GRRRR Need advice and maybe just a pep talk

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by mommyre, Aug 2, 2011.

  1. mommyre

    mommyre Comrade

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    Aug 2, 2011

    I taught in a local school system right after finishing my undergrad degree. My second year teaching was too much to handle for me emotionally etc. My husband (at the time) was deployed and my son was going through medical issues and our new principal seemed to think I was an idiot from the moment she met me. She was very hard on me and I did everything she asked me to do but it was never enough. I decided to leave shortly after the school year started and entered a MA program online. I hated to quit but knew that no matter how well my students did or how I did in other aspects she would ultimately fire me. I would come up with grade level ideas and strategies and when they were adopted by the grade level she would swear I wasn't smart enough to come up with the idea and that another teacher had and tell me to stop lying... grrrr.
    Anyway, I then went to work for 2 local community colleges part time and lost one job due to budget cuts and the other I changed positions because the requirements changed and I was no longer qualified to teach it and the position I changed to had no hours after a semester due to lack of budget. Both systems have offered to call me if anything changes, but really who knows.

    I have been frantically applying for jobs with no real response. I have gotten a few generic emails, but am not being called for interviews. Out of 250 applications I have been on 3 interviews. I don't know if there is a problem with my resume, my cover letter (I use different ones for community colleges and k-12 systems) or if I am just having no luck.

    Suggestions?:banghead:
     
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  3. Geauxtee

    Geauxtee Comrade

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    Aug 2, 2011

    The only advice I can give you is to walk your resume into few schools. I just got two interviews this way. Now, one was a private, religious school and the other was a charter. These schools both had positions but they were not advertising or they had just opened up.
     
  4. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    Aug 2, 2011

    Here are some tips...
    I recommend that you post some documents and allow the teachers at this site to offer their feedback. Post your resume (without personal contact information), cover letter, etc-- whatever documents you normally send out to a school. The teachers at this site KNOW the hiring process and what schools are looking for-- let us give you some free and helpful advice.

    As for quitting after you started the job-- that is tough. In our profession when you quit like that-- even if you have legit reasons to do so-- it sort of brands you and sometimes schools will not be willing to look at an applicant who quit. UNLESS you prove yourself to them. I wouldn't bring up why you left and what you have done since unless they ask though.

    Do you have a teaching portfolio? If not, I recommend you focus on putting together one that shows the fantastic work that you do. Putting together a few lesson plans, student work, etc to help sell yourself is really useful.
     
  5. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    Aug 2, 2011

    The East coast is a notoriously difficult teacher job market. I think Geauxtee is right; you just need to be aggressive and go to the schools themselves at this point.
     
  6. mommyre

    mommyre Comrade

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    Aug 2, 2011

    Should I start a new thread to post the documents? Also, I don't have an elaborate portfolio, but I do have some things together, but I don't seem to be able to show them in an interview.
     
  7. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Aug 2, 2011

    You can post it here...most of us check new posts.
     
  8. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    Aug 2, 2011

    I agree that a lot of the time, admins don't look at portfolios. What I've learned to do is to include the information with my resume packet and as follow-up contacts.

    In my resume portfolio, I will include a special document which explains what a period is like in my classroom. I show pictures of my classroom being set up, how we go through a lesson, etc. It's usually just one page long, but it helps to sell myself much better than just a resume. Plus it allows me to show them that I can think and talk like a teacher.

    Secondly, when I send a thank you e-mail I'll usually put in a resource that I've created. They might not look at it but hey it couldn't hurt. I remember sending a thank you e-mail to the principal that I interviewed with and included a link to the online wiki/science notebook I created for a class. I put a tracker on that web-site of who visited and was able to see when and for how long the person viewed my site (sneaky but I was happy she took the time to view it). While my principal and I would contact back-and-forth, I would continue to send her a piece of my work, especially if it focused on an area she wanted the candidate to be able to do. (Which is why it is important for a teacher to ask the person she is interviewing with about what areas the school is develop and/or what they are specifically looking for in a candidate)
     
  9. mommyre

    mommyre Comrade

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    Aug 2, 2011

    Here is my cover letter... I took out a specific name of an employer for anonymity here, but this is the one I use for k-12 jobs.


