Landing Your First Physics Teaching Job

American Physical Society
12 Jul 201258:03
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TLDRThe American Physical Society hosted a webinar titled 'Landing Your First Physics Teaching Job,' featuring experienced educators Mark Rice and B Lipit. The session, moderated by Jacob Clark Wickens, offered valuable strategies for new physics teachers to secure their first teaching positions. The discussion covered pre-interview preparations, interview techniques, and post-interview considerations. The speakers emphasized the importance of a strong resume, confidence, and enthusiasm, as well as the value of networking and continuous learning. They also provided insights on adapting to different teaching environments and leveraging prior experience in education or other fields.

  • πŸ˜€ The webinar aims to help recent physics teachers land their first teaching job, providing strategies and insights.
  • πŸ“ It's crucial for new teachers to prepare a strong resume and get feedback from diverse perspectives, including non-science teachers.
  • πŸ—£οΈ Practicing interviews with mentors or friends can help candidates handle unexpected questions and project confidence.
  • πŸ” Applicants should cast a wide net for job opportunities and consider applying to positions in different locations, even if they're not currently based there.
  • πŸ€” Interviewees should be prepared to discuss their teaching philosophy, demonstrating their passion for education and understanding of young learners.
  • πŸ‘” Dressing professionally for an interview is advised, with business casual being a safe choice, but a suit can also be appropriate.
  • πŸ’Ό Bringing materials such as a portfolio, lesson plans, and extra copies of resumes can be beneficial during the interview process.
  • πŸ“ž Follow-up after the interview with a phone call or email expressing gratitude and continued interest in the position is recommended.
  • 🀝 Having a clear understanding of one's teaching capabilities and limitations, and being able to communicate this to interviewers, is important.
  • 🏫 Being open to different teaching assignments and showing a willingness to collaborate with colleagues can be advantageous.
  • πŸ”„ For those transitioning from college teaching to high school, emphasizing their content knowledge and ability to connect with younger students is key.
Q & A
  • What is the purpose of the webinar mentioned in the script?

    -The purpose of the webinar is to discuss strategies for recently licensed High School physics teachers to land their first teaching job.

  • Who are the presenters featured in the webinar?

    -The presenters featured in the webinar are Mark Rice and B Lipit, with the session being moderated by Jacob Clark Wickens.

  • What is Mark Rice's background according to the script?

    -Mark Rice has been teaching since 1990 and teaching physics since 1997. He has taught in three states and two foreign countries and is currently teaching at his Alma mater, Fville High School in Fville, Arkansas.

  • What is B Lipit's educational background and experience?

    -B Lipit has taught grades 2 through 12 since 1974, with most of those years spent as a physics teacher at Franklin High School in Seattle. He completed his BS and Master's work at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, and is currently a program coordinator for education-related activities at the Institute for Systems Biology.

  • What advice is given for preparing a resume before a job interview?

    -The advice given includes getting your resume ready, showing it to as many people as possible for feedback, and ensuring it is error-free and clear, even to those without a science background.

  • Why is it suggested to practice an interview with a mentor or friend?

    -Practicing an interview helps you to feel prepared, respond in the spot, and handle unexpected questions with confidence. It also allows you to receive constructive feedback and improve your interview skills.

  • What is the importance of casting a wide net when applying for teaching positions?

    -Casting a wide net increases the chances of landing an interview and a job. It's suggested to apply even to positions that seem out of reach or in distant locations, as opportunities can arise unexpectedly.

  • What should a candidate consider when selecting references for a teaching position?

    -Candidates should consider asking anyone who has seen them teach or interacted with them in a professional or informal capacity that can provide a good impression of them as a teacher and an individual.

  • How can a candidate demonstrate confidence during an interview if they lack experience?

    -A candidate can demonstrate confidence by showing enthusiasm for teaching, highlighting any relevant experience in other fields, and emphasizing their potential to be a great teacher despite their inexperience.

  • What is the STAR method mentioned in the script, and how can it be applied in an interview?

    -The STAR method stands for Situation, Task, Approach, and Result. It is a structured way to respond to behavioral interview questions by clearly describing a situation, the task at hand, the approach taken to address it, and the expected result.

  • What advice is given for following up after a job interview?

    -The advice given includes making a phone call to the person in charge of the interview committee to express gratitude for the opportunity and to inquire about the decision timeline, and sending a follow-up email or note to reinforce interest and keep your name fresh in their minds.

  • How can a former college science teacher transition back to the high school classroom according to the webinar?

    -A former college science teacher transitioning to high school teaching should focus on selling their passion for working with younger learners, demonstrating their ability to connect with high school students, and showing that they are keen on adapting to the high school environment.

  • What resources are recommended for a beginning physics teacher to prepare for their new role?

