Education

A New Market

By Anthony Rebora — April 01, 2003 2 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

The teacher job-market news has been pretty grim lately. With many states looking to close gaping budget deficits, schools districts across the country are facing cutbacks. Word of planned teacher layoffs in a number of districts has seeped into the headlines.

Yet a number of converse patterns are also apparent. Many districts are scrambling to hire more “highly qualified” teachers to meet a new federal mandate. Demographic data still suggest a growing need for qualified teachers in many areas. And, most interestingly, there are reports of aggressive recruiting efforts taking place even as pink slip notices go out.

It seems clear that the teacher job market hasn’t tanked. It’s just become more selective. Here are some ways, based on recent interviews and reports, you can help your chances.

  • Get credentialed. The federal “No Child Left Behind” Act requires schools to have a fully licensed teacher in virtually every classroom by 2005. As a result, according to EDUCATION WEEK, school administrators have put “unprecedented energy” into seeking out fully certified teachers. (Alternative certification also counts under the law.) Many districts now also have programs to help teachers improve their credentials.
  • Consider a shortage subject. Schools have been reporting an ongoing— and in some cases, critical—need for teachers in select subject areas: math, science, bilingual education, foreign languages, and special education. A school administrator in one cash-strapped district recently told us that cutbacks would in no way affect their pursuit of teachers in these subject areas. The need is just too great, she said.
  • Consider an urban or rural school. A number of recent reports have highlighted the uneven distribution of qualified teachers throughout the country. Suburban schools are glutted, while inner-city and rural schools strain to fill their rosters. This “maldistribution” is becoming a focus of education policy. Even with tightened budgets, some districts can tap special grants to offer incentives to teachers who will work in high-needs schools.
  • Get your foot in the door. Make the most of “pre-teaching” jobs. Anecdotal evidence at least suggests that teachers who shine as student teachers or substitutes give themselves the best chance of being pulled into a permanent job. In tough times, schools often view these jobs as way stations.
  • Focus on students. In interviews or contacts with administrators, exhibit strong enthusiasm and consideration for students. It may separate you from the pack. A California principal recently told us, “I am looking for that optimist who feels any child not only can succeed but will succeed.”
  • Take the lead. In these times of heightened pressure and change, schools and recruiters are reportedly targeting candidates with strong “leadership skills.” This means people who can solve problems, drive improvement, and build teams. Highlight these characteristics in your job-search materials

  • Commenting has been disabled on edweek.org effective Sept. 8. Please visit our FAQ section for more details. To get in touch with us visit our contact page, follow us on social media, or submit a Letter to the Editor.


    Events

    This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
    Sponsor
    Teaching Webinar
    What’s Next for Teaching and Learning? Key Trends for the New School Year
    The past 18 months changed the face of education forever, leaving teachers, students, and families to adapt to unprecedented challenges in teaching and learning. As we enter the third school year affected by the pandemic—and
    Content provided by Instructure
    This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
    Sponsor
    Curriculum Webinar
    How Data and Digital Curriculum Can Drive Personalized Instruction
    As we return from an abnormal year, it’s an educator’s top priority to make sure the lessons learned under adversity positively impact students during the new school year. Digital curriculum has emerged from the pandemic
    Content provided by Kiddom
    This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
    Sponsor
    Equity & Diversity Webinar
    Leadership for Racial Equity in Schools and Beyond
    While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to reveal systemic racial disparities in educational opportunity, there are revelations to which we can and must respond. Through conscientious efforts, using an intentional focus on race, school leaders can
    Content provided by Corwin

    EdWeek Top School Jobs

    Teacher Jobs
    Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
    View Jobs
    Principal Jobs
    Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
    View Jobs
    Administrator Jobs
    Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
    View Jobs
    Support Staff Jobs
    Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
    View Jobs

    Read Next

    Education Judge's Temporary Order Allows Iowa Schools to Mandate Masks
    A federal judge ordered the state to immediately halt enforcement of a law that prevents school boards from ordering masks to be worn.
    4 min read
    Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds speaks to reporters following a news conference, Thursday, Aug. 19, 2021, in West Des Moines, Iowa. Reynolds lashed out at President Joe Biden Thursday after he ordered his education secretary to explore possible legal action against states that have blocked school mask mandates and other public health measures meant to protect students against COVID-19. Reynolds, a Republican, has signed a bill into law that prohibits school officials from requiring masks, raising concerns as delta variant virus cases climb across the state and schools resume classes soon. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
    Education Hurricane Ida Deals New Blow to Louisiana Schools Struggling to Reopen
    The opening of the school year offered teachers a chance to fully assess the pandemic's effects, only to have students forced out again.
    8 min read
    Six-year-old Mary-Louise Lacobon sits on a fallen tree beside the remnants of her family's home destroyed by Hurricane Ida, in Dulac, La., on Sept. 4, 2021. Louisiana students, who were back in class after a year and a half of COVID-19 disruptions kept many of them at home, are now missing school again after Hurricane Ida. A quarter-million public school students statewide have no school to report to, though top educators are promising a return is, at most, weeks away, not months.
    Six-year-old Mary-Louise Lacobon sits on a fallen tree beside the remnants of her family's home destroyed by Hurricane Ida, in Dulac, La., on Sept. 4, 2021.
    John Locher/AP
    Education Massachusetts National Guard to Help With Busing Students to School
    250 guard personnel will be available to serve as drivers of school transport vans, as districts nationwide struggle to hire enough drivers.
    1 min read
    Massachusetts National Guard soldiers help with logistics in this Friday, April 17, 2020 file photo, at a food distribution site outside City Hall, in Chelsea, Mass. Mass. Gov. Charlie Baker on Monday, Sept. 13, 2021, activated the state's National Guard to help with busing students to school as districts across the country struggle to hire enough drivers.
    Massachusetts National Guard soldiers help with logistics in this Friday, April 17, 2020 file photo, at a food distribution site outside City Hall, in Chelsea, Mass.
    Michael Dwyer/AP
    Education FDA: ‘Very, Very Hopeful’ COVID Shots Will Be Ready for Younger Kids This Year
    Dr. Peter Marks said he is hopeful that COVID-19 vaccinations for 5- to 11-year-olds will be underway by year’s end. Maybe sooner.
    4 min read
    Dr. Peter Marks, director of the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research in the Food and Drug Administration, testifies during a Senate health, education, labor, and pensions hearing to examine an update from federal officials on efforts to combat COVID-19 on Capitol Hill in Washington on May 11, 2021. On Friday, Sept. 10, 2021, Marks urged parents to be patient, saying the agency will rapidly evaluate vaccines for 5- to 11-year-olds as soon as it gets the needed data.
    Dr. Peter Marks, director of the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research in the Food and Drug Administration, testifies during a Senate health, education, labor, and pensions hearing to examine an update from federal officials on efforts to combat COVID-19 on Capitol Hill in Washington on May 11, 2021.
    Jim Lo Scalzo/AP