What got you your first job? Marketing Yourself...

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by sks72, Apr 10, 2012.

  1. sks72

    sks72 Rookie

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    Apr 10, 2012

    Hey there, contracted elementary school teachers. How did you get your first teaching position?

    Was there something outstanding on your resume? Volunteer work?

    Networking?

    I appreciate any tips/stories from how you scored your first job!
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2012
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  3. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Apr 10, 2012

    Resume and cover gets you the interview.
    I'd ay my passion, enthusiasm and intelligence get me the job...heck...I even sang a song about bugs on one interview!:D
     
  4. massteacher

    massteacher Companion

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    resume got me the interview, and then for my demo I did a unit about story elements for Caps for Sale..I brought in props, involved the kids in acting the whole thing out, filled out the chart, and played Monkey See Monkey Does...the administration told me they picked me because of the engaging factor. That's why I love being a primary teacher..I don't mind acting silly as long as the kids are engaged and learning!
     
  5. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    One thing on my resume that most other math teachers didn't have:

    I had competed all through high school in Speech and Debate, qualifying for both the State and National Finals my senior year. (I made semis at States, and had the world's worst case of...you guessed it... laryngitis... at Nationals. At a SPEECH contest.)

    But I'm SURE that helped me a lot.

    Plus I've always liked interviewing, regardless of which side of the desk I'm on. If I can get the interview, I've always been able to get the job.
     
  6. janlee

    janlee Devotee

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    I believe my dual certification got me my first job...elementary ed degree along with a reading certification.
     
  7. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    I'm a first year teacher, so I was cheap The school was highering a lot of teachers, so an opportunity to save money and have some new highly motivated fresh blood in there, quite appealing. I also believe that being a man applying for an elementary position, was desired. Really didn't have anything else special to offer at the time.
     
  8. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    For me it was a combination of networking, a good college (my school has a good reputation in the area and there were already quite a few teachers at the school from my college with great reputations), and a demo lesson that really wowed the principal and assistant principal. The demo lesson was really what did it though.
     
  9. Securis

    Securis Cohort

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    I think it was a humorous but honest answer to the interview question, "Where do you see yourself in 5 years?"

    I said, "I'm still working on this one. If I get a job, then I'll start making plans." Delivered dead pan and all three of my interviewers laughed.

    I wouldn't go into an interview with an agenda based on getting laughs but I wouldn't shy away from the right opportunity to get a laugh. I think having that moment of humor can show confidence and will exhibit your personality in a natural way.
     
  10. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    Apr 10, 2012

    I work in a super small town that most people have never even heard of (even people in the next town).
    I literally sent resumes to every school in 8 counties near Charlotte, NC. (I lived in Michigan at the time).
    I landed a last minute interview, and I was offered the job on the spot. She was impressed at how put together I was, and I had a binder full of work samples and lesson plans, discipline plans, etc... Similar to a portfolio, but not quite.
     
  11. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    Apr 10, 2012

    What got me the interview:
    -I was just out of college with a bachelor's degree (not a master's). My principal was only allowed to interview new teachers (we are cheap!).
    -I passed the Teacher Insight online test.
    -Strong letters of recommendation.

    I am not sure which items on my resume got me the interview...I had a good GPA, experience volunteering in schools (tutoring), experience working with children in after-school care, and I worked hard on my cover letter and making sure everything looked good and was spelled correctly.

    What got me the job? I guess I interviewed well! I always feel like a mess at interviews, but I guess I do a good job. I don't over-think my preparation, look professional, and I am honest. My first principal said I really "sold" him when I talked about being a team-player and the importance of relationships (with students, parents, staff, community).

    Good luck! :)
     
  12. T-cherWithWings

    T-cherWithWings Rookie

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    Strange as it may seem, I think the thing that really got my foot in the door was my experience before I ever began to pursue education. My current principal is also a flight instructor, so when she saw that, in addition to meeting the cert. requirements, I had listed that I had my pilots license it told Hera lot about my work ethic and ability to handle stressful and dynamic situations.

    Don't be afraid to advertise your other talents on a resume as long as you can show it has a direct benefit to your teaching skills.
     
  13. knitter63

    knitter63 Groupie

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    Subbing in the district I was hired in got me my job. The principals all knew me, they knew what I capable of, how I interacted with students and parents, and how I worked with my colleagues.
    Getting interviewed was the easy part-since I subbed there, my application/resume was always pulled for interviews. I don't interview well-I get very nervous-but it did help knowing all the people sitting in the room with me!
     
  14. ciounoi

    ciounoi Cohort

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    I honestly have no clue. I had 25 interviews and had given up on a teaching position for the year, when I interviewed and received a job teaching science at juvenile detention (it was originally supposed to turn into a full time job, sob). I think they might have hired me because I didn't run away screaming when they mentioned I'd be teaching arsonists and sex offenders. I still can't believe I actually took that job. I also can't believe that I loved my job and I loved my students, including the arsonists and the sex offenders.

    I have my current LTS position because I got a recommendation from my detention job. Today I got a summer job, also based on my work at the detention center. I'm hoping that I'll be given a contract for the next school year. :)
     
  15. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    I was hired by the school that I did my final student teaching practicum in.

    I guess what got me the job was that I was known and they had seen me working hard all year.
     
