the bills but it's your job to keep on top of newspaper ads, websites, job fairs, your portfolio, etc. If after all of that you still get so frustrated you leave the field, at least you'll know you did all you could do.
     
  12. MsManda3

    MsManda3 Rookie

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    May 21, 2010

    I'm looking around the Houston area.

    And yes, I have seen brochures tossed. I did them while I was student teaching, but now it just feels like I shouldn't bother with it. The schools and districts I'm looking at only mention sending cover letters and resumes.

    newbie23: I did get a recommendation from the principal and the teacher. The principal praised me, but the teacher basically came off as "I tried to take over HER class". However, my other recommendations from the school are nothing but positive. The districts I'm looking at also will not look at recommendations from anyone other than those in the field that I have worked with or previous jobs.

    I will relocate no more than a couple hours from where I live. I just can't move too far right now. I simply don't have the money nor the will to do so.

    I just scour job openings all over. My number one district will be hiring soon, so that's a plus, right?
     
  13. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    May 21, 2010

    FORGET ABOUT LOOKING FOR OPENINGS!!!!!

    Get your resume and cover letter to EVERY SINGLE SCHOOL within an hour's commute and do it this weekend!!!

    By the time the opening is actuallly posted, they will have interviewed their choice candidates from the resumes they've received.

    When I returned to work 4 years ago, I got 2 job offers from jobs that hadn't yet been posted.
     
  14. Unbeknownst

    Unbeknownst Cohort

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    May 21, 2010

    Agreed.

    And also, call HR when you send your resume/cover letter to a district that does not yet have a posting and let them know what you're doing.

    If you play your cards right, you can impress the people up front and they will mention you to the principal (it happened to me).

    Motto: Anything and everything to get a leg-up on the competition.
     
  15. SCTeachInTX

    SCTeachInTX Fanatic

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    May 21, 2010

    ALice is right. I also had an offer at a school that was not even built yet and had no online postings. Very often when a job posts, they already have someone in mind. The openings on my school district website are very deceptive. They are posting jobs, but no outside of district interviews have started yet unless you knew someone or had some great credentials that made you stand out above the rest. I know I am a fabulous teacher. I had references, I had experience (maybe too much), but better than all that I had some fantastic training that made me very marketable. I was good with kids and great with parents. And STILL I was oh, so lucky to get a job because the very things I had going for me, worked against me. My experience meant the districts had to pay me more. My training meant that I had already been trained a certain way, and therefore may have difficulty adjusting to a new districts line of thinking, and references really only matter when you are being considered for a position. But, FIRST you have to get the all important interview. So, again, Alice is right. Do not stop, wait, or hope for the best. Your best plan right now, is ACTION. Trust us on that. The brochures are meant for you to bring on interviews. It allows the principal to have an overview of who you are as person. Including pics of you teaching are a plus because it will jog the interviewers memory in a sea of applications and interviews. It just helps you to stand out. But again, if you feel like you are wasting your time, then, don't do it. It will not come across as geniune if you just throw something together will little thought. Wishing you all the best and sending you to special WHAMMY to get you out of the dumps! There is no time or place for feeling sorry for yourself. Now is the time for ACTION!:cool::cool::eek::woot::cool::cool:
     
  16. Ashtrey

    Ashtrey Companion

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    May 21, 2010

    I have a question, do you usually just do the resume/cover letter route or do you go ahead and fill out their application and include that as well??
     
  17. SCTeachInTX

    SCTeachInTX Fanatic

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    I never include their application. But that is me. :)
     
  18. Ashtrey

    Ashtrey Companion

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    May 21, 2010

    Hmmm....I always thought that I needed to include the application. Some of them are VERY long and it is time consuming filling out all of those applications.

    Thanks for your input :)
     
  19. MsManda3

    MsManda3 Rookie

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    May 24, 2010

    That's roughly 200 schools to send resumes and cover letters to. I live near 5 school districts. I hope I can just email them.

    I'm just doing as principals and my student teaching adviser have told me to do. Do I want a teaching job? Yes. Am I getting frustrated and discouraged? Yes. If anyone has the best way to obtain one, I would love to hear it. I do think that sending cover letters and resumes to schools is a good idea. I just don't want it to seem like a chore, not that it really is.
     
  20. deeceekids

    deeceekids Companion

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    May 24, 2010

    MsManda3:
    It's not a chore if you really want the job. I just spent this weekend emailing some 200 teaching brochures and resumes to principals and school districts and just spent today calling hr departments. Out of all those emails, I don't know how many jobs I will actually get offers or interviews for, but as some very wise people on this forum have said and proven before, it pays to get your name out there. I do have to say that I have gotten more responses (negative and positive) from principals than I have in the past. Don't lose hope yet, hang in there, keep those emails rolling, and good luck!
     
  21. MsManda3

    MsManda3 Rookie

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    Deeceekids: Thanks. I was just so upset to learn a job I really, really wanted was filled. I called the school 2 weeks ago to turn in a resume and cover letter. I then called last week to ask for an interview. The P was out for the week but the secretary left a message for her. I called the school today to find out the job was filled 3 weeks ago. :-(

    I just have my good days and my bad days. Today I was pretty sour and discouraged. I'll be emailing all 50 schools in my dream district today. Hopefully, schools I substituted at will call me for an interview. I guess it's still early, right?
     
  22. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    May 24, 2010

    That's GREAT-- 200 potential jobs!!!!!

    Submit a formal application to each of the districts, then email each principal a personalized resume and letter (Dear Mr Smith... at East Street School....) It should take you a few hours, but it may be a few very important hours.