    -Resources recommended include the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) journal 'The Physics Teacher' for teaching ideas, attending AAPT events for networking and materials, and getting in touch with the department head and principal for support and resources.

πŸ“š Introduction to APS Webinar on Physics Teaching Jobs

The webinar, hosted by Crystal Bailey, aims to guide recent physics graduates on securing their first teaching position. The American Physical Society (APS) organizes these webinars to connect students, educators, and working physicists with valuable career insights and professional development opportunities. The session features Mark Reeve and B Lipit, who will share strategies for new teachers, and is moderated by Jacob Clark Wickensa, a seasoned academic with a background in science education. The webinar will include a Q&A segment, but due to the large attendance, only text-based questions will be entertained.

πŸ” Preparations Before the Teaching Interview

Mark and B discuss the importance of preparing a resume and seeking feedback from a diverse range of individuals, including non-science teachers, to ensure clarity and effectiveness. They emphasize the competitive nature of job applications and the need to stand out. B suggests writing a cover letter to the principal and practicing interviews with mentors or friends to build confidence and readiness. The speakers also encourage applicants to apply widely, even for positions they may not initially consider ideal, as it can lead to valuable connections and unexpected opportunities.

🌐 Overcoming Geographical Barriers in Job Applications

The speakers share experiences of hiring and being hired over long distances, including across countries, highlighting that geographical location should not be a barrier to applying for a job. They advise job seekers to be prepared to move and not to hesitate to apply to positions in distant locations. They also discuss the importance of demonstrating genuine interest and seriousness about relocating to the job site, even if the interview is conducted remotely.

πŸ’‘ Highlighting Positives and Selecting References

Mark and B encourage job applicants to focus on their strengths, such as experience in other fields or achievements in student teaching, to compensate for inexperience. They also stress the importance of selecting references wisely, including people who have observed the applicant's teaching or can speak to their character and academic abilities. The speakers suggest that a variety of references can provide a well-rounded picture of the candidate to potential employers.

πŸ”Ž Finding Job Opportunities and Preparing for Interviews

The paragraph discusses various strategies for finding job opportunities, such as subscribing to state science listservs, checking school HR web pages, and utilizing word-of-mouth. It also mentions the importance of being persistent and proactive in applying for jobs, even when faced with initial rejection or when applying to positions that may not be advertised. The speakers also provide insights into the timing of job openings, noting that there can be a second round of opportunities in the fall.

πŸ‘” Interview Etiquette and Practical Tips

The speakers provide advice on professional attire for interviews, suggesting that while a suit is not necessary, dressing in business casual is appropriate. They also recommend bringing extra materials such as resumes, cover letters, and a portfolio showcasing lesson plans and student work. The paragraph highlights the importance of being prepared to discuss experiences and lessons taught, as well as the potential to use these materials to illustrate points during the interview.

πŸ“ž Navigating Phone Interviews and Researching the School

Mark shares his experience with phone interviews, offering tips such as being comfortable, pausing to think, and preparing for unexpected questions. He also suggests recording oneself to improve presentation style. B adds that it's important to distinguish between different interviewers' voices and questions. The paragraph emphasizes the value of researching the school and curriculum beforehand to tailor responses and demonstrate a genuine interest in the position.

πŸ€” Handling Common Interview Questions

The speakers discuss common interview questions, such as those about educational philosophy, classroom management, and the use of technology. They emphasize that interviewers are often looking for confidence, a solution-oriented mindset, and the ability to work well with students, parents, and colleagues. The paragraph also mentions the importance of displaying passion for teaching and learning, as well as the ability to collaborate with other teachers.

πŸ“ Post-Interview Actions and Considerations

The paragraph covers what to do after the interview, such as being prepared for potential job offers and deciding in advance what positions one is willing to accept. The speakers suggest having a clear understanding of what one can and cannot teach and being open to opportunities, even if they involve teaching subjects outside of one's initial preference. They also highlight the importance of networking and building relationships with educators in the field.

πŸ“¨ Follow-Up After the Interview

The speakers recommend making a follow-up call or sending a thank-you note after the interview to express gratitude and reiterate interest in the position. They suggest contacting the person in charge of the interview committee and, if necessary, leaving a message and following up with an email. The paragraph also advises job seekers to continue looking for other opportunities while waiting for a decision.

πŸŽ“ Returning to the Classroom from Higher Education

The paragraph discusses the challenges and strategies for those transitioning from college teaching to high school teaching. It emphasizes the importance of selling oneself to principals and demonstrating a genuine interest in working with high school students. The speakers suggest that while content knowledge is crucial, rapport with young learners and the ability to work with colleagues are also highly valued in high school settings.

