To find a teaching job whether you're a brand you teacher or a current teacher thinking of changing schools is a very stressful and nerve racking situation.

April's newsletter presents some suggestions, advice and ideas regarding the process to find a teaching job that I have learned through my own experiences and discussions that I have had with colleagues, including principals.

First - The Cover Letter:

- it could be a separate page (not part of an email).

- be professional, formal (Dear Mr./Mrs./Ms.).

- it should make a statement of who you are and why you would be an asset, not what you have done - that's for your resume.

- make it relevant for the particular job.

Second - The Resume:

- it should be respectful and professional as your cover letter.

- use action verbs to define your skills and accomplishments, e.g. organized, trained.

- PROOF READ - imperative.

- organize your resume in sequence and make it easy to read.

1. Career Summary: in chronologial order ( last first) and include dates.

- contract teaching/LTO experience/supply work.

- practicum placements.

- related experience.

- other courses, not A.Q.'s, e.g. Tribes.

2. Eduaction: list qualifications applicable to this job.

- remember the A.Q.'s you list appear on the OCT (Ontario College of Teachers) or list them pending.

Third - The Reference:

- list references, don't write "upon request" - more work for someone.

- make sure you have asked the person's permission first and give multiple contact numbers, e.g. cell.

- references should be administrators if possible.

- discuss with your references what you want them to emphasize (about you).


- before going to a school for an interview, research it, e.g. are they literacy or numeracy focused, check their website for initiatives and profile, kinds of programmes they offer. Also think of how you could be of value to that school.

- arrive about 10 minutes early and observe what's on the walls.

- look professional, good handshake and eye contact, no gum or perfume/cologne.

- small talk. show what you know about the school/community and connect to your skills/strengths/experiences - discuss your own "star stories" to exhibit your passion for teaching.

- try to relax, listen to the questions being asked, speak clearly and confidantly, wwatch the time and their body language, the interviewer(s) will be taking notes.

- you need to know the school board's mission statement, equit statement, policies, procedures, resources, the school profile improvement plan, ministry initiatives, recent research in education and related information.

Certain Questions To Be Prepared To Answer

- the role of the teacher - with parents and community.

- experiences you have had to make you a suitable candidate, why they should hire you.

- classroom management, not just about discipline. (Read my web page on classroom management).

- dealing with an angry parent, win-win solution. (Read my web page on dealing with parents).

- planning or instruction, know the curriculum of that grade.

- at risk students - how to identify them.

- assessment and evaluations - various kinds to accomodate different learning styles.

- collaboration - team teaching, extra curricular.

- equity - ability, diversity, poverty.

-technology - smartboards.

And Finally

- portfolios - if you have one, use it to sell yourself - your skills and experiences that are related to the job you are applying for. Use it throughout the interview, not introduce it after th interview.

- when asked if you have a question, ask a question that lets you emphasize your skills, talents, interests that leave a lasting positive impression.

- thank the interviewer(s) for this opportunity and express your hope in working with this staff.

- when leaving say something like, "I look forward to hearing from you".

- if you don't get the job, ask for some feedback - "How can I improve in the interview process?", "What should I emphasize in the next interview?", etc.

I have been through this sooo many times during my teaching career and I know what you will be going through.

Be positive, confident, intelligent, professional. Wear a sincere smile, add a dash of humour and you'll be GREAT!!!

Be sure to read more of my suggestions on my webpage on teacher interview tips.

I wish you all the best of luck in your future endeavours.

Happy spring and speak to you again next month.

Happy trails,


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