    Log off here and get started :)

    Fill us in on your progress after dinner.

    OH, and keep track of the ones you've done, the ones you haven't been able to get to; those will require snail mail.
     
  23. MsManda3

    MsManda3 Rookie

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    May 24, 2010

    Will do.
     
  24. MsManda3

    MsManda3 Rookie

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    And let's just say, Houston is big!
     
  25. newbie23

    newbie23 Comrade

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    May 24, 2010

    I am a testament to this strategy. I sent packets of info, cover letters and applications to 80% of the schools in my state (Ohio).

    I looked on the district website and filled out all of the online apps first to get those finished and in inboxes as soon as I could.

    Then I went back and filled out paper applications and mailed these to districts along with cover letters and my info.

    Finally, if a school didn't have an application on their site, I sent the superintendent or HR dept. a packet and cover letter. Many times I got an additional application to fill out that otherwise I would not have known about.

    After my info was out, I scoured the internet for postings and followed up with appropriate contacts usually via email. Sometimes that was an HR person, othertimes it was a principal.

    In Ohio we have a lot of small school districts so it made more sense to contact superintendents. I figured they'd get the information where it needed to go. Looking back, I think that was the right decision for me.

    I ended up getting a job from a school with no online or paper application posted. They also didn't have my position posted online yet but because I took the initiative, I got the interview and ultimately the job.

    If you want this, you've got to work for it. I've said it before but you have to treat this job search like it's your actual job (I know, you probably still have to work to pay the bills). Devote your time to it and your hard work will pay off!

    Good Luck!
     
  26. SCTeachInTX

    SCTeachInTX Fanatic

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    We have one opening left at my school. My principal told me today that there are 350 applicants thus far. Our team will interview only 8 of those! She said the teacher insight test will knock out 2/3rds of the candidates. WOW! How do you pick and choose from those kinds of numbers???:eek::eek::eek:
     
  27. deeceekids

    deeceekids Companion

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    Wow! SCTeachinTX....No wonder it's been so difficult trying to get a job...will just have to keep chugging away at applications and emails anyway...hopefully something comes of it.
     
  28. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Perfect!!!
     
  29. SCTeachInTX

    SCTeachInTX Fanatic

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    It will happen! Just do the extra so that you stand out! You can do it!:)
     
  30. MsManda3

    MsManda3 Rookie

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    You guys are awesome! Definitely the pick-me-up I needed. Haven't had dinner yet, but I'll be on later.

    I'm going to another school tomorrow to drop things off. I'll be up pretty late tonight, but it'll be worth it.

    Advice time: There is a district I really want to work in that I have subbed in with 52 elementary schools. There are several P's that really like me, which is a plus. The district won't be hiring new people until the 2nd week of June because of an excess list and transfers, but I have my applications, certificates, transcripts, cover letter and references already in. I want to get ahead of the game. Should I..

    a. Email all of the 52 principals my cover letter, resume and brochure?
    b. Mail out everything to every school?

    That would definitely be a lot of mailing! I really just do not know the correct protocol. I want to make sure I do things right this time. I didn't have all of my extra stuff for my applications for districts until July! Ugh! Live and learn. :)
     
  31. SCTeachInTX

    SCTeachInTX Fanatic

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    I would email and then for schools that you are super interested in, I would take a copy of my resume, brochure and cover letter to schools directly and ask to drop those off with the principal. Ask to see the principal when you drop the things off. :) It is hard and uncomfortable but worth the effort in the end!
     
  32. WhatchaDoin?

    WhatchaDoin? Comrade

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    I can't wrap my head around a district with 52 elementary schools. I don't think there are that many within a 100 mile radius of my home (of course, the ocean does get in the way with that type of thinking).

    Good luck! There's nothing like having a plan of action!!!!!
     
  33. newbie23

    newbie23 Comrade

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    I agree with SCTeachInTX!

    Whatever you do, make sure that your cover letters are somewhat specific to each of those schools you're really interested in. Principals and HR departments talk so if all of your cover letters say, "I believe the mission of your school best aligns with my philosophy of..." they'll probably call your bluff. If you're interested in the schools, find out something specific about that school (maybe a program they have for parents or something they've recently been in the news for) and incorporate this into your resume. It takes extra time but it shows you're not so desperate and that you are interested.
     
  34. deeceekids

    deeceekids Companion

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    ScTeachInTX:
    Thanks for the encouragement. I really am going to go all out this year. I had one year of just sitting back, waiting for things to happen, thinking that my credentials would carry me through, and nothing happened. This year, I am taking everyone's advice and going all out. That's what's so wonderful about this forum. Everyone has been so helpful and encouraging.
     
  35. SCTeachInTX

    SCTeachInTX Fanatic

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    Gee Thanks! Emailing is less expensive and in this techno world that we live in, I think it is even more viable than a snail mail approach. (And cheaper):)
     
  36. SCTeachInTX

    SCTeachInTX Fanatic

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    :hugs:
     
  37. MsManda3

    MsManda3 Rookie

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    May 25, 2010

    A lot of crazy things happened tonight, but later today it's ON! =)
     
  38. gutterballjen

    gutterballjen Comrade

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    May 25, 2010

    GO GET 'EM! Wow their pants off!

    Also, tell us (and by us I mean me) what you did in detail. I'm taking notes so I can take my local school districts by storm this time next year.
     
  39. MsManda3

    MsManda3 Rookie

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    May 25, 2010

    Going by another school I want to teach at...ahh!!
     

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