AAEE News and Blog Posts

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  • 02 Jun 2020 9:50 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Arnoldo A. Gutierrez, Director Performance Management at San Antonio ISD
    Daniel Johnson, Associate Partner at Education Elements

    Virtual Recruitment Through COVID-19 and Beyond

    The worldwide response to COVID-19 is creating unforeseen challenges and virtual changes for every aspect of our education system. Long-standing pillars such as curriculum and instruction, operations, and accountability, among others, are all being tested under the weight of the pandemic response.

    Not only is the crisis exposing cracks in traditionally stable foundations, but the effects are also increasing pressure on already vulnerable components. One critical area facing immediate challenges is districts’ and schools’ abilities to recruit for an already understaffed workforce. Social-distancing, an endless list of competing operational contingencies, and an unknown timeline for a ‘return to normal’ all create new obstacles for human resources, and ultimately, our collective goal to better serve our students.

    Virtual Recruitment Through COVID-19 and Beyond

    In particular, the current context poses new challenges and opportunities to the ways in which we staff our classrooms. Fewer opportunities for in-person recruitment may shrink an already depleted candidate pool, shifts from in-person to virtual interactions may change the way we assess candidates, and new demands on access or resources may introduce new biases and/or obstacles to efforts to develop diverse candidate pools. 

    In order to help flatten the potential recruitment dip, schools and districts should review their candidate journey map to determine impact and adjustments in a shift to virtual recruitment. What is the current state of your virtual engagement? What in-person structures can be adapted and which no longer work? How will the ‘new normal’ and our immediate shift to virtual instruction affect the skills we assess and develop? And while we recognize that this is an ever-changing situation, we offer the following suggestions as you consider each step along your candidate’s roadmap.


    Long before social-distancing was a household term, social-networking already reigned as the supreme venue for organizations to build their brand awareness with potential employees. In a 2019 Glassdoor report, more than 86% of younger job seekers used social media in their job search. With fewer opportunities for more traditional, in-person recruitment efforts and events, the ability for schools and districts to virtually market themselves to prospective employees is more important than ever.

    This is a good time to consider the venues and status of the platforms used to build virtual awareness. How up-to-date and user friendly is your website? What platforms do your ideal candidates use and how are you creating two-way communication with these demographics? Where do they live and would an investment in virtual direct marketing be feasible? The shift to building virtual awareness can feel less overwhelming once targeted around specific candidate profiles. 

    Building these profiles presents an opportunity to examine potential inequities of candidate access that may limit the diversity, equity and inclusion of your hiring efforts. To better understand these barriers, your local or regional School of Education department within colleges and universities might offer key insights into the capabilities and workarounds for your candidate pool. You might also consider partnerships that can be formed with libraries or community centers to provide devices or space for virtual interviews. The shift to virtual must be connected with a commitment to decreasing the digital divide. 


    Getting noticed is a first step, but hooking candidates without opportunities for face-to-face interaction is challenging for all industries. In a 2019 international study across 445 employers, 63% of job-seekers were disappointed with the generalization of content on career websites. In a virtual environment, it is essential that schools and districts communicate a convincing, unique and tangible employee value proposition to build on initial awareness. 

    As a first step, teams might revisit and clarify their employee value proposition (EVP) - the unique sum of the benefits that your employees receive. One simple way to develop this EVP is to ask your staff three questions about your school or district: 1.) Why did you join? 2.) Why do you stay? 3.) What would make you leave? The collective answers can be used to form the headlines you should amplify, as well as vital feedback on concerns you must address. 

    The next step is to audit your marketing materials using these headlines. Where and how do these messages live on your website, social media and other recruitment materials? By conducting this audit, you can brainstorm ways to incorporate your EVP headlines. You might have your team (employees) film short testimonial videos, create a hashtag and share examples, or revamp your career page. At Education Elements, we created a one-pager and Day in the Life video to explicitly communicate what new team members might expect. In the absence of in-person moments for candidates, schools and districts must determine opportunities to bring the best parts of the job to them.


    For prospects that become official applicants, the true shifts in candidate experience may not be noticed until the click of the word ‘Apply.’ It’s at this point that formal two-way engagement is established, and research suggests that there is a lot to be gained or lost in this transition. According to LinkedIn, 83 percent of job-seekers report that a negative interview experience can change their mind about a role or organization they once liked. And while the situation is ever-changing, schools and districts will need to create a virtual candidate experience that matches, or even improves, what they can offer in-person and ensure this is consistent across departments, schools, and hiring teams.

