Certification is a critical step toward becoming a teacher. However, it’s important to be thinking about finding a teaching position as well. The earlier you begin your job hunt, the better chance you will have a classroom of your own in August.
Use the information below to help guide you through the application and interview process. Keep in mind that requirements differ greatly by state, school district, and sometimes the school itself. Researching these requirements thoroughly is vital.
Step 1 – Create a portfolio to share during your interviews (April/May)
Your portfolio should include:
American Board certificate
Your state teaching certificate, temporary certificate or employment eligibility letter
Exam score reports
Copy of your resume, including your
teaching philosophy Recommendation(s) from supervisors during any relevant volunteer or teaching experience you may have
Sample lesson plans
Step 2 – Take advantage of free teacher placement services (April/May)
These services are utilized by school districts to fill vacancies.
Step 3 – Create a list of schools where you would like to teach (April/May)
Identify several districts where you would like to teach.
Search for openings in those
districts. Post your resume and search for job openings at
independent schools. Visit our
Preferred Employers list for opportunities with private and charter schools. If possible, volunteer or substitute in one or more of your target districts/schools.
Step 4 – Attend job fairs or American Board recruitment events (April-July)
Step 5 – Submit state certification application (By May 30th)
certification requirements in your state or contact your state teacher certification office directly. Be sure to include a notarized copy of your American Board certificate with your state certification application.
Step 6 – Submit applications in all targeted school districts (June/July)
Many districts (or schools) have online applications available, including detailed descriptions of the application process. Be sure to thoroughly review this information before submitting your applications. It should include any previous teaching experience, including tutoring, substitute teaching or leading training sessions in a previous career. If the web site instructions are not clear, do not hesitate to contact the human resources staff by phone.
Step 7 – Contact the principals of your target schools (June/July)
Items to include in the letter or email:
Note that you have already submitted an application for the district or school and explain why you are targeting this particular school
Discuss your education, professional background and decision to change careers
Inform them of your recently earned certification and that you would like to be considered for a teaching position
Emphasize that as an American Board certificate holder, your subject area and professional teacher knowledge have been rigorously tested and you fit the No Child Left Behind definition of a highly-qualified teacher
Step 8 – Interview and follow-up (June-August)
It is important to prepare for your interviews. As an American Board customer, you have already demonstrated that you have the knowledge that will make you a strong candidate for a teaching position. It is now up to you to make sure that you express this to principals and human resources representatives! You will want to craft your message and practice how you will respond to possible interview questions. These
talking points and suggestions are a good place to start.
Visit these websites for additional interview tips and strategies:
On the day of the interview, dress professionally and conservatively. Bring a copy of the teaching portfolio that you have prepared for each person that will be interviewing you and an extra copy just in case.
Remember to send a thank you note to the interviewer(s) both by email and postal mail and, if necessary, call to follow up.
Step 9 – Get Hired! (August)
Get ready for a classroom of your own.
Prepare for your induction or mentoring experience
Mark your calendar with in-service dates
Purchase classroom supplies
Get to know your school support staff
Step 10 – Don’t forget about any post-certification requirements (June-September)
Your state may require additional steps such as participation in a mentoring program. Review the state and district web site or learn more on
your state’s page.