New Teacher Looking For a Job

Discussion in 'General Education' started by EGrace, Jun 11, 2016.

  1. EGrace

    EGrace Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2016
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    5

    Jun 11, 2016

    I am a new teacher, who completed student teaching this past spring and then received my licensure in TN. I am now on the hunt for an elementary teaching job for this coming school year and am having an extremely difficult time. While I have had 8 interviews so far, I've only had one offer which was at a school that was 42 miles away and in an extremely difficult school to teach in, so I decided to turn it down.

    When interviewing, I make sure to bring my portfolio that displays sample unit plans, observation scores, student work and my classroom management. I also come prepared knowing the schools test scores and demographics. I make sure to mention in the interview my passion for technology integration, building classroom community and relationships, my ability to effectively collaborate, my creativity in the classroom, my enthusiasm and resilience, how I communicate with parents, differentiation, my classroom management stye, how I set high expectations for my students and promote excellence and my continuing commitment to professional development.

    After interviews, I am vigilant about emailing principals thank you emails and reiterating my interest in the position and what I have to offer.

    While all of this seems great, I am yet to receive a call back for a second interview or an offer from a school that I am interested in or that is even remotely close to where I live. Lately, as we move deep into the summer, it seems that interviews are also becoming shorter and shorter. Additionally, it seems that jobs postings are drying up.

    Many of the positions I apply for and then send principals cover letter emails and my resume, I never even hear back from.

    Does anyone know how many people principals generally interview for one teaching position? I know almost every time I've interviewed, there has been someone interviewing before me and someone waiting to interview after me, so I'm guessing it must be a large number.

    Also does anyone have any suggestions on how to stand out? I continue to practice my answers to questions and refine my answers. I also make sure to mention that I am going on to receive my masters and my commitment to bettering myself as an educator, for my students.

    Any help is greatly appreciated! I know its only June and schools hire up to the start of school, but I am starting to become concerned about my chances of securing a teaching job, with the extremely large amount of people in the Nashville area interviewing as well.

    Thank you!
     
  2.  
  3. strummercohen

    strummercohen Rookie

    Joined:
    May 14, 2016
    Messages:
    44
    Likes Received:
    3

    Jun 11, 2016

    You will find something. Its nice to know that I am not the only person going through this. Where I live in Boston it is really brutal for me to find a paraprofessional job too and I am not even a certified teacher yet. I know the feeling of trying to break into the teaching industry. I have been looking for jobs like crazy over the past couple of months. I applied to paraprofessional jobs, tutoring jobs, even online tutoring jobs. The Job market for us teachers (and wannabe teachers) is brutal as hell. You will find something eventually. Maybe consider moving out of state to a high need teacher area. Wisconsin is a example of this. You can Google high need teaching areas.
     
  4. EGrace

    EGrace Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2016
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    5

    Jun 11, 2016

    Unfortunately I am unable to move at this time. My husband and I purchased a home a year ago and we also cannot move due to his job. I am willing to travel up to 35 miles for a teaching job, but have to cap it past that point.

    It definitely is brutal, knowing I am well prepared and have excellence references and mentors and it still is not enough.
     
  5. strummercohen

    strummercohen Rookie

    Joined:
    May 14, 2016
    Messages:
    44
    Likes Received:
    3

    Jun 11, 2016

    Sorry to hear about your bad luck, but don't worry it will it get easier.
     
  6. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2001
    Messages:
    24,956
    Likes Received:
    2,108

    Jun 11, 2016

    You are standing out enough to get interviews. You must get simply be losing out to candidates with more experience. Start building your resume with subbing, volunteering, tutoring...
     
    anon55 likes this.
  7. EGrace

    EGrace Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2016
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    5

    Jun 11, 2016

    Yes, I hope that is just the case. I already have experience tutoring on my resumes and volunteering at an after school program. If I am unable to secure a position by this coming school year, I will have to sub. Since subbing pays terribly and I will be missing out on valuable experience planning and running my own classroom, I'm hoping that it doesn't come to that.

    I just wonder how many people they are actually interviewing for each teaching position. From what I've observed , it seems to be around 40 people per position,which seems like a really large amount. Maybe I'm off on that number though.
     
