mobile site

down arrowMenu

Career Services

Teaching: Announcements


Welcome to the 2017-2018 academic year! I look forward to working with all PK-12 teaching majors, counselors and administrators again this year. Congratulations on your decision to enter the field of education, a career that will allow you to touch many lives.

"Our progress as a nation can be no swifter than our progress in education. The human mind is our fundamental resource." -John F. Kennedy

Please remember that UNI Career Services is here to assist you with any questions related to your job search. Be sure to review the links on the Services for Educators section of our web site for the many resources and services we provide to educators.

The School Musings & Announcements page is a section of our web site that I will be utilizing to update you each semester on Career Services' activities and other announcements as needed. This page will also provide you with opinions from K-12 school hiring officials, which I hope you will find especially useful as you begin your job search.

Semester Announcements/Career Services

Student Teaching Round-Up - Student Teaching Resumes
All students submitting paperwork for their student teaching placement are required to submit a resume as part of the paperwork. Career Services is pleased to critique this resume for you. To set-up an appointment with a Peer Advisor or Anna McGee, please phone 273-6857. Because many administrators will view this resume, it is important that you present a polished document.

Job Search Handbook for Educators
Job Search Handbooks and other career resources will be distributed to all 2017-2018 teacher education graduates on September 8. 

Job Search Handbooks
Job Search Handbooks and other career resource materials have now been provided to all 2014-2015 teaching graduates. Career Services is pleased to provide you with this helpful guide to assist you in your job search.

Job Search Materials
All December 2013 and Spring 2014 teaching graduates have received Job Search Handbooks and other Career resource materials. Career Services is pleased to provide you with this helpful guide to assist you in your job search.

Zoom and classroom presentations
Each semester, Career Services spends many hours in classrooms across campus at the invitation of faculty. These presentations cover all of the unique aspects of the job search for educators. In addition to classroom presentations, we will also be presenting via Zoom to all those student teaching in Iowa this academic year. This Zoom presentation has been recorded for May grads -- inquire with your student teaching coordinator.

Education Majors - Are You Career Ready? November 11, 4:30-5:45, Maucker Ballroom A.

Come hear from school employers about your career development and job search. All education majors are welcome.

This panel discussion will give education majors the opportunity to hear directly from school hiring officials about career development, preparing for your professional life, and the job search process.

Education Majors: Are You Career Ready? November 2: 4:30 - 6:00 pm, Maucker Ballroom A
This workshop will give education majors the opportunity to hear directly from school hiring officials about career development, preparing for your professional life, and the job search process. School district representatives to be determined.

Mock Interviews/Individual Appointments
Career Services is always available to assist you with any aspect of your job search including job search strategies, cover letters, resumes, credentials, application procedures and interviewing. You may schedule an individual appointment to meet with Anna McGee, or feel free to contact her by email or phone if more convenient.

Presentations to Student Organizations
If you are involved in an on-campus student organization and would like our office to visit with your group about Career Services, please email

Recruiting Events for Educators
UNI Career Services will host two recruiting fairs in the spring:

UNI Overseas Recruiting Fair, February 2-4, 2018
We are proud to play host to the oldest international teaching fair in the world, and we would be pleased to share our expertise on international teaching with you. Over 120 American international schools are expected at this event.

UNI Teacher Fair, March 24, 2018 
Don't miss this opportunity to connect with school districts from across the United States. This is an incredible opportunity to meet and interview with prospective employers!

Advice from School Districts

Check out this great blog CareerCorner for advice from career services professionals and employers!

The following questions were asked of those inolved in hiring UNI teaching graduates each year:

What are the key things an applicant should do to prepare for an interview? A phone interview?

"Review the district web-site, have a feel for what is going on with Professional Development, know where they are with current programs at the level they are interviewing for. One good way to know what is currently happening in the area of Professional development is to check out the AEA and speak with one of their consultants as to what districts in the AEA they are interviewing for are doing. Know the demographics of the district."

"Phone interviews should be calm and don't hesitate in asking for the question to be repeated and don't forget wait time. It is hard to do over the phone because you don't have the non-verbal to back it up, but if needed, repeat the question to yourself softly so the interviewer knows you heard it and are processing it."

"The applicant needs to know as much about the district as possible. The mission, enrollment, standards and benchmarks for curriculum, all else about the position they're seeking. The same would be true for the phone interview. Most interviewers want to know what kind of "fit" the applicant will provide. One should ask "what are my opportunities to grow as a professional and how can I provide service to your students?"

