Unexpected openings

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by mathteachertobe, Jul 30, 2013.

  1. mathteachertobe

    mathteachertobe Cohort

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    Jul 30, 2013

    Two years ago, as my job hunt was becoming desperate, I took Alice's advice and started emailing principals about my availability should they find themselves with any unfilled positions. Not just principals at schools with posted openings, but all principals that might have an opening I could fill, which for me meant all middle and high schools. Those emails led to a one year position in a very large district, which was my foot in the door, as I am still with that district, now in a tenure-track job.

    I just want to remind everyone still looking that a lot of schools find themselves with unexpected openings in the week or two before school starts. If you haven't done so, I strongly recommend you start emailing principals. My cover letter served as the text of my email and I attached my resume as a PDF. The subject heading was something like: Math/Biology teaching positions

    I know how demoralizing the job search can be, but Alice's insistence on trying this approach really did get me that first job, so hopefully this post will encourage someone else to go ahead and start sending those emails.

    Best of luck to all still looking.
     
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  3. Ms.SLS

    Ms.SLS Cohort

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    My old school just posted a new open position like two days ago from an unexpected teacher leaving. (English, NorCal if anyone is interested).
     
  4. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    math~thanks for posting this for those that are feeling discouraged during the job search. I know this process is draining and takes so much out of you, but to be reminded that there are happy endings is great!
     
  5. Global Teacher

    Global Teacher Companion

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    When I came back from teaching in Egypt, there were very few jobs posted. Eventually I used this approach. It landed me two interviews and got me hired.
     
  6. DKM

    DKM Rookie

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    The only problem is if a school system has to cut teachers based on budget purposes, they go after the teachers that were hired last. It has happened to me twice so far. Here is Round Three of another consecutive summer of looking for a teaching position.
     
  7. breezymarie07

    breezymarie07 Companion

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    Jul 31, 2013

    Thank you, mathteachertobe, for your advice. That is a great idea and I will definitely look into it. My friend just text me this morning saying she heard this time is called "panic time" and a lot of teachers get hired this month in my state. School doesn't start for just over a month from now.

    I applied to a handful of positions last week and after talking to the certifying officer at my school, emailed the Ps yesterday letting them know my license is getting mailed to me this week.

    Worst case scenario, I am a sub for a neighboring district looking to sub for about 2-3 more districts.

    However, I've had this weird feeling the past week and a half of just "calm", as if it's all going to work out. I can't really explain it, but I hope it's true:)

    DKM - I know what you mean, up until the middle of July, the district I want to work in only hires those previously in the district. Now, any positions open are "fair game" as my supervisor told me and anyone not already in the district can have a shot. It's frustrating.
     
  8. Oregon Teacher

    Oregon Teacher Rookie

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    Thank you mathteachertobe for your post, it's very encouraging. I'm going to give that a try.
     
  9. MATgrad

    MATgrad Groupie

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    We had three positions open TODAY at my school. School starts in one week for teachers. Its crunch time.
     
  10. John Lee

    John Lee Groupie

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    Aug 1, 2013

    So true

    In my own district, I've been discouraged from contacting because I know (and I'm always reminded) that there is a long line of laid-off people before me.

    But thanks for opening up the thought mathteachertobe. It is something I'm actually trying to do in another district. I'm having a hard time though, in actually finding the e-mail addresses of the principals. Especially too, because they've had massive turnover in those ranks (most of the principals are new).

    Should I still aim to e-mail? I feel e-mail (at this point) is preferable, because the line of communication is open (as opposed to regular mail. And I frankly don't feel comfortable trying to call.)

    E-mail addresses in this district are typically <lastname>@school.blah.blah.blah, or <lastnamefirstinitial>@school.blahblahblah... Should I simply address an e-mail to both possibilities? Or should I print out and mail another letter (I mailed to them all earlier in the summer)? Or should I just wait for school offices to open (i.e. perhaps school websites will get updated, to reflect a valid e-mail)... school starts at the end of August.

    Sorry for the long comment on a relatively simple question. :eek:
     
  11. Teacher Gii

    Teacher Gii Companion

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    I agree with mathteachertobe..Email email email or send packets..anything to reach out. Heck, even with districts that I know had some sort of recent budget cut, I still sent emails to the P's because they network and move around all the time too.

    Great example of how an email can get you to the next step..Yesterday I went on to email a few more schools in my district that I didn't get to a few days ago. No more than 15 minutes later, I get a call from the AP of one of the schools telling me that the P (who I emailed) forwarded my email to him because she is on vacation. He said he tried to look me up in the district system to find my application but he couldn't pull me up. I was like, "Really? I applied months ago before school even let out." We talked for a couple of minutes before he told me to call down to HR and see what the status was or if I was missing anything because he could not find me. I called HR and spoke to the lady (who had a slight attitude) and she said she could pull it right up and its active so maybe HE was typing my name in wrong. I hope she wasn't just saying that to get me off the phone. Anywho, I called the AP back right away because he said he would still be there at the office even though their office hours ended almost an hour earlier..and he tried again looking but still couldn't pull me up but he went ahead and scheduled an interview for me anyway.

