Job Fair

This is the new version of the Alaska Teacher Placement (ATP) forum for teachers, education majors, and school administrators to discuss working and living in the state of Alaska. Those considering an Alaskan job, or considering a new Alaskan education job ask questions, and those with information and/or opinions provide answers. Although many users are teacher or principal candidates from the Lower 48, a large number of current and former school district HR and school administrators subscribe.

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Job Fair

Postby juliegottfried » Mon Apr 07, 2014 3:01 pm

Hi there,
I currently live in Austin, TX. I know that there is no guarantee of a position if I attend the Anchorage job fair. However, is there a higher probability of achieving a contract offering if I attend? It will cost a lot for me to travel from Texas, but if I have a better chance (versus an online application) then the expense will be worth it.

Thank you for your time,
Julie Gottfried B.S, M.A.
M.Ed. expected 05/14
Initial Texas Certification EC-6 ESL/ELL expected 05/14
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Re: Job Fair

Postby Johncn » Mon Apr 07, 2014 5:24 pm

Julie,

As a rule, I would say that anyone's chances of landing a job are never better than at the face-to-face Anchorage Job Fair. As of this minute, I see 620 very real teaching and school administration jobs posted as "open" in the ATP Applitrack search screen right now for Alaska school districts. Half of those will be filled in the next 7-10 days. The vast majority of the 54 or so school districts will be sending interview teams to the Anchorage Job Fair at the Sheraton this week trying to hire the best candidates they can for their openings. There will likely be about 250-300 total teacher candidates at the fair. I'd say to anyone looking for a teaching job in Alaska right now that this the biggest week of the year for recruiting. ;-)

It is certainly possible to get a position without ever attending a job fair, and depending on the mix of jobs open at the time, it's always a bit of a crap shoot whether the "perfect" job for any candidate's mix of credentials, skills and experience will be available at any given point in time. There could be more ESL openings later in the cycle than are posted now. An unexpected resignation could occur later in the season, or a district could land a grant that they don't know about, and only post a chunk of jobs when they learn of the funding in the summer.

As you say, there are no guarantees that attending any job fair will result in a job. And, yes, it is expensive to fly to Anchorage for those from the Lower 48. However, the chances of making a good impression on a district that hires you now, or further down the road after a contact at this event are better than they would be for someone not attending the fair...in my opinion.

Hope this helps,

John
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Re: Job Fair

Postby juliegottfried » Tue Apr 08, 2014 4:03 am

Thank you so much for your response. I am currently weighing my options, and I am taking many factors into consideration. Your reply is very much appreciated.
I also want to say thank you to ATP for this forum, the live chats, and the website. I have had so many questions answered with these tools. :D

Thank you,
Julie
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Re: Job Fair

Postby trvlaus » Tue Apr 08, 2014 6:04 pm

I've been teaching in AK for nine years now. In my opinion, the price of an airline ticket is well worth every penny spent for the experience and exposure you will acquire by attending the AK job fair. That is, if you are completely committed to securing a teaching position here. When I wanted a job in AK I attended the MSP and Anch Job Fair (even thought I was a dirt poor college kid) and that is what prepared me for the interview process and confirmed where I wanted to teach when offered many contracts.
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Re: Job Fair

Postby Darla Grediagin » Wed Apr 09, 2014 7:22 am

It is great to go to a job fair because you quickly build collegiality with other teachers. While Alaska is a large state physically, it is a small state educationally. You will become friends with people both in your village and others. You start to recognize others who are heading out to the bush to teach when you see them at Costco, buying large amounts of groceries in August. You will meet at various conferences. It is nice to start to build these relationships in the beginning.

Good luck with you decision.
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Re: Job Fair

Postby jen_sargent679 » Wed Apr 09, 2014 1:08 pm

This might not be typical.

I attended the Minneapolis Job Fair and spent the whole day at the fair. I talked to everyone, even the ones that didn't have science listed on their board. It was a great opportunity to meet the Supers and sometimes a Principal, possibly your future boss. I highly recommend going to one with lots of resumes and make copies of your list of references. (I forgot to do that!) You might not be a fit for some districts, but I found that those districts will point you to the ones that would be a great fit. School districts will talk to each other during the job fair and share knowledge about candidates.

I made a list of all the districts that were at the fair prior to walking in that room. Then I ranked them according to which ones I really wanted to work for. During the fair, I visited districts based on that order. Districts made appointments for interviews. Keep track of your interview times. Meet other districts that have nothing for you during your in between time. Read materials that they hand you. Pay attention to anything that you sign. A letter of intent means that you will stop interviewing. I was handed one from the first district that interviewed me and I had 3 interviews to go!

I stayed at the hotel that had the fair and it was great! Rooms were spacious and there was a pool. It really rocked because there was a nightly reception held in the middle of the hotel. I was able to speak to some districts again. I sat with one district representative and chatted for a long time. I learned so much about how to enjoy teaching in Alaska, the culture of each area, hunting, fishing and more.

It was an amazing experience! I drove over 10 hours to attend and I wouldn't go back and change anything.

All the best,

Jen
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Re: Job Fair

Postby juliegottfried » Wed Apr 09, 2014 2:20 pm

Thanks for the help!!
I am pleased to announce that I have registered for the fair, and I have booked my flight. I can only be there on Saturday due to the long flight. Hopefully all of the districts will stay!

Thanks for the responses :D
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Re: Job Fair

Postby Darla Grediagin » Tue Apr 15, 2014 6:41 am

How did it go at the job fair?
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Re: Job Fair

Postby juliegottfried » Wed Apr 16, 2014 10:49 am

I had a great experience at the ATP job fair, and I would recommend that anyone interested in teaching in Alaska attend both days of this fair.

Julie
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