How To Get Hired as a Teacher in 8 Steps (With Tips)

How To Get Hired as a Teacher in 8 Steps (With Tips) There are many steps to get hired as an educator, including having the required credentials, looking for positions, applying for jobs and going …

How To Get Hired as a Teacher in 8 Steps (With Tips)

How To Get Hired as a Teacher in 8 Steps (With Tips)

There are many steps to get hired as an educator, including having the required credentials, looking for positions, applying for jobs and going to interviews. Whether you’ve just earned your college degree or you’re making a career change, it’s useful to do research and learn some strategies that can help you get your first teaching job. If you’re interested in becoming a teacher, consider learning more about the interview process and effective methods that can help you get hired.

In this article, we discuss what the interview process is like, how to get hired as a teacher and provide some tips for teacher interviews.

What is the interview process for teachers?

The interview process for teachers usually involves multiple steps. While not all school districts follow the same interview guidelines, here are the steps in the interview process that you might encounter during your interviews, from the time you submit your application to the actual interview:

  • Application: Before administrators call you in for an interview, they look at your application, which includes information like your contact information, prior work experience, professional references, interview short response questions and more.

  • Resume screening: After you’ve applied, the administrators may screen your resume to determine if you appear to be a suitable candidate based on the information in your application.

  • Phone screening: If a principal liked your application, you might have a phone screening with someone in the administration department. They may ask you questions about your background or ask you to elaborate on your resume.

  • Demonstration lesson: Some schools like to see a teacher complete a lesson in front of students or in front of other teachers. This shows the administrators what they can expect in the classroom if they hire you.

  • In-person interview: During the in-person interview, you usually speak with the principal, and occasionally some of the other administrative staff. They may ask you a variety of behavioral, experience or competency-based interview questions to determine if you’re the most qualified candidate.

  • Reference checks: After the in-person interview, principals often call your references to verify everything you’ve said is true and to get your past employer’s opinion on the quality of your work.

How to get hired as a teacher in 8 steps

Here are eight steps you can follow to help you get hired as a teacher:

1. Search for positions

Before you apply to schools, go to your district’s website and look at all the open positions in your department. Take time to research each school to determine which ones are the best fit for you. Aspects to consider include:

  • State test scores: Knowing how the students did on their yearly state exams can tell you whether the administration focuses heavily on academics. A school with higher test scores might have more support from admin and staff to help students succeed on their tests.

  • Teacher turnover rate: A school with a low teacher turnover rate can mean that a lot of the teachers are happy with their school, the students and the staff.

  • Location of school: Consider choosing a school based on how long you take to commute to and from work each day. Some schools have a great reputation but are far away from your home, so try to take the school’s total distance into account.

2. Gather your application materials

Once you’ve decided which schools you’d like to apply to, gather the necessary materials before beginning your application. Not all school districts ask for the same materials, but many of the documents they request include PDF copies of the following items:

  • Driver’s license

  • Teaching certificate

  • Bachelor’s degree

  • Updated resume

  • Sample lesson plans

  • Letters of recommendation

3. Apply for the position

After gathering your materials, you can apply for positions. Most school districts have online applications, so you only have to upload your documents one time. Some districts might ask you to fill out a multiple-choice questionnaire about how you would handle certain classroom scenarios. Others may ask you similar scenario questions and have you type short answer responses instead.

Take time to formulate your responses. If you have no prior teaching experience, think about some strategies you learned in college, and use those to help answer the questions. Before submitting your application, review it to make sure you’ve done everything correctly and have used proper grammar, including capitalization, spelling and punctuation.

4. Prepare for your interview

Preparing before your interview can increase the likelihood of getting a job offer. First, make sure you have a professional outfit to wear for the interview. A simple, but effective option is a button-down shirt and dress pants with a conservative pair of shoes. Besides dressing professionally, consider researching teacher interview questions in advance so you are more prepared for what the principal might ask you. It can also be beneficial to review some frequently used teacher vernacular in case the principal asks questions with vocabulary specific to teaching.

5. During the interview

When you go to the interview, try to arrive early. If there’s unexpected traffic, it’s useful to leave early so that you can get there on time. When you meet the principal and any other staff during the interview, shake their hands and keep eye contact when speaking with them. Give specific examples in your responses when possible and bring an extra copy of your resume in case they’d like to look over it during the interview. When you get ready to leave, thank them for their time and shake their hands once more.

6. After the interview

After the interview, it’s important to send a follow-up email to the principal. In the email, thank them again for taking the time to speak with you. You can mention that you are looking forward to speaking with them again soon and are available to talk if they have any more questions. Sending a thank you email can demonstrate that you’re enthusiastic about the position, show your written communication skills, and may distinguish you from other candidates.

7. Negotiate your offer

Before accepting a position, consider asking for an official offer letter to look over before you make any final decisions. Once you get the offer, take time to look over your salary and benefits. Determine if there are any changes you’d like to request or if there are any questions you have about the package they’re offering. After you’ve reviewed it, call or email the principal or the HR department and speak with them about your questions or any changes you’d like them to consider.

8. Accept the position

After you’ve reviewed the offer and have agreed to the conditions, you can formally accept the position. Speak with the principal and let them know you’d like to accept their offer, then ask about the next steps in the process. Write down each requirement to ensure you know what to do before you start the job.

Interview tips for teachers

Here are a few interview tips you can use when going in for an interview:

Pause and think before answering

Sometimes administrators ask behavioral questions, which focus on how you would handle a certain situation. Take your time answering these questions. They don’t usually expect you to have an answer right away. You can plan a thoughtful response and then give them an answer. Pausing before answering can show that you’re reflecting to consider your past work experience and attempting to give a well-thought response.

