Post written by Jessica Carter, author of http://welcometospanish1.com
As a young person entering into the education field I often worry about being able to distance myself from the students, maintain authority, and fit in with my coworkers. I am often closer in age to my students than the teacher across the hall. But as I’ve gotten more experience I’ve realized that age really doesn’t influence the way you are received, your actions do. This seems like it should be obvious… however, everyday I speak with a teacher/administrator/counselor who worked with people my age and were FLOORED. So I figured I would give you guys a guide on how to stand out and be professional even as a young teacher.
Being Young/ Fresh Out of College is NOT a Drawback!
When I first started looking for jobs and applying at different districts, I had no confidence in the fact that I would stand out and be chosen over a teacher with years and years of experience. Intimidated when I saw people older than me interviewing for the same position, I doubted myself. Then I attended a panel with Principals! One of their most common hiring traits was that they pick new teachers over veterans. Did you guys here that? I’ll say it louder!
Principals will choose new teachers over veteran teachers!!!
Why is this? First off, they can pay you less. Second, you have tons of new ideas, inspiration, and stamina! So, now you have confidence about applying and interviewing, but how do you get the job?
Tips on Standing Out and Being Professional
- Do your research about the district/company!
Schools/Companies want to see that you’ve done your homework. This shows them that you are serious about the job and not wasting their time. This can also give you talking points or questions for later in the interview which leads me to the next tip,
- Prepare questions!! At least 2
Remember that you are also researching them as your potential employer! You should be interviewing them just as much as they are interviewing you. This is an exchange of information and credentials NOT an exam!
- Dress Professionally and Show Up ON TIME
Again, it sounds self-explanatory BUT apparently it’s not. Dress for the job you want but dress comfortably. You should NOT wear jeans or tennis shoes. Do NOT wear things than can be seen through (sheer), down (chest), or up (length). You should be showing up to interviews a few minutes early. Not only does it show that you are reliable but it also gives you some time to gather yourself and breathe!
- Once you’ve got the job, ALWAYS BE PREPARED!
Even if you are the ONLY one in a room of 100 teachers/employees who is prepared, you should still do it. Do NOT fall into the routine or relaxed nature that older employees will have, they have established themselves already. Being professional is an everyday thing, you have to stay committed to it! It is imperative that you set yourself up for success and stand out from the crowd.
- Be an advocate for yourself!
A professor told me this in college and I wrote it down in my journal, it really spoke to me. Be an advocate for yourself! If you have questions, ask them, if you need a mentor, find one, if you need one-on-one help from your boss/administrator/coworker, make time for it! So often, young teachers are nervous and don’t want to come off as stupid if they ask questions. You will learn AND build relationships and make impressions on those you reach out to. If you are honest, kind, and helpful no one will turn you down! For more about being professional and networking, check out this post! https://welcometospanish1.com/networking-tips/
Recap-Stand Out and Be Professional
Youth can be an advantage, BUT it can come with judgement and mistrust. We have to prove that we are professional to get the recognition, but this isn’t super difficult. Set yourself apart from the crowd by researching, asking questions, dressing professional, being on-time, and being prepared. Those around you will recognize your drive and your age will fade away! Above all, just be yourself!
If you liked this article, check out Jessica Carter’s blog http://welcometospanish1.com
Special thanks to All-In Blog for giving me this guest post and the freedom to write what I know!