Resources for future Teachers
Congratulations on making the decision to become a teacher! Our college’s teacher education programs will prepare you to become an expert in your field and an effective teacher. Throughout your program, our career services staff will be here to help support you in your career development. From exploring the profession to preparing your resume and cover letter for the MN Education Job Fair we are here to support you!
Explore & Connect
Teaching is a versatile and dynamic career and it is important to consider your options and make connections within the education field. Below are resources to help you get connected to the industry and learn more about becoming a teacher. Take a look at where our teachers are going and learn from past students. To get started, consider the following questions:
- What subject do I want to teach? What are my program options to prepare me?
- Who do I want to teach? Kindergarten and elementary? Middle school? High school? Special education?
- Do I want to stay in Minnesota? Or leave the state? Do I want to teach abroad?
- What type of school do I want to teach at?
- Explore teacher education programs at the U of M
- Learn more about U.S. schools through the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)
- Alternative Careers in Education
Job Outlook & Salary Information
Networking & Alumni information
Teacher Job Search
Job Search Overview
Find a Teaching Position
- When Should I Begin Looking for a Teaching Position?
- Job Search Sites
- Teaching in MN, the U.S. and Abroad
- Employer Research
- Increase your Marketability
- What Makes you Unique?
- Develop your Elevator Pitch
- Alternative Careers in Education
Your teaching resume is an important tool which allows you to market your skills and experience to prospective employers. As a teacher it is essential that your resume clearly communicates your qualifications and also reflects what makes you a unique candidate.
Teacher Specific Resources
A strong cover letter can be the difference between standing out during the application process and missing a potential opportunity. Research the school district/organization and show why you would be a good fit.
During your job search you will be asked for 3 letters of recommendation or list of references. Learn which references are appropriate and how to format a list of references.
Most teacher candidates apply for teaching positions through online applications. Here is some information to navigate this process.
- Applicants may begin applying for teaching positions before they have their teaching license, but they must have their teaching license in hand before they begin teaching. It is helpful if applicants have applied for their teaching license before they begin filling out online applications. This allows applicants to list their MN file folder number through the Minnesota Department of Education on their online application.
- Applicants can apply for teaching positions by visiting a school district website (to find their online application) or through another job search site or networking source.
- Most online applications will ask applicants to upload their resume, cover letter, and (3) letters of recommendation electronically. Have these materials ready.
- Many school districts (in Minnesota and across the U.S.) use online application systems to automate portions of the hiring process. These application systems offer districts the option to have applicants fill out a behavioral based screening assessment as part of the application process. These screening assessments ask behavioral based questions about each applicant’s teaching style.
- Applicants should give themselves time to fill out online applications. Behavioral based screening assessments can take 20-40 minutes to complete. The online application can take an additional 40 minutes to complete.
- There are approximately 3 different types of behavioral based screening assessments. Each behavioral based screening assessment is only taken once by the applicant (per year). Once an applicant has taken a screening assessment, these results are shared with other districts s/he applies to which also requires the same behavioral assessment and uses the same online application system. This means applicants will not have to fill out a behavioral assessment for each online application.
Standing Out in Online Applications
- Take your time completing behavioral based screening assessments, they are another way for school districts to assess your skills and fit. You must take it right away. There is not an opportunity to come back later and finish the screening assessment. However, in most cases, you are able to come back and complete the rest of your online application.
- Fill out each application completely. Stay away from saying "see resume."
- Use buzz words within your profession throughout your online application and in your resume.
- Dates need to be accurate.
- Be thoughtful, complete, and concise when answering essay questions. Use examples.
- Spell check. There should not be any errors.
A teaching portfolio is a collection of materials that can effectively assist an educator during interviews. A portfolio contains teaching artifacts and reflective pieces designed to strengthen a candidate's responses by demonstrating applied skills or talents and articulating personal teaching philosophies.
- Be selective; display your best work.
- Include a table of contents and maintain structure.
- Include specific samples of your teaching performance.
- Remember the reflective component. Reveal not only what you have done, but why you did it, and how well the lesson or activity met the outcome goals.
- Avoid the temptation to include every lesson plan or teaching activity you have ever created.
Teaching Portfolio Resources
Electronic Portfolio Website
It's important to remember, the more practice you have, the more comfortable you will be during the interview. Here are some tools to help you prepare!
- Interviewing Basics
- Effective Interviewing Workshop
- Teacher Interview Questions
- InterviewStream is a free resource which allows you to customize a practice interview online using a webcam. Choose the "Education" folder and select questions from the "Teaching Related Questions" or "Elementary Teaching Interview" sections. Your webcam will record your responses providing you with immediate feedback. There is even an "um" and "like" counter which can help you avoid filler words.
- Bad/Average Interview (Check out this sample interview video. What should this person do differently to improve?)
- Good Interview (Now watch the same student answer the same questions in a more effective manner!)