    The transition to virtual interviews provides an opportunity to revisit your candidate profile and how you evaluate positional and organizational competencies. Start by revisiting the specific skills and attributes needed for the role and your organization. How has your definition of teacher readiness changed in a post-COVID-19 world? What demonstrated experience or preparedness around digital platforms need to be included in this assessment?

    Crosswalk these with your hiring rounds (application, phone, video, etc…) and identify what question(s) or task(s) will be used to assess each competency. Ensure that your candidate profile and any new requirements around on-line presence or digital competence are included in your job requisites, and communicate what the interview process will look like (how many rounds, timeline, and other logistics).  


    As you outline your virtual evaluation process, look for questions or demonstrations previously evaluated in person that may need virtual adjustments. For example, are there more predictable questions that a person might be able to answer based on scripted notes? Would utilizing a custom browser that restricts other windows be appropriate for any part of the interview? Could an in-person demo lesson be substituted with a virtual lesson with real students or the interview team playing this role? 

    Despite the loss of many traditional in-person components, the virtual interview presents new opportunities to get a sense of candidates’ virtual readiness. You might include tasks that require your candidate to engage with a district platform like Google Classroom or Canvas in ways that will be expected of them as a teacher. Not only does this give you a sense of your candidate’s base and what support they might need, it also communicates the capabilities your district will expect of the candidate which can be probed on during open question and answer.

    Lastly, it’s equally important to consider how these shifts may affect the candidate. Amazon, one company seeing an increase in hiring as a result of COVID-19 response, is sharing virtual interview tips with their candidates. Considerations like internet connection, choice of phone vs. computer, and audio testing, are important reminders for both candidates and members of interview committees. Timing is also different in video, lag or even short periods of silence can make otherwise fluid conversations more difficult. Establishing roles such as a facilitator, and assigning specific questions, can help ensure things stay on track.

    Closing Thoughts - System redesign for a post-COVID world 

    In times where the only constant is change, the responsiveness of our systems, habits and mindsets will be a significant variable in our success. And while the demands on human resources teams to market, engage and evaluate virtually are more immediate in the midst of the worldwide pandemic, the shifts we see today will likely remain in a post-pandemic world. By focusing on the changes we must make to address an ever-changing “new normal,” we can design new solutions, retrain and refocus our recruiters and hiring teams, and improve our long-term approach to human capital to better meet our collective goal - to best serve our students in an ever-changing world. 

    Authors’ Bios

    Arnoldo A. Gutierrez, Director Performance Management at San Antonio ISD 

    Once he finished his Bachelor of Arts, Gutiérrez moved to Denver, Colorado and worked as a bilingual elementary teacher in JeffCo Public Schools (Denver, CO). During the summer of 2004, Gutierrez was offered a pre-hire agreement to teach in San Antonio ISD (SAISD) where he taught 5th and 2nd grade. He has also served in the capacity of a Campus Instructional Coach, Administrative Assistant & Assistant Principal before moving to Human Resources.

    Within the Human Resources Department Gutiérrez served as the Administrative Officer for Paraprofessionals and Substitutes for 7 years and is currently the Director for Performance Management.

    Gutiérrez received a Master of Arts in Education from the University of Texas at San Antonio and is completing the dissertation phase of Doctor of Organizational Development.

    Although currently Gutiérrez is not working directly with students, he is keenly aware of the impact his current role has at the campus level and on students.

    Gutiérrez participates in continuous training to enhance his skills, such as IPEC (Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching); Mediation Training through the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS); and Crucial Conversations/Crucial Accountability. 

    I consider it an honor, blessing and privilege to be able to serve the students, families and staff within San Antonio ISD.

    Daniel Johnson, Associate Partner at Education Elements

    Daniel Johnson is an Associate Partner at Education Elements and works with district and school teams to develop responsive, personalized practices that improve student outcomes. Johnson is a former science teacher, having taught middle and high school in Mississippi and Brooklyn, NY. During his time in Mississippi, he served on the school’s leadership team working with state consultants on school improvement efforts. In New York, he worked in a high-performing charter school, working with a team of teachers to build the network’s seventh grade inquiry-based science curriculum in alignment with NGSS standards and an inquiry-based instructional model. At Education Elements, he has led projects focused on personalized learning and responsive leadership for districts and state organizations across Alabama, Georgia, Kansas, Minnesota, New York, and Texas. He serves as the consulting team’s hiring manager and oversees the development of the consultancy’s Teacher Recruitment and Retention retention services. He holds a B.A in Political Science and a B.S. in Journalism from the University of Kansas, and a Master's of Arts in Teaching from the Relay Graduate School of Education in New York. He grew up in Michigan and currently lives in Washington, D.C.

