The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics expects significant growth in teaching employment by 2028. For example, the expected growth for high school teachers and teacher assistants is 4%, elementary and middle school teachers 3%, post-secondary teachers 11%, and preschool teachers 7%. These numbers show that the teaching positions will remain in demand, and highly motivated and qualified specialists will be in need.
Teaching careers can be both satisfying and challenging. Good teachers not only teach students academic skills but also influence their personality formation. They explain how to behave correctly, communicate with others, achieve goals, etc. This profession can help you contribute to society and change the world for the better while earning decent money.
If you’ve decided that teaching is your mission but don’t know how to start, this guide is here to help. We will share the best practical tips on how to get a job as a teacher without experience and give you some insights on where to search for employment opportunities.
Education and Certification Requirements
First and foremost, you should gain a bachelor’s degree that includes a teacher training program to work in public or private schools. Although for some positions like teacher assistants, you can get hired without a degree, you will still need to continue your education if you want to move up the career ladder. The educational requirements differ from state to state, so we encourage you to check in with your state’s Department of Education.
Additionally, teachers are required to be certified by the State Board of Education. Most states will ask you to pass the Praxis test. It is a series of exams intended to evaluate the academic skills and subject-specific knowledge needed for teaching. Some states may require you to pass their own review. Usually, it consists of a general test and one devoted to the particular subject area for which you seek certification.
Getting a First Teaching Job With No Experience
If you are wondering how hard it is to get a teaching job without experience, in most cases, it is as tricky as getting any other first job. The applicants face the same problems, but sometimes, the solutions are different. We’ve made a list of five life hacks to help beginners land their first job in the education sector.
1. Prepare your application documents
Creating an impressive resume or CV and cover letter is one of the most important steps when applying for a job with limited or no experience. These documents will speak for you; that’s why it is crucial to highlight your education, certifications, skills, and qualities to prove that you are the best candidate.
If you have some student-teaching experience or have already worked as a substitute teacher, don’t forget to mention it. Any volunteer experience that included working with children can also serve as an advantage.
Sending a cover letter can increase your chances of getting an interview invitation, so if you are considering getting a teaching job with no experience, it’s essential to have one. But be sure to customize your paper. When applying for several vacancies, you need to tailor each document to the specific school and job listing.
There are many cover letter templates and samples online that you can refer to when creating your application. For instance, if you plan to work with younger school students, you can check this elementary teacher cover letter example to get some inspiration and learn how to structure your paper.
2. Collect references
In the modern labor market, professional references are crucial. Potential employers want to learn more about your background and work habits from those who have seen you in action.
Even if you don’t have teaching experience, you still can and should submit a list of references, because these recommendations can become an additional confirmation of your abilities. It should include the names, titles, addresses, and contact information of those who understand your professional skills and qualities. Ask your supervisor, a fellow teacher, or a colleague.
3. Join a professional network
Networking is crucial for a job search in any field, including teaching. You can do it through social media platforms like Facebook or LinkedIn by making a post about your plans to work as a teacher, or talking to your friends and family. Our recommendation is to join some professional organizations.
Suppose you are a recent graduate planning to get an entry-level teaching position. You can join undergraduate or associate programs organized by the National Education Association or the American Federation of Teachers. It will give you access to job search resources and other benefits.
Moreover, you can visit job fairs. There you can meet potential employers and current teachers who can share their resources. Such events can help you find open positions and learn about the hiring procedure. Additionally, it’s a perfect opportunity to refine your application documents, so don’t forget to bring copies.
4. Try substitute teaching
A substitute teacher teaches a school class when the regular teacher is unavailable due to illness, vacation, or any other reason. They can be called in for any school teaching position and work flexible hours.
Substitute teaching can provide a realistic outlook of a teacher’s duties and the opportunity to become acquainted with classroom management. Moreover, it’s a chance to gain the experience you need to get a permanent job as a teacher and to have an inside look at a particular school district or school to decide if you want to work there.
Our advice is, “Don’t be too picky.” If you need teaching experience and want to transition your career to a permanent teaching job, say “yes” to substitution assignments as often as possible. For now, your task is to get your foot in the school door.
5. Get prepared for an interview
If you are lucky enough to get your teaching job interview invitation, you should start preparation immediately. Think about the interview questions you might be asked and practice answering them with your friends or colleagues. Research the school and district you want to work for and learn about their philosophy. Be ready to talk about any experience of working with children, including tutoring, volunteering, and substitute teaching.
Moreover, you can prepare your professional portfolio to show the lesson plans you’ve created, recommendation letters, etc. You can even make a video of how you teach.
Sometimes, you are asked to teach a real lesson so that the hiring committee can assess your real-life capabilities. We advise you to write a lesson plan in advance.
Where to Start Your Search
There are several places where you can look for teaching jobs. Some of them will suit the beginners who are wondering how to apply for a teaching job without experience.
Regional school districts
First of all, you should check regional school districts and boards of education. These organizations have full information on vacancies and the district’s recruiting policies, application requirements, etc.
Many nonprofit organizations offer positions to recent college graduates. These programs can help transition to a teaching career by providing experience, financial assistance, and support in getting certified. TeachForAmerica, TeachForEveryone, AmeriCorps, and Teach&Inspire are some organizations you may want to check out.
The Internet offers various resources to find job postings. Traditional job boards publish a wide range of available positions, including teaching employment opportunities. Additionally, there are many sector-specific databases for jobs in education. The websites listed below can be a powerful resource for your search.
- Education Crossing
- Academic Careers
- School Spring
- Teaching Jobs
Becoming a great teacher is a life-long process. You should involve yourself in the teaching community, stay current in your subject, and learn about new technology and teaching methods. With our tips, you now know where to start and how to get a teaching job with no experience.
Arm yourself with patience and apply to as many positions as you can. Even if you don’t get hired immediately, interview invitations are an excellent experience for beginners. Don’t get discouraged, be persistent, stay motivated, and one day you will get your dream job.