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Around my neck of the woods (SE Michigan) you would need a resumé to
send prospective employers accompanied by a cover letter, addressed to
the personnel director by name and correct title. You would also need
teaching portfolio containing visuals to take on interviews. I got my
wonderful job 6 years ago with this method.
In the letter to the personnel director introduce yourself and explain
briefly why you want to teach in his/her district. (High starting salary
should NOT be one of the reasons!) Ask them to review your enclosed
resumé. State that you would be pleased to meet with them to show them
your teaching portfolio and explain why hiring you would be to their
advantage. Allow 10 business days for them to receive, read, and respond
to your letter. If you don't hear anything, contact their office to see
if they received your correspondence and inquire about arranging an
interview. (This assumes you have done some homework and know there is
an art opening that you are interested in.)
Your well-organized and easy to read resumé would include
BRIEF*BRIEF*BRIEF (2 pages MAX) descriptions under the following
headings (CAPS) (if they are applicable to you): 1 or 2 PROFESSIONAL
GOALS and/or a philosophy statement; EDUCATION (University, degrees
[w/honors], date, GPA); CERTIFICATION; TEACHING EXPERIENCE (grades,
subjects, student teaching experience, subbing, dates/places for each);
RELATED PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE if any(teaching enrichment classes at
camps, youth groups, non-teaching work in educational environment, etc);
other WORK EXPERIENCE if it shows you have some special
talent/training/qualifications or accounts for long gaps in your
experience; COMMUNITY SERVICE especially if it relates to
youth/art/teaching; HONORS AND AWARDS; JURIED EXHIBITIONS AND
COMMISSIONS; MEMBERSHIPS (NAEA, state art/ed associations, museums,
youth organizations,etc.); and CREDENTIALS (location of your credentials
- usually on file at your university placement office.)
All the above should be proof read for spelling and grammar by several
people who are good at this!
Assemble a good looking, well-organized portfolio of things you can
impress interviewers with. I purchased a zippered black leatherette case
from an art supply store. It holds 8.5x11 sheets in plastic sleeves and
is a good size because it is not unwieldly in an interview situation. It
can be opened on a table for several people to view as pages are turned,
or conveniently passed around in larger committee interviews.
It contains 4 sections. First a "title page" with my name and "Art
Educator" and a photo of me in a teaching situation; my resumé; my
university transcripts and teaching certificate; and several letters of
recommendation. The second and third sections contain examples of
elementary and secondary lesson plans (well written DBAE-based)
illustrated with photos/color copies of student work and students at
work; photos of visual aids I created for teaching; and photos of
student art exhibits I installed. The last section contains photos of my
work. Be selective in everything you put into your portfolio. You should
have good representative examples of a broad range. (Example: 1st grade
painting, 3rd grade collage, 5th grade drawing, 6th grade clay.) Don't
put in everything you've ever done - too long, too heavy!
When going to an interview for an elementary position, you can remove
the secondary stuff or vice versa. Obviously, you would leave them both
in for a k-12 position.
I have heard that in recent years some job-seekers are also providing
prospective employers with videos of their teaching, another option you
might want to consider if you have the equipment, technical ability, and
a videographer friend!
Hope this helps you..lots of luck!
Linda in Michigan