    Very long story short, emailing certainly doesn't hurt! Regardless of if I ace the interview or not, I am glad they responded and I was able to get my name out there. If I don't have a teaching job by the time school begins, I will still be sending emails to the the P's and dropping off packets for those possible last minute positions.
     
  12. breezymarie07

    breezymarie07 Companion

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    What do you say in your emails? I'm thinking of emailing some Ps next week, but I'm at a loss for what to write - my cover letter or a professional way of saying, "Hey, if you find yourself in need of a last-minute teacher, I'm available!!"

    The district I'll be emailing posts all of their openings on our education job search site which, of course, there are none posted right now.

    Good luck with your interview - when is it?!
     
  13. Teacher Gii

    Teacher Gii Companion

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    Aug 2, 2013

    My interview is on Monday :) though if my baby is early, I may need to reschedule lol. In my emails, I usually start off by saying something like (if there isn't an actual posting), "I am writing to express my interest in a future positions
    at XYZ Elementary School." Then I insert some sort of fact about the school.

    Next paragraph I say that I would appreciate the opportunity to meet with them to discuss my qualifications, skills, etc., and how I think I can be beneficial to the school. I make sure to give my contact info even though it is on my attached resume.

    I used to use my cover letter as the body of the email, but it was so long so I took a lot out because I know P's probably get TONS of emails and don't want to spend a lot of time reading what looks like an essay lol. When I send my packets though, I plan on having my cover letter.
     
  14. John Lee

    John Lee Groupie

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    Yeah, I'm hoping to do some e-mailing today (I gotta admit: I'm really running on fumes when it comes to applying at this point. I don't think I sent one out this week, because it feels like a waste of time. If the application isn't straightforward... e.g. no essay questions... I don't feel like answering another one of those, that no one will even read anyway.)

    So I'm hoping to send some e-mails out locally here... I don't think it will help. And I DON'T want sympathy. But at this point, I think what I want is acknowledgement. I want someone to know that I'm out there, and maybe boost me back to feeling valued or worthy.
     
  15. John Lee

    John Lee Groupie

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    Aug 2, 2013

    BTW, should one wait til the start of a new week to send out e-mails? With the weekend, the chance being there that the P doesn't check their e-mail until Monday, and opening up their e-mail to a weekend full of correspondence, advertisement, and junk? i.e. makes it easier to get lost in the shuffle?
     
  16. TeachTN

    TeachTN Comrade

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    In my area, principals are checking over the weekends because school starts next week and they are desperate to fill these positions. I did this today and have an interview this afternoon based on sending the email. In my message I mentioned my strengths and weaknesses, what I did in the last year since graduation, focusing on my Common Core research.

    Earlier this week I sent a nutty e-mail, in response to a posting for a HS Social Studies teacher, that started out with: If you are looking for a Social Studies teacher that will excite the students about the subject, allow them to work hands-on with the material (when possible), and work as hard as possible to ensure that all student needs and different learning styles are met, then look no further! I received a response from administration that they were interested in interviewing me :)

    Desperate times call for desperate measures. At this point they need to just hire me though!
     
  17. John Lee

    John Lee Groupie

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    Aug 3, 2013

    So, I sent out about 10 e-mails yesterday, and I got three back today. All were saying they had no positions available, but I gotta say that it does make you feel better, just to get feedback.

    One P actually gave some good advice, the others more just to the point (but still in a considerate way). It does give an old job-searching warhorse like myself a needed jolt of enthusiasm.
     
  18. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    I'm glad you got those emails out, John Lee. I know its frustating and exhausting, but leave no stone unturned.
     
  19. Milsey

    Milsey Habitué

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    You need to get in people's faces! Did you attend the NJ job fair?
     
  20. John Lee

    John Lee Groupie

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    Yeah, I'm going to set a sort of daily goal starting yesterday (let's say 10 e-mails a day), locally. At worst, I get a few responses to read. At best, maybe something worthwhile.

    Milsey,
    What you mean? I'm in Cali; was there a NJ job fair here? I didn't know.
     
  21. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Goal setting is great! Keep at it...:thumb:

    I highly doubt NJ was recruiting in Cali...we're traditionally a tough market. Even more so now.
     
  22. gpsysngbrd

    gpsysngbrd Companion

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    This isnt QUITE what I did but I did see something on Craigslist and I applied and heard nothing.... :( Eventually I got up the courage to email the school and found out they were still looking for a VPK teacher. First day is Monday!
     
