Two weeks left - Still time for me to get hired?

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by penguinpc, Aug 1, 2011.

  1. penguinpc

    penguinpc Comrade

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    Aug 1, 2011

    I live in North Texas. For the past three years I have worked in local government, but my dream has been to go back into teaching.

    Last year I sent out over 100 cover letters and resumes, snail mail. I got one interview, and that was in the district I taught in a few years ago.

    I have to admit that this year I have not worked as hard to look for a teaching position. I think part of my problem is that I do not have the motivation of not having a job at all. So maybe I haven't felt the sense of urgency some of you have felt. The other problem is the economy and the fact that districts around here are not hiring very many people, if they are hiring at all. (The district I used to teach in riffed about 300 people last year, so getting back in there doesn't seem feasible.)

    I am thankful to have a job, but my heart is in teaching and I am feeling very discouraged right now. This is my third year to look.

    With 100s of applicants for each job that does exist, I just don't know how I can stand out. I wonder if my job history is part of the problem.



    Walking in and personally dropping off resumes and cover letters is out because we are in an intense period at work. Plus, sad to say, the idea of doing that intimidates me.

    So...with two weeks left, what do you think my strategy should be?
     
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  3. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

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    Aug 1, 2011

    Update applications you already have in and resend cover letters to EVERY school principal in your area. If the school has a grade level you are certified to teach, contact the principal. This time of year numbers change quite frequently with new enrollees, so it's not uncommon for districts to have a last minute hiring spree. Just because there are no openings posted today doesn't mean they won't need teachers next week. Try to keep your name fresh in their minds.
     
  4. Proud2BATeacher

    Proud2BATeacher Phenom

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    Aug 1, 2011

    I would also suggest taking a deep breathe and suck it up and hand deliver some resumes. I would love to be able to hand deliver resumes.

    I work in a district where we are not allowed to hand deliver resumes. We have to apply through the district and the district has to interview us first and once we pass that interview, they will hand out our resumes to principals. If you fail the district interview, they will not interview you again for another 2 years.

    PS I was hired 1 week before school started. The teacher they hired pretty well "lost it" at the thought of having to teach my class. The district ended up placing her in a regular ed. class.
     
  5. SCTeachInTX

    SCTeachInTX Fanatic

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    Yes, you can. But you really do have to be proactive. Emailing districts is definitely an option. I would be emailing schools within 30 to 45 minutes of where I live. Too bad you could not get over your fear... we hired several teachers in our district in Texas. And it was the go getters that got their applications in, walked in resumes, and made personal connections that made a difference.

    If you really want this, you have to make it happen. I am not judging you. You have to make money, I am sure. I will say that the persons that were out of education for two plus years were the ones that had the most difficulty answering questions about current trends in education during interviews. So, make sure that you read over the interview questions thread and have some quality answers to the questions being asked. It was the applicants that may not have experience, but have been doing something in education that have stood out as possible candidates. It is hard because there are so many people out there that would do a fine job. But there are a blessed few that are going to do an AMAZING job.:)
     
  6. labar

    labar Rookie

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    Aug 1, 2011

    Ditch snail mail, send them an email. I understand snail mail seems like you put more time and though into the job you are applying for, but this is the 21st century and snail mail (especially for simple letters) are becoming a thing of the past. Some principals might even take snail mail as a sign that you aren't really keeping yourself 'updated' on new technologies, and including new technologies in the classroom is probably one of the biggest things my district advocates outside of meeting test standards.
     
  7. elateacher4life

    elateacher4life Cohort

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    Aug 1, 2011

    It's good you have the luxury of having a job while you jobhunt. I do hope you get to pursue your passion of teaching though.
     
  8. jenglish97

    jenglish97 Devotee

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    Aug 1, 2011

    There is hope!!!

    For my first teaching job, I was hired the Friday before Labor Day. Teachers went back to work on Tuesday and the students came in on Wednesday. I only had one day to "set-up" my classroom. I could not work on it over the weekend since it was closed for the Labor Day Weekend.

    Sending you encouragement and hope that you will get a job! Make sure you are on the substitute list for some of the school districts!
     
  9. TXowl

    TXowl Companion

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    Aug 1, 2011

    It is definitely possible. I was just offered a position last night and it is in a district that initially RIFed over 200 teachers but waited so long most already had other jobs.

    Also, the start of school is NOT the end of hiring season! Last year I was hired 5 weeks into school because of enrollment. I'm betting that this will be an even bigger problem this year because the districts are being conservative about teachers due to budgets. I know that many districts in Texas are already talking about upping class size, but there is a tipping point where they will HAVE TO hire more teachers.

