Welcome to the World of #Adulting for Early Educators!
Where the odds are – literally – ever in your favor.
Not like I am comparing finding teaching positions, applying, and then later competing with hundreds of candidates for that picture perfect teaching job to the Hunger Games – but …. here I am. I am up in my tree, looking down on the arena that is the various Michigan Public School districts and strategically planning my moves in order to snag that perfect teaching job.
Mind you, my strategic plan is applying to almost everywhere hoping that someone will glance my way – this makes the whole “Help me, I’m poor” quite sadly relevant.
Searching for these available positions is an event in itself, but by being in a technological generation we somewhat have an advantage compared to those ten to twenty years ago. I have been going at this for about five months now, so let me bestow on you the things I have picked up.
The Michigan ISDs:
If you are like me and trying to only research school districts in a certain area, this map becomes your best friend. If you are looking outside of MI, make a quick pit stop to google and search that state’s ISD map. By searching the area, you can see which school districts lie in which ISDs. This way, you can get a jump start on searching specific schools’ consortiums and not wasting time google-mapping each specific one.
2016 Best School Districts:
If you really do not have a preference of where you end up, google what the best school districts are. These of course are rated in numerous ways, but school districts are ranked higher than others for a certain reason. I say this in the most respectful way possible. I was surprised as to how low some school districts were ranked because I know personally they are amazing to teachers and students. Take this information lightly, but consider it when you research certain schools. Pinpoint the ones that stand out to you the most, find them on your trusty ISD map, and then apply!
Thank goodness for friends because I would have no idea where to start. S/O to Ms. Lutsic for giving a girl a starting place. I started with googling county consortiums that were around my area. This makes job hunting in a certain area very simple. It lists the categories of the positions off to the side and how many positions are available. Once inside your certain category, it gives the job details of each and a link to where you can apply. This link is usually associated with an applitrack application – which is explained in “Apply, Apply, Apply | The Job Hunt” (coming soon). These change often, so look back maybe once every two weeks or so to check on your area. I bookmarked all the consortiums have am interested in so it’s quick for me to check openings.
Holler at Ms. Hubbard for helping me out with this one! Once you create a FREE account on k12jobspot.com, it becomes a tad overwhelming. Without filters, you will get job openings from administration departments, secretarial, maintenance, and transportation. Also make sure you are searching in an area you are interested in because a perfect job might pop up, but then you realize it’s in the middle of Kansas. The great thing about this is you can save certain searches to your account. So if I am looking for a Middle School Social Studies position near Grand Rapids, it will save that search which makes it easier to check up on. You can also set up email notifications if something opens up in what you are looking for so you know right away.
Some of the jargon used describing certain teaching positions can be confusing as well. It is super important you know what you are signing up for before you apply instead of your first day of school.
FTE (Full Time Equivalent): “FTE” is often followed by a number. This informs the applicant of what percentage of 40 hours a week they are being asked to work. If you see a position that says “.50 FTE”, this means it is a part time position about half the hours of a regular teacher.
High Needs: If a position is listed as “High Needs” that generally means that they have a high turn-over rate for teachers. This might mean you have a better chance of being hired at a school who is in desperate need for teachers – but there is also a reason as to why their turn-over rate is high.
(Summer School): Kind of common sense, but these are summer school positions. Applying for these teaching positions does not guarantee you a position for the fall. It just gives you a great opportunity to get your foot in the door at a district and work with great kids.
When to Look:
Now! Schools are starting to post more and more job openings as they find out teachers are taking their retirement early, the incoming class of students is growing, or if choice-schools are making more students come to their school. Do not get discouraged if you do not see your perfect position listed today, these things go throughout the whole summer as well. Many teachers I spoke with said they were hired within the last two weeks of the summer. Scary thought – but there will be jobs everywhere, all the time!
You know when Haymitch would send Katniss a parachuted package with bread or anti-itch cream to ease her troubles and help here through the games? Well, I hope this is coming to you in a brightly colored parachute. Searching for teaching positions is simple, but it often gets discouraging.
Just keep your head up, tributes!
Don’t let the sounds of cannons deter you from your dreams.
…. bad metaphor. Sorry 🙂