So what are superintendents looking for when hiring a new teacher?

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by greenbay33, Jul 19, 2012.

  1. greenbay33

    greenbay33 Rookie

    Joined:
    May 25, 2012
    Messages:
    90
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 19, 2012

    I'm just wondering since I have not been able to land a job for this year and am a brand new social studies teacher. To be honest, I feel that I did my best, I have good grades, I was involved in a lot of activities. My student teaching evaluations could have been better, but I did pass (since our scale was simply pass/fail), I also have been told I have a good resume and write good cover letters. However, after applying to 60 jobs (i know I should have done more, but there aren't many jobs in Nebraska where I live and i only really applied to schools in Iowa, Nebraska and Missouri). Also, i always try to say I will help with any extracurricular possible. However no such luck. I've only had 3 interviews and no job. So what is holding me back? What are superintendents and principals looking for that I don't have?
     
  2.  
  3. TeachTN

    TeachTN Comrade

    Joined:
    May 9, 2012
    Messages:
    463
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 19, 2012

    I too am in the same boat, social studies teacher who is jobless at this point.

    #1 - post your resume here (excluding personal information) - the folks here are fantastic at assisting us job seekers with how to tweek our resumes to bring out the teachers we are.

    #2 - email every single principal (in your teaching range, HS or Middle School) where you want to teach (if you are willing to relocate, that expands your search) with your cover letter and resume (the folks here will readily give you tips for both).

    #3 - Social Studies, unfortunately, is pretty saturated in many areas - but, you can make yourself THE most desirable candidate that principals feel they cannot do without.

    #4 - Think about the interviews you have had - do you feel that you could improve your answers to some of the questions? If you didn't know the answers, it's a great time to research now. Also, take a look at the interview questions thread and look into other questions that are being asked to prepare for other interviews.

    #5 - can you get an endorsement in another area? Sometimes principals are looking for someone to teach two subjects, but even if they aren't, having a candidate who offers flexibility could be very desirable.

    Good luck!! There is still time left, and I know here, with school starting in just about 2 weeks, there are still many positions being posted.
     
  4. 3littlemonkeys

    3littlemonkeys Comrade

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2007
    Messages:
    300
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 19, 2012

    Not the same state or certification area, but at the job fair I went to, the districts represented all seemed to prefer candidates with prior teaching experience and multiple areas of certification. One person I spoke to in line was a high school teacher certified to teach nearly every subject, and also special ed--he had two interviews lined up for that afternoon. Others I spoke to were brand-new teachers who all said it's been difficult to find districts that are interested. So I guess the more you can show what you've done, and the more versatile you are, the better your chances. Good luck!
     
  5. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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

    Jul 19, 2012

    Where I was hired as a new teacher I'm not sure what impressed them. I know they were happy I taught Brit Lit during my student teaching and that I helped with the spring play.

    Where I got my job this year with 1 year of experience I know they were really impressed with the different courses I'd taught. They've also commented on how impressive both my resume and transcripts are. What courses did you teach during your student teaching? Did you help out with any clubs or anything during that time? How were your grades?

    I also echo the above poster, post your resume and cover letter here. People are excellent at helping you fine tune them!
     
  6. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Messages:
    27,534
    Likes Received:
    6

    Jul 19, 2012

    If you've had 3 social studies interviews, you have a solid resume and cover letter-- you've beaten out LOTS of other applicants for those interview spots!!!

    So I would think it's your interview skills that need polishing.
     
  7. Xidous003

    Xidous003 Companion

    Joined:
    May 20, 2011
    Messages:
    219
    Likes Received:
    2

    Jul 19, 2012

    I originally wanted to be a high school (general education) social science teacher. I now teach high school English to special education students (mild/mod).

    Landing that first job is hard. It always aggravated me that districts wanted 'experience' but you need a job to gain experience. It is a 'catch 22' literally! Here is my advice...

    1. Public schools in education seem to the 'top tier' in terms of pay and benefits. They usually want prior full-time teaching experience. My first job was at a private school. I worked there for two years and then applied for public school jobs. I would apply to private and charter school jobs in addition to public schools. The pay and benefits are less generous than public school, but it gets that experience on your resume.

    2. Obtain multiple licenses/credentials/authorizations. The reality is that most secondary social science teachers (general education) are coaches and/or they got jobs through friends and family (my experience anyways). The jobs are rare and usually hundreds of people apply for one position. See what you can do to be authorized to teach a variety of subjects.

    3. Keep your geographic area wide and open if you can. If you are able to then apply for jobs all around the country.
     
  8. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Fanatic

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2012
    Messages:
    2,855
    Likes Received:
    623

    Jul 19, 2012

    I would say keep applying for this year and then switch into sub mode. How many districts do you currently sub for?
     
  9. chasisaac

    chasisaac Comrade

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2011
    Messages:
    294
    Likes Received:
    1

    Jul 21, 2012

    Good job on getting interviews.

    I am social studies also and was mostly unemployed over the past year.

    I earned a bunch of certs through testing. It looks like NH allows testing for extra certs.

    ALso the reality of life, wether we like it or not, most social studies teachers are coaches. I know we had an argument on here before about and not all social studies are coaches. I am not a coach.

