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Lessons in Success: How to Find a Career in Teaching

teacher in a classroom with students at computers.

Your dream of becoming a teacher is close to becoming a reality. Graduation is coming up, and you’ve completed your student teaching and Georgia Assessments for the Certification of Educators (GACE) exams. Now comes the next-and-sometimes-tallest hurdle – finding a job. Make that finding the right job – one that gives you the support and growth opportunities you need.

Here are some tips that can help set you up for success:

  1. Organize your portfolio – Since you are just beginning your teaching career, your positive attitude and portfolio will carry more weight. Gather transcripts, certifications, test results, recommendations, student work from your student teaching, statement of teaching philosophy, unique lesson plans, and anything else that will showcase all that you have to offer your potential employer. Make sure that everything is organized perfectly because this is your chance to highlight your organizational skills and attention to detail.
  2. Stay productive – Create a list of things you want to accomplish each day, whether it involves networking, adding to your portfolio, or submitting applications. Also, continue to network with friends and acquaintances. A word of recommendation from a colleague to a school administrator or learning about upcoming opportunities may give you a competitive edge. Also, use social media to share your career goals with others and track teaching opportunities.
  3. Consider substitute teaching – Substitute teaching lets you network with administrators and fellow teachers, and offers a preview of your teaching skills. Keep in mind, working as a substitute educator can be inconsistent and doesn’t always include benefits.
  4. Diversify your skillset – Perhaps you are set on teaching a specific subject. Is there another subject that would be a close second? Pursuing dual certification can enhance your chances of landing a job with a top-rated school district.
  5. Prepare for your interview – The best thing to do is relax and be yourself. If you’re nervous in front of a few people, they may wonder how you’d handle a noisy classroom. Also, learn everything you can about the school or school district and the community that surrounds it. Many school districts standardize their interview questions, and specific topics—such as differentiated instruction, lesson planning, technology in the classroom, and classroom management—are covered frequently. Be ready to discuss them.

If you are interested in learning more about our award-winning district and the numerous opportunities available at GCPS, visit