Key Strategies for New Teachers

By: Randolph Mitchell, Ph.D.

There are many strategies that graduating education majors can employ when scouring the employment landscape for that all important first occupational experience. The following are strategies and some advice for teachers once they are on their first job.

Start Early

Many employers start recruiting on college campuses months in advance of graduation. Start job searching as early as one full semester before graduation if not sooner. That is why it’s a good idea for students to be on the lookout for on-campus recruiters, career fairs, and potential employer presentations. It seems early, but some school districts have already selected their hires long before that year’s graduating class has ever walked across the stage. Large school districts have the capacity to do all of their recruiting nine months in advance.

Be Flexible

Teaching assignments in schools come with a series of extra duties that new teachers may sometimes feel have little to with the subject matter they spent many hours learning to master in college. The fact is there are extraneous duties that exist in most school communities that involve supervising students in other areas. There’s bus duty, hall duty, cafeteria duty, study hall duty, before/after school duty, and a host of other duties in which the teacher may or may not be compensated extra for depending on the on the teacher’s contract and perhaps even the school system’s contract status.

Practice the appropriate dialogue

In most subject areas there is a specific set of terminology that may be generic to that area of study or concentration. Perspective teachers are going to need to be familiar with the basics of this terminology as it pertains to the subject area. Demonstrating competent dialogue and a clear understanding of subject terminology used and language spoken in that particular discipline, is crucial to successfully impressing any principal making a decision regarding open teaching positions.

Be up on the latest technology and methodology pertinent to your subject area and job of choice

Learn to use technology in every way. In an ever changing educational environment, today’s students have chosen an ever evolving area of concentration. Through the advent and constant upgrade of instructional technology, lessons and learning has greatly been enhanced. Given this it would be and in fact is to the advantage of the teacher to be well versed in the many ways that instructional technology can provide advantages in the classroom. Technological teaching aids are enhancing classrooms across the country. In many cases however teachers may sometimes shy away from what they think are the more technical aspects of delivering instruction in America’s classrooms. However, the extent to which technology focuses students’ attention on subject matter and enhances concept understanding is creating more and more of a demand for its use as more of an “everyday teaching medium.”

The task of “wrapping up” their academic lives so that their “real world” lives can begin, must be succinct and a healthy way of understanding your new role as a teacher.