Applying for a teaching position with the school district is just the beginning. In most districts, your application will go in a pool of other applicants. Principals usually do the hiring, and I wouldn’t count on them noticing your application in a sea of files.
Do not wait for principals to call you. You need to contact them, individually, at each school.
I recommend that you call (or better yet, visit) each school in the district. Arrive professionally dressed and prepared to give an impromptu interview. Make a good impression on the secretary. Leave your resume and cover letter. Address your letter to the principal at that school. You can get the principal’s name from either the district website or the site for the individual school.
Keep a record of schools you have visited. Note the date and time of your visit, and whether you should follow up at each school.
Hope that someone calls you for an interview. Ace the job interview. Be sure to write a thank-you note.
Many teaching jobs are created a day or two before school starts. At this time, contact every school again so you are fresh in the principal’s mind.
Sometimes schools hire after the school year has started. This could happen if class sizes are large enough to warrant hiring another teacher. If you are hired for one of these jobs, ask for time to set up your classroom and coordinate with other teachers at the grade level before your class is formed.
Sometimes, politics and economics align in a way that makes jobs for new teachers rare to non-existent. If this happens before you get your first teaching job, realize that it’s not personal. Other professions suffer through similar boom-and-bust cycles. Broaden your job search as much as you can.
If all else fails, substitute teach. You will make many contacts. You might be hired for long-term substitute positions (such as to cover maternity leave.) You might still be hired midway through the year. New jobs are sometimes created after the first semester. Good luck!
This is one of a series of posts for First Year Teachers.