March 13th was our last day of in-person school. On March 20th, I knew Fred and I would be in California for the following year. I started applying to schools in the first week of April.
Before job searching, I talked to a few hiring managers to understand the current teacher market in light of COVID-19.
Dave Bress, Director of Talent at KIPP Bay Area Public Schools in California told me that,
“With shelter-in-place we’ve noticed an uptick in teacher retention. These are unprecedented times, and with all that uncertainty, people know they have a stable, reliable role at our school that’s not impacted by market forces.”
On the other end of the coast in Boston, Amanda Kay Loring, Director of Operations at Boston Collegiate Charter School told me that,
“Our turnover rates were already very low this year and we have not added any additional openings since we closed in mid-March, which is very unusual.”
With their observations, I went into the job search knowing that available positions might be slimmer than usual. I also knew that I wanted to work in a public school so I sent a majority of my applications there. I did throw my hat in the ring for a few private schools as well since I was worried I wouldn’t find anything in the current economy.
Applying to Schools
Below is a list of schools (with pseudonyms) that I applied to as well as the application status.
From my first application to the time it took me to get my first job offer, the whole process took me about two and a half months. Below are a few tips I learned and things I experienced during the job search process:
- Have at least three letters of recommendations ready. Many schools will ask you to include it in your application.
- Many public schools didn’t open up applications until after the school year ended. Prior to this, I’ve only ever applied to charter schools which typically hire much earlier than public schools. As a result, I always had a job lined up before the current school year ended. During this process, a few public schools that had positions posted between April-early June but many of them stated “In-District” transfer only.
- Always ask how many people will interview you. I attended a Google Meet interview that said I would be talking to the principal. When I was accepted into the room, there were 10 other faces on my screen. I had neglected to ask who would be interviewing me and didn’t realize that it would be a hiring panel. Seeing that many people really threw me off guard for the interview. I learned to ask for my subsequent interviews.
- Some schools are scheduling a whole day of interviews for one position. During an interview I was told, “You have twenty minutes for your interview and six questions. If your time is almost up we will let you know.” Needless to say, I panicked. I answered those questions SO fast and finished the entire interview in less than 8 minutes. In retrospect, I wish I had taken my time and shared more of who I am as a teacher.
- Be flexible with your schedule when you are interviewing. Since schools are doing multiple interviews for one position you may not have much choice in interview times.
- Follow up with schools if you haven’t heard back from them.
Let me know below if there is anything else you would like to know about my experience!
To read more job searching tips I have, check out other blog posts here.
P.S. If you’re in the Bay Area looking for a job, send Dave an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and let him know I sent you!