    Testing Requirements
    http://www.ets.org/praxis/nh/requirements/

    Needs Areas
    http://www.education.nh.gov/certification/documents/critshortagelist.pdf

    The 'easiest' ones to get on the list are: math 5-8, Science 5-8, and maybe the reading writing teacher. I cannot find the testing requirements for reading writing.
     
  10. teach42

    teach42 Comrade

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2009
    Messages:
    334
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 22, 2012

    Do you have a license to teach in the other states where you applied? If you're applying to public schools in those states, it will be difficult to get an interview without a license or if you have not even applied for one yet. I would keep applying and work on improving your interview skills and maybe look into rural areas where not many people apply.
     
  11. chasisaac

    chasisaac Comrade

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2011
    Messages:
    294
    Likes Received:
    1

    Jul 23, 2012

    I had two phone interviews in other states. If I decide to do this again next year, my current job is an 1.5 hour drive one way, I will apply for cert first in that state.

    The problem seems to be finger printing. For some reason some states want you printed by specific people.
     
  12. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Fanatic

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2012
    Messages:
    2,855
    Likes Received:
    623

    Jul 23, 2012

    I never realized that, but I went back and looked and I've always had to use the same company in my state and they have no locations outside of the state. I wonder why each state seems to have their own operations, even though they seem to be private businesses.
     
  13. myloveasdeep

    myloveasdeep Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2008
    Messages:
    98
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 24, 2012

    Make sure your content knowledge is solid and encyclopedic. We've done several social studies interviews this week and a few of the things they did not know included the causes of the stock market crash of 1929 and how many amendments are in the Constitution.
     
  14. curiouslystrong

    curiouslystrong Companion

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2012
    Messages:
    153
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 24, 2012

    Not to derail, but...

    Social studies is a very broad discipline, and these things can easily be looked up. What would be the benefit of quizzing candidates on narrowly-focused surface-level content knowledge?

    I agree that content knowledge is important, but I will add that any content knowledge I've displayed in an interview has been knowledge that I've offered up myself. I haven't been quizzed on content knowledge at all.

    (Thinking about this again, was it that the applicants who didn't know these things voluntarily offered incorrect information? Like, "well, we were learning about the 25 constitutional amendments" or something? That seems a lot more understandable than applicants being asked by an interview panel how many amendments are in the constitution.)
     
  15. TeachTN

    TeachTN Comrade

    Joined:
    May 9, 2012
    Messages:
    463
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 24, 2012

    I agree, History is one of the toughest areas to try to remember everything, especially when you vary from US History to World History. The Praxis I took covered everything in the world from the time of Mesopotamia! Good luck remembering everything there.

    As for the Constitution - a fun fact, the 27th amendment took over 200 years to ratify! A college student called upon various states to approve the amendment after researching failed amendments. Mississippi did not officially approve one of the "Civil War" amendments until the late 1900s!

    I really hope to teach history this year :)
     
  16. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Fanatic

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2012
    Messages:
    2,855
    Likes Received:
    623

    Jul 24, 2012

    I would also be wary of a school district that felt the need to quiz me about content in an interview. If you are certified to teach a subject, you are qualified for the position. I would think you'd find out what kind of teacher they are by quizzing them about lessons they taught and demo lessons more than a content test.
     
  17. 3littlemonkeys

    3littlemonkeys Comrade

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2007
    Messages:
    300
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 24, 2012

    Agreed. I wonder if they had a bad experience with a teacher, or if this is just their standard practice. I'd be really wary of a district that wasn't focused on teaching ability (as in methods).
     
  18. myloveasdeep

    myloveasdeep Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2008
    Messages:
    98
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 24, 2012

    Totally not meaning to derail, again, but I appreciate you folks giving your point of view. I had to call my mentor last night and unload because I was feeling so stressed about what's happening in interviews. I feel a little less like the lone dissenter now.


    It's a tough one, all right. He's a new director this year and his style is very different from our former director. What can I say?

    Personally, I'd like to see both methods and content knowledge. The candidate who couldn't name the causes of the crash was interviewing for an American History and Civics position, so I do agree they should have been a little more prepped on at least that area of history.

    We have a list of interview q's to ask which are closely focused on methods. The director cares about content knowledge, and to some extent, how someone reacts when they don't know the answer. Do you fumble and look scared, or do you just say "That's what a reference book is for, and I'll have the answer tomorrow"? The one guy we interviewed who said the latter got hired for math.

    I am struggling with the change in admin style, for sure. I am grateful to have a job, but I don't think I'm going to sit in any more history interviews.
     
  19. 3littlemonkeys

    3littlemonkeys Comrade

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2007
    Messages:
    300
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 24, 2012

    Well it's certainly not your fault how the interviews are being conducted :) I just really wonder why that would be his focus. I think there's some benefit to seeing how people act under pressure, but...it just doesn't strike me as quite right to make that the focus of the interview. But then I've sat in on demo lessons where it seemed the only point was to ensure the applicant had a pulse and showed up...so...there can be problems when evaluating people that way as well!
     