  23. Ms. C

    Ms. C Rookie

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    I am doing this today. Thank you for the advice!
     
  24. isabunny

    isabunny Comrade

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    Thank you for posting this! You motivated me to send out 25 emails to schools with my resume/cover letter and a little note asking if there are any unexpected openings to consider interviewing me. Maybe just maybe it will lead to something. I just keep praying to be led in the right direction!
     
  25. Ms. C

    Ms. C Rookie

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    So, now I have a few P's responding to me with a "good luck/apply online/maybe somthing will come up in the future" message. Do you respond to that? I wasn't planning on it, but then I second guessed myself. BTW, I e-mailed 30 schools this morning and set up two interviews for tomorrow between then and now. THANK YOU FOR THIS ADVICE! (Can't say it enough!)
     
  26. John Lee

    John Lee Groupie

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    You got two interviews for teaching positions from simply e-mailing? That's great. All I have to show so far is an invitation from a P, to interview to get in as a sub :|, and a couple faint glimmers of hope.

    As to the good luck/apply online/maybe something... e-mails, I typically do not reply, unless you sense something beyond that. Like for me, I've replied back to those who gave specifics beyond those aforementioned thoughts. For example, I had one P tell me she is discussing hiring possibilities with HR. I had another who highly encouraged me to get on the sub list as well. In those cases and others, I've replied back in appreciation.
     
  27. breezymarie07

    breezymarie07 Companion

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    That's awesome!! I'm waiting to email until I physically get my license so I can attach it. It was getting mailed late last week so I figured I'd have it by Monday, nope. I'm hoping it was mailed Monday so I should get it tomorrow. If not, I'm calling my school again. Hopefully I have as much luck as you have had!!

    Best of luck on your interviews!!!!! :)
     
  28. isabunny

    isabunny Comrade

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    I just wanted to keep this thread going because I actually went to an interview today because I followed this great advice. Two days ago I emailed every school in my local school district (26 total) and today I emailed a school district north of me (15 total). I started the email with of course the principals name and a note saying I am available if you have any unexpected openings. Please consider interviewing me. Then I copy and pasted my cover letter and resume into the body of the email.

    I have gotten many replies from principals saying they will keep me in mind. And two interviews for parapro (instructional assistant jobs). I just got back from an interview that I think went really well. I emailed the principal and was at the school within 1 1/2 hours for the interview. Kind of crazy! I probably wasn't as prepared as I would have liked to be, with such short notice, but I was fairly happy with my interview.

    Thanks again for this wonderful advice! Considering I have only had two other teaching interviews in the last four years, sending out last minute emails was very good advice.
     
  29. Ms. C

    Ms. C Rookie

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    Now I have gotten 3 interviews out of e-mails. One assistant position, two teaching positions. One of the teaching positions started as a phone interview, which turned into an in person interview, and has now evolved to me meeting with the Super for my final interview. Yay!

    I am sorry you haven't had much luck with it yet, but do NOT give up! I am very well aware that I don't have a teaching position for the fall yet, however I refuse to give up hope. :)
     
  30. FarFromHome

    FarFromHome Connoisseur

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    Definitely don't give up! My school just hired a new teacher because class sizes were so large. School started on Monday, but students will be pulled from each of the existing classes and added to the new teacher's class starting tomorrow. So jobs might still be available even after school starts!
     
  31. doodle70

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    I'm interviewing this morning for an unexpected opening. Teacher quit last Friday, P from another school I had interviewed at passed my info along. Hopefully I will land this one as school starts the 19th!
     
  32. isabunny

    isabunny Comrade

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    Hope you get it! :)
     
  33. breezymarie07

    breezymarie07 Companion

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    Got my temporary license in the mail today! Hooray! Was nervous because we had a terrible storm Tuesday night and my mailbox building for my apartment complex was completely demolished so I wasn't sure where/when I would get it.

    Anywho - I'm emailing principals of the schools in my district. Just curious what everyone has been putting in the subject line? Future Positions? Thanks!
     
  34. breezymarie07

    breezymarie07 Companion

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    Good luck!!:)
     
  35. Ms. C

    Ms. C Rookie

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    Yay for finally recieving your license!!!!!

    I put "Inquiry." I used that advice which I saw in another thread. I received many responses.. Some directed me to the district website, and I did get some interviews. I think it helped being vague so it would be opened, lol.

    Also, I was offered a position today as a middle school math teacher! Yay! :)
     
  36. breezymarie07

    breezymarie07 Companion

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    Thanks! And CONGRATULATIONS!!!! That is so awesome, I'm so happy for you! :celebrate:
     

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