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Finding a teaching position: Interviews with professionals and suggestions to ease the job search

1 June 1998


The goal of this research project was to answer these two questions: 1) What qualities do school administrators look for when hiring first year teachers and 2) On what skills or knowledge should the student enrolled in a teacher education program focus on in order to aid him or her in the hiring process? A review of the current literature showed that studies and research fell into two areas. Research on hiring practices and policies of school districts and studies on the qualities of administrators look for when hiring new teachers. The interview, letters of recommendation, and a panel interview were common hiring practices. Relational and communication skills with varied groups of people and professional knowledge seem to be the main qualities that administrators look for. The participants of the study were from two groups, administrators and teachers. A total of five people were interviewed, two administrators and three teachers. They were all from different school districts of medium size in the Pacific Northwest. The interviews consisted of questions concerning the hiring process and qualities the two groups felt were important for teachers to have. Analysis of the data collected confirmed what the studies had found. From the information collected there emerged four suggestions that were deemed as important by the participants. Preparing for the interview, researching the school district one is applying to, knowing about current debates in education, and preparing questions for the interviewers.


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