I am dying to get my first teaching job, but …
October 1, 2012 at 5:39 pm #13167
What are your fears or doubts when it comes to being ready for your job interviews or even how to GET that first interview?
Dr. Deborah Barber
Arkansas Tech UniversityOctober 8, 2012 at 12:48 pm #13413
I’m mostly worried about how to even find out about where job openings are, let alone applying to one. Currently I’m a junior, and the realization that I will actually graduate and will have to start finding and applying for jobs is starting to hit home. Do you have any tips or helpful information for newly graduated teachers? Where and how do you look for jobs? And how do you convince them that they want to hire you?
Kent State University, OHOctober 8, 2012 at 3:34 pm #13414
Lauren, you might look at omea-ohio.org for their jobs board. I would look at this frequently to read the descriptions of what experience and skills the positions require. Your state might also have a principals or superintendents organization that lists openings. Network with recent grads as much as possible to get the word out about your job search.
So, let us say you have found a job, sent in your resume and application and you get THE call for an interview. Research the school district and the music teachers. If there have been frequent turnovers in the job you are interested in be open to hearing good and bad things about the program, students, etc. Interviews are a two-way street. You are learning about the administrators in the district and how they view the program. Any interview is great experience, so enjoy the process and make an informed decision if offered the job. Never look at your watch or phone during an interview and wear professional attire. This is no place for platform sandals with little sparkles on them. 🙂 You have prepared for four years for this opportunity, so believe in yourself!October 9, 2012 at 8:29 am #13425
Hi Lauren! I just graduated in June and I know it can be overwhelming. I found this great website, SchoolSpring.com, where you fill out a profile with all your resumé information, request references, and then you can apply to jobs literally with the push of a button! They have lots of listings – more in some states than others. USREAP.net is another one. OMEA is a great resource, too, and your professors should have lots of connections with schools, so don’t be surprised if job openings start landing in your inbox next year. My best advice is to start building your network. I volunteered at adjudicated events and met a lot of local teachers that way – email the site supervisor and offer your help. And don’t forget that your old music teachers are well-connected in the field, plus they’re in a good position to recommend you. That’s how I got my job! Good luck!October 9, 2012 at 6:53 pm #13443
Thank you both for your advice! I definitely will check out those sites to get more familiar with how they work. Networking seems to be the key to finding the right job.October 20, 2012 at 3:38 am #14055
Interesting topic. I am currently a graduate student at Appalachian State University, NC, and will be teaching (hopefully) this upcoming fall semester while I do research for my thesis. I am more concerned with getting a job interview than I am about the actual interview. While at Campbell University, my music professors held mock interviews and my education professors set up mock interviews with actual principals from nearby schools. At ASU I have had mock interviews with a board of professors, including the Dean. Frankly, if I can survive an interview with the Dean and a board of other professors then I can survive any interview. My distress comes from the lack of the NAfME “Job Center Listings”. For example, I know there are several schools in NC searching for music educators, but none have posted to the job listings site. It would be great if all school districts were aware of this resource provided by NAfME and used it.
Appalachian State University, MM Music Education, ’14
Campbell University, ’12October 21, 2012 at 11:42 pm #14068
I am also a junior music education major. The realization that I will be student teaching and applying for jobs soon is both exciting and daunting. There are several music education students all vying for the same jobs. Do you have any suggestions for how to make your application stand out amongst other applicants?
Kent State University, OHOctober 22, 2012 at 4:34 pm #14125
Christopher and Elizabeth, the principals in our area have all stated a desire to hire teachers with “habits of happiness.” When you do get that interview for the dream job present yourself as a problem-solver and optimistic person. Be early and do not look at your watch or phone during the interview. I know it is hard, but a smile goes a long way in these situations. Sincere compliments on facilities or on the program itself, assuming you have done some research on the program, will also show your interest in that job and not just any job.
Be sure to look on your state’s music educator affiliate ncmea.net and omea-ohio.org sites for job openings. These sites will also tell you when your state conference will be held. I highly recommend going and participating in sessions geared for the position you desire. There are strands for band, choir, orchestra, general music, technology, etc. so take advantage and meet folks and talk with them.
Deborah Barber, PhD
Arkansas Tech UniversityOctober 22, 2012 at 7:47 pm #14133
I definitely had some interviews where I could tell they were testing my ability to be cool under pressure! How you react when asked a difficult question reflects how you react when faced with a difficult student, and interviewers want to see that you can give thoughtful answers without getting flustered. Practicing mock interviews with my professors and colleagues really helped. In the end the jobs I was most attracted to ended up being non-traditional (non-public school) positions. If you broaden your search you may find that perfect fit. As for helping your application and resumé stand out, go above and beyond the requirements of your degree. Your school can do a lot for you, but if you want to separate yourself from the crowd, you have to be proactive. Seek internship opportunities, definitely attend state conferences and any other PD in your area, look for leadership roles… all the stuff our profs tell us is a good idea. There’s a reason!October 24, 2012 at 5:19 pm #14339
Thanks for the advice! grogans034- I’ll definitely take a look at non-traditional teaching positions as well. I’d never really thought to look at teaching positions that weren’t in a public school setting. I’ll definitely keep that in mind next year!November 6, 2012 at 6:36 pm #15041
Does anyone have any tips for getting that first interview? Maybe what to include in your resume? What kinds of questions are asked in the interview?
Undergraduate in Music Education
Kent State UniversityNovember 7, 2012 at 10:32 am #15052
This is my 7th year of teaching, but I’ve moved to a couple of different districts during my teaching career. I teach elementary general music. In my experience, the first question is always, “Tell us about yourself”, so I would prepare a response for that. It’s a difficult question because it is so open. I’ve also been asked about the difference between a first grade music lesson and a third grade music lesson. Probably the weirdest question I’ve ever heard was, “What would you do if a kid hit another kid over the head with a mallet?” Be prepared to talk about your classroom management plan (you might not get asked about that, but then again, it comes up every once in a while), your philosophy of education, conflicts that you overcame, etc. Be sure to provide specific examples when you can, and most of all, BE CONFIDANT, even if you don’t feel it. Good Luck!November 7, 2012 at 2:40 pm #15064
Thank you hierst453 for the reply. This is very helpful.
-RobNovember 7, 2012 at 8:57 pm #15081
I’m also preparing to begin my first-year job search and have a few concern regarding interviews. Although I am a very confidant individual and feel that I will be a very successful educator, I am a very petite, polite and young female. How do I avoid some of the judgments I will receive in an interview based on my stature and gender? In other words, in what ways can I best convey my confidence and capabilities without coming across as aggressive and while still maintaining my petite professionalism? Also, how would you suggest dealing with future students, mostly male, that are much larger than me, even in middle school?November 7, 2012 at 9:17 pm #15082
After reading all of these posts, I can’t think of any questions to ask that haven’t already been asked and answered. However one thing does come to mind, if you were to pick one thing that a first time teacher should know when applying for a position and then having a position what would it be? I will be graduating next year and I am starting to worry about basically everything, especially on where I want to teach since I go to school pretty far away from home. Any and all advice is greatly appreciated!!
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