Job Hunting Throughout the College Years
Finding a job as a music educator requires more than just a college degree and a resume. Professor Alicia Mueller shares some insight on how to start job hunting now by developing important skills. Take responsibility for your future by developing the following:
Expand Your Knowledge
Go beyond the minimum expectations in your courses and apply the concepts you learn to real-life situations. Refer to last week’s article, “Lifelong Learning for Music Educators,” for tips on staying up-to-date with the latest ideas and teaching practices.
Embrace the opportunities that you have as Collegiate NAfME members. Future teacher Rachel Bingaman says, “Being a member of NAfME allows me to stay informed on the latest developments through NAfME publications, e-mail updates, and an easily navigated Web site. It’s also a great resource for various homework assignments!” Rachel Gasper adds, “Being a part of an NAfME Collegiate chapter gives me a chance to work with music educators and to develop professional relationships and mentorships that guide me toward becoming the best music educator that I can be.”
Apply What You’ve Learned
Your degree program provides the framework for instructional methods, materials, trends, and technology. It’s important for you to incorporate all of your understanding and knowledge with your uniquely creative areas of expertise. Combine your musical abilities with your technology and academic skills to develop effective lessons plans.
Develop Your Oral and Writing Skills
It’s essential that you nurture your writing and articulation skills throughout college. Take advantage of college communication courses. Mueller says, “When it comes to the job hunt scenario, I cannot stress enough the importance of being able to write professionally and expressively and speak articulately.”
Be able to articulate your teaching philosophy in a job interview as well as write a professional resume. Are you close to completing your music education program? Read practical job-hunting tips and suggestions from Alicia Mueller.
New college graduates, don’t miss the deadline for the First Year Teacher membership discount: June 30. Click here to join NAfME today.
Rachel Bingaman is a music education student at West Chester University in West Chester, PA. Rachel Gasper is a music education student at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, MI. Alicia Mueller is associate professor of music and chairperson of the Music Education Division at Towson University in Towson, MD. This article is adapted from an article in the Maryland MEA Journal (October 2003) entitled, “TIPS for Job Hunting THROUGHOUT the College Years,” by Alicia Mueller. –Shauna Leavitt, March 25, 2009 © National Association for Music Education.
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