It can be very frustrating and demoralizing to search endlessly for a job and not find one. That's the reality, unfortunately, of this post-recession job market. Common sense would tell you that well-qualified, credentialled, experienced teachers should be able to find a teaching job in fairly short order, say 90-120 days, right? Wrong. That's the sad truth about the current economic conditions. Here's why.
Many school districts have cut teaching positions.
It has been hard to avoid hearing reports in both national and local media about cutbacks in public school district teaching staffs. Public school districts depend on real estate taxes for most of their revenues. They also expect their state legislatures to contribute additional funding. However, these traditional sources of revenue have been shrinking at an alarming rate. Even with the usual kind of accounting maneuvers, such as delaying expenditures for maintenance projects and upgrades of systems and infrastructure, school districts still find themselves in the uncomfortable and extremely unpopular position of having to cut teaching positions. Increasing class size is another outcome of these financially hard times.
As a result, thousands of teachers are actively looking for jobs. TMarket conditions have intensified the competition for the limited number of jobs available in both the public and private school sectors.
Colleges and universities have reduced their teaching staffs.
A quick scan of Inside Higher Ed will reveal the tough employment environment in higher education. If you are tenured faculty, hopefully, you still have a job. But many colleges and universities have
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 is
Finding a private school job was fairly simple years ago. You kept your resume and curriculum vitae up to date, did a bit of networking, attended a couple of professional conferences and that was pretty much it. News of job openings would come your way. You followed up with your application, were interviewed and, hopefully, won the appointment. It doesn't work that way any more.
As a result many teachers and administrators used to doing things the old way will look askance at the idea of using online sites and online tools to conduct their private school job search. I would suggest that you might want to think twice before you cast aspersions on these new ways of finding a job. You just might be on your way to becoming a digital dinosaur. Now, you wouldn't want to be a digital dinosaur, would you?
First of all, understand that online tools are simply that - tools. A chisel in the hands of a novice makes clumsy cuts and produces amateurish results. The same is true of most online tools and social media. You need to learn how to use them effectively to land the job you really want. Each of these tools and applications is effective when used by itself. But for the best results I recommend that you use all of them. Using these new tools effectively takes practice and patience. You cannot realistically expect results within hours of your first posts. Give it time.