There was a little piece on NPR which caught my attention. While they were discussing employment in the corporate world, I believe that some of the same concerns and advice also apply to teachers. Simply put, if you have a job, stay put unless you are being forced to move for non-job related reasons. Let's look at the pros and cons of looking for a job while you are employed versus not being employed.
Advantages to being Employed
Unless the school you are working at is in financial trouble, stay put. Don't let minor disagreements or annoyances mushroom into a deal-breaking situation where the school will not renew your contract. Don't let it come to that. Swallow your pride but stick by your principles....
What is rebranding?
Rebranding sounds like something Proctor and Gamble might do with a tired soap brand. The product does a great job but it has lost the appeal it once had in the marketplace. Are you beginning to see how this might have some relevance to a private school teacher? Rebranding yourself as a dynamic teacher with vision, expertise in her subject and the skills to create excitement in the classroom will push your candidacy for the position you want to the front of the pack.
Remember: it's a fiercely competitive job market in the second decade of the 21st century. Schools have hundreds of highly qualified and experienced candidates from which to choose. Why should they look at you? Because the rebranded you seems fresh, relevant and, well, perfect for position they have open.
Who is a candidate for rebranding?
Unless you have an iron-clad signed and sealed contract with your school until you retire, you are going to need rebranding at some point in your career. Gone are the Mr. Chips days when you...
Here are five things which you must do to prevent that non-renewal letter from being issued in the first place.
1. Show that you love teaching young people.
I mention this in the first slot because every now and then a school will hire a displaced college professor. What do I mean? Academia has been shedding jobs during this economic downturn. As a result hundreds of very well-degreed graduate students are looking at all their options. Teaching in a private school beats being unemployed. And the school is often only to happy to hire somebody who interviews well and looks terrific on paper. However, if you don't demonstrate your love for teaching young people, you could find yourself in a bad spot come contract renewal time.
The advantage which you have is that you probably have rock solid academic credentials, i.e., you went to a good university or two and graduated with top marks. That in itself makes you a good academic role model for your students. Schools like...
Find Job Listings
The advantage jobseekers in the 21st century have over previous generations is without doubt the Web. The Internet allows you to learn about job openings immediately they are posted online. This also applies to teachers and administrators looking for employment in private schools. Most schools will at the very least have an Employment link on their sites. There may not be much on it at certain times of the year when there are no vacancies. But at least it's a link to which you can return from time to time to see what openings a school has. Job boards and agencies provide online listings as well. Bear in mind that there are peak times to the private school job search process. Typically November through February is the
time when your colleagues are out there looking as well. Schools generally like to have contracts for the next academic year signed and sealed by the beginning of March. As a result you will probably find the most online listings beginning in the fall. Are there exceptions? Of course, but they are just that: exceptions. Schools will always have unexpected openings. Teachers and administrators will occasionally find themselves in the midst of unexpected and unplanned for life events...
On the other hand, if you are faced with a free form situation with little or no guidance from the school as to what to present, then the tough choices are yours to make. The guiding principle in any free form employment application is to make the best possible impression. You can do that by making sure your employment application is clear, perfect and tailored to suit the specific position for which you are applying.
Creating a clear, compelling resume sounds simple enough. Unfortunately most people do not craft a resume which presents them in the best possible light. The trick to writing a good resume is to write it knowing that somebody who has never met you and knows nothing about you is going to read it and make a judgement about whether to interview you or not. Second chances are unlikely. You need to get it right the first time.
Nowhere is clarity more important than in that small paragraph which most resumes caption as "Objective". This is where you state why you want the job...