Be honest when you don’t have an answer

If you’re unsure how to answer a question, take a moment to think about what you’d like to say. If, after a few moments, you’re still not sure, be honest. You can tell them that your actions would depend on the child involved in the scenario because all children are different. You could also say that you would rely on guidance from coworkers with more experience to help you through and that you’re not afraid to ask for help to ensure the best outcome for the student.

Do your research

Before the interview, research the school and look for information such as their demographics, popular school activities or any awards they’ve won. In addition, use the information on the school’s website to think of a few questions you might ask the principal, such as what type of curriculum they use, what their attendance policy is and what the dress code rules are. Having background information on the school and questions to ask at the end of the interview can show that you’ve done your research and have come prepared for the interview.


How To Become an Infant Teacher


Infant teachers are responsible for teaching babies and very young children the skills they need to succeed academically and socially throughout their lives. Infant teachers often work with public and private schools, at child care centers, with preschools and in private homes. If you’re interested in becoming an infant teacher, you may need to do some research about the varying expectations of an infant teacher depending on what type of facility you work in.

In this article, we describe what an infant teacher is, what an infant teacher does, how to become an infant teacher and what the salary and job outlook for infant teachers is.

What is an infant teacher?

An infant teacher is a child care professional and teacher who specializes in working with infants. This generally includes children under the age of two, as above that age there are toddler teachers and early childhood educators. Infant teachers may work at child care centers, preschool programs and in private homes. An infant teacher works with infants with the goal of teaching them the skills they need to begin the next phase of their lives and be prepared to meet all necessary educational milestones in the future.

What do infant teachers do?

Infant teachers have a variety of responsibilities related to teaching their students and doing some child care responsibilities. Because children at that age require a different approach to education as well as regular care, infant teachers may do more child care than the average teacher of older children. Infant teachers primarily focus on teaching infants basic skills they will need in life. An infant teacher’s responsibilities can include:

  • Teaching social skills, including how to play fairly with others

  • Teaching colors, shapes, numbers and letters (depending on age)

  • Creating a schedule and curriculum for students

  • Assessing each child’s mental and physical health

  • Communicating any concerns with parents and guardians

  • Correcting unacceptable behavior and positively reinforcing good behavior

  • Managing and leading other child care staff members as needed

  • Encouraging students’ positive self-image

  • Making time for students to be physically active and creative

Infant teachers are also mandated reporters, so if they see any signs of abuse or neglect, they are required by law to report it to authorities. This is one of many reasons that infant teachers need to have a comprehensive understanding of the lives of infants. Through understanding all the issues an infant might have, whether it’s abuse, learning issues, physical development issues or social issues, an infant teacher can help each infant get the help they may need.

How to become an infant teacher

Here are the steps for becoming an infant teacher:

1. Earn a high school diploma or GED

All childhood educators of any sort are required to have a high school diploma or GED in order to work in the field. You may be able to work with infants even before you have a high school diploma or GED, but for most child care and educational facilities, you’ll need your high school education at a minimum. You may also need more advanced degrees, but in order to get started, it’s good to focus on your high school diploma or GED.

2. Gain experience working with infants

Many people who decide to have a career working with infants and children know from a fairly young age that they are interested in this type of work. One helpful thing about this is that you can begin to earn experience in the field even when you’re a teenager. Having babysitting experience, especially with infants, can show future employers that you were eager to work with infants and that you know how to care for them.

If you’ve finished high school or your GED, you may also be able to work at a child care center in non-teaching areas to help care for the infants. This can give you helpful experience in understanding how the industry works and what skills and education you might need to pursue a career as an infant teacher.

3. Decide what education is right for you

Because infant teachers can work in a variety of settings, the requirements for what education an infant teacher needs can vary widely. For those who want to become early childhood educators, which can include kids eight and younger, a master’s degree in the field may be most helpful, especially for working at Head Start programs at public schools. For others, a bachelor’s degree is more than sufficient, and in other situations, a child development associate certification is all you need.

Spending some time to decide what type of environment you want to teach in and what the educational requirements are for that environment can help you make the best possible decisions regarding education. If earning an advanced degree isn’t necessary for your area of work and won’t necessarily help your career, you may decide it’s not worth the time and money to earn one and instead focus on one of the other degree options.

4. Pursue your education

Once you know what type of degree you might need to work in the area of infant education you prefer, you can move forward with pursuing your education. This might mean you need to start with a bachelor’s degree and then go on to get a master’s degree, or it might mean you get your child development associate certification and start working. Whatever type of education is most useful to you, getting a degree or certificate can advance your career and help you become an infant teacher.

5. Obtain any necessary licenses

Depending on where you intend to work, there may be a required license. This is especially true if you plan to teach older children, but you may find a license helpful even while working with infants. This might include a teaching license for early childhood education or earning a certification such as the child development associate or certified child care professional designation, even if you have a bachelor’s or master’s degree. You may also discover as you work in the field that you want a certain type of license to advance your career, and you can earn it at that point.

Salary and job outlook

According to Indeed Salaries, the national average salary for a daycare teacher is $25,768 per year. There isn’t data on infant teachers specifically, but many would fall under daycare teachers and make a similar salary. The salaries paid to infant teachers can vary a great deal depending on the city you’re working in, what type of facility you work at and your education. Infant teachers may also get benefits that include health and dental insurance, flexible schedule and child care for their own children.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the expected job growth for child care workers from 2019 to 2029 is 2%, which is slower than average. Also according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the expected job growth for preschool and child care center directors from 2019 to 2029 is 1%. Infant teachers are often in one of those two categories. While growth is slower than all jobs averaged, child care and infant teachers are still necessary jobs that can help many people.