  8. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2005
    Messages:
    5,279
    Likes Received:
    746

    Jun 11, 2016

    How long has it been since you turned down your offer? You might want to consider getting in touch with them and telling them you've changed your mind. Chances are, the position you interviewed for has been filled but perhaps they have another opening.
     
  9. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2001
    Messages:
    24,956
    Likes Received:
    2,108

    Jun 11, 2016

    Your cap is only 7 miles off your offer. Negligible. You must get not want to draw lines in the sand when it comes to the job search, and more importantly job offers.
     
  10. EGrace

    EGrace Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2016
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    5

    Jun 11, 2016

    It's been a week. I still feel like it may have been the best decision. Spending 2 hours driving everyday is a lot of time lost that I could be lesson planning and doing other things. If I really liked the school I would have probably taken the position, but on top of being far away, the school is not ideal, especially going into my first year teaching. The only good things about the position were that the school district the school is in is good and I heard great things about administration.

    I'm just hoping that a miracle happens and one of the schools I interviewed at this past week calls me back. Or that one of the jobs I've applied for contacts me about an interview and am able to get hired there.

    I've been told by one my mentors who is a retired principal from the district I really want to work in, that things are extremely competitive and also that they hire up to the first day of school.
     
  11. EGrace

    EGrace Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2016
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    5

    Jun 11, 2016

    That is true. I think the other problem is I fear I would be uncomfortable and miserable at the school that I got offered a position. Its in a high poverty, high ELL, not so great rural area of town. Not being very familiar with those, along with being a first year teacher just seems like a whole lot to handle.
     
  12. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2007
    Messages:
    2,689
    Likes Received:
    459

    Jun 11, 2016

    Thirteen years ago, my first year teaching in TN, I received several calls for interviews the week before school started. I already had a position, but I was amazed at how many last minute positions became available. Hang in there! Also, realize that many principals may be starting their off contract time. Hiring can be slow during the few weeks principals actually have their summer.
     
  13. EGrace

    EGrace Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2016
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    5

    Jun 11, 2016

    Principals off contract time must be starting soon then, since I had 8 interviews over the past 2 weeks and nothing scheduled yet for this coming week.
    I'm nervous about going up against so many other applicants. I know just in the masters classes alone that I'm taking, there are several people applying for the same jobs as me. It seems like there are tons of teachers and just not enough teaching jobs.

    I'm going to continue to stay on top of things, but am just not sure if I'm missing something when I interview and not saying the right thing or if I'm just getting beat out by teachers with more experience.
     
  14. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2005
    Messages:
    5,279
    Likes Received:
    746

    Jun 11, 2016

    I drove 100 miles a day to work with an administrator I admired. I only did that for four years and finally had to take a position with a less admirable admin because the commute was too much for that many years. I don't regret working there. It was four of my best years.
     
  15. pommom

    pommom Comrade

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2015
    Messages:
    444
    Likes Received:
    98

    Jun 11, 2016

    Are you going for jobs that are general ed elementary positions? Those will have lots of applicants compared to if you were applying to Elementary ESL, billingual, SPED teaching positions. At least you have student teaching experience unlike me. I am getting rejected in these interviews too and I have practiced practiced practiced my interview answers and even have cute brochures on my reading and writing strategies I bring to my interviews. My teacher friend that lives down the street teaches Elementary now and she did student teaching and it took her 18 interviews to get her first teaching job! It will happen, at the right right time and place :)
     
  16. ChildWhisperer

    ChildWhisperer Groupie

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2015
    Messages:
    1,228
    Likes Received:
    425

    Jun 11, 2016

    Last year, at the all-district teacher assembly, they said there were still 40 vacancies.
    The first day of school was only a week away
     
  17. Srhhwtt

    Srhhwtt Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2016
    Messages:
    31
    Likes Received:
    8

    Jun 12, 2016

    I have just completed student teaching as well. I have had around the same number of interviews with no offer at all. I also notice someone before me and after me. I was told by two different schools that they usually get 90-100 applicants for one elementary position. Its a large applicant pool in my area, and it seems to be the same for you as well!
    Im planning on asking for feedback from the next non-offer interview. I was also told schools do hiring now and then in July as teachers here have till the end of June to resign. I'm planning on subbing to get my foot in door. I was also told by an admin I know at a local district that they look to hire their subs/aides first especially their long term subs. I know it's hard to live off of sub pay. I don't know how I'm going to do it with my two kiddos and myself..but I'm planning on subbing and maybe tutoring while I continue job searching. It'll happen! Stay positive..the right school is out there for you.
     
