Hi Everyone, I'm a longtime lurker who finally decided to pony up and join this supportive group of educators. I'm excited to participate in discussion and learn all I can from everyone. I'm getting ready to start my student teaching next week (eek!) and even though it's early, I've started thinking about finding my first teaching job. I have some questions that I hope that someone will have some answers or insight on, as no one else I know seems to have any insight! 1. I will be graduating with my Masters in Multiple Subjects. I have no prior experience as a teacher past observations and student teaching (woo! career change!). I worked for one year at a private, independent school in my town as an administrative assistant working for the Director of Admissions and Director of Development. How hard is it for people with little experience to a. get interviews and b. get jobs? 2. When is the best time to start applying for jobs? I graduate in May, should I start looking end of January even though I won't have graduated yet? 3. How necessary is a portfolio? Should it be hard copy or electronic? What should be included and does any one have an example they would be willing to share? 4. How hard is it to apply for jobs outside of my current district? I would like to move out of Los Angeles to somewhere a little less busy. 5. Can someone explain the salary scale/steps to me? I understand BA+#ofcredits, but are the 1,2,3,4,5 the years you've been at the school? A public school teacher friend told me that with my masters and credits I probably wouldn't start at step one, I'm not sure how accurate that is. 6. What is the best way to follow up after an interview? 7. What is the best way to apply for jobs? EdJoin? Handing a resume in in person? Has anyone ever used a recruiting service? 8. I'm just curious as to what everyone's experiences are going public vs. private school. I've attended both and been in both over the past year, but I'm curious to know what the thoughts of current teachers are. 9. Slightly not related to the job hunting process - but has anyone had a bad mentor teacher for student teaching? If so, how did you handle it? I think that's it. I know it's a lot, but I'd appreciate any answers anyone has to give! Thank you so much!