On to the next set of decisions that you will need to make when it comes to your job search. In part one of this series of posts, I covered “types of schools”, the first of the three elements that make up the dream job trifecta (type of school, type of position, location.) That brings us to…
TYPE OF POSITION
It is likely that after completing a rigorous teacher training program and/or a few years of teaching, you might have a favorite grade level. You can see yourself as the lead teacher in that one grade, just living the dream.
If you are able to land that perfect fit right away, congratulations! I am so happy for you/secretly hate you because JEALOUSY.
As you can tell, that was not my story, and it is not the story for many new teachers. Unfortunately, you may begin your search filled with optimism and specific requirements for the job you want, only to find that there are no teaching positions available that fit those criteria. You may find that there are tons of fourth grade jobs out there when you had your heart set on first. Or there may be no head teaching jobs available in the grade level that you are interested in, but there are plenty of Associate or co-teaching positions posted. You may come across the most dreaded obstacle for new teachers in landing the perfect job: lead teaching jobs that require a billion (or more) years of lead teaching experience.
This is where you may have some decisions to make. If you are offered a job in an amazing school, in the perfect location, but the position is as an Associate teacher working under the direction of a head teacher… do you take it? Or do you take a job in a different school that offers you that valuable experience leading your own classroom, even if you are not as sure you will love the school? There really isn’t a right answer.
If you know that you need to be in an early elementary classroom or be in charge of the classroom, it may not be worthwhile to settle for a middle school or co-teaching job that will leave you miserable. If you ARE willing to start as a co-teacher or in a less-than-perfect grade level, you may be able to a) gain more experience and learn more tricks of the trade from a seasoned teacher and b) prove yourself as an amazing educator to administrators who have the power to hire you later on. Great schools will welcome an opportunity to promote teachers that they already know and love. THAT COULD BE YOU!
Again, making a decision about the type of position you are willing to take is one only you can make. If you can be flexible when it comes to your teaching role, you will be more likely to land a role in a school/location that you love. If you are less flexible with the type of position, you may have to be more willing to look in other locations or types of schools.
There is so much value and opportunity to learn with every position within a school. Know that, whatever you decide. Be honest with yourself about your needs (you know what you’re about!) And, really, feel free to make me jealous. Land that perfect fit on your first try.