  16. PinkCupcake

    PinkCupcake Cohort

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    In my situation I think it was a combination of student teaching, subbing, and a principal passing my name around. When I student taught the principal of the school observed me during a lesson.My mentor teacher later told me my name was being passed along to H.R.
    I graduated in December '09 and started subbing in January.I had an interview after inservice had already started for teachers and a day later was called by my principal and offered the job. She interviewed me because of my student teaching recommendation.
     
  17. Jlyn07

    Jlyn07 Comrade

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    I'm pretty sure I was hired (just this school year) because of the certifications I hold. I teach AIS and in NY to teach reading AIS you need to be certified in literacy but my school also wanted someone elementary and special ed certified as well - which I am.

    My interview didn't go as well as I thought it should have for me to land the job but it was different from all of my countless other interviews. From the moment I saw the posting for my position, I felt like it was going to be mine; I'm not sure why but I just had a really good feeling so maybe I was more confident than normal.

    There isn't one thing that we can say for you to do that will guarantee you a job - each district looks for something different. You have to find the place where you fit what they're looking for and they fit what you're looking for.
     
  18. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    When I returned to teaching after 10 years at home with my kids, I subbed at my children's school. The principal there recommended me for a long-term position at another nearby school. After 2 long-term positions there, the principal recommended me for a contract position. In both cases, I was hired almost solely on the basis of those strong recommendations.

    Be visible in schools--sub or volunteer. Go above and beyond. Get to know administrators.
     
  19. jsais

    jsais Rookie

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    Apr 13, 2012

    Portfolio

    When I first began, I had several job offers, and I think what got me those offers was my portfolio. At the interviews, I took in a binder that showed student work samples and pictures from my student teaching, as well as certificates from trainings I had attended. (Kind of like a professional scrapbook) I was able to use this to really sell myself by making sure I emphasized my strengths in the interview. I think it showed creativity, passion, organization, and my teaching style.

    I also went into the interviews with strong letters of reccomendation (including one a few parents from my student teaching class got together and wrote). Even though these were not a requirement, I presented them at the interview.

    Good luck!
     
  20. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    I was a student teacher at the school I was hired at. They liked my work as a student teacher, they needed a teacher for the upcoming school year, so I had a five-minute-long interview and was offered a job the same day. I've been with the same school district for the past seven years (although I did get a pink slip this year).
     
  21. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

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    Did you reference your portfolio when answering questions during the course of the interview? For example, if you were asked a question about how you teach literacy, did you flip to a section showing student work samples/lesson plans/etc related to literacy? I have an interview scheduled for next week and they've asked us to bring portfolios, but I'm having trouble picturing HOW it will be used during the course of the interview.

    Thanks! :)
     
  22. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    Yes - this is exactly what I did. No one will just flip through your portfolio and browse it. You have to make them look at it, so create one that will help you.
     
  23. jsais

    jsais Rookie

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    Yes, I referenced it during the interview, which really helped me not forget all of the things I wanted to say and made me feel less nervous about answering the questions. It also really helped me turn every question into a chance to feature my strengths.
     
  24. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

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    Thank you to MissScrimmage and jsais! The only problem is that I am interviewing with a panel of 12 people...so I guess I'll have to get creative in showing the portfolio so that everyone can actually see it...:lol:
     
  25. EMonkey

    EMonkey Connoisseur

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    I worked with Americorps*VISTA in the public schools-not Teach for America. A friend I worked with told me what I needed to do to get an emergency credential in the district. I did so and got hired. I then worked at a school with an emergency credential, I went back to school for a credential and got placed at the school I had worked at with an emergency credential as a student teacher. When done with student teaching the principal contacted friends of hers/his and let them know I was looking. I got offered positions at several schools.

    I think the fact I had already worked in the district and had proven that I was not completely clueless, had a principal recommending me as well as my mentor teachers, the experience with AmeriCorps*VISTA, and the fact I graduated from one of the best teacher training schools in the area all worked well for me. The biggest thing though was the principal basically sending me to the schools that she knew had openings. I think also I had three years of experience working with children either as a tutor type thing, teacher, and student teacher gave me a lot of information with which to respond in an interview.
     
  26. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    My portfolio is in a binder, so I just unclipped the things I wanted to show and passed them around so everyone could see them.
     
  27. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

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    Smart - thanks !:)
     
  28. Myrisophilist

    Myrisophilist Habitué

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    This is interesting, and so true. I'm sure it makes you memorable if you have something really unusual on your resume.
     
  29. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    I subbed in the same school system and was very active as a volunteer in my children's schools. Even though it was a different grade level (elementary to HS), I got my foot in the door because a teacher for whom I subbed had a husband at the high school. They passed along my resume to the principal. That principal was great friends with the other high school principals, including where I did my internship. Two recommendations from people he trusted probably made my interview unneccesary, lol.
     
  30. applecore

    applecore Devotee

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    Resume in hand.

    Walked it into the school I wanted to work at.

    Met with the principal.

    Handed said resume and application (copy) to them. As well as turned in the orginals to the district or schools I had to drop them off at.

    Shook their hands, smiled, and asked if they were hiring. The conversations flowed from there.

    It helped that I subbed in the schools that I wanted to work at too.

    Good luck!
     
  31. applecore

    applecore Devotee

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    Oh wow! That's only 4 more than I had. Relax as best you can, you'll do great as you think through the questions they'll have for you.
     

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