    I did not walk in a single resume this year or last because that just isn't something I'm comfortable with. I did check openings daily and emailed my resume to every P with openings (except districts that specifically not to contact Ps). Make sure you point out what makes you stand out and makes you the right fit for them. Keep trying and DON'T GIVE UP. There's still 3 weeks before school starts in Texas and those first few weeks will be a scramble to get new teachers. Good luck!!!
     
  10. paperheart

    paperheart Groupie

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    Aug 1, 2011

    It is definitely possible. My friend just got hired in North Texas just south of DFW. Just be as open minded as you can and send at least a hundred emails and phone calls and make them as personable as you can.

    Another thing is you can get hired after the school year starts. I decided to go back to teaching after 6 months away and started my new job in November.
     
  11. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Aug 2, 2011

    It's possible. Never lose hope.
     
  12. newbie23

    newbie23 Comrade

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    Aug 2, 2011

    To be honest, when I read your intial post, I didn't feel your passion or desire. This is how I read it,

    'I'd sure like to go back to teaching but I have a job right now. Last year I tried pretty hard but this year, not so much. I know my chances are slim with the economy and budgets so I guess I can't be too upset. I feel discouraged but not enough to do the hard work that is required to get a job.'

    I KNOW you don't feel that way but you're original description read in that tone for me. You have to make a choice for what you want. I know that you have to be employed to pay the bills. I was in your shoes. But... you have to make the jobsearch your job as well. Live your brand. What that means is that you have to think of every day as a new chance to make a connection. I'd recommend making a list of what you will get accomplished in the week. Maybe that's visiting a school on your way to or from work to drop off a resume. Perhaps you'll go to the upcoming board meeting to learn more about the district and possible shake the hands of your future employers. The next day, you'll spend time reading an online journal on best practices. Each day, I'd do something that is making progess towards your goal.

    If teaching is really your passion, you won't let the economy or your motivation stop you. People are getting jobs and there's no reason why one of them shouldn't be you.
     
  13. penguinpc

    penguinpc Comrade

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    Aug 2, 2011

    I am planning on dropping off resumes and cover letters at two schools during my lunch today.

    Thanks for the support.

    Of course, I will not be able to visit too many schools this way, so I will do some emailing.

    Any ideas on what to write in my email? Just keep it short and to the point? Such as, "I am writing you in response to the 3rd grade position at your school. My cover letter and resume are attached. I look forward to talking to you."

    Or should I try something else?

    Thanks again.
     
  14. penguinpc

    penguinpc Comrade

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    Aug 2, 2011

    I am very passionate about teaching. Sometimes it's just hard to get over yourself (me). I take medication for depression. Also, my mother took her own life in March...so maybe that has affected my search. I don't know.

    I'm not trying to get your sympathy really, there's just a lot more going on that what I wrote in my original post. I just need to dig myself out of this hole so that I can be a better job hunter.

    And with the encouragement of all of you maybe I can.
     
  15. Rainbowbird

    Rainbowbird Groupie

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    Aug 2, 2011

    Hang in there. It sounds like you have had a tough time of it. Were you laid off from your last teaching job? Or did you change careers? I would be prepared to have an answer in case anyone asks. BTW working in another career can be seen as an asset. I left teaching once to pursue other interests and most districts have seen it as a plus that made me more well-rounded. I also took PD courses on my own and did a lot of reading so that I would feel comfortable discussing new technology and practices. I was very active in my community. It does help to have something that makes you stand out a bit on your resume. If you do any sort of volunteer work, put it on your resume. If you have not done any, I would find a place to volunteer this year while you are job-hunting. Even an hour or two a week.

    Good luck! You can do it!
     
  16. paperheart

    paperheart Groupie

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    Aug 2, 2011

    I would talk about something on their website that pertains only to them. I wouldn't make it too long. Maybe just add something that pertains to their school only in a sentence or two. Then, ask for person-to-person contact.
    "I enjoyed looking through your website. I found the student artwork impressive. I would love to stop by to introduce myself in person. When would be the best time?"

    Don't stop short of really selling yourself. Brochures, online portfolios, flyer with your technology profieciencies, a top 10 list on why they should hire Ms. ----. Don't just apply. Market yourself. make your passion really clear to those who need to see it.

    I'm sorry to hear how tough your situation has been. I can definitely understand how life situations can affect even the most passionate teacher. I hope something turns up soon, but don't give up once the school year starts. Its very possible they will hire teachers after the school year begins when numbers force them to hire teachers to stay in line with the student:teacher ratio.
     
