Employment

LOOKING FOR A JOB IS HARD WORK! You want to put the research in and find the job that's right for you. Use the information and links below for sources, preparation and advice.


For all

Get ready for an interview by preparing with questions from the Career Services Office at Virginia Tech.

Check out the basic interview techniques, read a list of negative factors which lead to rejection, and find 50 questions to ask employers. From Graduate.com.au.

What's your interview IQ? Features a 50-item exercise and a score scale to rate one's preparedness for a job interview from The Washington Post.

The virtual interview gives you feedback on your responses to potential questions.

Job Interviews - Mock Interviews based on actual openings at the interview network.

Interviewing success with job interview tips, questions and answers, and over 2,800 sample interview questions.


For Educators

Looking for a job in special education? Based on my job hunting experiences, I have some advice for you.

1. Know thyself. Clearly define your educational philosophy and goals. Beyond the resume' and cover letters, prepare a great presentation that's all about you. For my last round of interviews, I prepared a booklet outlining my philosophies of education and leadership, my goals, and what I've learned from different failures and successes. I used sample interview questions published on the web to develop the content of the booklet. It made me stand out and it gave the interviews direction. Ask for a job description before the interview. Review each responsibility outlined in the job description and write out how your education and experience prepares you for each one. Develop a list of questions you think they will ask you. Practice your presentation. I think it gave me an edge.

2. Before you apply for a position, research the district. Most state education agencies publish critical data about school districts, e.g., average salary, per pupil expenditure, on the web. Look at the district's web pages. What do they emphasize? Programs? Test scores? District resources? Professional Development? I personally like to see pictures of kids on district web pages.

If a job does not mesh well with your philosophy and goals don't take it! This is a quick route to frustration!

3. If you are interviewing for a teaching position, these two items are crucial:

i. Ask to see the classroom where you will work. If the special education room is substandard to other classrooms in the building, chances are that the students and the program are not well supported.

ii. What resources will you have for the program?

The last classroom I was in had the left over text books from regular education and $300.00 dollars to spend for supplies and curricular materials.

The district I'm in now provides $613.00 dollars for existing classrooms and $1,017.00 dollars for new classrooms. Which program would you rather teach in?

4. Ask about the support you will receive. Will you have a mentor? A special education supervisor? A coteacher? What knowledge of special education does your support have? The right types of support make all the difference in the world.

5. What opportunities for professional development will you have? The bachelor's degree is only the beginning of professional learning. You want to have several opportunities for professional development throughout the year. How do these opportunities mesh with your career goals? For example, if your ultimate goal is to become an expert in assistive technology, you would want to know the district's technology plan and have opportunities for professional development in technology throughout the year.

6. Ask how the building handles the special education routine. Who schedules meetings and evalutations? Who files the paperwork? Who actively participates in conferences?

7. Above all, remember that this is your future we're talking about. Interviewing is not a time to be shy or modest. In this situation you are a self-advocate. Never, under any circumstances, let your future be compromised.

Use all resources available to you. The internet has links to virtual interviews, advice and job postings. The best are listed below.



star I read the advertisement for my job at Education Week.

star Every education job link imaginable can be found at Teacher Job Links.

CEC Career Connections is the only job bank on the Internet devoted exclusively to special education professionals.

SpedEx lists jobs in the field of visual impairments.

star Career and Program Support from the College of Education at the University of Missouri has lots of links and good advice.

Interview Tips for Librarians--but applicaple to educators, too.

For those who enjoy Elvis try the Memphis City Schools .

star In keeping with the Elvis theme, the Clark County School Distict in Las Vegas is growing by about 12,000 students annually.

The placement center at the College of William and Mary lists teaching positions in every state.

Academic Employment Network lists available positions in colleges, primary and secondary educational institutions for faculty, staff, and administrative professionals.



For people with disabilities

The American Association of People with Disabilities is the largest national nonprofit cross-disability member organization in the U.S., dedicated to ensuring economic self-sufficiency and political empowerment for the nearly 60 million Americans with disabilities. AAPD works with other disability organizations for the full implementation and enforcement of disability nondiscrimination laws, particularly the Americans with Disabilities Act ADA of 1990 and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Its Web site includes information on leadership development, mentoring, political participation, advocacy, job and internship opportunities, scholarships and awards, and much more. .

Employment Resource Centre - Library - The ERC Library has a collection that is targeted at the person with a mobility impairment who is preparing to enter the workforce.

The On-Line Connection!'s goal is to provide a current and comprehensive directory of Employment resources for the disabled community.

star Job Accommodation Network works to find the right acommodations for the employee with disabilities.

The goal of JobAccess is to enable people with disabilities to enhance their professional lives by providing a dedicated system for finding employment.

Spectrum Center is a ground-breaking nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the educational and behavioral performance of students and schools.



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