Table of Contents
II. Finding Jobs
Most colleges and universities have special offices to assist their graduates in job placement. Some school districts contact these offices to notify them of position vacancies. Let your placement office know you are looking for a job. Visit this office during your final year in college and begin a placement file, which will generally contain a cover application form, reference letters, and in some cases, your college transcript. Don’t forget to type or word-process everything in this file. The materials in this file will give an administrator their first impression of you, so it is crucial that they present a professional image.
Make a list of your possible contacts (with phone numbers) who may hear about openings. This list could include:
- College ensemble conductors
- College music education faculty
- Music stores
- Other music teachers, friends, former teachers, recent graduates, field experience mentors
- Other students
- Principals and other public school administrators you have met while student teaching
- Relatives in other cities
- Studio teachers
Send each of your contacts a brief email or call them to let them know you’re looking for a job.
Make sure they know how to reach you if they hear of any openings.
The World Wide Web is probably the second best resource for finding jobs today after you’ve exhausted personal contacts. School districts often post job listings on their website. Look for a link to “Human Resources” “Employment” or “School Personnel.” Check these listings regularly for job openings in your area. Make it a point to spend several hours a week searching the Internet for openings in your desired geographical area. Don’t forget to check the private schools as well! If you don’t know the names of specific schools, simply go to the State Department of Education website to find a list of all schools in that state. They may even have a statewide job link to simplify your search. Also check your state Music Education Association website for possible job openings to be listed.
Some good starter links:
- NAfME Career Center – Searchable by position type. Schools can post their job on this site for a fee.
- State Music Education Associations – Portal from NAfME that provides links to state association websites for possible job postings.
- U.S. Department of Education List of State Departments of Education – Portal of contact information and website links to all U.S. states.
- Directory of U.S. Private Schools – links to private schools by state.
In some cases, school districts are required by law to advertise their open positions. They may publish these in local newspapers, in flyers mailed to colleges, on the Internet, or on a bulletin board in the district office. Large districts may also maintain job “telephone hot-lines” that list available positions. Check these sites regularly, as openings can appear suddenly and fill quickly. Be ready to start the application process at a moment’s notice.
If you don’t know anyone in your target area, you may need to make a “cold call.” This technique is especially helpful if you suddenly find yourself relocating to another state. Use the phone book or the Internet for a list of schools in a given area; then simply phone the district personnel office or a specific school and ask if they have any music openings. If there is an opening, find out the procedures for application and begin immediately.
Job fairs are held at many colleges and universities throughout the school year. At these events, prospective employers set up booths, pass out application forms, and meet prospective employees. Find out if your college or university is planning such an event for education and, if so, attend it. Pick up application forms, but do not fill them out on site unless you carry a computer & printer with you. Dress up, and take along several copies of your résumé.
K-12 Jobs.com – provides a searchable listing of job fairs by location.
Moving Out-of-State – Reciprocal Teacher Licensure When you receive your initial teaching license from your state, it does not mean that you are licensed to teach in other states. If you move to another state, you must apply for teacher licensure in that state. All states, although usually similar, have different standards for teacher licensure. The good news is that most states have provisions in place to accommodate new residents through a “Reciprocal Licensure” program. The bad news is that in some states, you may need to take additional examinations or coursework before being re-certified to teach.