We polled career counselors, instructional coaches, administrators, and other professionals around the country for their advice on how to apply for teaching jobs in the next year.
Every spring, job applications, and hiring are at an all-time high for educators. The epidemic has resulted in significant shifts in student enrollment and recruiting goals, as well as new skills that applicants must possess.
We polled career counselors, instructional coaches, administrators, and other professionals around the country to find out how they approached hiring teachers for the new school year. We’ve compiled a list of their thoughts.
THE TOPOGRAPHY OF THE LAND
Many schools are unsure of what roles they will require in the fall and may not know until the summer.
Because of the economic downturn brought on by Covid-19, many families relocated. This has a direct impact on enrollment and personnel at schools. According to what we’ve heard, these changes have had knock-on implications, with many individuals losing their jobs and openings. Some instructors have stepped into previously vacant leadership roles.
A Murtaugh high school administrator, Adam Johnson, said he is desperately looking for new instructors in the region. “We’re seeing large increases in enrolment as a result of families relocating here,” he explained, “but we’re not seeing an increase in teachers.” Delia Racines is the principal of a pre-K-8 school in Los Angeles. She revealed that she has lost four instructors this year and expects to lose two more next year. The job of assistant principal has been discontinued in the district. There isn’t a full-time assistant principal at my school.
Others claim that because of the uncertainties of the previous year, potential applicants are more hesitant to apply for new positions or change schools. Many people, according to Sara Baker, executive director of human resources in Burien, Washington, are uneasy, reactive, and unwilling to take a chance. “This influences attrition, career changers, and people who would have been interested in teaching but the time isn’t right now.”
Sonja Cassella is a Greely, Colorado-based instructional coach, and teacher. Teachers, she says, should be more open-minded. “Teachers are in low supply in most parts of the country,” she said. While this does not imply that you may look for jobs, in the same manner, you would at a supermarket, it does suggest that teachers should have higher expectations and hopes for the types of positions that are available.
Because of the job’s flux, Racines believes adaptability is essential. She encourages applicants to attempt something new to fill a position, such as a different grade level or curriculum area.
INCREASE THE NUMBER OF APPLICATIONS
Educators now have new expertise to help with job applications: they can teach a class remotely. During the epidemic, the bulk of employment processes went virtual (and remain virtual). This includes the well-known demo lesson with a hiring school’s class.
With a screen as a buffer and a deluge of digital materials flying at administrators, applicants will have to work harder than ever to stand out this year, according to Matthew X. Joseph, a director of curriculum, teaching, and assessment in Leicester, Massachusetts.
“It’s difficult to stand out during this time—especially since all of the interviews will be conducted online,” Joseph added, recommending that teachers provide easily available video lessons and digital portfolios demonstrating their interactions with and influence on students. The interview will draw attention to your CV, which is your first impression. Teaching a class, on the other hand, can demonstrate how you might benefit the institution.
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Younger teachers, according to Baker, frequently submit digital resources. These can provide you with a better idea of who the applicant is, including their ideology and personal background. “They want to perceive themselves as humans first,” she explained. “Yes, they have credentials and qualifications, but only those who feel called to this profession and/or desire to make a difference in the world are considered. Their ‘why’ is crucial.”
During your job search, be prepared for schools to check your social media profiles. They might even be able to help you get a job. Reports Jorge Valenzuela (a Chesterfield County, Virginia education coach): Some teachers even use Instagram and TikTok in their lesson plans. This demonstrates their willingness to use digital communication technologies.
Schools do not favor fancy resumes, according to Devereaux McClatchey, owner of Carney, Sandoe & Associates, a school-based employment recruitment business. Candidates should keep in mind, he said, that the more they exhibit interest in a job or institution, the better.
NEW SKILLS ARE PRIORITIZED
During the epidemic, education was in constant upheaval. It was used in a variety of situations, including in-school, hybrid, and remote. Administrators and coaches agree that these trying times have underlined the need for educators to be adaptable and resilient.
“Candidates seeking for work this year recognize the school year’s flexibility as well as the problems it provides,” said Connor Cook, a middle school principal in Houston.
Cook and others argue that teachers, even veterans, are the most impressive because they are eager to learn and try new things. This attitude might be seen during the employment process. This is especially true when employing digital tools like Flipgrid or Nearpod to suit the various needs of pupils.
Virtual students who have returned to in-person schooling, according to Matt Safelite, a principal at a middle school in Bentonville, Arkansas, must recover their stamina. Teachers will need to be able to discriminate effectively and be patient.
Instructors who follow a structured approach, according to Joel Coleman, a superintendent from Ogden, Utah, are more interested in being more creative, exploratory, and student-centered than teachers who follow a structured approach. A preference for competency-based and project-based learning is one example.
“We’re looking for educators who can generate excellent content for any learning environment, at any time and in any place,” he said.
MAKE A PROPOSAL
Virtual recruiting has several advantages. It can be more difficult to establish if an applicant is a good match for the job, according to school officials.
Some institutions have improved their hiring methods by asking more questions than the generic ones that can be obtained on the internet.
Bloomer and his colleagues, including teachers, brainstorm questions based on the work and include role-playing scenarios that a teacher would face, such as dealing with a parent issue. They ask questions that delve into the person’s personality and hobbies to have a better knowledge of them. This includes favorite books or teachers from their childhood. He requests that applicants make a one-to-two-minute video introducing themselves to prepare for the interview.
Administrators and instructional coaches are now conducting more extensive background checks and allowing a wider range of employees to participate in the hiring process. This is done to see if the applicant is a good fit for their current professional learning community. Interviewees should be able to demonstrate that they are familiar with the school’s vision, mission, and culture.
Every school and district, according to Johnson of Murtaugh, Idaho, has its own culture, messages, and aspirations. Candidates should conduct research and seek school communities that are aligned with their ideals and philosophies, in my opinion.
CLASSROOMS THAT ARE MORE RESPONSIVE
Long-standing inequities in poverty and race have been highlighted by the pandemic. Administrators say they want educators who can adapt their teaching methods to ethnic diversity and have a sharp eye for school equity.
Racines, who lives in Los Angeles, said she can’t stand teachers who don’t care about children who are poor and unable to improve their condition. She is looking for teachers that can work with families and are problem-solvers.
Chappaqua’s middle school principal, Joe Mazza, said his school is working to expand the number of educators of color on staff and improve the attitude and mentality. Educators should be “dedicated to anti-racism” and strive hard to become anti-racist allies, according to him. This isn’t a sprint, and you won’t become an expert overnight. You must, however, be constantly learning, listening, and reflecting.
In light of the stress faced over the last year and the anticipated remediation required this fall, administrators emphasized the necessity of teacher candidates prioritizing social and emotional learning. Teachers should be able to form relationships with pupils and motivate them in class as a top priority.
“I believe more than ever, teachers’ hearts need to be measured to work alongside students,” said Bloomer of San Antonio, Texas. Every youngster on campus deserves to feel safe and loved by a responsible adult. We need an empathic teacher as much as we need a Constitution-breaking instructor.