  • 17 Apr 2020 11:54 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Author: Giles Volker

    Congratulations on entering the noble profession of teaching. After years of hard work, study, and preparation, you’re finally ready to teach in your own classroom! You’ve searched in your local area, but where are all the full-time positions? The truth is, the job you’re looking for may not be available in your area. What do you do?

    Look For Jobs Out-of-State

    As intimidating as it may seem, your best option might be outside of your state and your comfort zone, but don’t fret. Relocating can be a rewarding experience, both personally and professionally.

    Why Should I Consider Moving Out-of-State?

    • Teacher Shortages

    • New Connections

    • Matching Your Style

    • Expanding Your Experience

    When beginning your search for teaching jobs, it can seem like every position around you has already been filled for years. If that happens, it might be time to broaden your search. Many school districts are facing a teacher shortage and would love the opportunity to recruit a new professional! By looking into the options available through relocating, you might also find schools and districts that better match your own personality and teaching styles. 

    Relocating to a new district will also give you a chance to create new professional connections and friends in the teaching community. Having contacts around the country to reach out to for help and advice is always a unique opportunity that can help you stand out in the field. Working in districts other than the ones you’ve lived around previously will also likely teach you new tricks and strategies you might not have discovered otherwise.

    How Do I Start Looking for Jobs Out of State?

    • Virtual Job Fairs

    • Online Job Boards

    • AAEE Educator Candidate Membership

    • LinkedIn

    Finding a new job out of state might seem like a daunting or even impossible task at first, but thousands of teachers have gone down that path before you! Resources and groups have been created for the sole purpose of helping teachers in your situation to find a job that is right for them.

    When attempting to find a job, one of the difficulties you might face is distance. It can be hard to find jobs when they are opening halfway across the country! When this problem arises, make use of virtual job fairs and online job boards! During a virtual job fair you’ll be able to connect with multiple recruiters in real-time from the comfort of your living room. One such resource is AAEE’s Virtual Career Fair for Teachers. For online job boards, you can check out AAEE’s Pre K-12 Education Job Board, or job boards such as K12JobSpot and SchoolSpring which allow you to look for jobs using search criteria such as specific locations and grade levels.

    Another great way to receive information about districts looking for new teachers is to become an AAEE Educator Candidate Member. Becoming a member will give you access to opportunities such as AAEE career fairs, contact with districts actively seeking new teachers, access to the national Job Fair Calendar, and professional webinars to get a jump-start on your professional development. Visit our Join AAEE page to sign up!

    Another useful resource you should make sure to utilize is LinkedIn. LinkedIn can be an easy way to find and contact schools searching for new teachers to join their team. You’ll also be able to quickly share your personal information with them, such as your resume and professional references. 

    What Resources Can I Look For to Help Me?

    • Educator Supply and Demand Report

    • Job Search Handbook for Educators

    • Good Neighbor Next Door Program

    • Teacher Next Door Program

    Luckily you aren’t the first teacher to relocate for a new job, so PLENTY of resources and benefits have already been established to help you land on your feet in your new position. At AAEE, we release two such resources each year. We conduct an annual survey of universities and school systems across the nation to create the Educator Supply and Demand Report. This report provides you with the most current information concerning the dynamic market of educator employment so you can make informed choices on where to search for your new job.

    AAEE can also provide you with the annual Job Search Handbook for Educators. The handbook includes notices from employers and grad schools about opportunities for candidates, effective resume and cover letter examples, tips on how to ace cyber interviews, and much more. These tips and tricks will help you learn how to find, apply, and succeed in the new teaching position you’re looking for!

    It’s entirely possible you fall in love with your new district and decide you want to stay! If that happens, there are several resources available to help teachers purchase a home. The Good Neighbor Next Door Program helps teachers who are first time home buyers to purchase certain homes for 50% off their listed price if they agree to live in the home for 36 months after the date of purchase. Their sister site, the Teacher Next Door Program, provides housing grants and down payment assistance for teachers moving into new districts.

    Creating New Opportunities Through Relocating

    By choosing to relocate and use the tips and resources we’ve compiled in this article, you’ll be able to drastically increase your chances of landing a teaching job you’ll LOVE. Remember that relocating is a good way to find open positions in schools that might suit you better than the ones in your immediate area. Always be sure to research any relocation benefits that districts or states might currently be offering. If you ever need help, remember to reach out to your friends at AAEE!

  • 31 Oct 2019 11:02 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    By Paul Berggren

    There’s nothing as harmful to the success of a company than employees who sit on the sideline, too disengaged or intimated to contribute.

