Career Advice

Career Advice

Career advising for CES Licensure candidates begins in the earliest conversations between advisors and candidates. Discussions about the employment prospects for specific licensure areas are vitally important so our candidates are set up for success. As candidates complete courses, they are able to refine their understanding of the day-to-day work of teaching and teaching in different subject areas.

CES Licensure Staff are on a number of regional employment distribution lists, and staff distribute relevant job postings to students enrolled in our programs. It is important that you make sure we have your current email address, even after you graduate from our program.

To see a list of where our graduates work, click here.

Your Job Search

We highly recommend the two websites listed below for program enrollees and graduates looking for teaching positions.

aMAzing Educators

This website was developed by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education as a resource for educators and aspiring educators. Particular areas of interest for our program enrollees are the sections on "Careers in Education" and "Requirements & Licensure." For program graduates, the section of "Job Search Advice" is extremely helpful and includes information on preparing for interviews, posting resumes and understanding the hiring process.

SchoolSpring

This website includes a number of resources, but it is most importantly the major outlet for education job listings in our region. Their simple interface allows searches by state, grade level, subject area and job category. Individuals can build an online application, which can be used to apply for posted jobs online. There is an email alert system to alert you when a job is posted that meets your criteria. In addition, you can post and manage your supplementary documentation (transcripts, certifications, etc.) along with your profile.

Resumés

Developing an effective resumé is critically important when interviewing for teaching positions. Follow all the standard rules of resumé writing, including:

  • Be clear and concise.
  • Make your resumé easy for the reader to absorb. Avoid fancy fonts and complicated graphics.
  • Keep your resumé to 2 pages or less. If you have other work that you are proud of, include it in your portfolio (see below).
  • Don't rely on spell check.
  • Be consistent in your use of fonts and punctuation.
  • Use action words.

An internet search for "teacher resumés" will provide you with hundreds of examples of resumés to draw from. Look for reliable sources and model your resumé after an example that fits with the best image you want to present to a potential employer.

Cover Letters

This is your chance to show a potential employer how interested you are in this position with this district or school. Talk about how you are the best fit for the school by highlighting the skills and experience they are looking for. Review the job description thoroughly and look at the school and district websites for clues about the learning environment.

Developing Your Portfolio

Developing your own teaching portfolio is a highly recommended practice for both new and experienced teachers. The process of developing a portfolio provides you with an opportunity to examine your own practice, reflect on your craft and share with others the best of your teaching. In addition, it provides you with a way to introduce yourself and your teaching accomplishments to a prospective employer. New teachers can base the bulk of their portfolio on experiences they had with students and teachers, as well as materials developed during their coursework and practicum. Here are some resources to guide you as you create your own professional portfolio:

Developing an Effective Teaching Portfolio

Creating a Professional Portfolio

Interviews

The interview process can be a stressful one, so it's important to take the time to prepare in advance. Here are a few pointers that can help you get ready for the experience..

  • Dress appropriately. It's okay to be dressed more formally than the interviewer, but never less. Lay out your clothing in advance and check for things that would hijack your preparation if not caught in time (a split seam, run in a pair of stockings, a broken shoelace).
  • Be prepared. Bring extra copies of your resumé, reference contact information, and reference letters. In addition, a print copy of your teaching license can be helpful.
  • Do your research. Check out the school and district websites and do some background research. Check a local news sources for stories about the school, and be prepared to mention positive stories about the school that you find.
  • Be confident. Your body language should convey attentiveness. Eye contact with everyone on the interview team is important.
  • Practice. There are some questions that will almost definitely be asked, and practicing your responses can help you make a great first impression. You are likely to be asked about your sibject area, teaching philosophy, classroom management style, strengths and weaknesses as a teacher, and experience with collaboration. Have specific anecdotes ready to help illustrate your responses. 
  • Prepare a set of questions of your own to ask when you are given the opportunity. Check online for websites that have possible questions for teaching interviews. Be sure to ask about their timeline for making a decision.
  • Follow up. As soon as possible after the interview (but no more than 24 hours), send a note to everyone on the interview team to thank them for the opportunity. If much of your communication has been by email, your note can also be sent by email. A handwritten note is the gold standard, but in today's age of immediacy, email is faster.

General Resources for New Teachers

For other career resources, go to our blog, Pathways to Licensure, and filter for posts tagged "For New Teachers."