This article, “Creative ways to seek a teaching position,” was previously published in my Carnegie Mellon blog.
Network to find a teaching position
Here are some creative ways to seek a teaching position.
Dear Dr. Friedman:
I saw the advice that you gave to the student about how to find a teaching job in her dream city. You encouraged her to design and implement a fascinating presentation in an area that she finds riveting. You told her to contact 30 schools. It sounded like good advice only you forgot one critical thing: us students already work very hard. I wonder if there is a way to obtain the dream teaching job, without of flunking out of school! Please advise.
Already burning the mid-night oil
I have a couple of thoughts about your question. First of all, you may want to develop your educational outreach effort, as an independent study–either in your major area–or with someone in a School of Education. In this way, you can get academic credit while you establish connections. If you stay within your major, your project will have to have some merit within that area. A School of Education may find your project to be an appropriate independent study. Alternatively, many schools offer a mechanism for obtaining academic credit for participating in volunteer activities. This project could be your volunteer experience. I favor the former two mechanisms because you are more likely to obtain quality faculty supervision.
On a completely unrelated vein, you may hit pay dirt, by approaching all of your college instructors/bosses/volunteer supervisors. Show them a list of your 30 possible schools. Ask them if they know anyone at these schools. If they say, “yes” ask them if they would call them and ask them meet with you and give you advice on your job search. Good luck. I’d be interested in any feedback you might have if you try this approach.