Friday, February 26, 2016

The Complex Art of the Teacher Resume

I have multiple versions of my resume, and they were all relatively easy for me to put together. However, when it came to starting my teacher resume, I was at a loss.

I’ve heard a lot of different ideas surrounding the teacher resume. I’ve been told that it has to be two pages, no exceptions, no excuses. But I’ve also heard that for recently graduated teachers, it should only be a page.

Currently, I’ve managed to keep my resume to one page, and as I go on to teach and obtain a master’s degree, I’m sure that my resume will expand to two pages.

As with all resumes, it should look clean and professional and at the very top you should have your name and contact information. In terms of formatting, I found it easiest to use a template from Microsoft Word and then I made it my own. This helped me create a professional looking resume with relative ease.

In terms of the content I have included on my resume, I start with my objective, which is a simple statement about what it is that I hope to obtain in terms of employment. Through my objective, it makes it clear that I am seeking a job as an English teacher, which makes it easy for a potential employer to see quickly what it is I am seeking.

After my objective, I have my education. This is a relatively small section, as I only have included my bachelor’s degree from Miami and my minors, as well as my GPA. Once I obtain my master’s degree, this will be included in this section as well.

Immediately after my education, I jump into my educational experience and I move from the most recent to the earliest experiences I have had. The first item under this header is my student teaching experience, which is clearly marked as such. Under this, I list where I student taught, when I student taught, and then I offer a few bullet points explaining key points from my experience.

After student teaching, I move on to my general field experiences in schools in the Cincinnati area. For each school, I also create a bulleted point list for key points from the experience, but they are much more abbreviated than my student teaching experience, as not all of these experiences took place in an English classroom, let alone in a middle/high school.

The section I have following this does not apply to everyone. After my educational experience, I have a section for education-related work experience. If I ever have more than one teaching position in my career, this is where I would notate those positions. However, under this section, I list my other job on Miami’s campus as a tutor. For this section, I format it as I would for any of my resumes with a bulleted list of my duties.

From here, I go on to a quick and abbreviated list of accomplishments, awards, and activities where I give a brief overview of awards I have received and any accomplishments or activities I’ve been a apart of that relate to my future as an English teacher.

It really doesn’t take much time to put a resume together, the key is simply to make sure it is professional and that it accurately reflects you as an individual and that it reflects your goals as a professional. 

Friday, February 19, 2016

Home Away from Home

Over the past four years, McGuffey has become my second home in Oxford.

The walls of this building have seen me at my absolute worst, and at my very best. They’ve helped shape me into the teacher that I want to become. They’ve watched me grow from a freshman who was unsure about her major, into a senior who survived her student teaching experience and is ready for the next step.

McGuffey has seen me laugh and cry, tears of both happiness and sadness.

This picture of my friend Jordan
and I was taken in May 2015
outside of McGuffey. I met Jordan
in my EDL 318 class (which was
in McGuffey), and we've been
friends ever since.
I’ve made friends in McGuffey, I’ve worked on group projects, I’ve gotten into heated debates, and I’ve questioned everything. McGuffey has pushed me to grow.

In this building, I’ve succeeded and I’ve failed. I’ve gotten into disagreements (with both professors and classmates) and I’ve worked with those professors and those classmates to resolve the issue(s) at hand.

I’ve learned more about becoming a teacher, and thereby, I’ve learned a lot about myself.

I’ve watched my friends succeed in this building, and I’ve watched friends fall, but I always saw them get back up and move forward.

Becoming an education major is not for the fainthearted. We’re some of the hardest working students I know, and we push ourselves every day to be the best we can.

We care for those around us, and we want to watch each other succeed. McGuffey welcomes us with open arms, and makes us feel at home.

My cohort met in this building, and we grew to become a close-knit group of friends.

This is my first semester at Miami (excluding last semester when I student taught) that I do not have a class in McGuffey. It didn’t hit me until this morning when I sat down to write this that I miss my morning walk to McGuffey (with coffee in hand, of course).

I miss the familiarity of the building that has pushed me to become the best me over the past four years. 

Friday, February 12, 2016

Education Majors Should Go to Career Fair, Too

Photo of the booklet describing the companies
that appeared at this year's Spring ICE.
Since my sophomore year, I have been attending the regular Career Fair that Miami offers in the fall, as well as Spring ICE, which is the spring version of the same event.

As an education major, I often feel out of place at these events, but I’ve found a lot of value in attending these events in terms of approaching potential employers, which is a skill I can transfer to the teacher job fair later this semester.

I chose to go to Spring ICE during my sophomore year in hopes of finding an internship. I hoped something would pan out, but I was exceptionally nervous about attending as a result of the fact that I am an education major.

However, if I hadn’t chosen to go, I wouldn’t have landed an internship as an intern for the training team of a mortgage banking company. Through this position, I was able to teach classes, create material for the classes, and the experience as a whole gave me more confidence going into my field experiences during the fall 2014 semester.

Moreover, through this internship, I was given the opportunity to apply for a position as a campus ambassador for the company, which also gave way to some really cool experiences.

When I returned to Miami for my junior year, I was able to host information nights on Miami’s campus, and I attended career fairs alongside the recruiters, which gave me a new perspective for what employers look for in their employees. As a result of these experiences, I feel I’ve been given an edge when I introduce myself to future employers.

Which brings me to why I think it is so important for education majors to attend these events too. While there are a limited number of education-based companies that attend these events, I think it’s more about the experience of learning how to talk about the skills that you possess and why you are the best individual suited for a particular job.

Because of these experiences, and the fact that I am more comfortable approaching potential employers, I feel more prepared than I think I would have otherwise in terms of attending the teacher job fair that Miami will host later this spring. 

Friday, February 5, 2016

Hindsight is 20/20

If I could go back and start my student teaching experience over, there are some things that I would like to do differently.

First and foremost, I would have liked more information about the school and the specific classroom in which I was going to be teaching. While I certainly had some general knowledge, I wish that there had been a better opportunity for me to gain a better perspective for what exactly I would be stepping into, especially since the classroom I was placed in was so unique.

Moreover, I wish I would have been better prepared in terms of dealing with being tired all the time. I knew student teaching would be exhausting, but I didn’t realize the extent to which it was until I was in the midst of the experience.

Staying organized was more difficult than I had imagined as well. I think I attribute a great deal of this to the type of classroom I was in, and the new grading system my cooperating teacher and I used, but I wish that I would have been able to come up with a better system from the get-go.

Photo I took in September 2015 of one of
the covered bridges in Oxford.
While I figured there would be bumps and surprises along the way, I wasn’t prepared for the problems I did have during student teaching that were unrelated to the actual act of teaching. From the car problems I had to deal with, to issues with technology for the edTPA, I wish I had been able to handle these more smoothly.

On all fronts, I learned a lot from student teaching, and I’m definitely glad that I went through the experience. But if I could go back and change a few things to make the transition easier, I would. Either way, student teaching is a bridge to cross, but the easier it is to cross in terms of the factors outside the classroom, the more enriching I think the experience can be. 

Towards the end of my experience when I finally had a better idea for how to manage the workload and stay organized, I noticed a shift in how I perceived the experience as a whole. It became even more fulfilling than it had been all along, which made it that much more fun.

Student teaching is hard. It’s a lot of work and it’s exhausting, but it is such a rewarding experience in the end.