I Want a Teaching Job--feeling Hopeless Because They Hire the Uber-qualified

Updated on May 17, 2012
J.W. asks from Billings, MT
13 answers

I am a certified teacher ready to go back into the workforce after staying home with my kids. I want to work at the school my kids attend, so I know I am narrowing the pool but.....it seems like the school only hires these uber qualified teachers from out of state. I feel like I can't compete with these teachers that just have more qualifications than I do. My husband says I should find a different career, but that isn't something I want to do. This is kind of a vent, unless someone has some advice for writing a good cover letter that might actually get me an interview?

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So What Happened?

Thanks for all the great responses. I already substitute there at least once a week, I ran a very successful school fundraiser and I volunteer all the time---So I am involved. I'll keep plugging away.....

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answers from St. Louis on

If you really want to teach work somewhere else and get the qualifications. My daughter just took a job with Teach for America and they will pay for her masters while she teachers.

3 moms found this helpful

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answers from Washington DC on

I am an "uber qualified" teacher and I couldn't even get an interview in my son's school district when we moved here! They were not making any "outside hires" for my subject area.

However, I waited until mid-year and took a part-time position at a school that got additional staffing at the semester. Now that I've got my foot in the door, I'm a district employee so have way more options, and I've got two principals fighting over me for next year :)

Try to be a little more flexible. Open your self up to other schools in the district or to substituting. Once your "in" it will be much easier to be picky.

Good luck.


4 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

When I graduated, most schools around here were not hiring. I went to EVERY interview I could get. Even if I knew I would NEVER teach at a particular school if offered the job, I just wanted practice interviewing.

Subbing is a good way to get your foot in the door. Especially if you can wedge your way in to a permenant sub job...like when a teacher has a baby.

You may have to open yourself up to the idea of other schools. There are definitely conveniences to working at the same school as your children, but there are also so big drawbacks too. Often if you can get in at the same district, you can get yourself into the school you desire after a bit of time and networking.

Volunteer at your child's school. Be there for anything and everything you can. Make sure the staff and principal know who you are. And let them know you want a job there. Find out what they want in teachers. Use the time to do your research and network.

Get uber qualified. If that's what the school wants, make it happen. Get extra training and get certified it the more difficult subjects - math and science.

And for me, my cover letter and resume didn't really get me any jobs. They only got me interviews. Interviewing skills helped me get any job offers and my portfolio made me memorable. When I graduated we had to create these teacher portfolios. They showcased student work and projects we completed with children while we were student teachers. If I was asked a question, I would often try to use my portfolio to show examples of how I did things in the classroom. I interviewed a lot and worried because no job offers were coming in. Then two weeks before new teacher orientation, I would up with several offers and had to choose the school that I thought I matched with best.

Hang in there. Persistence is key!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Substitute and get to know the regular staff.

I've subbed over 10 yrs at the same elementary school. I'm not interested in full time but I could easily be there daily. My subbing is just to get a break from my office job at home where I run our company. I love the children and being at the school.

Once you are established at the school you love and they love you... You have a greater chance of being a full time teacher.

I've subbed with great teachers who now have their own classrooms and now I sub for them!!

Good luck!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Start subbing, not just at your kids' school but at ALL the schools in the district. The more they get to know you the more likely you will get called in for an interview.
Even if you don't get a permanent position right away, subbing is a great way to start, especially if you're able to land a long term sub position, like when someone goes on maternity leave :)

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Tampa on

Try substituting at the school. Then the administration can see that you would be a good candidate when a position opens up. Good Luck!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I agree with Jo. Narrowing it to one school in this job market is pretty unrealistic. I am one of those "uber qualified" teachers you mention. If you want to get your foot in the door, you are going to have to be willing to work in other schools, not just the school your children go to. Good luck. We always need good teachers! :)

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Cleveland on

very interesting answers. I'm stuck on the subbing advice --It was a huge suprise since my area is soooo saturated with teacher colleges, you have to be totally outstanding to get a job. I have always heard, that subbing in the nice districts will not land you a full time teaching positon, but that you will either be incompetent and not get hired or so competent at subbing that the will want you to continue subbing, since they have such a huge pool to pull from for teachers but it's less popular to sub for any great length of time ( more than 3 yrs) Slightly different in the very urban poor neighborhoods. I bet what region you are in makes a huge difference.

look around for other jobs in the school if that is where you want to be, do you have any special ed certification so you could be an aide?? maybe through a different agency but one that services kids in that school?

Lunch lady! (adam sandler, lol)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

There are some options. Take a job at a nearby school and get established and then try to transfer over. Until then if you're not in dire need of money you can always do substitute teaching. That way you can make a little money and in most districts you can pick the schools you prefer to work at or at least the level of school like elementary or middle, etc. You can also get your feet in the door, people will see your face and you can get to know others in the system. Let people know you have a degree and are just waiting to get hired on somewhere.

K. B
mom to 5 including triplets

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Syracuse on

It has to do with connections and who you know in addition to having a degree. I would start subbing in the school or apply for a teacher's aide position, that way you can begin forming connections within the building. Talk with the building principal about what your goal is. Give it time. You could also consider applying throughout the entire school district to get a foot in the door.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

You're REALLY reducing your odds of success by looking in O. district (yours). Our district has "super subs" that are there every day.....they are the ones likely to be hired in the event of an opening.
I think you need to look long term....expand your search for now, and maybe once you're "in" somewhere, your desired district will be more willing to hire you in the event of an opening.
I agree with a pp who said it's who you know. Know anyone? LOL

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Portland on

Do you volunteer at the school and make an effort to get to know the staff so that they'll get to know you and ask for you?

How long have you been out of teaching? If it's been several years, it might help to take some courses to brush up and make your resume more appealing.

By narrowing yourself down to one school you are seriously limiting your ability to be hired. My granddaughter's school may have a couple of new teachers per year which does make the recent graduate more desirable. Instead of seeking a new career I suggest you be willing to start anywhere. Then you can ask for a transfer after the first year.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

Maybe you could teach at a different school and enroll your children there?

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