Looking for Your First Teaching Job
Location, Location, Location
Decide what geographic area you want to work and live in. Ask yourself the following questions:
Am I willing and able to relocate? Are there specific areas of the state that I would like to live in, or that I definitely
don't want to live in?
- If I can't relocate, how far am I willing to drive to get to school?
What routes are available to me to get to each district I'm interested in, and what are the traffic patterns like on those routes?
Are any of them known for having frequent traffic tie-ups during the hours I'd be traveling?
- Do I prefer an urban, suburban, or rural district?
- Do I prefer a larger or smaller school?
- Are there particular community resources in any city or town that I know I would use in my teaching?
- Are there other family members who need to be considered when I choose an area to teach in?
Finding Open Positions
There are several steps you can take to find out what teaching positions districts have open or anticipate will be open:
Network with teachers and administrators you know in specific systems; be sure they know you are looking for a position; find
out who to talk with in their school and/or district about upcoming openings.
Contact district subject-area coordinators and / or department chairs (especially at the high school level) for "informational
interviews" to introduce yourself and get your face and credentials known; in schools with Assistant Principals, set up
- Read CEA's Job Vacancy list on this web site.
Read the Hartford Courant classifieds each Sunday -
every teaching job advertised in the Courant is listed in editions throughout the state. Also, see the
classifieds section of their web site.
- Use CT REAP to check job listings and post your resume.
web sites - many post open or anticipated teaching vacancies on them.
Send a cover letter and resume to districts you are interested in even if they don't have a position posted - request that they
keep your information on file, as districts often find themselves with last-minute retirements and/or transfers in August.
- Substitute teach in as many districts you are interested in as possible.
Getting and Having a Successful Interview
Getting an interview can be dependent, in many situations, on the way you present yourself through your cover letter and resume. Once you
have sent your cover letter and resume, keep these steps in mind:
Follow up your initial letter with a phone call to inquire if it has been received; ask what the district's time line is for
interviewing and making a decision about the job.
- If you do any informational interviews, follow them up with a thank- you note within a week of your visit.
- Use any contacts you have who can help you get an interview.
- Try to substitute teach in the same district(s) as much as you can.
- Before the interview, find out as much as you can about the district / school you are applying in.
- Arrive at the interview 5 minutes early to allow time to visit the rest room to "check yourself out" for the last time.
Have a list of questions drawn up that you are truly interested in having them answer for you; these might include questions about
issues such as:
» non-teaching duties and responsibilities of beginning teachers
» new teacher orientation to the district / building
» what the school sees as its most pressing problems
- Practice before an interview! be prepared for "situational" questions
- During the interview, try to be relaxed, show confidence in your ability and be friendly, but don't overdo it.
- As questions are asked, refer to your portfolio and what it shows, when appropriate
Let the interviewer(s) know in concrete terms why you think you are a good match for the job, and what unique qualities you can
bring to the district.
- Thank the committee for taking the time to interview you.