    I would like to present my resume for consideration with your school system. I currently hold a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education and recently completed a Master of Arts in Teaching with a concentration in Special Education. I am North Carolina certified in Elementary Education, and have taken the certification exams for Special Education Learning Disabilities. I believe strongly that all students have the capacity to learn, though the capacity and rate of learning differs with each student. I have one year classroom experience teaching fifth grade, and my classroom was largely Learning Disabled or English as a Second Language. Working with these students has influenced my decision to pursue my degree in Special Education.
    By reviewing my resume you will find that I am a dedicated teacher with a strong desire to learn. In October, 2009, I left my position for both personal and academic reasons. I felt that I needed to take some time out of the classroom to further my education and enhance my teaching abilities. In all fairness to my students, being in the classroom at this time was not the best choice. Since leaving my position, I have tutored ESL students on a volunteer basis and worked with a compensatory education program at XYZ Community College. I have greatly enjoyed working in a small group setting.
    My greatest strengths include my willingness to give individual attention to students as often as possible, my understanding of learning disabilities from a personal perspective, and my desire to learn as well as teach. I create lesson plans that give students multiple opportunities to learn the material through a variety of experiences. I believe strongly in the philosophy that students each have their strengths and weaknesses regardless of their academic ability. Each student has something to bring to the classroom and should be a valuable asset to the classroom.
    I look forward to hearing from you about the opportunities available in your school system. I would appreciate the opportunity to interview with you to discuss the ways in which I would contribute to your school system.
     
  10. mommyre

    mommyre Comrade

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    Aug 2, 2011

    Here is the resume.... I changed names to generic universities/ schools/ churches. I did find a typo... how awful is that?

    OBJECTIVE
    I would like to further my experience and education through a position with the school teaching in an environment with diverse learners.
    EDUCATION
    ABC University, NC
    BA Elementary Education, History Minor; GPA: 3.67, May 2008
    • Alpha Chi national honors society • Kappa Delta Pi national honors society, President 2007-2008
    • Dean's List
    XYZ University Iowa
    MA Special Education, April 2011 GPA 3.92
    EMPLOYMENT
    ABC Community College
    Reading Instructor August 2010- December 2010, Learning Resource Center January 2011- Present
    • Completed reading lessons as prescribed by the developmental learning program.
    • Practiced behavior management techniques suited for college level students.
    • Learning Assistance Center- Assist students with using the computer or with class work as needed.
    XYZ Community College
    Compensatory Education Instructor, July 2010- January 2011
    • Completed lessons in Reading, Mathematics, Science, Writing, Social Studies
    • Practiced behavior management techniques suited for each group of students.
    • Completed Training in GED and ESL as well as CASAS and other compensatory education related subjects.
    • Communicated with students, teachers, caregivers, and other professionals to ensure quality education of mentally disabled adults
    LMN Schools, Blank Elementary School
    Fifth Grade Teacher, August 2008- September 2009
    • Completed lessons in Reading, Mathematics, Science, Writing, Social Studies
    • Practiced behavior management techniques suited for each group of students.
    • Communicated with educational specialists, parents, students and other community members in order to assist student learning, and behavior including completing ELL Training course.
    • Maintained proper records and documents required by school system.
    123 Schools, NC
    Substitute Teacher, October 2007-January 2008 & October 2006-April 2007, Teacher Assistant April 2007-October 2007
    • Completed lessons as instructed by regular classroom teacher & communicated with regular classroom teacher following assignment including assisting students with their assignments
    • Practiced behavior management techniques..
    • Worked with very diverse groups from Pre-K through fifth grade including special education.
    VOLUNTEER EXPERIENCE
    •October 2009-May 2010 XYZ Church tutoring ESL students Monday and Thursday afternoons.
    •2005-Present- Rotational Sunday school teacher & Christian Education Committee - SMQ Friends Meeting
    References available upon request
     
  11. Joxepa

    Joxepa Rookie

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    Aug 2, 2011

    I don't know if I am qualified to make this assessment, but this popped out to me as a negative statement. I think you would be better off saying something like in Oct 2009 you decided to pursue a master's degree; I would definitely take out the parts about it not being the best choice for your students for you to be in the classroom or leaving for personal reasons. You need to put a positive spin on it, don't try to justify it.
     
