So, You Didn’t Land a Teaching Job This Year …

Written by: Bob Harris, Chief Human Resources Officer, Pittsburgh Public Schools
Published on: Oct 1, 2018

so you didn't get a teaching job this year

For those newly minted educators who did not find a teaching position for the 2018-2019 academic year, there are several things you can do now to enhance your skills in preparation for the next hiring season.

  1. Become a per diem substitute.

Given critical shortages of substitutes in certain geographic locations across the U.S., there are many opportunities for educators to earn a steady income and gain valuable teaching experience working as a daily substitute. Should a full-time teaching vacancy at your school become open for the following year, you may be well-positioned for getting the job.

  1. Take a long-term substitute assignment.

During any given school year, as faculty members are granted leaves of absence, schools will be looking for long-term replacement teachers. These positions are usually compensated at higher pay rates than per diem substitutes, and some come with benefits. Should the faculty member you are replacing decide not to return, the job might be yours next year.

  1. Work as a paraprofessional.

Employment as a paraprofessional or instructional assistant can be the next step on the career ladder to a teaching position on your school’s faculty. To be considered for this promotional opportunity, make sure that you have the appropriate teaching certificate in hand when you take the job.

  1. Develop your skills in an after-school program.

Working as tutor in an after-school, community education, preschool, or home-hospital setting can provide an educator with a wide range of opportunities to hone his/her craft by working with individual students and small groups.

  1.  Augment your qualifications by continuing your education

In today’s teacher labor market there is a need for greater role specialization within the classroom setting. While you are looking for a job, you might consider taking additional graduate-level courses and/or workshops to augment your knowledge in areas such as special education, reading, English-language learning, or technology education.

If you did not find your place in a school system last year, there is no time better than the present to reflect on the challenges you faced in your last job search.  By the same token, to increase the probability of your finding a job in the future, you should continue to demonstrate your commitment to students and learning by working in an instructional role during your ongoing search.


With 38 years of experience in public education, Robert Harris has demonstrated his "edudexterous" leadership by excelling in the roles of innovative human resources professional, labor leader, organizational strategist, educational negotiator, Chief Human Resources Officer, writer/blogger, Assistant Superintendent of Schools, Department Head, K-12 Coordinator, and classroom teacher. In April 2018, Robert received the prestigious honor of being recognized as a 2018 Education Week 'Leader to Learn From.'

The opinions expressed in the blog are strictly those of the author and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, TopSchoolJobs, or any of its publications.