    How do you overcome this problem and create a culture where everyone feels comfortable contributing?

    If you lead a team where employees seem hesitant to collaborate and share their thoughts, it’s time to take a deeper look at why this is happening and how to overcome it.

    They fire the coach first.

    If a sports team consistently underperforms, one big loss after another, team owners might adjust the lineup or find new starters. But more often than not, they start by firing the coach.

    If your employees are acting like spectators, disengaged, and non-collaborative, it’s easy to point fingers. But what if your employees aren’t the root of the problem?

    The ultimate responsibility for team engagement falls on the leader.

    It’s your responsibility as a leader to develop your culture and employees. If you’re struggling to build an engaged team, you might need to take a hard look at your expectations, processes, and leadership.

    How do you own your role and use it to create engaged, collaborative employees? It starts by defining your purpose.

    Define your purpose as a leader.

    Is your purpose as a leader to manage the process or coach your team? If your goal is to help people get better, you will act differently than if your main focus is to get things done. Managers focus on accomplishing tasks; leaders focus on helping their team use their strengths to multiply productivity. While all leaders must also be good managers, not all managers are good leaders.

    Ask yourself: What is my purpose as a leader? Do I live that out every day?

    Talk less and ask more questions.

    Good leaders ask questions. Poor managers make statements. If you want to collaborate but already have your final solution in mind, you’ll miss the opportunity to get feedback and improve the idea while earning the trust of your team.

    It takes humility to realize you might not have all the answers. By asking questions and really listening to employees, you’ll have better ideas and have a more engaged, collaborative environment. But if you aren’t willing to change your strategy based on their feedback, you’re missing the mark.

    A few questions to ask:

    -       What do we need to do?

    -       How does this relate to our goal?

    -       What’s the root cause of this issue?

    -       How can we get where we want to go?

    -       Tell me more about your idea.

    A coach brings out the talent of their team, challenging them and helping them grow. Act as a coach and lead your team toward collaboration by listening first, then asking good questions.

    Pick your star players.

    The next step to building an engaged team is looking at your current employees. Who on your team not only believes in collaboration but does it well? They should be your benchmark or “star player” as you look to hire and develop more employees.

    For example, if Joe in HR is always asking questions, encouraging feedback, and building rapport with other team members, how can you empower him to continue and then hire more people like Joe? Take the time to ask questions about his thought process. What does Joe value in his work that makes him collaborate? What does he avoid that keeps him open to feedback?

    Identify what makes someone a star player for your team and look for more people with the same mindset and motivation.

    A game plan is useless without players.

    You can invest heavily in your game plan and create the best process to accomplish your goals, but process strength alone isn’t enough to succeed. If you see people as a pawn in the game, hindering you from running the perfect play, you will end up overlooking their strengths.

    A game plan is pointless without the team to run the plays. To bring out the best in your team, you have to know them and their strengths. Ask yourself:

    1. Do I know my employees’ strengths and interests?
    2. Where do they excel?
    3. Where do they struggle?
    4. If there is a gap in their skills, how do I help them fill that gap?

    Many managers focus their time and energy on process strength. While it’s an essential component, your team will be discouraged and disengaged if your focus is entirely on the process. Additionally, your organization will only be “getting by” instead of excelling. You might feel like you have momentum, but it’s slow compared to what it could be.

    Invest in the strength of both your processes and your people, and you will see your company excel and reap the benefits.

    Get people off the sideline.

    By investing in both processes and people, you can work to get your team off the sideline and out on the field. It starts with how you make decisions.

    Bring employees into the planning process before a final decision is made and the process is set.  If you don’t, people will become disengaged, realizing that their opinion doesn’t truly matter.

    Take it a step deeper and encourage your team to build a collaborative culture together. What matters to your team and organization? Where do you want to be in five or ten years? What roadblocks will keep you from reaching those goals?

    Build a team instead of an organization full of spectators. Include people in all stages of the decision-making process.  Build a safe environment where employees are encouraged to offer their opinions. You’ll be rewarded with a team that’s fully engaged and wants to succeed.

    -       Paul Berggren is President of Crown Global HR, bringing clarity to the complex world of hiring, based in Lincoln, NE.  paul@CrownGlobalHR.com

  • 08 Aug 2019 9:09 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    AAEE Mini-Grant for School Districts

    Let AAEE help turns your ideas into reality. The American Association for Employment in Education is proud to announce the AAEE Mini-Grant Program. This program is designed to highlight and support innovative efforts by school districts to improve the pipeline of teachers into their districts and into the profession.

    Eligible projects are those that engage and encourage middle or high school-aged students to explore the possibility of a career in teaching.

