Still Searching For That Primary Teaching Job - Can't Get Hired

Dear Lesson Plan Toolbox,

So I am kind of freaking out right now because it’s the middle of June and I still don’t have a job. I had no idea that getting that one solid teacher interview would be this difficult. In fact, I thought just the opposite. So many people had told me that there is a teacher shortage so I actually thought grabbing that one interview would be a cinch. Boy was I wrong!

What do I do now? Do I keep applying and hoping that something comes along or should I start looking at other options? Right now, I feel so disappointed in myself that I don’t even know if I’m meant to teach. 

At any rate, if you could offer any advice I would be grateful to hear your thoughts. Maybe there’s something I’m missing with the whole teacher interview process that you can help to enlighten me.


Jobless Teacher


Dear (Temporarily) Jobless Teacher,

I am so grateful you chose to share your story with our community. You are not alone and you were made to teach! We are here to help you on your path and offer as many tools as we can to help you land that dream job. Grab your notebook and a pen and let’s get started!

Teacher Job Interview Item 1 - Prepare for the Interview

You might be thinking, “How can I prepare for an interview when I don’t have any teaching experience?” Well, that’s why this is so important. Get into social media groups and search “teacher job interview tips” and start binging on all the information you will find there. You might even discover that there are other soon-to-be-teachers in the same boat as you that you can connect with.

Here are a couple of websites that might come in handy as far as preparing to answer teacher interview questions: - This site provides questions and sample answers. - 88 practice questions for different categories - Great coaching resource

What’s even better is if you have a question about a question or aren’t sure how to answer something, then jump into a Facebook group and ask there. The online world of educators are always so helpful at solving problems.


Teacher Job Interview Item 2 - Dress Your Best

You’ve heard the saying “dress for success” and we’re here to tell you that this is so true. Not only do you want to be sharp in appearance, but you also want to feel it. When you are wearing the clothes that make you feel good, then you will radiate confidence. So many times in determining the most suitable candidate for a teaching position, it comes down to confidence and personality especially when you’re just starting out. Anyone can answer questions, but how you say things can make a BIG impact.

Teaching Job Interview Item 3 - Beware of Social Media

This one may or may not seem like a no-brainer, but many administrators and school officials will check social media to see the content you are posting. The last thing you want is to be tagged in a photo you didn’t know about while sipping on cocktail number 4, 5, 6, or 7. You get the idea. Check your social media pages and be sure the content you post is appropriate. If it’s not, take it down. If someone tends to tag you with inappropriate content, then try hiding them for awhile until you land your first classroom. 


Teaching Job Interview Item 4 - Think Out of the Box

When you’re looking for your job so often teachers look at district websites to apply for the position. In reality, a lot of those sought after positions are posted as a formality and the district already knows who they will hire. So what’s a new teacher to do to get that first teaching position?

Believe it or not you have a few options. First, you can add your name to a sub list which allows for your principal to see you in action. This is also a great way to try out the different grade levels to find your comfort level. If you can handle a class and demonstrate classroom management that’s a big step in the right direction.

Next, consider teaching online for a company such as VIP Kid, GOGOKID, or Magic Ears where you can teach English to online learners. This is a great way to build income while you work towards landing that dream job. You’ll also get a taste of the teaching world, but can have a flexible schedule. Depending on how ambitious you are, you could possibly create a schedule where you teach online in the mornings and sub for a school district the rest of the day. You’ve got options.


One other option to consider while trying to find a teaching position is to check out private schools. Yes, public schools probably pay more, but if you can get a couple of years experience in a private school then what have you got to lose? A lot of times you might have a smaller class size which is perk for building classroom management. 

Teaching Job Interview Item 5 - Expand Your Location

This item can be a bit tricky, but if you are in a position to expand your distance for a school or even possibly relocate, then go for it. There are many factors to take into consideration such as cost of gas, time lost commuting, and the wear and tear on your car, but if you’re able to expand your search then why wouldn’t you? Heck, you might find yourself relocating to your dream destination which would be A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!


We hope these items help you to reassure yourself with the job hunting process. Your first teaching position is out there waiting for you, you just have to be a little patient. You were made to teach!

Please know that you are always welcome to reach out to us for help on your teacher journey. We are here to serve primary teachers by making your lives as easy as possible. You can find us on Instagram (@lessonplantoolbox) or email ([email protected]).

When you do land that next interview, you might want to check out these blog posts to help prepare you for the process: 7 Interview Tips and Tricks For Landing That Dream Job and The 4 Cs to Effective 21st Century Learning.

Also be sure to grab your FREE 7 Habits To Preventing Teacher Burnout!



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