  18. EGrace

    EGrace Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2016
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    5

    Jun 12, 2016

    I am going for general ed - k-6 positions. I am not certified in ESL or SPED and at this time would much rather be in a general ed classroom.

    I'm surprised that you were able to get licensed without student teaching. I only student taught for 16 weeks, which is shorter than most programs, but it was required to receive my licensure. I couldn't imagine applying for jobs without some classroom experience and references from my time student teaching.

    I keep thinking that even though I've practiced my answers and researched the best way to answer questions, that I'm still not answering the way principals at the schools i want to work at, are looking for. When I bring my leather bound portfolio in, principals will scan through it, but I don't even feel like it helps all that much.

    I guess we just have to keep on trying! My worry is right look there is no new jobs popping up, like there was for the past several weeks. It seems like all schools are either already all hired up or just at that point.
     
  19. EGrace

    EGrace Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2016
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    5

    Jun 12, 2016

    Wow, that is quite the commute. If the school was one that I really felt comfortable at and good about, then I would consider driving further. The administration being great was the only plus about the school I was offered a position in and I just didn't feel that it was enough.
     
  20. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2005
    Messages:
    13,933
    Likes Received:
    1,755

    Jun 12, 2016

    Great administration makes all the difference. My current principal is, sadly, leaving at the end of June. If he was moving to another school I would gladly take on a long commute to have the opportunity to continue working with him. You may find that you need to give a little (or a lot) to get your foot in the door. Good luck with your search.
     
  21. EGrace

    EGrace Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2016
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    5

    Jun 12, 2016

    Yes, I understand that flexibility is key. It is just very hard to commit to a long commute when I know there are so many schools much closer to where I live.

    Most of the people I know looking for teaching jobs right now, are not willing to drive more than 20 miles away, so I feel as though I'm already being more flexible than most people.

    What I would really like is advice on things to mention in an interview to impress principals or how to really stand out.
     
  22. heatherberm

    heatherberm Cohort

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2014
    Messages:
    509
    Likes Received:
    204

    Jun 12, 2016

    Unfortunately, this is kind of the reality of looking for a teaching job in a tight market, especially in elementary ed. I have friends who can't even break through enough to the interview point so you're doing something right even if it doesn't feel like it.

    How are you using your portfolio during your interview? Are you directly using it when answering questions or are you just handing it over to be scanned through? In my experience, the latter is very ineffective - an interview committee isn't going to take a lot of time to examine everything you have and it's hard to get context for what they're looking at at a quick glance. Make sure you're using items in it to directly answer questions. For example, if you're asked about assessment, open your portfolio to an example of how you've assessed students and then hand it over while you explain what they're looking at. If you're asked about how you handle literacy time, open your portfolio to descriptions, lessons, photos etc. of literacy time and then hand it over and explain what they're looking at. Your answers are more specific that way and your portfolio is, in my experience at least, much more effective.

    And while I know it's hard to not take it personally, sometimes your answers just aren't going to be what particular administrators and particular schools are looking for. They know the programs they use, the other personalities you'll be working with, etc. and you're not always going to be the right person for the job. Hang in there and keep plugging away! (And don't give up. Things might slow down some but as teachers who already have job take other jobs, things will pop open.)
     
  23. mckbearcat48

    mckbearcat48 Cohort

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2016
    Messages:
    542
    Likes Received:
    205

    Jun 12, 2016

    I have been told by multiple admins that they remembered my interview because I researched the district thoroughly and asked a lot of questions. It hasn't helped me get a job yet, but I guess they remembered me for that "future opening" that they all talk about.
     