  17. penguinpc

    penguinpc Comrade

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    I went by two schools today and dropped off resumes and cover letters. Unfortunately, I didn't get talk to anybody at either one. I called both to confirm someone was there, but at one school, nobody answered the door, and at the other the custodial staff let me in.

    So at the school with no answer at the door, I jammed my envelope as far under it as I could get, and at the school where I could go in, I put my envelope on the receptionists computer.

    I guess it's progress. I'm hoping to go to two more schools tomorrow where there are actually people in the office.
     
  18. SCTeachInTX

    SCTeachInTX Fanatic

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    I would keep trying. I would also email schools that you cannot personally drop off information. I hope something opens up for you!
     
  19. xiangnong

    xiangnong Companion

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    Sorry to hear about everything you have been going through, Penguinpc. Best wishes for your job hunt!
     
  20. geek412

    geek412 Rookie

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    Aug 2, 2011

    I'm so sorry for the loss of your mother.


    You can & are digging yourself out of your hole. You're still out there, applying, and trying to get your foot in the door. I agree with the others, especially paperheart's comment, put your best into all that you do and drop off those packets everywhere!
     
  21. lbradley1718

    lbradley1718 Comrade

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    Aug 2, 2011

    It is definitely possible to get a job, even though school starts in a week! I received an unexpected call from a school this past Friday to come in Monday (yesterday) to interview. About an hour after my interview I was emailed and asked to come in today (Tuesday) for a sample teach. Immediately after I finished my sample lesson I was offered a contract to sign and told to report this Thursday for in-service.

    I was totally set on being a substitute again this year and then this opportunity came up out of no where!

    You still have a chance...Good luck to you!!! :)
     
  22. Emmy

    Emmy Companion

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    Aug 2, 2011

    I've been looking for a year and a half, and also worry that because i've been out of teaching so long that my job history looks bad. I haven't even had my own classroom yet. I student taught in the fall of 2009, couldn't find even an aide position so i've been subbing ever since. And subbing has gotten me nowhere cause districts love to keep you as a sub. I have sent countless resumes and applied for many many jobs, and i'm just at my breaking point i'm so stressed.
     
  23. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    I was hired for my first contract position a week into the school year. Don't give up hope and keep working to find that position!
     
  24. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Emmy--I was home for 10 years with my children, and only worked for small private schools pre-kids (and that experience wasn't really considered by the school boards). I was able to "break in" to a permanent contract position through daily subbing, then long-term sub positions. Don't give up hope!
     
  25. penguinpc

    penguinpc Comrade

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    Dropped off two more today during my lunch hour.
     
  26. Rainbowbird

    Rainbowbird Groupie

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    I forgot to mention that I signed my first contract in late August b/c someone left unexpectedly. I had 4 days to get my room ready! So yes, it can happen!

    Also, do not discount long-term subbing. That first job was for a 1-year maternity leave. The teacher was then transferred the next year, and I stayed on as a permanent teacher. If you can risk it financially, it is a really good way to get into a system.
     
  27. PinkCupcake

    PinkCupcake Cohort

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    Don't give up anything can happen! I was hired days before school started. A friend of mine was hired after school had started and was in her room after Labor Day.
     
  28. SCTeachInTX

    SCTeachInTX Fanatic

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    You know what... I think that you are FEELING more proactive about your job search too. Good luck!
     
  29. penguinpc

    penguinpc Comrade

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    I am feeling more proactive.

    But the whole thing about something is supposed to get easier each time your do it, well, I don't think that's happening for me. But I do plan to drop off another resume during my lunch hour today.

    Plus the 100 degree plus temps and my air not working well in my car really diminish my desire. But I'll go anyway.
     
  30. jcar03

    jcar03 Companion

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    My mom works at a neighboring towns post office and talked to one of the principal's who comes in on a regular basis and he said they do have some years when they need to do hiring right before school starts because a teacher leaves or enrollment is up considerably.
     
  31. penguinpc

    penguinpc Comrade

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    Taking PD classes to catch up on current techniques has occurred to me before, but I'm not sure where to start looking for such courses. Of course, when you are already teaching, they just make you take the courses, but I'm not sure where to look.
     
  32. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    My district still has openings, so it's possible! Good luck to you!
     
  33. penguinpc

    penguinpc Comrade

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    Aug 9, 2011

    Well, one of the principals I emailed about a posted position emailed me back. To tell me there were no openings at her school.

    The position was posted yesterday. Yes, I know they sometimes have to post positions that are already filled. It still sucks. :(
     

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