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About The myEDmatch Team

myEDmatch is an employment matchmaking site that helps educators and schools with shared missions, beliefs, and goals find each other.

Seven Tips to Ace Any Sample Lesson

samplelesson

It may come after a phone screening, or it may be part of a third interview—either way, eventually you’ll have to do a sample lesson. Teaching a lesson to a group of students you’ve never seen before, with the principal taking notes in the background, can be daunting. Check out our tips to help you ace it. The good news: with so many additional adults in the room, most students who pose a challenge are on their best behavior.

BEFORE THE LESSON:

Do Your Homework 
Ask for information—the number of students, the technology you’ll have available, the room set-up (is there a rug? Are students in desks or tables?)—ahead of time.

Over-Plan
You may be provided with a lesson template, or you may have to use your own. Either way, use the lesson plan as an opportunity to let the principal in on your thinking. Scripting out the introduction, directions, and content explanations will ensure that you’re confident, and (in case time runs out) will help the principal “see” the entire lesson.

Meeting New Coworkers During the Summer

 

(Photo credit: Matt Anderson)

(Photo credit: Matt Anderson)

In teaching, as in any job, workplace friendships can make the workday fly by, while a lack of connection at work can make the year drag on. Starting at a new school, you’ll be bombarded with new names and faces during staff orientation, but you don’t have to wait until August to start making friends. Here are four questions you can ask during your interview or after you’ve been hired that will help connect you with your new team.

Can I have your email? 
If any teachers are on your interview panel, ask for their emails on-site. Then, reach out with an email thanking them for their time, asking any lingering questions, and (if you’re offered the position) suggesting a meet-up for coffee.

Who can I connect with before the school year begins? 
Once you’ve been hired, reach out to your principal and ask which teachers are best to reach out to. These may be department heads, grade-level team leaders, or simply teachers who are good ambassadors for the school. Either way, you’ll get connected with people who check their email during summer and are eager to meet the incoming staff.

How to Relax and Rejuvenate This Summer

(Photo credit: Swaminathan)

(Photo credit: Swaminathan)

Congratulations! You did it! You finished another school year. Maybe it was the hardest year of your life, or maybe you had the best class ever–either way, another school year has come to a close. This means it’s summer! It’s one of the perks of being a teacher, right? Summers off! Yes…and…

Many times, summer flies by and you are walking back into your classroom feeling like you never left. So here are three reminders for getting the most out of your summer and making sure you are ready to bring the happy back into your classroom in the fall:

  1. Be intentional with your time. If you want to spend the day binge-watching TV, do it! But be intentional that that is what you are doing–you are guiltlessly relaxing. Being intentional is just making sure you are in charge of your time. Each morning, take a few moments to really think about your day. How do you want to feel today? What needs to get accomplished? How might that look? Can you incorporate some of how you wanted to feel into your day? For example, if you want to feel pampered, can you find 15 minutes to pamper your toes and give yourself a pedicure? Or if you wanted to feel rested, can you schedule a short nap or time for a bath?

7 Ways Social Media Can Help Your Job Search

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You know your future employer may see your Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and they’ll probably type your name into Google. In fact, a 2012 CareerBuilder.com survey found that 37% of hiring managers used social media to investigate potential employees and 34% had decided not to hire someone based on what they found in social media. It’s not just unfortunate photos from college parties that cost people jobs, employers also found poor communication and posts that exposed lies in candidate qualifications. Still, social media isn’t all bad; 29% of hiring managers found positive information about candidates on social media. (Read more about the survey here.)

In education, principals, charter school human resource managers, or other teachers may all try to find you online. In your job search, make these seven social media savvy moves to put your profiles to work for you.

Take Down Anything You Wouldn’t Want a 3rd Grader to See

It’s a fact that your profile may be viewed by tech-savvy students who are just learning appropriate boundaries, and their parents. Now is the time to take down or secure any images that would cast you in a negative light, or any images that you wouldn’t want to explain to a student, parent, or principal.