  24. EGrace

    EGrace Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2016
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    5

    Jun 12, 2016

    Its hard to feel like I'm doing something right to get interviews, since I'm applying to every school I would even remotely consider working at, within a 35 mile radius and the places I have interviewed, seem like they are interviewing a ton of people.

    I have tried to use my portfolio as a tool. When discussing what my student teaching supervisor would say about me for example, I will turn to the section that has past evaluations in it. When asked about how I go about planning units, I turn to a complete unit plan that shows the backward design method I use to plan, lesson plan examples and data collection/analysis. I could definitely work on effectively using this though and further developing my portfolio. It is very hard when under pressure, to take the time to turn to the correct section and find exactly what I need to support my answer to their question.

    My fear with my answers is that I will continue to say the wrong things/make the same mistakes and kill my chances. Or that admin are simply putting preference towards experienced teachers and nothing that I say will be good enough.

    As of now I'm checking job postings at least once a day and every time I apply to a job, I also email the principal a cover letter and my resume.Hopefully the jobs will start to pick back up again in July. Teachers start August 1st and time just seems to be running out. I know several people who are looking for teaching jobs and in the same position that I am in and I can only imagine how many other people in the Nashville area are also looking for teaching jobs. It seems like there is just such a surplus of teachers right now.
     
  25. EGrace

    EGrace Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2016
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    5

    Jun 12, 2016

    Do you speak directly to test scores when you interview? Or just know the demographics of the district and what the districts mission is?
     
  26. pommom

    pommom Comrade

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2015
    Messages:
    444
    Likes Received:
    98

    Jun 12, 2016

    im in the alt cert program.i do have sub teaching experience which helps a lot in answering these interview questions. i know what you mean by there being so many teachers. even here in TX going to these job fairs, the lines are so long, it is a bit discouraging seeing all these teachers looking for jobs. im looking for a secondary ELAR teaching position and i think my sped cert is what is helping me get interviews. are you applying for charter schools? i have an interview tomorow at a charter school which pays the same as local school districts.
     
  27. stephenpe

    stephenpe Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2003
    Messages:
    1,927
    Likes Received:
    158

    Jun 12, 2016

    Want to work in N Fla? My two small elem schools have about 8 postitions opening and they are looking everywhere for teachers. btw THey are nice small rural schools to work in. PM me if you want some info.
     
  28. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2001
    Messages:
    24,956
    Likes Received:
    2,108

    Jun 12, 2016

    I've been on our hiring committee. It's good for someone to know about our district and philosophies and that we test well, but on top of education and experience, the clinchers are the undefinables: passion, professionalism, fit, 'it factor', personality, communication, poise.
     
  29. phillyteacher

    phillyteacher Comrade

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2015
    Messages:
    284
    Likes Received:
    124

    Jun 12, 2016

    Honestly, in a tough market I would guess it comes down to experience and personality fit. Are you applying to charters as well? I get the impression charters have a younger teaching pool in general.
     
  30. phillyteacher

    phillyteacher Comrade

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2015
    Messages:
    284
    Likes Received:
    124

    Jun 12, 2016

    It's so interesting to hear how different it is district to district. Some have a surplus of teachers while others have massive shortages. Fascinating, if frustrating for many. Good luck to all applying!
     
  31. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

    Joined:
    May 13, 2005
    Messages:
    29,706
    Likes Received:
    1,122

    Jun 12, 2016

    EGrace, your two threads on your search for a job have been merged. A to Z forum rules strongly discourage duplicate threads on the same topic at the same time by the same member: the site owner's rationale is that duplicate threads dilute the discussion, and I think she's right. In future, do a harried moderator a favor and please post just one thread per topic.

    Best of luck in your job search.
     
  32. EGrace

    EGrace Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2016
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    5

    Jun 12, 2016

    I wish moving was an option. Unfortunately it is not, due to my husbands job. Otherwise that is definitely something that I would consider!
     
  33. EGrace

    EGrace Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2016
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    5

    Jun 12, 2016

    That is comforting. I just wonder why principals would wait until right before school started to hire? That puts everyone in a tight spot.
     
