I am looking for my first teaching job. I graduated from college two years ago with my degree and I've been private tutoring and substitute teaching since then. Recently I've had a few interviews but I did not end up with the job. I am thankful for the experience that those interviews gave me but I need to know what actually gets you the job? I did not send a thank-you letter to the principals at either of the two schools I interviewed at. I also did not bring a portfolio with sample lessons or student work. So here are a few of the questions I have: 1. How important is a thank-you note to the principal? Is it just respectful or is it required? 2. How important is your portfolio? did they look through it at the interview and what are the contents of the portfolio? 3. I am trying to get a job with either Language arts or Social studies. Does my portfolio need to have sample lessons from both subjects? and in a variety of grades? will that make me more marketable? 4. The school district I am applying for does not show opening that are available at particular schools. It just throws your application into a pool that might be named something like Secondary Language Arts and if any school in the district need a LA teacher they just pull from the pool. Has any one had experience being in a pool of candidates? I can't tell where an opening is, so I am just stuck waiting for a phone call or email.