Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Job Searching

So, the time to start the job searching process has begun. Or rather, began some time ago. It's not urgent yet, as I know many people aren't hired for teaching positions (particularly in public schools) until the month before classes start. All that said, I'm typically not a last minute type of person, particularly when it comes to things of gravity, and meaningful employment is one of those things.

So, for over a month now I've been checking various sources for jobs. Public school teaching, adjunct college faculty, band, orchestra, pretty much anything I'm qualified for. And the field has been sparse. The majority of the jobs I'm not qualified for (head director positions requiring a number of years of experience, or professorial positions required doctorates), and the few that I do fit the bill for are not my ideal position.

One, for example, was an assistant band director position, looking for a percussionist specifically, in a small town (just over 5,000 population). The kicker was that the position admitted it was paid for by a federal stimulus package and may or may not exist after one year. Not exactly job security. So while I would consider taking it (it's a real job with real experience), odds are after one year, it would just be a bullet point on my resume as I search for a job with some continuity.

So, I'm searching. Primarily hitting up TMEA, as they seem to keep the most up to date about job postings, although I check the TBA website as well. Anyone else have suggestions for job listing sites that would fit my music/academic criteria?

1 comment:

  1. The best openings are the ones your connections tell you about. Talk to friends of yours. The only reason I got my job was because a few people cared enough about me to make phone calls on my behalf. Teachers, road guys, anyone who is willing to call. Also, don't be shy about calling and talking to the person doing the hiring. I don't know if it's as common in the big school world, but just talking over the phone got me into the interview stage. I just seemed to blow the interviews. But, I had like... 11 of them. When you submit an application, don't expect anything to come of it if you don't pick up the phone, and if someone doesn't call to give you a good word. That's the best thing I can tell you. That, and be patient. I was hired 4-5 weeks before summer camp which didn't leave much time to move, get ready for the new baby, and organize for the season. Also, don't be afraid to apply for jobs you're not qualified for. You just never know. I wanted an assistant job, but it turns out the only job I was offered was this one, where I not only run and teach the high school band (7-12), but also the 5th and 6th grade band classes (both heterogeneous, btw) AND grades 1-3 twice a week and 4th grade every day. Although I had no experience, according to a few people I talked to, I was still the best candidate to apply for this position. It wasn't advertised well, and thus didn't attract many candidates, nor any good ones. So just go for it, regardless of what it is. Use your contacts, and be patient. I was hired for this job 4-5 weeks before the camp started, and the program and facilities were in a mess. We've got a long way to go to being a great band, and I've got a long way to go toward being a skilled teacher, but I think we're all headed in the right direction. Sometimes I beat myself up for my lack of skill in this situation, but I'm able to provide fairly well for my family, and at least I'm a passionate teacher and I'm giving my all, so the students could be a lot worse off. I hope some of that helps. Oh, one last thing, just stay on top of follow up calls. I submitted my documents for this job 2-3 months before it officially opened, as soon as I heard the director would be retiring. I called every month after the board meeting to see if they had officially opened it, so an interview could be scheduled (they considered cutting the program here). Some of them were just wondering how I knew so much. I hope some of this helps. Good luck!

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