  34. EGrace

    EGrace Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2016
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    5

    Jun 12, 2016

    I have considered charters, but most of the charters in Nashville a) very far from where I live outside of Nashville and b) have extremely high expectations for teachers, such as being at school from 6am-6pm and tracking data all the time, including while you teach and class sizes are huge. Most charters also seem to be lacking in resources such as technology integration, which is an area I want to develop in.
     
  35. EGrace

    EGrace Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2016
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    5

    Jun 12, 2016

    Yes that is difficult. Its so hard to truly communicate all those in a short interview.
     
  36. talknteach

    talknteach Rookie

    Joined:
    May 27, 2016
    Messages:
    60
    Likes Received:
    27

    Jun 12, 2016

    It sounds to me like you are doing everything right. You are probably losing jobs to applicants that are already in the district as subs or aides or have teaching experience. A few weeks before school starts I would hand deliver my resume to the schools you want to teach at, including ones you already interviewed at, to get your name in the front of their minds if something opens up last minute.

    Also, are you working this summer? If you can be a summer school teacher that is a great way to meet principals and admin.

    When I got my teaching license I tried so hard to get a job and just could not get one no matter how much I interviewed. I subbed for a year and it was okay, it did teach me a ton about classroom management and ways to organize my class (although I would have much preferred to just get a job off the bat!). Then the same thing happened all over again- a bunch of interviews, no offers and I was really sad about subbing again. So I took an aide job in Title 1 and that is what led to my getting a classroom job in that school. Try not to let it get you down- it doesn't mean you are doing anything wrong and you will get a job sooner or later.
     
    jjame0113 and Srhhwtt like this.
  37. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2007
    Messages:
    2,689
    Likes Received:
    459

    Jun 13, 2016

    There's a variety of reasons. Many teachers resign last minute, families move into the area and register their kids which could make it necessary to add extra classes, funding for a position may have just come in, etc.
     
  38. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2011
    Messages:
    3,224
    Likes Received:
    147

    Jun 13, 2016

    My school doesn't interview too many people. They get a ton of applications but interview anywhere from 4-15 people on average. If no one pans out from those interviews, they go back to the drawing board and try again.
     
  39. ChildWhisperer

    ChildWhisperer Groupie

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2015
    Messages:
    1,228
    Likes Received:
    425

    Jun 13, 2016

    It's a district with a big low-income / high poverty population so many people don't want to teach in this district. There are a lot of private schools in the area and surrounding districts that all the teachers go for instead. So this district suffers because of it. I remember they had said 40 vacancies, but when I looked online, it was about 100 vacancies including maintenance, office people, etc.
     
  40. ha336

    ha336 Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2016
    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    4

    Jun 13, 2016

    I was in your exact position about three weeks ago, and then my mother-in-law gave me a gem. You know how the principal asks if you have any questions prior to wrapping up the interview? Ask them: "What is your vision for the school? So I can be sure to align myself and my classroom with what you would like to see." The first (and only) time I asked this, the principal broke out in a huge smile and had a surprised look on his face. He enjoyed talking about the school, and we spent the next 20 minutes in casual conversation. It was a fantastic way to end the interview, and I was offered the job in two days time.
    If for some reason, this does not work out for you, I would definitely do as other have suggested:
    -Keep applying. Teachers get hired up until the day before school starts. Stressful, I know, but it happens all the time.
    -If nothing works out for next year, definitely apply to be a sub. I have friends in a school district that is known to not hire unless you: a) student taught in their district, or b) are a long-term sub for them.
    Hope this helps! Peace and good teaching!
     
    Srhhwtt likes this.
  41. EGrace

    EGrace Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2016
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    5

    Jun 13, 2016

    Thanks for the tip. I will definitely be trying that one the next time I go interview! Fingers crossed that it works for me as well!

    Did you ask other questions as well before that question?

    I have have to apply to be a sub if I am unable to get a position for this coming school year. I will also apply for any interim positions that come up. Its just hard to be ready to have my own classroom and miss out on a year of teaching. I student taught in 2 different districts that I really want to work in, but so far that fact hasn't helped me much.
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. Anna music teacher,
  2. Ima Teacher
Total: 281 (members: 4, guests: 259, robots: 18)
test