Does the Summer Slide Happen to Teachers, Too?

summerslide

This time of year, you’re used to fielding questions from anxious parents about how their kids can avoid summer learning loss, or the summer slide. It’s a serious, research-proven issue for youngsters, especially those without access to the summer learning opportunities of their peers—but, can the summer burn you, too?

Does the Summer Slide Happen to Teachers, Too?

The answer is yes, but in a different way—because as an experienced, knowledgeable professional, you’re not likely to forget what you know. Instead, what can happen is a pause in growth and progress, especially if you’re an early-career teacher whose effectiveness improves dramatically during your first five years in the classroom.

Just as in other skill-based professions, daily practice makes a difference in your teaching ability. So, what should you do to keep improving even while on (a well-deserved) hiatus?

Take your own advice.

How a Tough School Year Can Transform Your Teaching Career—and Your Job Search

toughteacher

Even the most passionate teachers are battle-scarred after 10 months in the trenches. So, if you’re an inexperienced teacher or were just dealt more than your share of professional punches this year, you might even be considering a clean break from the classroom.

But here’s the thing about a tough year—it can either trample your spirit (the one that led you to the classroom in the first place) or transform your career.

Let’s give transformation a chance. Here’s how a tough school year can transform you career and your job search, if you let it.

It can open your eyes to the power of support.

Sure, teachers in those inspiring teacher movies might be able to single-handedly move mountains, but the rest of us mere mortals need support—and lots of it. At one point or another, every teacher who “makes it” realizes that. And, if you looked up from your pile of ungraded papers long enough to make eye contact with another adult this year, you probably realized it, too. Hopefully, you found that support and will continue to seek it out—whether in this job or the next. If you didn’t, though, consider a proactive search for a mentor. The right mentor can be career-altering, or at least can help lighten your load.

End-of-Year Burnout: How to Finish the Marathon in Stride

highfives

The end of the school year can feel like the final few miles of a marathon. Not only does your body not want to go on, your mind wants to be elsewhere. It’s not helped by the fact that the dreaded tests are over. Feeling burned out is quite common. In one of my previous blog posts, I drew upon the work of expert Cary Cherniss, whose book, Beyond Burnout, gives great guidance about factors most likely to lead to teacher burnout and some ways to detect and prevent it.

But the end of the year is different. Detection is not the issue. Neither is prevention. You are at Mile 23 and your lungs are bursting, your legs are cramping, your mind is in a jumble, and you just want say, “Beam me up, Scotty.” Yet, just as the marathoners make it to the finish line, so can you.

Here are five ideas that work:

Idea #1: Reconnect your kids and with your kids.

Not your “students,” your kids. Whether 7 or 17, they are kids at heart and this is your chance to reconnect with them as people. Talk with them about their interests. Ask about what books they have read, videos they have seen, sports they are following, teams they like, foods they most enjoy, favorite things to do during the weekend, museums or parks they have visited. To make this more comfortable, you might want to have them start out some of these conversations in small groups, or in round robins, or in speed-dating formats, to keep things lively and to help them better connect to each other. You could also have them write or draw about it.

Tech Integration and School Culture

newtech

The more I work with schools that are seeking out device integration, the more I stress the importance of developing a school culture around those devices. I’ve seen technology initiatives falter or lose momentum when devices suddenly appeared and magic was expected to happen. What’s more, we cannot expect students and teachers to simply adapt to technology because it’s the 21st century and Twitter says so. The pace at which we integrate technology is equally as important as our developing a positive school culture around technology.

Technology can be a great addition to any school, but it can also be a logistical nightmare if added too quickly and not planned effectively. In my experience of consulting with school leaders, working in the classroom and designing several large-scale technology initiatives, I’ve learned many pieces of this puzzle. In this post, I’ll outline three important pieces that every school leader should consider before devices enter the school.

Develop a Culture of Trust and Openness

Every district-wide and building-based administrator should develop a strong relationship with his or her technology director and network manager. Additionally, school admin should seek out tech directors who not only understand the server room, but who can also be empathetic and understanding about what classroom teachers need.