I am currently a student teacher in Kentucky, and as I am nearing the end of my student teaching at the end of April I have been so appreciative of the help/advice/mentoring I have received from both of my mentoring teachers (i am in the middle grades). Now comes the tough part.....I am in the process of getting ready to jump full force into looking for a job as I prepare to graduate in May. I would appreciate any advice from those of you out there reading this on anything...academic or non-academic...that will help me as I prepare myself to start my new career.
I have learned so much of teaching is not necessarily taught from the university you attend, but through your own experience and through the gracious advice of others. So any tips or tricks about life in general as a teacher, interview tips, tips for when I get that job are all appreciated! And I thank you for sharing a little piece of your own life with me through those tips and pieces of advice!
Two totally unrelated suggestions:
Congratulations and welcome! I'm sure you'll find the Thinkfinity Community and the thousands of resources available through Thinkfinity invaluable as you get started in your career as a teacher.
Please join us in the New Teachers Making the Grade group where new teachers can share ideas, suggestions and advice. I just recently started a discussion about that first, all important job hunt and would love for you to share your experiences as your journey begins.
I am sure that you have tons of current knowledge, but don't go into the school the first year like a bull in a china shop. Keep a low profile and assist when needed.
Good luck with your job search, and don't be afraid to try another state. A lot of states have reciprocity.
I had a very wise professor in college who knew that theory and practice were two different animals. Like you, we were about to graduate and begin our job search. It was our last class with him and he told us that we would not remember much, if anything, of what he had taught us (he was right), but that we should take some time to think about what kind of teacher we wanted to be and what the important elements to becoming that kind of teacher were.
Then, he told us, pick one of those elements, just one, that we would want to be remembered for at the end of our careers. He promised that if we did, in fact, stay true to that one thing, all else would naturally fall into place and we would be able to look back, when the time came, and feel a sense of pride and accomplishment in our life's work.
Now, 40+ years later, I can honestly say that he was right again. And so, as a way to pay him forward, I ask you to ask yourself, "What do I want to be remembered for, when the time comes?" and I promise you that, if you stay true to that throughout your career, you will look back on it, when the time does come, and you will smile.
All the best,
Congrats on finishing your student teaching!
One of the best things I did when starting my career was to align myself with veteran teachers in my building. I invited them into my classroom, ask their advice and listened when they spoke. It didn't take long for them to start asking me questions about the technology I was using in my classroom and how I managed to engage the disengaged. I built a great relationship of give and take. The relationships I built continue today, even though we are thousands of miles a part. Make sure to watch and listen to your colleagues. Hopefully, you can learn from their successes and mistakes and you will be able to grow more quickly as a professional.
Best of luck with your job search!