How To Get Hired as a Teacher in 8 Steps (With Tips)

How To Get Hired as a Teacher in 8 Steps (With Tips)

June 5, 2022


There are many steps to get hired as an educator, including having the required credentials, looking for positions, applying for jobs, and going to interviews. Whether you've just earned your college degree or you're making a career change, it's useful to do research and learn some strategies that can help you get your first teaching job. If you're interested in becoming a teacher, consider learning more about the interview process and effective methods that can help you get hired.


In this article, we discuss what the interview process is like, how to get hired as a teacher and provide some tips for teacher interviews.


What is the interview process for teachers?


The interview process for teachers usually involves multiple steps. While not all school districts follow the same interview guidelines, here are the steps in the interview process that you might encounter during your interviews, from the time you submit your application to the actual interview:

  • Application: Before administrators call you in for an interview, they look at your application, which includes information like your contact information, prior work experience, professional references, interview short response questions and more.
  • Resume screening: After you've applied, the administrators may screen your resume to determine if you appear to be a suitable candidate based on the information in your application.
  • Phone screening: If a principal liked your application, you might have a phone screening with someone in the administration department. They may ask you questions about your background or ask you to elaborate on your resume.
  • Demonstration lesson: Some schools like to see a teacher complete a lesson in front of students or in front of other teachers. This shows the administrators what they can expect in the classroom if they hire you.
  • In-person interview: During the in-person interview, you usually speak with the principal, and occasionally some of the other administrative staff. They may ask you a variety of behavioral, experience or competency-based interview questions to determine if you're the most qualified candidate.
  • Reference checks: After the in-person interview, principals often call your references to verify everything you've said is true and to get your past employer's opinion on the quality of your work.

How to get hired as a teacher in 8 steps


Here are eight steps you can follow to help you get hired as a teacher:


1. Search for positions


Before you apply to schools, go to your district's website and look at all the open positions in your department. Take time to research each school to determine which ones are the best fit for you. Aspects to consider include:

  • State test scores: Knowing how the students did on their yearly state exams can tell you whether the administration focuses heavily on academics. A school with higher test scores might have more support from admin and staff to help students succeed on their tests.
  • Teacher turnover rate: A school with a low teacher turnover rate can mean that a lot of the teachers are happy with their school, the students and the staff.
  • Location of school: Consider choosing a school based on how long you take to commute to and from work each day. Some schools have a great reputation but are far away from your home, so try to take the school's total distance into account.

2. Gather your application materials


Once you've decided which schools you'd like to apply to, gather the necessary materials before beginning your application. Not all school districts ask for the same materials, but many of the documents they request include PDF copies of the following items:

  • Driver's license
  • Teaching certificate
  • Bachelor's degree
  • Updated resume
  • Sample lesson plans
  • Letters of recommendation

3. Apply for the position


After gathering your materials, you can apply for positions. Most school districts have online applications, so you only have to upload your documents one time. Some districts might ask you to fill out a multiple-choice questionnaire about how you would handle certain classroom scenarios. Others may ask you similar scenario questions and have you type short answer responses instead.


Take time to formulate your responses. If you have no prior teaching experience, think about some strategies you learned in college, and use those to help answer the questions. Before submitting your application, review it to make sure you've done everything correctly and have used proper grammar, including capitalization, spelling and punctuation.


4. Prepare for your interview


Preparing before your interview can increase the likelihood of getting a job offer. First, make sure you have a professional outfit to wear for the interview. A simple, but effective option is a button-down shirt and dress pants with a conservative pair of shoes. Besides dressing professionally, consider researching teacher interview questions in advance so you are more prepared for what the principal might ask you. It can also be beneficial to review some frequently used teacher vernacular in case the principal asks questions with vocabulary specific to teaching.


5. During the interview


When you go to the interview, try to arrive early. If there's unexpected traffic, it's useful to leave early so that you can get there on time. When you meet the principal and any other staff during the interview, shake their hands and keep eye contact when speaking with them. Give specific examples in your responses when possible and bring an extra copy of your resume in case they'd like to look over it during the interview. When you get ready to leave, thank them for their time and shake their hands once more.


6. After the interview


After the interview, it's important to send a follow-up email to the principal. In the email, thank them again for taking the time to speak with you. You can mention that you are looking forward to speaking with them again soon and are available to talk if they have any more questions. Sending a thank you email can demonstrate that you're enthusiastic about the position, show your written communication skills, and may distinguish you from other candidates.


7. Negotiate your offer


Before accepting a position, consider asking for an official offer letter to look over before you make any final decisions. Once you get the offer, take time to look over your salary and benefits. Determine if there are any changes you'd like to request or if there are any questions you have about the package they're offering. After you've reviewed it, call or email the principal or the HR department and speak with them about your questions or any changes you'd like them to consider.


8. Accept the position


After you've reviewed the offer and have agreed to the conditions, you can formally accept the position. Speak with the principal and let them know you'd like to accept their offer, then ask about the next steps in the process. Write down each requirement to ensure you know what to do before you start the job.


Original Post: How To Get Hired as a Teacher in 8 Steps (With Tips)

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