  20. TeachTN

    TeachTN Comrade

    Joined:
    May 9, 2012
    Messages:
    463
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 24, 2012

    I could tell you the date of the crash, about people jumping out of buildings, etc but off the top of my head could not name the reason right now without looking it up. That's the tough thing about history, even if it is the second course, from Reconstruction through present, there is still a massive amount of information to remember. I'm glad that the interviewer would accept that they don't know, but know where to find the answer. In my own classroom, I would place it on the board in the "parking lot" to come back to tomorrow :)
     
  21. 3littlemonkeys

    3littlemonkeys Comrade

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2007
    Messages:
    300
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 24, 2012

    I love that idea! I've had topics that we either researched online in class or revisited the next day, but that's a great visual to remind students (and myself lol) to come back to it!
     
  22. greenbay33

    greenbay33 Rookie

    Joined:
    May 25, 2012
    Messages:
    90
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 10, 2012

    Thank you all for your help. To be honest I've started applying to jobs outside of teaching. I must just not be that great of a candidate. I couldn't even get a para job even though I did get an interview. I must either suck at interviews or my coop teachers just passed me to get me out of there, but don't give me good reps. At this point I might as well just go on welfare or work in some crappy mcdonalds job (although I can't get hired there because I don't have much work experience). Oh well, i guess i'm just one of those losers. I know i'm being negative but at this point i'm stuck with a crappy life. I had this plan on being a teacher, of course no one in college told us about getting another endorsement or any of that stuff. There were so pompous. One prof even said a degree from the college we attended was enough to get us an interview. He kind of was joking, but kind of not. It just makes me mad that I wasted my time getting a degree, but I could have applied at the local trailer plant after HS and would at least be making money even though i'd be miserable. Sorry for the rant, but I just had to vent. I truly do thank you all for your help
     
  23. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Fanatic

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2012
    Messages:
    2,855
    Likes Received:
    623

    Aug 10, 2012

    Have you looked into what it takes to add an endorsement in your area? Are you willing to move? Someone just posted about a district in Texas with 300+ positions available. Maybe look into moving.
     
  24. Jen84

    Jen84 Companion

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2010
    Messages:
    220
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 10, 2012

    :hugs:

    Please don't give up on teaching if it's what you really want to do. Two years ago I had finished graduate school and started applying to aide jobs. I was being called in for interviews, but was never offered the job. I had principals telling me I interviewed well and gave great answers, but they went with someone else. I began to to feel so depressed, especially since I knew girls in college who had been hired as aides before they even graduated. Finally, I met a principal who told me to start subbing. I haven't read this entire thread, so I don't know if this is an option for you. If it is, I would really encourage you to do it.

    It's hard not to feel bad after being rejected from a job. I went on three teaching jobs this year and was rejected from all of them. When this happens, I just remind myself that it wasn't the place for me and something better will come along.
     
  25. greenbay33

    greenbay33 Rookie

    Joined:
    May 25, 2012
    Messages:
    90
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 10, 2012

    Its just hard because I worked so hard in school. I have a 3.6 GPA and most of my profs said I was a good student, but It didn't get me anywhere. Also, I feel like crap because people on here say "email every principal at every school within 100 miles you want to teach at. Maybe this would work in a larger state but here in nebraska, only omaha and lincoln are that big, and both districts did not hire any social science teachers. Also most other districts are fairly small and as mentioned before it's a sucky area and there aren't many jobs avaliable. Subbing is a little easier to get on at a place, but in my area alot of the time, they have retired teachers who live a lot closer than I do so they call them first. I wish I was smarter in a different area, or gave myself a challenge and majored in something like business or transferred from my small state liberal arts college to somewhere with more and better majors. Honestly it feels like my time in school was a joke. Unfortunately my family is poor and I can't afford more school right now and like I said, I probably can look forward to a life of working a fast food job until i'm 50. Boy am I a winner :lol:
     
  26. teach42

    teach42 Comrade

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2009
    Messages:
    334
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 10, 2012

    I would start applying for sub jobs or even tutoring ones. It will give you some experience. Have you applied to any sub jobs or are you still making excuses as to why you shouldn't bother to apply? Either that or consider moving although I'm not sure it's very wise if you don't have a job lined up yet. When I first started looking for jobs, I applied anywhere I was willing to live all over the country. Unless you're married with kids, you're not really tied down to anywhere so you are free to move wherever.

    Never trust what any colleges say. Like just about any business, they are trying to make money. You have to do your own research. Being a good student doesn't help much if you don't have any experience.

    I should add that if you can add another certification by just taking an exam, then do it.
     
  27. greenbay33

    greenbay33 Rookie

    Joined:
    May 25, 2012
    Messages:
    90
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 11, 2012

    I have applied to sub jobs. And sorry if it sounds like making excuses. It's kind of tough when your rejected by so many schools. Anyway, I have already got subbing calls that unfortunately are not until september and october. I also applied for a job at an insurance company that i interviewed for and hopefully get. While I still may want to teach, anymore I feel it will be impossible to get a job in my area, no matter where I relocate too.
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. TeacherNY,
  2. Pikachu,
  3. Xtention
Total: 191 (members: 4, guests: 171, robots: 16)
test