Resume and Interview Tips
All teachers perform the same basic duties: developing lessons, teaching students, administering and grading tests, updating report cards, disciplining students, etc. However, what will make you stand out from the average teacher is the way you portray job responsibilities on a resume. You need to convey that you do not simply teach students, but also enlighten them and encourage them to be life-long learners.
Lets start with lesson plans. What do you do to make your lessons unique? Do they relate to everyday life? Are students actively involved in the material and excited to participate? Do you utilize manipulatives, activities, technology, cooperative learning, thematic units, etc., instead of just boring lectures? Under your teaching positions include a brief description of how you make lesson plans creative and hands-on, ensuring that you are able to meet each students different goals, needs, and interests, while still accommodating various learning styles.
Next is assessing student progress. Do you do more than just give out tests? Do you play fun games that test students knowledge, while keeping them active and having fun? What do you do with the data once it has been compiled? Do you alter lesson plans or provide one-on-one support to assists those who may still be struggling? What about communicating results to parents? Each school district encourages parent-teacher communication, so it is important to include this in your resume.
Classroom management is another key element of an educators job description. Instead of yelling at kids and telling them they are being bad, what do you do that is different and more productive? Perhaps you establish a reward system for good behavior, which impacts not only individual behavior, but that of the whole class as well. Instead of negative reinforcement, do you utilize positive reinforcement? Explain how it influences student performance and motivation.
If you are a teacher of only one specific subject, as opposed to a classroom teacher who instructs all core subjects, communicate in your resume how you make your subject stand apart from the rest. How do you utilize your teaching techniques to make the information meaningful to the students and spark their interest? For example a Social Studies Teacher might incorporate current events and news clips; an English Teacher may develop literature-based units and introduce readers or writers workshops; a Science Teacher could integrate hands-on experiments, field trips, or local environment studies; and so forth.
Whatever you think sets you apart from your colleagues you must include in your resume. If you have developed new and innovative methods for enhancing the learning experience, increasing student success, or fostering a better school community include these as well in a bullet point format following your job responsibilities. Make certain that you also mention extra-curricular activities such as sports you coach or committees you participate on. These bullet points are also a great place to include your achievements as an instructor including tests scores that have been raised, particular students that have been helped, funds raised, etc. For instance:
Offered extra-curricular tutoring to prepare students for state exams; raised average math test scores from 75% to 86%.
Developed and implemented a unit on inclusion in the classroom to make a special education student feel welcome and put an end to bullying.
Organized a student-driven fundraiser that generated $5,000 for a new gymnasium.
Regardless of what your specific duties and accomplishments are, you must create a meaty resume that portrays you as and outstanding and one-of-a-kind teaching professional.