Well, I never formally announced it on the blog, but my husband and I just made a big move! We are now living in NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE!! We were both born and raised in Orlando, and just wanted to try something different for a little bit. So far, we are loving it! However, I'm still on the hunt for a teaching job up here. I wanted to share some tips that I've learned along the way...this has truly been quite the process.
If you're even thinking about moving or searching for another job, start updating your resume here and there. It is NO fun to update it all at one time. By keeping it updated, you're preparing to begin job searching at anytime. Plus, the more times you are editing it, the more likely you are to catch spelling and grammatical errors, which is a huge plus.
Transferring a teaching license is a pain, y'all! First and foremost, check out your new state's licensing requirements. It would be a huge bummer to move across the country only to find out you need a Master's degree to teach in that state, which you may not have. I suggest calling the state's Education department and explaining your situation and qualifications, just to double check that your teaching license will transfer smoothly. Once you know it will, begin getting the paperwork together right away. I had to get paperwork filled out by my prior district's offices, and it took awhile...so again, don't delay!
No one wants to see another resume in Times New Roman font. Don't get too crazy here, we definitely need to keep it professional. But by dressing it up a little bit, you're going to get future principals to notice and remember your resume, which is GOOD. I grabbed this resume template from Tori Gorosave's TPT store, she has a lot of creative yet professional templates to choose from.
Don't limit yourself to applying to just one district! Make sure you thoroughly research all of the surrounding districts in the area you're moving to. Ask around and find out which ones teachers enjoy working for. I applied for 3 different districts when we moved to Fort Myers, and am currently applying to 3 districts here in Nashville as well. Yes, it takes a.lot.of.time to fill out all of those district applications, but remember you are upping your chances for finding job opportunities this way!
Once again, I know this takes SO much time to do, but it can make the biggest difference in a principal deciding whether to contact you for an interview or not. Research the school, and try to include points about their mission and beliefs in your cover letter to show why you're a good fit for their school. Of course, be truthful! Make sure your cover letter also conveys your passion for teaching and strengths in the classroom.
I wish I could say I didn't speak from experience on this one. But one time right after I hit "Send" on an email to a principal, I realized I forgot to change the name on the email (it was the name of the last principal I'd emailed). Big OOPS. Not surprisingly, I never heard back from her. Don't make the same silly mistakes...always read through an email or cover letter before sending it. Double check that you've spelled their name correctly, the school's name correctly, etc. Even pay attention to something as silly as saying "Good morning" when you're emailing at 3:00 in the afternoon. Pay attention to those details!
I have heard some districts highly frown upon potential candidates contacting principals themselves. So please make sure you read up on the district's policies first. However, if it is encouraged, then by all means DO IT! It's a great idea to send personal emails to the principals at schools you want to work at, but even better to go in and hand deliver your resume. This sets you apart from the hundreds of resumes they're seeing on the district's website. Even though you may not hear back from some, keep in mind that they just may be holding onto your resume for when they have a new opening. This has happened to me a few times.
Let as many people as you can know that you are looking for a teaching job in your new district or city. Share it on Facebook, many people know someone who knows someone, so you are likely to find some sort of contact this way. I was able to get in contact with teachers in Nashville districts just because friends on Facebook put me in touch with them. Once we moved in, I was telling my neighbor about my job search. The very next day she knocked on my door to tell me she'd just heard about an opening up the street at her son's school that wasn't even posted yet. For goodness sake, even the guy at Home Depot had plenty of advice to give me on school districts around here once we got to talking. You truly never know the connections you will find, so talk to anyone you can!!
Perhaps the hardest tip of all. I'm sure my husband would tell you that I do my best to stay positive about my job search, but it's not always easy. It's hard to email dozens of principals and never hear back. It's hard to go and rock an interview, and then find out you didn't get the job.I've cried a few times here and there, because it can be so darn stressful and frustrating. BUT, I remember that I've gone through this before 2 years ago when we moved to Fort Myers, and guess what?! I ended up exactly where I was supposed to. There were a few jobs I didn't get that I wanted, and I was seriously stressed all summer, but I ended up getting a position at a school I loved, and working with a team of women I loved even more. So, try to stay positive, because you WILL end up exactly where you are meant to teach!
Are you job hunting right now?! Leave me a message and let me know how it's going for you...do you have any tips that I missed? Check back later this week for a post on Prepping for the Interview!