I left the classroom 15 years ago. My last job interview was several years before that. So that means it has been almost 20 years since I've updated my resume, let alone sat for an interview! I've had my toes in the education world all along, but rusty would be an accurate term when it comes to describing how I feel.
After digging out my old files, I was pleasantly surprised to see that I had done a great job of keeping records of things like professional development, committee positions, and adjunct responsibilities. This really made updating my resume much easier than I had feared. If you are not keeping good records of these things I suggest you start a list or spreadsheet right away.
I decided to jazz up the look of my resume by creating the following template. You can find all kinds of ideas and recommendations on how creative to you should get with your resume these days, and that makes it hard to know what to do. I decided I liked the look and feel of this so I went with it!
The internet is filled with resources to help guide you in resume writing, portfolio assembly, and sample interview questions. Here are a couple of the sites I found particularly helpful.
Luckey Frog Learning
The question of whether or not to have a portfolio is another area where you can find a wide variety of opinion. I used one back in the good old days and liked having it available in my interviews as a support tool. So I decided to update it and have it ready, just in case.
In the olden days I actually had real photos and sample work. This time I decided to scan old photos and student work samples to create a portfolio that could also be published online if I so chose. Back in my earlier teaching days we used film cameras and had to get our pictures developed. Hard to imagine now! Thankfully I have always been a photo junkie and I kept lots of great photos of my classroom and student work.
Portfolio Sections Included:
- Educational Philosophy
- Classroom Management
- Curriculum Planning & Design
- Student Work Samples
- Classroom Explorations
- Student Created Learning Displays
- Integrated Curriculum
- Culminating Events
- Parent Communication
The last bit of preparation I did was to read through sample interview questions and think about how I might answer them. While education has grown and changed in many ways in the last 15 years, surprisingly many things at it's core remain the same. By reviewing sample questions my confidence was boosted in knowing that most of my answers from the 90's still applied today!
Here is a sample list of questions to practice from:
If you are new to teaching or returning from a break in your teaching career I wish you the best of luck as you prepare to find the perfect spot for you!