Preparing for a Job Search
- Meet with an advisor in the Career Services Center to discuss how to develop a job search plan.
- Build a network of people who can help you find teaching positions through student teaching, summer employment, tutoring, community service, and volunteering experiences.
- Use the Internet to explore job prospects outside your immediate geographic area. Consider geographic areas such as the South and Southwest where populations are growing rapidly.
- Take courses to prepare for teaching in fields with shortages such as mathematics, science, special education and English as a second language.
- Attend job fairs. EMU's Career Services sponsors a Teacher Job Fair each year.
- Develop a clearly written resume and put together a portfolio that demonstrates your capacity to teach. Have your resume critiqued by an advisor in the Career Services Center.
Conducting a Job Search
- Search national databases of job banks to find districts with job openings. There are many areas, particularly in the south and southwest United States, with critical shortages of teachers.
- Send letters of inquiry, resumes, letters of reference, and transcripts to each school district of interest. Letters and resume need to be direct, clearly written, laser-printed, and summarize your strengths and experiences.
- Send applications to district central offices (many now have applications available on line).
- Attend job fairs.
- Follow up on each submission with a personal call or email to remind the district of your interest and check on your status.
- Find out as much as you can about the school prior to the interview. Do research online to get information about the school report, curriculum, enrollment, philosophy, and priorities on the administration and faculty.
- Rehearse an interview with a friend or colleague. You may also arrange to conduct a mock interview at the Career Services Center. Many school districts require you to teach a sample lesson to a faculty panel. Anticipate questions you may be asked such as:
- What is your philosophy of teaching?
- How are you best suited for this position, for this school?
- What experiences have you had that prepare you for this position?
- What are your strengths and weaknesses?
- What is your teaching style?
- How do you handle classroom management issues?
- Describe a lesson you have taught.
- Prepare questions to ask the interviewers. Ask about classroom practices and issues important to you. Do not ask about salary and compensation until a job offer has been made.
- Follow up the interview with a letter expressing your appreciation and continued interest in the position.