Wednesday 23 August 2017

Becoming A More Hireable Teacher

The teaching career is becoming more lucrative and highly competitive and good schools who are doing it right insist on getting the best hands in the industry and are willing to pay good money. Aim for schools like that and build your self up to measure up to their standards.

Recently I heard the story of a teacher who went on a job hunting spree and was being pulled in different directions because his hire-o-meter was very high. Two major schools want him so badly and have kept on jerking the employment benefits higher and higher to outdo themselves. As at the time of this post, he is torn between which employer to select.  Now, that is what I am talking about!  

So, how do you become an irresistible teacher that every school is fighting over? How do you slam your desired job in that top school?  Yes, some teachers earn even higher than bankers, how did they get there and how can you? I have outlined four steps to help you increase your hireability so that you can land your dream job.

#1: Assess your skills: Good schools will not take any teacher without the knowledge of modern teaching skills. You cannot be aiming at getting a job in 21st Century schools and still be stuck in the rut of chalk and talk methods. Are you tech savvy? Can you plan engaging lessons? Are you abreast of current teaching trends the world over? Take a critical look at your CV  and ask yourself if you even know about the curriculum your dream school uses and have any relevant qualifications to fit in the system. Most schools do not want to hire teachers they will start to train, they want teachers who already have it and can hit the ground running so do not go saying " I am a fast learner", it is either you have it or you don't! 

#2: Grow as fast as you can: Although most schools, like any other organization, look out for experience, some employers will also overlook experience and take into account the fact a candidate is upwardly mobile and forward-thinking. An administrator once told me that he would choose a teacher who is inexperienced but shows prospects of creativity and growth over one who has been in the trade forever but not current. So, if you are inexperienced, perhaps in your first to the third year of teaching, you can still dazzle your prospective employers and ace that job with a very impressive teaching portfolio. Gather certificates from relevant training sessions, get recommendations, your statement of teaching philosophy, students' work examples and even pictures.  

# 3: Look the part: Ever heard the phrase "dress for success?" Having done all of the above, ensure you look sharp when you are called for the interview. Gone are the days when teachers look shabby and downtrodden, schools are on the look out for teachers who can model decent and proper dressing for students in this age of torn jeans and sagging pants. No one is asking you to break the bank to do this, work within your means, invest in a good suit, smell nice, look tidy and no mouth odour, please. 

# 4: Work on your presentation skills: Most importantly, build your communication skills and be able to sell your self with your mouth. Some teachers have great CVs but are not able to sell themselves enough to get the job. Take a course in communication skills if need be,  do not be stiff during an interview session, use jokes and anecdotes but not overtly so. Take an elocution and diction course to improve your pronunciation skills and sound polished when you speak.  Every International school wants a teacher who sounds almost like a native when they speak.

If you are yet to land your dream job in spite of meeting the criteria above, do not feel bad and give up. Like I said, the market place is almost saturated so, while waiting to get that job why not begin from the point where you are and make a difference? Besides, there is always room for improvement and no knowledge gained is wasted. Keep working on your self, keep building your CV to the point that even if there is no available role, one will be created just to keep you.

Become irresistible! 


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