This is a tough question for many of us teachers to deal with. Why? Because many of us are convinced that we don't need to update our skill-set now that we have found our dream teaching position in a wonderful school. We are set, right? Not exactly. As we all know things can change in a flash. Against this backdrop let's you and I explore your skill-set and offer some suggestions as to how to do some necessary upgrades.
Why do you need to upgrade your skill-set?
As I pointed out in the opening paragraph, your circumstances can change in a flash. The most common reason for suddenly needing a new teaching position is a major change your family circumstances. A member of your family who lives in another state has an accident or becomes seriously ill requiring your presence in the area. While you could take Family Medical Leave, it has become obvious to you that the best solution is for you to move closer to your family member so that you can supervise his care and generally be there for him. That means you will need to look for a new teaching job.
In the following TEDx Talk, Jean-Michel Gauthier explains why your job applications are getting ignored.
The important thing to understand is that life can deal some unexpected cards. You thought you were set. Suddenly you are not. That is the reason why you must upgrade your skill-set.
Does your skill-set need updating?
Assess your skill-set
It's kind of scary to realize that most openings for teaching positions regularly draw dozens of applications. Sometimes hundreds of applications. It never used to be like that. But these are tough times. Thousands of public school teachers lost their jobs in the downturn which began back in 2008. Thousands more new teachers are looking for their first job. In the meantime school budgets have been reduced, some drastically, by changing community demographics and changes in the local and regional economies. These are major factors which have changed the dynamics for teachers all over the nation. The realignments which follow these major changes take time to fall into place. For example, when a major employer shuts down a call center, an office or a plant, it will be years in most cases before that void is filled.
While many teachers might well prefer to remain in the public K-12 system or possibly teach at the tertiary level, the realities of the job market mean that those same teachers will also be competing for private school positions. In most cases the best a K-12 teacher can hope for as far as teaching college is concerned is some sort of adjunct instructor position. The reality is that those teachers will probably be applying for the same positions private school teachers are applying for as well.
Here are some tips to help you cope with the job search process in these tough times.
Be realistic in your expectations both of the position