Some of the more obvious questions include:
- Why do you want to work at St. Swithin's?
- Why do you want to leave St. Hilda's?
- What is the most enjoyable part of your teaching day?
- What books have you read lately?
- When do you plan to finish your master's degree?
Regardless of what the actual questions are or the precise wording is, you must try to figure out why the interviewer is asking the question in the first place. Let's use the questions listed above to give you an idea of the sort of thing an interviewer might be looking for.
Why do you want to work at St. Swithin's?
This question or some variation of it generally is used by interviewers to determine what you know about the school. In other words, you need to have done your research about St. Swithin's, its philosophy, its mission and its accomplishments. The school's website is the place to start. Just about everything you might need or want to know...
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...
Most private schools will use a service to do background checks on any potential new hires. They will not run the background check until they have interviewed you because background checks are expensive. That's another reason why you need to be truthful about anything in your resume which will arouse probing questions and nix your chances of even being interviewed.
What the background check really examines is your criminal and credit history. If you were charged with a criminal offence or have bad credit, that will show on your background check. Take the offensive and point out that your credit was destroyed by huge medical bills as a result of your mother suffering from Alzheimer's. Don't be creative. Just tell the truth.
Part of the background check is verifying your employment history. Don't leave anything out. An employer will look askance at frequent job changes. Staying at one school for 5 years is good. Working at 5 schools in 5 years is probably not a good thing unless, of course, you were being moved around by your spouse's employer or were doing substitute teaching...
First of all, understand that tools are simply that - tools. A chisel in the hand of a novice makes clumsy cuts and produces amateurish results. The same is true of online tools and social media. Learn how to use them effectively to land the job you really want.
Let's focus on the pros and cons of using social media in your job search.
Creating a presence.
Facebook, LinkedIn, blogs and Twitter allow anybody anywhere to create a presence for themselves. These tools offer you a way to get yourself noticed.
Standing out from the crowd.
With thousands of people vying for a few openings it is very important for you to use social media to help you stand out from the competition. Be careful how you do this, of course, but the easiest way to get noticed is to participate in discussions. Make sure you subscribe to or belong to professional associations and affinity groups relative to your academic interests. If educational technology is your thing, then you should belong to and participate in the fascinating discussions on ISEN.
Proving your competence.
You may have a degree from Cambridge University. But if you keep your learning hidden from others, how are they going to know that you are...
Let's look at a typical job posting and review how it should be handled. This is a real job posting. The name of the school has been changed to protect its identity.
|Upper School Mathematics Teacher beginning Fall 2013
St Swithins seeks an energetic and committed Mathematics teacher for grades 9 - 12 to teach a range of courses in a comprehensive curriculum offering Algebra I through Calculus. This is a full-time, benefited faculty position.
Qualities of a successful candidate will include:
* Ability to inspire students' love of learning
* Enthusiasm for professional growth and academic excellence
* Passion for Mathematics
* Commitment to students with all learning styles
* A commitment to participate broadly in school life
* Experience applying technology in an educational setting
A Master's degree or Virginia teaching certification is preferred.
Do you have a master's degree? If you do, it should be in mathematics, not classics. But as long as your first degree is in honors mathematics, the master's degree proves that you...