Seattle 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.

Moderators: Johncn, Betty Walters, Toni McFadden, Damon Hargraves

Seattle Job Fair

Postby hawkmcke » Sun Jan 31, 2016 2:25 pm

Hi everyone!
Today is the first day of my serious commitment to the idea of moving to Alaska to teach. I am doing my student teaching now, in Bozeman, MT. I have finished my application, and registered for the Seattle Job Fair in March. Plane tickets are booked. I guess my question is, What else can I do to better prepare myself for this process? I've done some research and I'm a little overwhelmed with the amount of opportunities there are.
Can anyone give me advice about what being a first-year teacher, certification pending, will look like at the job fair? Will it limit my chance? Should I contact districts beforehand to set up interviews during the job fair?

All of this is so new to me, definitely looking forward to the adventure. :)
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Re: Seattle Job Fair

Postby joel.antes » Mon Feb 01, 2016 4:21 am

Welcome to the confusion!

I'm in a similar situation. I graduated in December and will be attending the Anchorage Job fair in March. This is my first time dealing with this type of bureaucracy.

So far, I've found this forum to be a great resource for general information. I've also called the people at EED to ask them specific questions about certification. They have always been helpful.

Also, if you haven't already, you can make your application on applitrack live even without your license. I submitted mine about a week and a half ago, and already there's been some interest. Districts seem to be starting their search.

Good Luck!

J
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Re: Seattle Job Fair

Postby Johncn » Wed Feb 03, 2016 5:45 am

Can anyone give me advice about what being a first-year teacher, certification pending, will look like at the job fair? Will it limit my chance?

Hi,

Welcome to the ATP Forum. This is the right place to ask these sorts of questions! In addition, ATP has it's first Live Chat online this Thursday to answer candidate questions about maximizing your job search in Alaska. If you are registered for Applitrack, you'll be receiving an email invitation later today.

First of all, school districts at the ATP Lower 48 Job Fairs - such as Seattle, Portland and Austin this year - will be eager to meet any good first-year teacher who is just coming out of their pre-service teacher training program. That is what they travel there for, and the will not expect you to have your certification completed. Most newly minted teachers in that scenario are just finishing their student teaching, or completing other requirements for their "Institutional Recommendation" for Alaska certification. That form is only signed, and therefore Alaska certification can only be granted, after all of your university's requirements for certification (and often graduation) are completed:

Alaska EED Teacher Certification Info
https://education.alaska.gov/teachercertification/initial.html

Institutional Recommendation for Alaska Certification
https://education.alaska.gov/teachercertification/recomm.html

That said, you need to present yourself as a believable candidate for certification. That means you have done well in your program, have the Praxis or equivalent Basic Competency Exam (BCE) done, and appear to be the sort of person they seek for the specific positions they have open.

Alaska EED Teacher Certification - Praxis
https://education.alaska.gov/teachercertification/praxis.html

Sometimes, in rural Alaska being a good fit means that you not only have the ability to teach the subjects / grade levels they need, but also have some extra-curricular activity skills and interests that are a good fit, or that your housing needs match the available apartments or housing units they have in Village X.

tl;dr - If your state's, or Alaska certification is pending, but your ducks are in a row, being a first year teacher will not hurt your chances with Alaska districts. ;-)

Should I contact districts beforehand to set up interviews during the job fair?

Yes, this is a good idea. Proactive candidates who have used the Alaska Teacher Placement website (http://www.alaskateacher.org/) and know what districts they are most interested in should contact those districts IN ADDITION to their Applitrack application and let them know what job fair(s) they are attending. This is most often in the form of a cover letter and/or email with resume sent to several people at that district. It should be the HR Director, and any other name on the district's employment info - i.e., recruiter, HR Assistant, etc. - that you can find.

When you contact them, don't be pushy, but introduce yourself as a newly minted teacher candidate, mention that you will be attending the job fair, and that you are interested in a screening interview for any open positions they have that match your areas of certification. Make sure to include in the email or cover letter your cell number, best hours to reach you, and the email you will have access to while traveling to the event in case they don't schedule anything prior to the lead up to the job fair.

tl;dr - Yes, you should contact them and try to catch their attention before the job fair.

Hope this helps,

John
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