Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Application Process

This is my understanding of how most people in most professions get a job:

1. Get help from your college if you're about to graduate, check job-posting sites online (especially those within your industry), check classifieds, check an individual company's website if they interest you especially.
2. Send your résumé and cover letter to the places you wish to work.
3. Await responses and requests for letters of recommendation, continue searching, and follow up on leads and top choices.

This is the process of getting a job in education:

1. Apply for certification in the state in which you wish to work.
2. Your college doesn't really help (mine didn't (probably because it's just too hard)).
3. Find the state's best job-posting site (if you live in the same state as me, you'll soon discover that it is a mediocre source at best).  Find a couple of nationwide educational job sites (and then discover that their information rarely lines up with actual openings).  Read classifieds.
3.5. If searching across state borders, discover that not only is it a hassle to determine exactly which states accept certification from your current state, but also that they all have their own uniquely flawed methods of disorganization.
4. Realize that your best bet is to go to the school district website for anywhere you may want to work (this is painfully overwhelming if you're not so sure where you want to work) and search for their own postings.
5. (This is supposed to be equivalent to #2 above).  Determine how the district wishes you to apply and the materials that they want.  Realize that these will not be consistent.  Some want it to be online, some want it to be directly from a certain third-party website (which may require you to mail them things first), some want mail, and some want in-person (this is a possibility for other professions as well, I suspect).
6. Gather the materials that are asked for most often.  Child abuse clearance, state police clearance, FBI fingerprint clearance (you might cry when you realize that many districts want to see your original documents and make copies themselves, which requires either a lot of driving or some weird calls to places that are too far to drive to), your FBI clearance registration number, a standard state application, any additional downloadable application from their website (yes, they often ask for both), proof of PRAXIS scores (you may have to request and pay for these, I did), college transcript, copy of teaching certificate or a letter from you education department explaining that it is pending, possibly an ID number issued by the state which you can't get until you're certified, and letters of recommendation.
7. Fill out the plethora of applications.  Some will ask for bizarre things like where you went to elementary school.  Some will ask for questionably legal things like access to your income tax history (and give you a W-4 to fill out).  Some will ask for your high school transcript.  Some will ask for transcripts from colleges from which you transferred.  Some will ask for proof of a negative TB test.  Some will ask for the federal I-9 form.  If filling out applications online, discover that school districts do not have high quality websites.
8. Sacrifice a Chiltan Markhor.

They fight back.

As a tribute to the stunning new film Black Swan, I invite you to enjoy...

Swan Lake, Act IV Finale (iTunes)


  1. Step #8 should be a piece of cake after the previous 7 if you ask me

  2. That's one thing I haven't tried.

    Tomorrow's to-do list: 1. Fill out paperwork nearby for a sub list. 2. Cake.