A question that I get, especially as it gets late in the hiring season is, “What can I do if I don’t get a teaching job? How do I maximize my opportunities for eventually getting a teaching contract?”
There are a number of actions to contemplate. First, keep connected to the teaching community; for example, substitute teach as much as possible. Do this in several school districts to maximize exposure. I can’t tell you how many times I have seen principals hire successful substitute teachers when a sudden vacancy occurs. You can also stay connected working as a paraprofessional or educational assistant. Even though you may be under-employed in a classified position, you gain valuable experience watching and learning from experienced teachers that you will be in contact with daily. Again, I have seen many licensed individuals who are working as classified staff that are offered teaching positions that became available at the last moment. You may also want to offer to volunteer at schools. This has been the route for some individuals.
Next, consider employment teaching in either private schools or charter schools. Qualifications to teach certain subjects may be different than for public schools. You may be able to teach outside of your endorsed areas because the requirements may be more relaxed.
You may also look at private day care, Montessori schools or tutoring institutions that require a license to be employed. Valuable experience can be gained by such employment and that experience will be helpful as you continue your search for a teaching contract.
Explore the possibility of another endorsement or a minor in a subject that could provide the extra edge. Special Education, ESL, foreign language are some possibilities that could provide the extra incentive for contract consideration. Decades ago, I was looking for a social studies position right out of college. I was unsuccessful until I added a minor which helped me get my first teaching job.
Lastly, consider moving to another part of the country where teaching positions are more available. Even a temporary move for a couple of years can get you the experience needed to get the job you are looking for. Remember, getting that teaching job that you want will take a great deal of effort and sometimes compromise may be required.
Director of Human Resources
Aurora Public Schools
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