It takes a long time to educate a community and it can’t be done by
spellbinders, moneybags, hypnotizers, magicians, or Aladdin’s lamp.
Character is what matters on a paper.
— Harry J. Grant
Well done—you have completed your student teaching training. As your student
days wind down you may have a few months of relative calm before the hiring
season begins (usually in June and going through August). During this period,
you can increase your chance of being hired by networking and diversifying your
Take Additional Coursework
Enrolling in additional courses will broaden your skills and knowledge. Consider
pursuing additional endorsements or certification in high-need areas such as
ELL (English Language Learners) or Special Education. Even if you do not earn
an endorsement or certification, there are numerous benefits to taking additional
courses. For one, you will know more about how to meet your students’ learning
needs. You will also have a strong foundation should you decide, in the future,
to pursue extra certification. Extra courses will also make you more appealing to
principals and hiring committees.
Substitute Teach or Coach
“No more coursework!” you may be thinking. This is completely understandable.
The good news is there are many other ways to expand your value as a job
candidate. Substitute teaching and coaching are excellent ways to strengthen
your teaching skills and get the proverbial “foot in the door.” While substitute
teaching and coaching, continue to expand your network. Keep records on
the teachers and schools you substituted for–organizational tools such as your
network spreadsheet will make this a breeze (see Strategy 15). Also, while
teaching or coaching, remember to try to become a familiar face in the school.
If you cannot find a substitute teaching or coaching position, then consider
becoming active in your local community. Teachers are known for their
commitment to their community. Many teachers and administrators volunteer
great amounts of their time for causes that are important to them. Find a cause
that you are passionate about, such as homelessness, hunger, the environment,
and local school improvement. Start by calling your local city government, or
visiting their website, to get a list of volunteer opportunities that might interest
you, such as the Boy/Girl Scouts, Rotary Clubs, Kiwanis, YMCA, Red Cross, and
United Way. You may find yourself rubbing shoulders with people in positions to
help you obtain that desired teacher job. In addition to helping the community,
you are building and using your skills, networking with others, and polishing your
resume to reflect your civic-minded activities.
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