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Getting a Teaching Job: My Road to a LTO

In Ontario, Canada teaching jobs are very scarce.

This is my first post in my "Getting a Job Teaching" series.

I often see many new graduates asking for advice on
how to better their chances for getting on school boards.
I am no expert by any means but I was invited for an interview
with my school board just 5 months after I recieved my OCT.

So below are some tips and suggestions for getting that elusive supply list and LTO interviews!

First here is a timeline of my last day of teacher's college to landing my first LTO.


THINGS I DID TO GET ON THE SUPPLY LIST:

1. Volunteer

Now I understand that not everyone has the luxury to volunteer as often as I did,
but I truly believe that it was one of the things that 
got me an interview with my board so quickly.

Volunteering is great because it helps you build connections with teachers
and administration and you stay in the loop about current board initiatives.
Also if your board allows admin and teachers to request supply teachers it can be 
great when you do get on the supply list because the admin will request you 
and you will already know the location and the majority of the kids at the school!

2. Apply to the supply list EVERY month

Some teachers I know told me they applied every month 
AND called the school board to ask about their application.
I didn't do that but did send my resume and cover letter by email every month.
I hear that if you apply every month your resume will always be near the top
and you are more likely to get an interview when it does come time to interview.

3. Keep your resume current

Make sure you update your resume often so it is always ready!
Also if you are not confident about your grammar or spelling
ask a friend or a teacher you know to read it over.

The "Teach In Ontario" website has a great section on writing your
resume and cover letter.  I used it as a guideline when I made mine.
Click on the link to check it out.


Here is what my resume and cover letter look like.
(This is just so you can see a template, the information is obviously not real lol)



THINGS I DID TO GET A LTO:

1. Do a good job every time when you are supply teaching.
This includes things like going to the school a little early whenever possible,
executing the lessons plans left as closely as you can
and leaving the room neat and tidy at the end of the day.
I also always leave a detailed note about how the day went.
I will do another post about supply teaching tips and come back to link it here.

2. Keep up your Professional Development

And AQ's are not the be all end all!
*I did NOT have any AQ's on my resume before I landed my first LTO*

If you can't afford AQ's then take some free PD.
There are usually lots on PD Place.
Or I took the TRIBES Training before I got my first LTO.
I took it because I wanted to do some PD that summer but couldn't quite afford an AQ.

3. Make and bring a teaching portfolio


This is not a must and not all admin will ask to see this but it is good to have on hand.
It is best if you can incorporate it into your interview answers so think about
what kind of questions they might ask, think about your answers and then include 
lots of pictures that help demonstrate your answer.

The pages in my teaching portfolio are:


To read about my portfolio in more detail click here.

COMMON TIPS:

These are some common tips that I hear often from 
other teachers and administration to help you get an interview.

1. Get qualified in 3 divisions.

If you are P/J, get your I.  If you are J/I, get you P!
I only have P/J but I hear many boards, 
especially the ones that are very competitive 
won't even interview you unless you have a third division.

2. Do AQ's that are a board focus.

For example my board has been focusing on Math for a few years
so I took the P/J Math Part 1 AQ this summer.

Ask teachers or administration you know and find out what your board is focusing on!
You might also be able to download your board's BIP (Board Improvement Plan)
and read about the board's focus there.

An AQ that always comes up when talking about useful ones to have 
is the Special Education AQ.

*Again these are just some advice I have come across or that has worked for me.
I cannot guarantee that doing the above will work for everybody.

Good luck!

3 comments

  1. I really love your portfolio! I'm currently trying to land my first LTO and think a revamp of my own is due. I notice that yours seems geared toward FDK. Did you always have the Intentional Play and Print Rich Environment in there, even when interviewing for other grades? Is there any way to get a closer look at the content and layout of the pages? TIA

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    Replies
    1. Hello! Thank you for reading and leaving a comment! I am currently trying to land an LTO for the upcoming school year too! Yes mine is geared toward FDK as that is the only grade I have experience in and consequently what I get the most interviews for. I keep intentional play and print-rich environment in there always. Print-rich environment I think applies for all primary grades! And if I am not interviewing for FDK i just pick and choose things from the portfolio to show that are applicable to the interview questions being asked. You can see a closer look at the content and layout by clicking here. Hope that helps! Good luck!

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