I had the pleasure to participate in our district’s recent Teacher Recruitment Fair.
As a school administrator, I was there to answer any questions of the soon-to-be-teachers who came to get more information about our district.
I met a lot of great future teachers. They were so enthusiastic and energetic. It was infectious.
I spent four hours smiling, shaking hands, and talking about being a teacher. It was awesome.
What I noticed, however, was that many of the teacher hopefuls came prepared for the wrong reason. They came to sell themselves. They shared their experience, their education, and their hopes for the future. The only problem was that I wasn’t there to interview any candidates. I was there only to provide any information that might be helpful to them getting hired as a teacher.
Very few prospective teachers had any questions, however. I was surprised. I felt that the time they spent with me was wasted. I was a little discouraged. I wanted to help these teacher hopefuls by sharing my experience and advice with them, but all most of them wanted to do was tell me how great they would be as a teacher.
Many left me their résumés, shook my hand, then they smiled and left my table.
I was getting a bit discouraged when finally, I was one candidate finally asked me the questions I was hoping to hear.
“What are you looking for in a teacher?”
This is the most important question you can ask at a teacher recruitment fair.
Unless you’re in an interview, you shouldn’t be selling yourself. A recruitment event is where you get the opportunity to pick the brains of people who you may eventually see on an interview panel.
As an assistant principal, I am often on interview panels. I hire teachers, so if you’re looking to stand out from the other hundred candidates who want the job you want, I’m the person you want to talk to. Right?
At teacher recruitment events, you have gathered in one place, the people who do the hiring. When do you have such an opportunity? Use your time to pick their brains, not sell yourself. Find out what they are looking for in a new hire, and take lots of notes.
I was so grateful when someone asked me, “How can I stand out from the other candidates who want the position I am applying for?”
The teacher prospects who asked me these kind of questions received the benefit of my experience and expertise, along with an advantage over the majority of the people who I spoke with on that day.
Are you a soon-to-be teacher?
Take advantage of district recruitment fairs. They are valuable sources of information that can give you the edge you need to get hired as a teacher. Just wait for the interview to sell yourself.
If you’re interested in learning what I’m looking for in a new teacher, download my book on Kindle, “How to Nail the Teacher Interview.” Click here!
Until next time, here’s to your Success in the Classroom!