Social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube are real game-changers for communicating opinions and ideas. Inevitably we teachers will use social media to keep in touch with our friends and family. However, we teachers tend to be a tad naive and trusting especially when it comes to social media. So, with that in mind, let's look at some simple safeguards which you can put in place to protect yourself. Essentially you need to make sure that you leave no electronic evidence which could damage you, your reputation, and your career.
Protect your privacy.
Many teachers don't realize that the conversations, activities, and photographs which they considered personal and private are out there for anybody to see when they post on social media. When you do anything on social media, you have to understand that you are leaving an electronic trail of all kinds of information for potential employers, or anybody, for that matter, to see. Why does this matter? It matters because you never know how a future or current employer might interpret some of the things he sees on your Facebook page. Those candid photos of you and your friends enjoying a post-exam beer bash in college might be difficult to explain when you apply to St. Andrew's Methodist School. If you already have a position in a private school, be assured that your students will be searching the internet with a fine toothed comb looking for something - anything - about you. Make sure that whatever they
Competitive employment markets mean that you must make the best possible impression at every step of the employment process. All it takes is a couple of common mistakes to quickly move your employment application to the bottom of the pile. You may think that yours is the only application for that math teacher position at Shady Grove Country Day School. Unfortunately, in these very tough economic times, your application will be one of dozens of applications - perhaps hundreds - for that coveted teaching job. That's why it is so important to make sure that somebody reviews your application, and places it on the short stack of applications marked "Interview".
Put yourself in the place of the person who will be screening job applications. You understand how your students' minds work. Use the same approach here. Think about how an administrator determines who should get interviewed. She has advertised the position in all the usual places. Every business day she receives dozens of envelopes from applicants. Why should your application go on the stack of applications marked "Interview" instead of the one marked "reject"? Because when she scans your application, she sees most of what she is looking for. Remember: she's a very busy person. A lot is riding on her choosing the best candidate for the position which she has to fill.
Depending on how hands-on a person she is, she may delegate the initial scanning process to an assistant. Assistants can be very diligent and do things exactly as
If you are graduating this year, you probably have a game plan for finding a job in place. Naturally I wish you good luck with that and sincerely hope it works out. On the other hand should things not pan out the way you planned, why not consider teaching? We need teachers. We need talented teachers. In both public and private sectors. At home and abroad. I have several articles on finding , applying for and interviewing for private school jobs. So for the purposes of this article, we are going to look at teaching overseas.
Overseas? Yes, there are plenty of teaching jobs overseas. Hundreds of private schools in Europe, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean are always looking for qualified teachers. Of course, you probably have already seen dozens of emails from ESL schools in Taiwan. Are those jobs real? Yes, they most certainly are. But, caveat emptor. Do your research carefully. There are some lemons in the bunch. besides teaching English as a Second Language isn't all you are capable of doing, is it? Laura Light, Director of Educational Staffing for International Schools Services, explains what it is like to work in an overseas school.
We are not talking about only ESL teaching jobs. How about teaching in a country like Argentina? For example, let's say you are a Spanish speaking graduate with a degree in American language and literature from Brown or Boston University. You have worked hard getting that degree, but
- Make arrangements to meet employers and be interviewed at the NAIS Annual Conference which takes place in February/March. Check the NAIS site for time and venue.
- Review openings listed on Klingenstein Job Bank.
- Review openings posted on various state, regional and national association websites.
- Attend interviews.
- Negotiate job offers.
- Request official copies of your transcripts, certifications and degrees.
- Notify your network as soon as you accept a job.
- Send hand written thank you notes.
- If you are just beginning the process, now is the time to plan your job search.
- Assemble your portfolio if you teach the art and other practical subjects.
- Cast your net widely as you search for a job.
- Be flexible if you can with regard to location and salary expectations.
- Get unofficial copies of your transcripts, certifications and degrees.
- If still looking for a job, keep an eye out for unexpected openings. Filling a position just before school opens is always a tough proposition, made easier if your name happens to be on a list of approved, pre-qualified applicants.
- Scan the job openings.
- Use summer conferences to
Applying for a job at a private school is a little different from posting your resume on Monster.com, which is what you would do if you were seeking a position in the business world. In the K-12 private school employment market, you present your application materials in the format and manner set forth on each individual school's website. In other words, you customize every application you submit. One size does not fit all. Each application requires an original cover letter, not one which you have used on another application. In case you think that this detail doesn't matter, remember that dozens of other applicants, i.e., your competitors for the position, will have followed specific application instructions to the letter. And that is as it should be. Don't question a school's application instructions. Do as it asks. Of course, when you have questions, do not hesitate to call the school and ask for clarification. Most of the time schools will be happy to help.
Let's take a look behind the scenes. I screened applications and interviewed candidates for almost two decades. My company did not specify a format for applying. It used Monster.com to find candidates who seemed to have the qualifications and experience which we were seeking. But I was always amazed, and sometimes shocked, by the resumes and the occasional cover letters which we received. Can you imagine submitting a cover letter or completing an application online with typos and spelling mistakes? I saw hundreds of those.