Professional Development - Networking...

Despite today's negative attitude toward the term "networking," this method is generally how most teachers land those great jobs! Networking is nothing more than being prepared when you do meet that person who could be influential in helping you land that dream job. So, what are the steps to being prepared?

Start by knowing and being able to talk about your personal work strengths. Are you good with difficult students? Do you thrive in an atmosphere where there is little or no direction from management? Next, back up these claims by having a few short examples of your greatest accomplishments. This shouldn't sound rehearsed, but you should practice speaking about them in a concise, engaging manner.

You'll also want to mention any certifications, degrees and other training and work skills that you possess, followed up by a brief outline of your experience.

Finally, don't look at networking as trying to sell yourself, but rather as taking an opportunity to put your verbal "resume" in front of those people who could be the pathway to your ideal teaching job.

By Michelle Simmons