What do you expect in terms of appearance at an interview?

"Dress professionally, but do not "accessorize" to the point that whatever you are wearing becomes a distraction to what you are saying. Cleanly shaven for men and something actually done with the hair for both men and women. I can't say this enough, IRON the shirt. Nervous habits will distract, sit on hands if need be, don't twirl hair, don't trail off on the end of an answer, answer the person who asked the question with acknowledgment of others once the question has been answered through turning the head and making eye contact, but don't answer the question with your head on a swivel you will come across as bobble head doll."

"Always 'dress for success'. Nothing outlandish but it's wise to be professional looking with well groomed hair, etc.
DON'T: Talk too much or too little. Be too nervous.
Do what you can to relax and remember the person asking the questions only wants to know how you will help their district. Take the necessary time needed to answer the question asked."

If candidates only have 1-2 minutes to speak with you at a Career Fair, what should they be prepared to do in that 1-2 minutes?

"Don't forget the basics - name, a firm handshake, good eye contact. State your areas of certification and why you would be an asset to the school district. Have confidence in yourself."

"Make sure your confidence in yourself comes out in your voice and answers. Speak on reaching different ability levels, your training in......guided reading, professional learning communities, your steadfastness in doing what is right regardless of politics, etc.... Don't sound desperate, sound confident and willing to take risks to help students be successful."

"For me the most important questions are 'how can I grow as a professional in your district and what are your needs from me?'"

What is the biggest piece of advice you can give to underclassmen as they prepare to enter the job search in 2-3 years?

"The biggest piece of advice I'd give to new underclassmen for job searching is to focus on math, science, and technology (both computers as well as industrial tech). That is always a need area and will become more of a need area going forward. Graduates with those endorsements will be able to write their own ticket. For grads with less scarce certifications, a proven ability to use cutting edge technology to impact student achievement will set them apart from the crowd. Any Spanish/ESL ability is also highly sought after in our district."

"Stay current on best practice, as it continually changes. Become students of the Iowa State Teaching Standards. Find as many practicum opportunities as possible to get in a classroom."

"Take full advantage of every practicum/teaching opportunity you can find and make the most of it. Don't just sit or stand by and watch. Get involved."

"Technology is key in today's workforce. Additional endorsements such as reading, early childhood, Spanish and diverse backgrounds / experience can make a candidate stand out - especially in the elementary realm. Math, science and special education are in short supply so those students going into these areas will basically have their pick of jobs."

What is the biggest mistake that new applicants make on their resumes or cover letters?

"Wrong name, poor grammar, misspelled words, too long."

"Typos and sending letters addressed to the wrong person or district."

"One big mistake is misspellings and poor grammar on application materials. Also, anything vague or "see resume" when referring to an application indicates (right or wrong) the applicant doesn't want to put the effort into the entire process."

What are some of the key things you are looking for during the interview process?

"During the interview 2 important factors are how the applicant is dressed and how well they answer the questions. A big plus when answering questions is when applicants can refer back to specific examples in their own experiences to illustrate how they would deal with a certain situation."

"Passion for teaching. Experience working with a diverse student population. Content knowledge. Examples of teaching pedagogy."

"We use a character based initial screening that looks for positive, caring people with a passion for teaching children.
Also - when an applicant asks a question that is related to something they saw on our web site or references something from the web site during the interview, we know they are interested in our school system."

"We look for competent, confident and team focused employees who are committed to achievement for ALL students and are willing to do what it takes to make learning meaningful."

Do you require new applicants to bring portfolios to an interview? If so, how do you use portfolios during the interview process?

"We do not require a portfolio, but it is a definite plus when an applicant brings one."

"No, not required but if they do bring one, only use them to document examples to answer specific questions."

"No, we do not require the portfolios be brought to the initial interview. If an applicant does bring it, the best approach is to be able to show something relevant to a question that is asked."

"Some principals like to see portfolios - what I recommend is that during the interview an applicant says "I did this..." and then refers to the portfolio if the interviewer wants to take a look."

Thank you to the school district officials from Muscatine Schools, Iowa City Schools, Des Moines Schools, Linn Mar Schools, Independence Schools, and Waverly-Shell Rock Schools who have shared their insights and opinions here. For more information or assistance: Tracey Godon, Senior Assistant Director, UNI Career Services, 102 Gilchrist, 319-273-6857.