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Monday, April 07, 2008

Ramblings about teaching applications and a plea for help.

After much (much) deliberation, I finally decided to apply to work as a classroom teacher at the school I currently work at (as an aid-type-person). I absolutely love the school, the staff, and the students. So I'm not quite sure why it was such a tough decision, and why I still don't really think I want to work at this school permanently (or at least semi-permanently). I think I had hoped to get at least a little bit further away from home, even if I continue to live in Home State. This is actually the first application I have submitted to a school in Home State, so maybe that's where my conflict lies. Also, I work at a small school and I know all 28 kids who would be my students next year. And I'm not sure how them and all their energy will fit into the classroom that would be mine. (Again, this is all silly theoretical stuff, since I haven't even been granted an interview for the job yet. I've gotta avoid counting, housing, and feeding all my chicks before I've even gotten the eggs.)

Aside from that application, I have applied to work at, I think, seven schools in Southwestern State, three schools in College State, and one school in Midwestern State Neighboring College State. Apparently, that only puts me at 12 applications. Considering the fact that I spend all my energy researching schools and filling out applications, it certainly feels like more than just 12. Also, I think I probably need to throw a lot more applications out there.

Luckily, filling out these applications is a bit like pulling off a band-aid. The first 8 or so caused bouts of nail-biting and intense introspection. By now though, I've gotten the basic cover letter down and I've answered enough of those "short answer" type questions that I have a basis for those too. I only obsess over applications for like 5 days now, as opposed to the two weeks of days yore.

My current worry is the teaching portfolio. While my college prepared me wonderfully for a career in education grad-school, they did not do a whole lot to help me figure out how to get a job. This includes absolutely no discussion of a teaching portfolio beyond the statement that, "you should have one." This puts me at a disadvantage over those people who spent their whole student teaching creating beautifully scrapbooked/crafted/html-ed teaching portfolios. If anyone has any advice on what a teaching portfolio should include or look like, I would very much appreciate some ideas.

7 Comments:

Blogger East Coast Teacher said...

Hey there! I can definitely help w/portfolio suggestions. Shoot me an email and I'll give you some pointers; missbee2007@gmail.com

9:43 PM  
Blogger The Science Goddess said...

Don't sweat your portfolio too much. I've been on any number of interview teams---and if any the candidates brought portfolios, we rarely looked at them (and only a cursory glance). It is far more important to get your HR file in order (excellent references, clear transcripts, good essays) and kick ass during the interview.

10:07 PM  
Blogger Not Quite Grown Up... said...

East Coast Teacher - I'm sending you an email.

Science Goddess - Really? I mean, I'll still do my best to create one, because at the very least it reminds me of everything I've done and gives me good interview fodder/specific examples to share. But, it's good to hear that the portfolio won't necessarily make or break my chances as long as my other application materials and interview answers present me as a strong candidate.

10:11 PM  
Blogger The Science Goddess said...

I certainly can't speak for interview committees everywhere, but that is the way things happen around here.

Unless the school/district specifically asks you for examples of work, they aren't going to bother with your portfolio if you spring it on them. They will smile and nod at you...thank you for sharing it...then flip through it in 30 seconds and set it aside while they talk about your interview answers.

If I were you, I'd spend a lot of energy on your cover letter. It's your first impression. That is where you will set yourself apart from the pack. :)

11:04 PM  
Anonymous helena said...

Hi!
I like your blog and would like to invite you, to join ‘Teachers Planet’: http://teachersplanet.ning.com/

It is an online community for teachers of all levels and curriculum areas.Your visit to the network will provide an opportunity for you to share your expertise with our teachers.At teachers planet you can start your own groups, start/participate in a discussion/ forum, add videos, music, RSS feeds, start blogs and do many more things.


Thank you for your time and consideration

2:36 AM  
Blogger RL friend's friend said...

I'll help too . . . and thanks for the congratulations.

7:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi

Tks very much for post:

I like it and hope that you continue posting.

Let me show other source that may be good for community.

Source: Teacher interview thank you letter

Best rgs
David

9:01 PM  

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