Here are the resources and people mentioned on Episode 22.
I recently received this job search question on this post about interview tips:
I am moving to Wisco this summer, and just finished my Masters in Special Ed…from my experience in student teaching in California, a lot of the hiring is based off who you know. Any tips to someone applying from out of state? Any tips that will make my resume stand out?
Here are my thoughts on that question…
Great question. I’ve been the out of state candidate three different times, moving from SD to NM, NM to IL, and then IL to WI. Searching for a job when you don’t know the area very well and don’t have many connections can be difficult. But, it can be done.
My first recommendation for the out of state candidate is to make sure you get your new teaching license as soon as possible. School districts have regulations they have to follow regarding licensing, and a common one is to have teachers licensed in the area in which they are employed. This is what is referred to as being “highly qualified.” If you know you are coming to Wisconsin, then apply for your license with the Department of Public Instruction even before you move. Even if you are granted a one-year license with deficiencies to clean up, it is much better than no license at all.
Who you know won’t get you a job, but it can help with getting you an interview. A large majority of teacher applications look pretty good. About 25% of them look great. Another 10% look fantastic. When it comes to narrowing down who to bring in for an interview, a letter of rec from someone I am familiar with can be more persuasive than a letter of rec from a person I don’t know. This isn’t always the case, but here is a tip for that out of state candidate that worked for me in landing an interview with people I didn’t know. When I was applying to my current district here in WI, I didn’t know a soul. My wife took a job in the area and I was the trailing spouse. My superintendent at the time (Jim Burgett, world’s best boss!!) told me to let him know when I had found my ideal job among all of them that I had applied for. I told him about the job I wanted and then he called the superintendent here to put a friendly voice to his letter of rec. He didn’t say anything that wasn’t in his letter, but the personal phone call added assurance to that piece of paper. It helped me get the interview, and I did the rest to get the job. I’ve done this same thing for top-notch teachers and student teachers at my school. A 5-minute phone call can highlight your candidacy. It might not necessarily turn into an interview or a job, but it will likely lead to the potential employer spending a little more time with your application materials.
You had asked about making your resume stand out. To me resumes are pretty boring, and the ones that stand out are those with spelling errors. The good and great resumes all look very similar. What stands out to me in an application packet are the letters of recommendation. You don’t write these, but you should be strategic in who you ask to write them on your behalf. Get letters from your team mates, your supervisor, and your principal (if not your supervisor). If your superintendent knows you, get one from her/him too. I also see some great letters of rec from parents of students.
Don’t be shy about asking your letter writers to comment on specific traits you have. If you already have a letter that speaks to your organization and teamwork skills, ask someone else to describe your enthusiasm or persistence with students who have academic struggles. Once you have them, turn them into color PDFs as those look so much better when districts use an online application system. DOC files sometimes get screwy and those wonderful words of rec for you can get distorted.
Hope this helps and good luck!!
Here is episode 21 of the Techlandia Podcast that I co-host with Jon Samuelson and Alison Anderson. With us on this cast are four school principals: Jessica Johnson, Tim Lauer, David Frydman, and Tyler Amidon. We discuss their favorite apps, Twitter follow recommendations, and a few other ideas about school, technology, and hiring new staff.
You can find the resources and people that are mentioned on this board at Learnist.
You can also subscribe to and download the podcast from iTunes.
Just like my own children and my students at school, I have Minecraft on the brain lately. Here are a couple of videos on using Minecraft in the classroom. Both are from the PBS Idea Channel. (HT to Ben Wilkoff for these videos.)
The first is a quick explanation video featuring minecraftedu.com founder Joel Levin. He shares how he uses Minecraft to teach a variety of topics (graphing, history, digital citizenship, etc.) in schools. In this video, Levin states, “I have never had such access to the brains of these children and it’s been really rewarding for me professionally.” He’s got my attention.
Find more Minecraft thoughts from Joel at his Tumblr. From his blog, I found this crazy detailed account of an educator who set up Minecraft in one of the school labs. If you love #deepgeekspeak, there’s gold in this post for you.
The second clip goes into how customizable Minecraft is for meeting the needs of a variety of topics and students.
HT to David Malone for sharing this video with me.
My own kids (ages 10 and 7) absolutely love playing Minecraft at home. When I see projects like the one below from a 4th grader in California, it gets my brain churning about the many applications for MC at school. I love the enthusiasm in this kid’s voice. He’s engaged and excited, and I imagine his classmates were too when they saw his work. Minecraft is starting to get its toe in the door of the school house as a learning tool. Help it kick that door in. Check out the many MC resources at minecraftedu.com. Also connect with David Malone. He’s done some really cool things with Minecraft at his school.
In this episode, Jon Samuelson @ipadsammy, Alison Anderson @tedrosececi, and Curt Rees @curtrees share three apps: Aurasma, Don Tapscott eBook, and Uber. 5 Twitter users to add to your PLN, and the websites Google + EduHangout, Digital Drivers License, and BakBone for your iPad.
Here is the link to the Learnist board that has links and more information about the people and resources mentioned in this episode.
You can also find all Techlandia episodes at iTunes.
Here is the latest episode of the Techlandia Podcast. No special guests — just Jon and Alison doing their thing, which is connecting you to excellent resources and people for the benefit of your students. Find these resources at this Learnist board.
I found this video while working on a class project about the history of educational technology. It documents the creation of the internet and the contributions of Tim Berners-Lee in developing and improving the world wide web. The video isn’t highly technical, but does give you some good insight to how much the internet and its usability has grown in the past 40ish years.
If you’re an occasional follower of this blog, you’ll know that I’m a big fan of YouTube and the many ways in which it can be used in school. Video and music enable great story telling and also help evoke emotions (especially positive ones) in your viewers. The following video was created by Kevin Bonnar, who teaches 2nd grade in my school district. All was filmed and edited on an iPad.
Why I like this project:
- It tells a positive story about the class/school. People are always telling stories about your school– you should too. If you were a parent of one of these students, what does this tell you about this class? If you were a family relocating to an area and were school shopping, how would this video make you feel about the culture of the school?
- This is a simple project, but looks fantastic. If you are a tech-lover like Kevin, but want to help others find success with tech, help them take this on.
- A project like this can be adapted to fit so many curricular areas in school.
- Kids love to see themselves in photos and videos. It’s fun, makes them feel important, and can increase their engagement in school.