How to Stand Out when Applying for Teaching Jobs
Applying for teaching jobs is exhausting, frustrating, and sometimes feels endless! It can feel like there are thousands of applicants applying for a single position (and, unfortunately, sometimes there are). The key to getting noticed is making yourself stand out. Do something different that separates you from the pack. That may mean having some sort of a connection to help spotlight your resume. Sometimes, that just isn't an option. You've just moved to a new area or really want to work at a new school where you don't know anyone. In that case, a portfolio website can make all the difference.
Anna created a website when she was applying for teaching positions and structured it based on the Danielson Framework for Teaching. According to the Danielson Group's website, "The Framework for Teaching is a research-based set of components of instruction, aligned to the INTASC standards, and grounded in a constructivist view of learning and teaching. The complex activity of teaching is divided into 22 components (and 76 smaller elements) clustered into four domains of teaching responsibility." Anna chose this framework because it is the framework that is commonly used to evaluate teachers.
Here are a few important things to consider including on your website:
Help the reader make a personal connection with you by humanizing your webpage. A simple, professional picture of yourself is a great way to do this and it's easy too! Just ask a friend to shoot a couple of pictures of you in either a professional school-like setting or a nondescript setting like in front of a plain brick wall. Choose your outfit carefully. You will want to dress professionally. Consider using a few props. For example, you could be seen holding a teacher's manual to demonstrate that you're familiar with a particular series or an iPad to represent that you're great with technology!
Experience & Education
Similar to how you would on your resume, list out the important information that you want the reader know. Unlike your resume where space is at a premium, this is your opportunity to elaborate. Here you can go into more detail sharing a little about your favorite class or a special project or group that you were involved in.
This one is especially important as you're hoping that they will want to contact you after visiting your fabulous website! Make sure to include your phone number (if you feel comfortable with sharing this) and definitely your email address. Anna created a special email address just for applications so that no email was lost or slipped through the cracks. Whether you are creating a new email or using one you already have, make sure that it is professional - your name is usually a great way to go!
Bonus Points for Video!
If you are feeling really brave, we definitely recommend including a video or two on your website. These videos can include you introducing yourself and explaining a bit about your teaching style and philosophy or you teaching a lesson. Just make sure that you have permission to use any photos or videos of kids before including them on your website.
Check out Anna's website to use as a template or to get ideas from. She created hers using Wix.com. Wix is a great site for creating professional looking websites easily! So, check out Wix today to find a template that works well for you (remember it doesn't need to be a template for Portfolios or CV's - Anna's was originally for an architecture firm - click here to see the original template).
Wishing you the best of luck!