Recently, I have been advocating just how important it is for students to develop technological acumen and to become experts with e-mail, social networking and software applications all in the hopes that they fare OK in this still doomed economy. But what about teachers?
Will individuals who received their master’s in education find themselves not getting that second interview because they have limited experience with SMART Boards? Will they not even be called in for the first interview because their resume doesn’t say something like, “Piloted an iPad educational program while student teaching?”
If we are being honest, nowadays our teachers are under just as much pressure as students to embrace education technological trends. And just as students need to be well-versed with the latest technologies in order to prepare themselves for college and ultimately for the increasingly mobile, virtual workforce environment, teachers, too, are expected to become technological leaders.
So my blog today is not directed at you, students, but rather for all you teachers out there (or want-to-be teachers) who are looking to become gainfully employed.
There are some cold, hard facts that one must accept if he/she is trying to enter the teaching force (and yes, I am deeming myself qualified to lecture on this topic since I am the daughter of a 30-year teacher and the best friend of two first-year teachers).
The first fact: old is out and young is in. I hate to sound curt but the truth is that districts are going to be reluctant to pay a 50-year-old with two master’s degrees and a 25-year teaching track record when they could start a first-year teacher at the bottom of the pay scale. So soon-to-be-teachers, while your competition is really just your peers, don’t be fooled; this actually makes getting a job harder because the young folk are the ones that grew up mastering these technological advances.
As you make your way through grad school and the laborious hours of student teaching, bring innovation into your school in the form of technology in whatever way you can. If your school faces too many monetary constraints to pay for iPads, use the Internet to bring the iPad learning apps to your students. If your school does not have SMART Boards, you better find somewhere to hone your SMART Board skills before embarking into the applicant pool. And if the school in which you are student teaching does not use Blackboard to post grades, get a tutorial from someone who does.
And you know that skills section on your resume? It better be filled with hot-button terms like Skype, Blackboard, SMART Boards and iPads if you want your resume to jump to the top of the application pile.