MAT Degree JobsMarketing Yourself with a Masters in Teaching
When you are nearing the completion of your Masters in Art in Teaching (MAT), you should be considering how to market yourself to land a job. While you may think that this is an unnecessary function for landing a job in the teaching field, you will discover soon after your internship is completed that you were mistaken. Some geographic areas have less teaching positions available such as in Southern California.
It takes more than a portfolio, resume and letters of recommendation to begin your career. You still have to sell your skills, your personality and your interests to a board or interview committee who are not easily impressed.
If you have been a teacher and returned to get your masters degree in education, you may discover that it is more difficult for you to get a job than for the newbie who has no teaching experience. This is usually because most schools have budget issues and prefer to hire a new teacher with less education and experience because it will be cheaper.
Often teachers are placed in settings with either the wrong age group, the wrong economic group, or the wrong subject group and the results are miserable for all just because there was an opening. You need to be brutally honest about your qualifications and where and what you would like to teach.
Marketing yourself is a form of branding. To start, review your interests and eliminate all that are only lukewarm. You don't want to be working 8 hours a day teaching Math when you hate the subject. Consider your true personality type - controlling, aggressive, flexible or malleable. Be honest about the connection you would have with the students - your school experience at different ages will make that connection. From the lists you have made, find three and only three of your strongest points. That is where your marketing focus will be best utilized.
As an example, let’s say that you are a person that really needs to be in control of your environment in order to feel comfortable. You have a strong interest in jazz music. You are most comfortable around 1st and 2nd grade aged children. You are somewhat creative by nature but not an "artist" personality. You are uncomfortable in chaotic circumstances.
From this, you might determine that you should be teaching music appreciation to 1st and 2nd graders. You might be wrong. 1st and 2nd graders do not respond well to a person who needs to be in control. The classroom setting is more often chaotic than organized and innovative ways of communicating are best. The likelihood that you will find a rewarding career in these conditions is nil.
However, preteen aged children need that personality type. Few middle schools offer a course in music appreciation. However, the 10 - 12 aged group loves music and are open to a variety of musical styles. The classrooms are more organized and the students are desirous to expand their knowledge. There ability to follow direction is much better and the need for innovation is not as great. This does not mean that rote teaching is in.
If you think out of the box and find a way to incorporate you jazz music interest into some of the materials for teaching - such as in math, science or social studies - you can market that as part of your individual teaching style. By playing that up, you are offering you future employer a peak into your critical thinking abilities. You are more likely to be placed in a more suitable setting than if you didn’t take the time to market your assets.