Then the economic meltdown of 2009 hit. And hit hard. School districts came to grips with budgets slashed deeply because of declining tax revenues. Suddenly thousands of teaching jobs were eliminated. Your job was one of them. It is a phenomenon which has struck just about everywhere.
The irony is that we as a nation have never needed talented teachers more than we do at the present time. Our students are doing poorly when compared to those around the world. That in turn creates labor problems as companies look outside America for well-qualified workers claiming that none are available here at home.
In any case we could discuss the education scene for days and still be no further ahead. So, what about you? How do you pick up the pieces and move on to a new situation?
A Strategy for Success
If you have decided to look for employment in the private school sector, you need to be aware of several things you must do in order to land a teaching job.
- Work your network.
- Offer in-demand skills and certifications.
- Stay involved.
Use your down time to retrain and add desirable skill sets to your portfolio of credentials. For example, being a Spanish teacher is a great start. But being a Spanish teacher who is an ESL specialist adds a whole other dimension to your desirability.
Use your down time to stay involved by substitute teaching and tutoring. It will keep your skills sharp and may just introduce you to a future employer. It is always easier to hire somebody you have seen teach then somebody you really don't know much about.
Keep Your Spirits Up
Never ever stop believing in yourself. You will find that new job. It may take longer than you originally thought, but you will find it. Surround yourself with positive influences. Avoid the negative. It is easy to give in to feelings of self-pity. It is normal to feel angry and frustrated at the situation in which you find yourself. However, you must learn to tune out those feelings. Focus on the small achievements you make every day to get yourself closer to your goal.
A positive, can do personality will create a favorable impression. You need to create lots of favorable impressions wherever you go and in whatever circles you find yourself. If people think of you as that well-credentialed, agreeable, willing to take on any challenge kind of person, they will remember you. You just never know when a headmaster might be expressing his dismay about losing a teacher to somebody who will turn to him and say "You need to interview Sally. She's just the person you are looking for."
These are tough times. But as Baron Marcel Bich the pen manufacturer once said "Quand le chemin devient dur, les durs se cheminent!" which being translated is "When the going gets tough, the tough get going."