This is the time of year when the buzz in the teacher’s lounge usually revolves around next year. Who’s coming back? Who’s not? If your district is like many this year, there are numerous teachers, counselors, and administrators in the “not” category, and not necessarily by choice. Lack of state funding has forced many districts to cut positions from the classroom all the way up to the district office.
So what can you do if you’re a “not”? After you give yourself a day or two to wallow, it’s time to take action! Start your job search early to get a leg up on others in the same boat.
The first thing you need to do is update that resume and secure some references. Most districts require letters of recommendation; some as many as three. Your current administrators will likely be inundated with requests, so ask early and don’t be afraid to remind her. And updating your resume is easy with tips from How to Write a Resume and other sites that offer tips on everything from your cover letter to a post-interview thank you note. Just do an online search about what you need.
There likely won’t be many jobs posted just yet, but a great place to start your search is Teacher Jobs, Teachers-Teachers.com, or a generic job search engine like CareerBuilder.com, Yahoo! Careers, or Monster.com. Post your resume to as many sites as possible to get the most exposure, and visit the sites regularly to search available positions. Oftentimes positions won’t be posted until the end of the summer, but if you put yourself out there early, you might snag one of those positions.
If you’re lucky enough to score an interview, be sure to do your homework, dress professionally, and send a thank you note afterwards. The key is to set yourself apart from all those other teachers that were let go this year—stand out from the crowd.
Above all, keep your chin up. You may not find that perfect teaching job next school year. But if you’re looking to get your foot in the door with a new district next year, apply to substitute in the district and keep your fingers crossed. We’re all hoping the economy makes a turn for the better and those funding shortages turn into teacher shortages!
I’m interested in hearing about what’s going on around the country. What’s happened in your district? Paycuts? Positions lost? Large class sizes?