Success Story | Megan Braun, Physical Education ILP
1. How did you learn about your current position?
My former professor in the Physical Education and DAPE ILP program and fellow teacher in the Minneapolis Public Schools, Kathleen Healy, informed me of the position and provided me with a name to contact if I was interested in potentially getting an interview.
2. Describe the application and interview process.
My job search and application process began in the winter when I was still completing my program. I used websites recommended by the University (EdPost, K12jobspot...), and searched and applied, and searched and applied. I also attended the Minnesota Education Fair where I had one interview. I continued the application process throughout the spring, and aside from a few leads here and there began to get a bit discouraged and by summertime decided I would subsitute teach in the 2012-2013 school year. Toward the end of August, job postings in the Minneapolis-St.Paul and surrounding area picked up. I ended up having three interviews in one week for various Physical Education and Health teaching positions - including the interview for my current job. From the five total interviews that I had for a teaching position throughout the year, I can summarize and say they were all extremely different. It is important to go in relaxed and confident, use examples from your student-teaching experiences, and put in a little bit of research for the district you are interviewing for. Be aware that the application, interview, and job search process can be frustrating, time consuming, and discouraging at times, but do not give up - many teachers, like myself, get hired the week before the start of the school year! Use your connections, use your education, and have a back up plan; opportunities come when you least expect them, and sometimes all at once.
3. How did you make yourself stand out during the job search?
There are a few ways to help you land an interview: First, a solid resume with lots of extra-curriculuar experiences, for example, volunteering. My personal experiences included my experiences as a student-athlete in college, and also as a current high school coach. I used the experiences to diffierientiate myself from others, and essentially to help myself "stand-out". Second, forming good relationships with colleagues, coaches, peers, and professors helps you network and gain connections in the field - this is huge and an extremely important tool. Form good relationships with the people in the districts where you student-teach as well as your professors at Minnesota; all will help support you and hopefully help you get your foot in the door for an interview. Third, apply for everything. I applied and was willing to take a position that wasn't necessarily my "dream job", and it has been one of, if not the best, experiences and learning opportunities of my life. Lastly, having a Master's Degree from the Univeristy of Minnesota already helps you stand out within the state and elsewhere as it is a nationally-accredited institution for it's teaching prepartion programs.
4. Looking back, what did you find to be the most helpful during job search process?
Not stressing out, having back-ups plans, and taking opportunities as they arose. Utilizing my resources as well both at my student-teaching locations and here at the U was also helpful; this includes the networking, mock-interviews, and conversations we participated in throughout the ILP program.
5. What advice would you like to share with others about your experience finding a teaching position?
Apply for everything, use your resources, connections and education, and be patient. Opportunities arise when you least expect them, and many times come all at once.