Thursday, January 22, 2009

Writing, Blogs, and Applications

I am currently searching for a job. The first piece of advice when looking for a job is to make it your full time occupation. That means spending a lot of time on job search sites, Monster and Career Builder, but also McHenry and Lake County ROE sites, as well as going to a lot of school sites.

I like the McHenry ROE because all schools list openings on the site, one click to get to the application, and the same application can be used for all. If you haven't applied for a teaching position lately you may not realize how much work it can be just to fill out an application.

The average school requires two essays to be included with the application. Not bad really as it gives the school a bit more to look at than a basic resume. How different can teaching resumes be really? I have a college degree, I have or am expecting a certification. I use differentiation and a bunch of other buzz words on a regular basis.

Now think about it from the applicants point of view. I'm looking for a new teaching job, there are dozens of openings within driving distance, all have good reputations, I need to pay bills, so I'm going to apply to all of them and see what happens after that. Two essays for this school, three for that one, two for the next, soon I've written a dozen 300 word essays, mostly similar, but slightly different topics.

Thankfully today most districts, at least in this area, use a similar if not the same online application platform. This allows most of the details to be ported over and delivered to the particular school. For a while many different schools required different essays, but recently most seem to require just the same two essays. “Describe the skills or attributes you believe are necessary to be an outstanding teacher.” and “How would you address a wide range of skills and abilities in your classroom?”

I did write these essays about a year ago. I've printed them off and will look them over again, but they seem pretty good. Not perfect of course, but I think good enough for the application process. Why don't you take a look and give me your feedback.
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