George Lucas Educational Foundation

How to Find a Job in Education

How to Find a Job in Education

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As we get ready to welcome summer, new teachers all across the country will complete their credential or graduate programs, finish up with student teaching, and get ready to launch into the real deal this fall. They'll be looking to find a job in education.

Current teachers, can you share your tips for how to land a teaching job?

I’ve included a few pointers, but I’d love to hear from those who have been through it personally and can share insights for our new and returning teachers.

Tip #1: Actively network!
Just like any other profession, knowing people within the education community can help you get your foot in the door, as well as give you the first word on job openings often before the general public.

Tip #2: Consider substitute teaching
Not only will this give you more time in a classroom, but it also provides an avenue for networking and building future connections. Substituting at a school can give you an chance to mingle with teachers and administrators and make yourself more visible.

Tip #3: LinkedIn, EdJoin, and SchoolSpring
Make sure your LinkedIn profile is up-to-date, and check EdJoin and SchoolSpring regularly for new postings. If you have your sights set on a specific school/district, it’s also not a bad idea to follow them on social media and set up Google alerts to keep an eye out for job opening announcements. 

Tip #4: Prep for the interview
The interview is where you're going to sell yourself and your skills. Check out the comments on this Reddit thread for tips on how to handle the experience.  There's also a bonus list of acronyms and terminology that you should be familiar with.

For more tips, check out: National Education Assocation: Six Steps to Landing Your First Teaching Job and Education Week: Networking Your Way to a Teaching Job!

And share your own in the comments!

Comments (16) Sign in or register to comment Follow Subscribe to comments via RSS

Carey Dahncke's picture
Carey Dahncke
A charter school leader

Take a job as a substitute teacher. A good sub, gets quick job offers. Make it known you are a fully licensed teacher and looking for work.

MAshleypayton's picture

Coming from the view point of a former (thank god) struggling, new teacher I can say the best advice I was ever given from over 15+ interviews was to "paint a picture of how your classroom would look and run". This advice was so meaningful because within the world of education, administrators have the ability to be picky, so it is necessary to talk about specific examples and give explicit detail on things you may think aren't worth discussing. Discuss HOW you would transition students from their desk to the floor, give a verbal example, elaborate on how you would address misconceptions immediately (I use this phrase a lot. .."What is your reasoning for that? Can you tell me more? " I FINALLY took that advice and used it in my next interview, and I am now signing my first contract. So for other novice teachers out there looking to score a K-6 position, I would highly recommend painting that picture. Also, become very familiar and aware of the terms "rigor", "quality continuous improvement", and how you would collect, analyze and evaluate data. Hope that helps any other struggling teachers! Keep on will happen.

Kevin Jarrett's picture
Kevin Jarrett
Maker Educator, Google Certified Innovator, Dreamer, Doer. Learning experience designer, workshop leader/speaker, author. Stanford #Fablearn Fellow. #GoogleEI

Whoa, MAshleypayton, you nailed it - and the proof is in the pudding - congrats on the job!

Anything (beyond the obvious) NOT to do on the interview? (There are lots of generic lists of such advice for non-education job seekers, wondering if you have any suggestions for those in our shoes.)

Also, I thought this was well done and helpful, even if it's for the private sector:

11 Things You Should Do In The 15 Minutes Before A Job Interview


Elisa's picture
Bilingual Teacher in Texas

I think something else newcomers to the profession need to remember is that we are a "service industry." Just like in retail, we don't choose our customers and we are constantly interacting with the public. You have to be comfortable communicating with the public and your peers. So when you do make it to the interview (and I've done a bit of all the previous posts to get to the interview stage!), remember that they need to see what you are bringing to the campus. In addition to the specifics that MAshleypaton pointed out, think customer service. How will you serve? And what is the benefit of having you on the campus? Do you bring innovative use of technology? Great communication strategies? Sell yourself! Good luck :)

tracybrisson's picture
Career Coach, Talent Development Consultant, Recruitment Trainer

I have hired over 10K new teachers over my career. Here are 3 of my most important tips for new teachers launching a job search.

1. Professionalize your resume. When you apply to jobs online, you are one of a hundred, especially if you are applying to an elementary school. Get rid of the apples and other art and streamline your resume so it is one page and highlights your accomplishments. Teachers with easy to read, concise resumes get called for interviews.

2. Work on yourself. Candidates who get the jobs during the interview process are self-assured, present, knowledgeable about current trends in teaching, and have prepared stories that show they have the skills we want in new educators. This preparation comes from journaling, reading, and being self-aware, not just researching the school before the interview. Aiming to making yourself a better professional every day will help you get the job more than anything.

3. Set Google Alerts for the schools you're interested in. People have already mentioned the importance of networking. IT IS SO IMPORTANT! 70% of hires come directly from relationships, even when you are applying to an online system. If you are a new educator and don't know very many folks yet, set Google Alerts for the schools and districts you're interested in. You'll hear about events you can attend, as well as interesting things that you can use in your cover letter, interview, or even use to email an introduction directly to the principal. You can also sometimes gleam this type of information by following schools on Facebook.

Good luck!

Kevin Jarrett's picture
Kevin Jarrett
Maker Educator, Google Certified Innovator, Dreamer, Doer. Learning experience designer, workshop leader/speaker, author. Stanford #Fablearn Fellow. #GoogleEI

Tracy, thank you - this is outstanding!

Do you have an example of a one-page resume that really impressed you?

I like the suggestions in #2, particularly the last sentence.

Using Google Alerts for school research is also brilliant. While it may not yield a lot of results if the school isn't mentioned much online, it's so easy to do it's worth trying.

Speaking of digital footprints, I was wondering what you think of the free online reputation management service

Thanks for the contribution to this thread!


tracybrisson's picture
Career Coach, Talent Development Consultant, Recruitment Trainer

Thanks, Kevin!

Templates: There are a lot online and they are mixed bag. I suggest any template that aligns your content left (helps when someone is scanning your document quickly), does NOT feature an objective, and demonstrates examples of quantified accomplishments.*

Brand Yourself: I think their free tool seems like a good deal, but I suspect most teachers don't need this service because they don't have that large of a digital footprint. I think most teachers need a good (1) LinkedIn profile, (2) a personal landing page (About.Me, etc.) or portfolio (advanced), and (3) a Twitter profile. A Twitter profile can show that you are engaged in professional discussions (like #ntchat) which is a bonus.

(*Disclosure: I wrote a book on teacher resumes that does features sample resumes, but there are free resources online.)


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