Today is the third installment of our Young Professional Series (you can see the others here and here)! This interview is with Laura Peterson, a close friend (who Blake has known since pre-school) and K-12 teacher with a passion for education.
What is your favorite thing about being a teacher?
My favorite aspect about teaching is getting students excited about school and inspiring them to be life-long learners. I love helping students become more confident in academic areas that they previouslystruggled with and motivating them to succeed. As a teacher, I get the opportunity to positively influence students’ lives and to see the progress they have made over the school year. The best thing about teaching is that you get paid for doing what you truly love.
How do you think you have to build a “brand” around yourself, to show administration, the kids, the parents? How does this brand/persona change with each of these people (markets)
As a young teacher in this unfavorable education job market, it is very hard to find a stable, full-time, high paying teaching job. However, I have found that I am able to “brand” myself by showcasing my strong attributes and being assertive both in an interview and job setting. I make sure to go out of my way to get to know other faculty, especially the veteran teachers and administration, so they know I am a “team player” and ready to help out as much as possible. I also make sure I am very fun and caring towards my students so that they will want to report back to their families with positive feedback about my teaching. As for parents, I make sure they feel welcome and know that there is open communication to meet with me and share their thoughts and concerns about their child.
What’s the hardest thing about finding a teaching job right now? How do you stay positive in your search?
Due to severe budget cuts and teacher layoffs over the last few years, I have struggled with finding a permanent teaching job, which can be very disheartening at times. Teaching is my passion, therefore, I try to stay positive and remind myself that all the applications were worth it and that I will ultimately land the perfect job I want. Even though it is not ideal, I do feel that each part-time job and tutoring position I have taken over the years was still building my resume, adding to my overall experience, and making me more valuable for when the right job comes around.
Have you seen similar difficulties out there when you’re job hunting? How do you stay positive?