Got a Minute? Week of March 9, 2015

Got a minute for KDP? See what’s going on at headquarters in a one-minute(ish) video.

This week:

Got a Minute? Week of February 23, 2015

Got a minute for KDP? See what’s going on at headquarters in a one-minute(ish) video.

This week:

Networking: Old Style and New

Jack Kronser has recently retired as Director of Human Resources at Aurora Public Schools near Denver, Colorado. He has hired hundreds of teachers.

jack kronserAmong the many skills needed to be successful in the teaching profession is the ability to navigate networks. Networking is defined  as “the exchange of information or services among individuals, groups, or institutions; specifically, the cultivation of productive relationships for employment or business.”

Career opportunities in any profession are impacted by networks. Teaching is no exception. Long before official word gets out regarding job vacancies, word of potential career opportunities are out in the network, both formally and informally. For someone just starting out in teaching, or desiring to make a move (up or laterally), it is important to be networked as well. How do you create your network and become included in the networks you desire?

  • Field Experiences. Prior to and including your student teaching, you probably spent time in five or six different schools on “field experiences.” Teachers, principals, and support staff you met or observed need to be a part of your network. Keep a file of their names, positions, and contact information.
  • Student Teaching. Everyone knows how important student teaching is for launching your career. But did you make it a point to meet and talk with as many teachers, staff, and administrators as you could while you were student teaching? Did you attend trainings or meetings outside the building where you student taught—and meet more teachers and staff? Stay in touch with these people. Add all of them to your file.
  • Principal and Assistant Principal Contacts. Get to know the principal and assistant principal in the building where you student teach. Reaching out to them is the first step in your being able to demonstrate your qualifications which can lead to job opportunities or recommendations to other administrators. Add them to your file.
  • Professional Organizations. Become active in teacher organizations like KDP and the organization for whatever you teach, such as the National Council for Teachers of English. Most of these content-area associations have student memberships and can help you learn who the well-respected teachers in that area are. If you become active, you will gain skills you can add to your résumé and you will meet people from all areas of the country or state you can add to your file.
  • Seminars/Job Fairs. Teacher job fairs (at your college or in communities) are one of the very best places to personalize your job search process. Many new hires first made connection with a school district at an education job fair. Add specific names, emails, phone numbers, and district information for everyone you talked with to your file.
  • Social Networks. Take advantage of social networks like LinkedIn to let your availability and qualifications be known and to find openings. Use your Facebook page in a professional manner. Google yourself to see what an HR Director will see.

Join me for a training webinar on networking as part of the Job Search Summit on Saturday, February 28 at 5 p.m. (EST). See the rest of the line-up and find out how to get a résumé review in the Job Search Summit.

Home for the holidays? Don’t forget to network!

Sally Rushmore edits the New Teacher Advocate. She formerly taught secondary science and computer applications at a community college.

Kappa Delta Pi104Where will you be spending the holidays? Most college students go home or go visit friends or family for the holidays, and it’s a great time to enjoy lots of talk and catching up. If you are a senior, remember you will be looking for a job for next fall starting in about 3−4 months. Seeing people you don’t see every day is a great opportunity to network and let them know you are looking for a job. Did you know that more than 70% of teaching jobs are found through networking?

Not sure what to do or say? Here’s a quick guide:

  • Be sure to connect with as many people as you can over the vacation, either by phone or in person.
  • Always carry a method for taking notes—pen and paper, smart phone with a notes area, or whatever works for you to be able to find the information later.
  • Feel free to lead the conversation by asking where they are working or when they are graduating and what they plan to do.
  • Often people will ask you if you are student teaching or will be graduating in the spring. If they don’t, you need to bring it up. If they do, that’s a great time to let them know what you need from them:
    • Tell them that you will be student teaching, graduating, and looking for a teaching position.
    • Tell them what grade or subject area you will be qualified to teach.
    • Ask them if they know anyone who is a teacher or principal or works in a school system. Everyone knows someone who works in a school system!
    • Ask them to keep their eyes and ears open for any positions in whatever you want to teach.
    • Ask if they will tell everyone they know in a school system that you are looking.
    • Ask if you can send them a résumé they can print and share and get their email address.
    • Thank them and let them know you’ll keep in touch.
  • If you are talking to someone who teaches or works in a building or district you’d really like to teach in, be sure to ask that person to let you know as soon as she/he hears about any retirements or teachers not returning after a maternity leave. Ask questions about the atmosphere in the building, the demographics of the building, how the principal is to work for, and other things you will need to know.
  • Keep a list of everyone you talk with, where they work, and their email address (phone number is also helpful).
  • When you get your résumé ready, you will have a list of people to send it to!

