Finding a Teaching Job: Shine After Student Teaching

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

skill sets.

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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