🏫 Preparing for the First Teaching Position

The speakers provide advice for new teachers on how to prepare for their first teaching position, including getting to know the department head, principal, and other teachers. They suggest familiarizing oneself with the curriculum, textbooks, and any required training. The paragraph also highlights the importance of establishing a support network and seeking mentorship to ensure a smooth transition into the teaching role.

πŸ“˜ Resources for New Physics Teachers

The paragraph mentions the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) as a valuable resource for new physics teachers, with publications like 'The Physics Teacher' offering teaching ideas and support. The speakers encourage new teachers to take advantage of such resources and to join professional organizations to enhance their teaching skills and connect with the broader physics education community.

πŸ“ž Closing Remarks and Final Advice

The webinar concludes with thanks to the speakers for their insights and advice. The hosts remind participants that slides and a recording of the webinar will be made available and encourage them to complete a survey to help improve future presentations. They also provide contact information for open physics positions in the Washington DC public schools area and suggest that participants follow up with any additional questions via email.

πŸ’‘APS Webinars
APS Webinars refer to the online seminars and workshops organized by the American Physical Society. They serve as a platform for professionals and educators to share insights and expertise in physics careers, educational programs, and professional development. In the script, APS Webinars host a session titled 'Landing your first physics teaching job,' which is the central theme of the video.
πŸ’‘Physics Teaching Job
A physics teaching job involves educating students in the subject of physics, which includes concepts of matter, energy, and the forces that shape the universe. The video's main theme revolves around strategies for securing one's first position in this field, as discussed by the presenters Mark and B.
A resume is a document used by job applicants to present their skills, experience, and education. In the context of the video, it is emphasized as a crucial tool for making a good first impression and securing an interview for a teaching position.
An interview is a meeting where a job applicant is assessed by one or more interviewers for a job position. The video discusses various aspects of the interview process, including preparation, what to expect, and how to make a positive impression when seeking a physics teaching job.
πŸ’‘Teaching License
A teaching license is a legal permission granted to individuals who have completed required teacher education programs and assessments, allowing them to teach in public schools. The script mentions recently licensed high school physics teachers, indicating the target audience for the webinar.
References are individuals who can vouch for a job applicant's skills, character, and work ethic. In the script, the importance of choosing good references who can positively influence the hiring decision is highlighted.
A portfolio is a collection of documents and works that demonstrate a person's abilities and experiences. The video suggests bringing a portfolio with lesson plans and student work to showcase one's teaching capabilities during an interview.
πŸ’‘Differentiated Instruction
Differentiated instruction is an educational approach where teaching is customized to meet the diverse learning needs of students. The script mentions this concept as a potential interview question, indicating its importance in modern teaching practices.
πŸ’‘Prior Conceptions/Misconceptions
Prior conceptions or misconceptions refer to the pre-existing but often incorrect ideas that students have about a topic. The video script includes an example of an interview question asking how a candidate would address such misconceptions in the classroom.
πŸ’‘Discipline Issues
Discipline issues relate to managing student behavior in the classroom. The script mentions that interviewees may be asked about their approach to handling discipline, which is a critical aspect of teaching.
πŸ’‘Technology in the Classroom
Technology in the classroom refers to the use of technological tools and resources to enhance teaching and learning. The video script indicates that interviewers may inquire about a candidate's experience and plans for integrating technology into their teaching.
A follow-up refers to the actions taken after an event, such as an interview, to maintain communication and show ongoing interest. The script discusses the importance of following up after an interview, suggesting methods like phone calls or emails to express gratitude and reiterate interest in the position.

Webinar aims to guide recent physics graduates on securing their first teaching job.

Crystal Bailey introduces the webinar and its host, Jacob Lickenstaff.

Mark Rice and B Lipit share their experiences and strategies for landing a teaching position.

Importance of having a well-prepared resume and getting feedback from various sources highlighted.

Suggestion to practice interviews with mentors or friends to build confidence.

Advice on casting a wide net and applying to various schools regardless of location.

Discussing the value of enthusiasm and confidence in the interview process.

Recommendation to be prepared for any unexpected questions during the interview.

Tips on dressing professionally for the interview and making a good first impression.

Importance of bringing additional materials like lesson plans and portfolios to the interview.

Mark Rice shares his experience with phone interviews and the benefits of being well-prepared.

Advice on how to handle post-interview follow-up, including making a thank-you call or sending an email.

Suggestions on what to do if offered a different position than initially interviewed for.

Highlighting the STAR method (Situation, Task, Approach, Result) for answering interview questions.

Recommendations for beginning teachers to prepare for their new role and seek support.

Resources for new physics teachers, such as the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) and its publications.

Encouragement for continuous learning and networking within the teaching community.

Closing remarks with thanks to the speakers and participants, and information on follow-up resources.

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