While applying for a teaching job a few years ago, I posted a few notes on Facebook about the experience. I wrote them in an attempt to keep my sanity and sense of humor while facing a series of setbacks. As it seems like many people that I know are in this position, I have decided to post them here over the next few weeks. I wish all searching for jobs the best of luck.
Three years ago in a state not so far away…
“Advice from Mom”
My mother is absolutely wonderful. She also means well. She really wants to help me find a position. At first, I begged her off; believing that using personal connections is cheating. One of her friends has a friend whose wife occasionally has coffee with one superintendent. An old acquaintance was a former superintendent and principal. A retired teacher walks around her neighborhood every so often. I told her, “thank you, but I think I am ok.” This, or course, was when I was a hot shot and believed that I could find a position in no time.
Two weeks ago in desperation, I called my mother and asked for her help. Her advice was simple…network*. My sixth grade teacher was now going to be a principal of a middle school. I should call her. She always liked me. My second cousin (who I rarely see) has an aunt who is a teacher. I should call her. She would know my last name. My sister’s friend’s husband is a teacher (in a district that is not hiring), I should call him. He likes me.
Of these, my mother believes that my sixth grade teacher is the best option for me to network with…really? The last time I saw her Johnny Carson was the host of The Tonight Show. I can only imagine the awkwardness of the conversation, “Hello, you may remember me…my name is Michael Milton…I had green and blue colored elastics in my braces for most of the year. The teeth are straight now! Do you know any district looking for a history teacher?”
I thanked my mother for the advice. Now, whenever I talk to her she asks, “Did you talk to your sixth grade teacher yet?” I imagine this will continue for quite some time.
The sad part about this is that I have this weird feeling that in August, I may make that phone call.
* For those job searching now, my mother was absolutely right. While you are job searching, build a network of educators (through personal contacts, Twitter, Blogging, and LinkedIn).For more from this series click the links below: How I Found a Job: Episode 1 ~ Unhumble Beginnings How I Found a Job: Episode 2 ~ “A Highly Qualified Applicant” How I Found a Job: Episode 3 ~ Advice from Mom How I Found a Job: Episode 4 ~ Tales from the Road