  12. mommyre

    mommyre Comrade

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    I kind of wondered about this too, but I was trying to show that I had the best interests of my students at heart.... hmmmm... I will try to think of a positive way to put that. I think you are qualified since, well, you are a fresh set of eyes. Sometimes another opinion or take on something can make something seem clearer.
     
  13. Rainbowbird

    Rainbowbird Groupie

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    Aug 2, 2011

    ITA with Joxepa. It leaves one imagining some scary scenarios for why you left. Don't give the committee an opportunity to have horrible imaginings about what you meant. State it in a positive manner and spin it as a strength, more experience, new, more challenging work, etc., whatever---but DON'T make it sound like you weren't doing a good job and your students were potentially suffering in your care! That will scare them away for sure!
     
  14. mommyre

    mommyre Comrade

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    Aug 2, 2011

    Part of the reason I took time off was my ex's deployment and my son was having medical issues in which I was taking a lot of time off to take him to medical appointments. He is ok now, should I include that or just leave it at personal and educational reasons?
     
  15. mommyre

    mommyre Comrade

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    Aug 3, 2011

    Revamped the cover letter... here it is:

    I would like to present my resume for consideration with your school system. I currently hold a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education and recently completed a Master of Arts in Teaching with a concentration in Special Education. I am North Carolina certified in Elementary Education, and have taken and passed the certification exams for Special Education Learning Disabilities. I believe strongly that all students have the capacity to learn, though the capacity and rate of learning differs with each student. I have one year classroom experience teaching fifth grade, and my classroom was largely Learning Disabled or English as a Second Language. Working with these students has influenced my decision to pursue my degree in Special Education.
    By reviewing my resume you will find that I am a dedicated teacher with a strong desire to learn. In October, 2009, I left my position for both personal and academic reasons. I felt that I needed to take some time out of the classroom to further my education and enhance my teaching abilities. Since leaving my position, I have tutored ESL students on a volunteer basis and worked with a compensatory education program at ABC Community College, as well as teaching and tutoring at XYZ Community College. I have greatly enjoyed working in a small group setting, but am ready to return to the classroom.
    My greatest strengths include my willingness to give individual attention to students as often as possible, my understanding of learning disabilities from a personal perspective, and my desire to learn as well as teach. I create lesson plans that give students multiple opportunities to learn the material through a variety of experiences. I believe strongly in the philosophy that students each have their strengths and weaknesses regardless of their academic ability. Each student has something to bring to the classroom and should be a valuable asset to the classroom. Multiple Intelligences and Learning Styles theories greatly influence my style of teaching.
    As a young student I was diagnosed as having a learning disability and was also labeled as gifted. My exceptionalities give me a different perspective on teaching and learning than many teachers have as I understand teaching methods for students with disabilities and academic difficulties, as well as an understanding of student experience with these labels. I not only empathize with students who may have a variety of labels, I have also learned a great deal about overcoming them personally and as a teacher.
    I look forward to hearing from you about the opportunities available in your school system. I would appreciate the opportunity to interview with you to discuss the ways in which I would contribute to your school system.



    Let me know what you all think! Thank you for all your help so far!
     
  16. teach42

    teach42 Comrade

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    Aug 3, 2011

    I dont even think I would even mention that you left in your cover letter. If they ask you about it, then you can tell them and explain your situation. Not too sure about the cover letter either. A lot of it is a repeat of your resume or what should already be on there.
     

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