And speaking of getting a résumé ready, you’ll need to learn what to put on that résumé and what to do after that. So don’t forget to ask for a book or two for the holidays. Kappa Delta Pi has some books you will need:

So, what’s it like being a sub?

Hayley Franklin serves as a substitute teacher for Carroll County Public Schools in Kentucky and is also an elected official on the Carroll County City Council. She is currently a Coordinator for Carroll County Champions encouraging a drug-free lifestyle for her community.

Hayley 4Do you have a funny story from your substitute teaching experiences?
One day I subbed for eighth graders. I was walking through the hall, and a young student walked up to me and said, “Hi, I’m Brandon. You must be the new student. What’s your name?” I thought this was the funniest thing, and it made my day. I said, “No, Brandon, I’m your teacher for the day. Come on in and have a seat.” He was very polite, and it was a sweet gesture. We had a laugh about it later.

One story that impacted me as sub was…
When I taught second graders for a few days in a row, and they got to know me. I told them I would have to leave them soon, and they all made me cards with my name lovingly misspelled. I still have the cards to this day and cherish them.

Do you have a tip to share with fellow substitutes?
Tips that I would share with fellow substitutes would be to have the most patience possible with the students. They’re being thrown into a temporary situation, just as you have been, and it’s important to create a positive atmosphere so they are able to trust you for the day or for a longer period of time.

Why do you choose to be a substitute educator?
I chose to be a substitute teacher so I could have a flexible job that allowed me to make a difference in a child’s life. I was also a North Key Community Support Worker at the time and knew how important it was for students to have positive role models in their life. The flexible schedule also allowed me to finish my degree.

Are you a substitute teacher? Share your stories, tips, and experiences in the comments!

What’s a Professional Profile? Learn at the Job Search Summit!

Dr. Mary C. Clement has been researching and writing about teacher hiring and induction for more than 20 years. Her work has resulted in 11 books and more than 125 articles. Her Job Search Summit webinar on résumés and professional profiles will be Saturday, February 28, 2015, at 11 a.m.

JSSGone are the days when teachers got multiple job offers by just completing student teaching and going to a job fair. Teacher candidates need to develop strong résumés that are customized to job advertisements, recognizing that their unique experience and training should start the résumé.

What goes at the top of a résumé today? What do you say at the beginning of an interview? What do you say during a one-minute elevator speech when you meet an administrator in his office or at a job fair? The answer to all those questions may be the same—your professional profile. Busy employers may only glance at your résumé and recruiters have only a few minutes to decide if you merit further consideration, so having one to two lines that summarize your teaching skills and qualifications can make the difference when it comes to being noticed in a positive way.

The professional profile, or profile statement, is more than a job objective or a statement about your teaching credentials. It is “you at a glance,” and something in it should catch the evaluator’s eye. In large school districts, an administrative assistant/secretary may sort the résumés, after receiving instructions to read only the top of the résumé to determine candidates’ qualifications.

A strong professional profile reveals a lot about the candidate, and encourages the evaluator to read the entire résumé. The rest of the résumé will include specific information about education, teaching, other work experiences, and special skills.

Kappa Delta Pi hosted a very successful Job Search Summit in 2014 and has an even better one planned for early 2015. Join me, or Dr. Benitha Jones, as we talk about creating your résumé and cover letter. I will focus more on the résumé of a first job seeker in teaching and Dr. Jones will focus more on the person applying for a leadership position like assistant principal or new faculty member at a college, so hers will include information on creating a curriculum vitae. In both cases, we will go through the parts of the résumé, how to decide what to put in your personal professional profile, and how to match it and your cover letter to the opening the school actually has.

My webinar will be Saturday, February 28, 2015, at 11 a.m., followed by webinars on working job fairs, turning your present situation (substitute teacher, instructional aide, or retail worker) into your dream teaching job, and networking tips. Dr. Jones will present her webinar at 1 p.m. on Saturday, March 14, 2015. Prior to hers will be a webinar on how to create a video that really shows how you teach and how to put together an ePortfolio that will help you get a job. After hers will be webinars on using academic language on your paperwork and in your interview and on your personal commercial for starting or ending your interview.

By attending one of the résumé webinars and one of the other webinars, being a current member of KDP, completing a survey, and posting in KDP Global’s Job Search Academy (either a question or comment), you will be eligible to submit your résumé for a professional review in preparation for the teacher job hunting season!

Watch the KDP website for registration information and mark Feb. 28 and Mar. 14, 2015, as days you cannot miss!