How to get your dream teaching job in 5 steps
Sep 22, 2020
It’s that time of year right now when many teachers and graduate teachers are busy trying to put together applications for teaching positions that will be available as of next year.
Job applications as a teacher can be time consuming, confusing, and somewhat daunting. Teachers’ lives are busy enough, without needing to find the time to write job applications. To make it even more difficult, how you write your application can depend on the type of school, as public, private and Catholic systems all have different expectations, and it also depends on the state that you live in. However, there is a school out there somewhere that is the right fit for you - it’s just a matter of finding it, and then putting your best foot forward so that the school realises just how valuable you will be to them.
Step 1 - What do you want?
When seeking your dream job, you need to first of all put some serious thought into what it is that you really want. This is why it’s so important to be clear on your mission statement - in other words, why you do what you do and how you go about doing it. What do you hold to be important as a teacher, and what is it that you want to achieve? What are your driving motivations that caused you to become a teacher in the first place? Having a clear vision in mind will ensure that you do not end up at a school that is out of alignment with your values and what it is that you want to achieve as a teacher.
Step 2 - Master your mindset
Next, it’s critical that you get your mindset in order. As teachers, we all know the importance of a growth mindset for our students, but we can sometimes forget that it’s equally important for us! Don’t let any limiting beliefs get in the way of what you want to do - if you feel like you have any self-doubt issues creep in, you need to nip that in the bud and remind yourself that you have a lot to offer a school.
This is especially important for graduate teachers - don’t discount applying for private schools just because you think that they would only be looking for more experienced teachers. Private schools love new graduates for many reasons.
Also don’t fear getting rejected - it’s all part of the process and not by any means a reflection of your worth. Treat it as a learning experience and gather some constructive feedback so that you can make some adjustments for your next application.
Step 3 - Crafting your CV
The first hurdle you need to get through in any job application is your CV. This is where you make your first impression - did you know that employers will form their first impression of you within the first 5-7 seconds of scanning your CV? It’s vital that it is easy to read, that it is laid out logically and professionally, and that there are no spelling or grammar mistakes. Also, don’t submit the exact same CV to every employer! You should always make adjustments to your CV based on the position that you are applying for, so that everything is directly relevant to the position.
Want some more help in this area? I have a free guide that you can use to help you put together your CV, as well as a fully editable template. You can access it here.
Step 4 - Write a winning cover letter
You also need to have a winning cover letter. This is where you can really ‘speak’ to the employer, and make it clear why you are applying for the position and what you can offer the school. You need to do your research here, and make references to the schools values and mission as much as possible to show how you are in alignment with it. Read the selection criteria carefully to make sure you are addressing it in full.
Step 5 - Nailing the interview
Once you have successfully passed these stages you will be called for an interview. The main purpose of the interview is for the employer can get more of a feel for what you are like as a person, because one of their primary concerns will be to make sure that you fit in well with the culture and dynamics of the school. It’s also to validate what you have said in your CV and cover letter and to see how well you think on your feet. The number one, most critical thing, to always remember here is to just be your most genuine, honest and authentic self. Don’t try to be anyone that you are not, as this will not end well.
So there you have it, 5 steps to getting your dream teaching job! You will find that the first application will take you the longest, and that it will get easier with each one that you do. Whilst you could view the process as a time-consuming, arduous chore, you could also choose to view it as a great opportunity to reflect on your teaching journey so far, and what you want to achieve in the future. There is a lot that you can learn about yourself throughout this process, and if you approach it with more of a growth mindset you will reap the benefits!
All the best on your job hunt!
For more tips on how to get your dream teaching job, access your free guide here. This resource will step you through everything from getting into the right mindset, how to search for a job, writing your CV and cover letter, and interview tips.