Networking has become a buzzword for those who are job searching and the lack of networking can definitely hurt your job search in the long run. The networking process should not stop when you land a job or when you are in a job you love. Networking can help you exchange ideas with other teachers, solve problems you are facing in the classroom, or learn of new and existing resources. Here are a few tips to help you begin networking:
If you are student teaching or observing in a school - schedule informational interviews for yourself throughout your time there. Focus on:
- A master teacher - someone who has been at the school for a long period of time. A master teacher can share with you trends he or she has seen in the school and how to successfully navigate school processes.
- A new teacher - someone brand new on the job. A new teacher can share with you his or her job search experience - how he or she landed the job, interview questions to be prepared for, surprises you may experience in your first year on the job.
- An administrator. This person can share with you what they look for in an ideal candidate, red flags throughout the interview process, and their goals for the school moving forward.
If you love your job, but would like to expand your network to share ideas and resources - schedule informational interviews for yourself. Focus on:
- A teacher who is teaching the same subject/grade level as you in another school. You may be facing many of the same challenges, and hearing someone else’s perspective and solutions can help you be more effective in the classroom.
- Someone in your school who utilizes a resource you would like to learn how to use. Spend some time talking about how they integrated the resource into their classroom and lesson plans. Gain an understanding of the work needed to be successful as well as how it can change outcomes in your classroom.
- An administrator who you trust. Spend time talking with them about their vision for the future of the school. What is coming down the road? How can you prepare to help the school meet goals?
Christine Falcone, MS, NCC
Saint Joseph’s University (Pennsylvania)
The opinions expressed in Career Corner are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.