Remember the saying: “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.” After a 46-year career in public education, a 38-year career in a school and district, interviewing thousands of candidates, I feel I can speak with some authority about teacher hiring. Be careful when following the advice of well-meaning friends, family, and colleagues. Here are some examples of what not to do, what not to do, and what to do. PUT YOURSELF IN — I CAN TRAIN YOU!
Ask for advice from people who have achieved success in other fields– No. Be selective about who can help you. The world of education is very different from the world of business. Private business and public education are culturally different worlds. Also, be wary of following advice from teachers who have no experience in testing and interviewing. Work with a coach who is an experienced school leader. The people giving you advice certainly mean well, but the wrong advice can be costly.
Write a standard summary—Do not conform to standard formats. Go beyond what you learned in school. Highlight your special skills and achievements; your resume should not look like a job description. Do you have valuable life experiences? Are you fluent or fluent in foreign languages? Have you traveled extensively and developed a deep understanding of world cultures? Can you play sports or have extracurricular experience?
Bring your portfolio– No. Your first interview usually lasts 10 to 15 minutes. Interviewers are busy people. They won’t have time to view your portfolio.
Apply and wait patiently– No, you need to be active; passivity doesn’t work. Networking is the key. Contact anyone you know who may be involved with the school. You can get a polite interview – it’s a foot in the door.
Search for geographic regions that are hiring– Be careful. It is not for nothing that it is difficult to find good candidates in some regions. Besides, most of us can’t and don’t want to move. It’s hard and lonely to go somewhere where you don’t know anyone. If you want adventure, or have friends or support systems in another region, consider this. However, you may be in for a culture shock.
I would like to suggest you to read my e-book “You’re Hired” http://www.e-junkie.com/schoolleadership20/product/497221.php. Dr. Orenstein is a career coach who works with educators on resume and interview preparation. For more information, go to his website: www.larryaronstein.com