The Best Time to Apply for Teaching Jobs
Searching for teaching positions, preparing application materials, and participating in interviews can feel overwhelming. You may be wondering, “When should I apply for a teaching job? When do schools post jobs? Is it better to apply in March or June? If I have not received an offer by July, have I lost my opportunity?” In this post, we will share month-by-month insight on the hiring process so you can hunt for positions with confidence!
During the first part of the new year, principals determine their anticipated staffing needs for the upcoming school year. They consider current staff, projected student enrollment, and funding. Principals also determine which teachers are returning, retiring, or seeking different roles. These calculations help determine the number of teachers needed for the upcoming year.
January is a perfect time for job seekers to do some homework! Research school districts and specific schools you are most interested in, update your resume, draft a cover letter, and request recommendation letters. Consider creating a teaching portfolio to share with principals during interviews or connect with practicing teachers for more insight. Make sure you are ready for the hiring season to begin!
February to March
In late February and early March, school districts start to post teaching positions. This rollout is often slow to start and the timeline will vary in different districts. Sometimes, the earliest vacancies get filled by in-district transfers, student teachers, or teachers returning from leave. When a position is not filled by an internal candidate, principals review other applications and invite the strongest applicants to interview.
Early spring is the beginning of your time to shine! While open positions may roll out slowly, hiring can happen quickly. Keep a close eye on district websites and job boards so you can apply to posted positions. The earlier you get your name out there, the better. If the open positions seem few and far between, or you are not hearing a response from principals, try to stay positive. The peak of the hiring season is yet to come!
Hiring season is in full swing by spring. School districts update their job postings daily. Principals are busy screening applicants, conducting interviews, completing reference checks, and posting additional vacancies as they arise. When possible, principals do the bulk of hiring before the current school year ends. This way, all staff members can enjoy their summer break.
Landing a position in the spring or summer allows peace of mind before the school year starts and ample time to plan! School districts have more vacancies now than at any other time of year. Send as many applications, resumes, and cover letters as you can! Accept invitations to interview. Send a follow-up note or email to principals following an interview. As June winds down and July begins, you may notice hiring slows. Continue to stay positive because hiring happens all summer long!
During August, principals return to their buildings and prepare for the rapidly approaching first day of school. Often, there are last-minute staffing adjustments. When a late vacancy occurs, principals quickly post jobs, screen candidates, and offer interviews. The hiring process moves fast at the end of summer!
August is still a great time to get hired. Principals want a fully staffed building for the first day of school and quickly snag the best candidates for their openings. Have your application ready and keep your phone nearby so you do not miss an opportunity!
For most districts, the end of August or early September brings the first day of school. While principals hope to fill all positions by the first day, there can still be adjustments and vacancies. As with the end of summer, hiring teachers happens quickly in the fall!
While there will be a decrease in open positions during September and October, it is still possible to get hired. Keep an eye on district websites and job boards! Many fall job seekers decide to substitute teach or serve as paraeducators while they continue to search for open positions. Substitute teaching is a great way to gain valuable classroom experience, network with teachers and school leaders, and get to know the schools or districts you connect with the most. Paraeducators are often paid less than substitute teachers but usually have a consistent schedule in just one building. If you are interested in a particular school or seeking a predictable position, being a paraeducator might be a great option.
What is the BEST time to apply for teaching jobs?
If we had to pick, we would say your best bet is to apply in the spring or early summer when there is the highest volume of vacancies and demand. However, great teachers are needed year-round. If you have not found a position before the first day of school, we encourage you to continue your job search into the school year. Start your search today!