    Want more details? Visit our Mini-Grant site to find eligibility, requirements, and general procedure.  

    Does your district have a new or existing project that could use some extra funding? Apply today!

    AAEE Mini-Grant
  • 22 May 2019 8:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Diverse teachers with their students

    The American Association for Employment in Education (AAEE) has signed onto a letter, organized by the Association of American Educators Foundation, sent to Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos and leaders in Congress calling for their help in addressing the lack of teacher diversity in our nation’s classrooms. The letter, citing federal data and university studies, reports that 53 percent of public school students are children of color, while only 18 percent of teachers identify as a person of color. Studies reveal this disparity causes overall lower student achievement and outcomes, especially in populations of at-risk students and students of color.

    The letter states, “We believe that increasing teacher diversity elevates the teaching profession and improves the lives and outcomes of all students,” and calls on all parties involved to play a role in addressing the problem. The letter volunteers the services of the undersigned organizations to help Congress and the Department of Education to determine how proposed regulations and legislation may increase or decrease teacher diversity. More than seventy-five education organizations representing teachers, preservice teachers, school counselors, education staff, principals, superintendents, charter school leaders, education reformers, tutors, and teacher educators have signed the letter.

     AAEE Executive Director, Tim Neubert stated, “Teaching is not currently an attractive career path for many persons of color, to the detriment of students in our schools. If we want to provide the highest-quality education system in this country, we must work together to address the reasons why.”

    The American Association for Employment in Education is focused on positively impacting education through professional connections. With the full support of its board of directors, AAEE is proud to join this coalition of organizations from across the country in highlighting the need to increase teacher diversity, and taking an active role in efforts to prepare, recruit, and retain a diverse teacher population through intentional, long-term, and widespread efforts. AAEE’s efforts will be reflected through our membership, events, resources, scholarship programs, partnerships, and advocacy, consistent with our purposes to: 

    • Gather, organize, and disseminate information on candidates, the educational marketplace, and the job search process.
    • Establish and promote ethical standards and practices in the employment process.
    • Provide opportunities for training, networking and the exchange of information about current practices, research and innovations.
    • Promote dialogue and cooperation among institutions which prepare educators and institutions which provide employment opportunities.

    More information, including the full letter text, list of signatories, articles and studies cited in the letter, is available at aaeteachers.org/diversity.

  • 20 May 2019 10:26 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Developing Students in Your Schools into Your Future Teachers

    Want the demographics of teachers (and administrators) in your schools to reflect the demographics of your student body? Consider these steps to develop your students into your future generation of teachers:

    • Ensure you are highlighting your model teachers. Identify, support, celebrate, reward, and honor them!
    • Discuss the initiative with staff and seek buy-in. Answer questions, request suggestions, generate excitement and minimize resistance.
    • Collect and communicate financial supports such as scholarship, grant, and loan forgiveness. Opportunities and incentives abound!
    • Share and discuss effort with parents. If they resist the idea of their child becoming a teacher, don't assume the reason why. Ask them.
    • Market teaching careers to your students. What a powerful and rewarding way to impact the future!
    • Share the variety of teaching subjects and roles...but be sure to highlight areas of greatest need, such as special education, science, math, and languages.
    • Establish and support a co-curricular program, either developed in-house or through a pre-built program, such as Educators Rising.
    • Offer job shadowing opportunities...at all schools, all grade levels, and in all subjects. Support formal student-mentor relationships.
    • Recognize and regularly celebrate students' interest in (and progress toward) teaching careers.
    • Support and stay in touch with former students in teacher preparation programs. Think "alumni relations"!
    • Ensure strong systems for retention. Implement or improve districtwide mentorship programs, pathways to leadership, fair and equitable compensation, and identity-based literacy.

    By, Tim Neubert

    Tim Neubert is the Executive Director of the American Association for Employment of Education, a national non-profit based in Sycamore, Illinois. AAEE is focused on positively impacting education through professional connections, providing resources and activities for institutions and individuals involved in teacher preparation, recruitment, and retention.

  • 21 Mar 2019 7:31 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The American Association for Employment in Education (AAEE), an organization which promotes professional standards and practices in teacher preparation and job recruitment, recognizes a national shortage of candidates preparing for careers in certain teaching fields. This scholarship program is designed to address this need, providing a $1,000 award to a student studying in an area of critical need. Learn more about this annual scholarship by visiting our Critical Need Teacher Scholarship page

    AAEE is proud to present this year’s Janice S. Jones Scholarships to Miss Allison Moga of Winona State University and to Miss Haley MacInerney from the University of Iowa.

    2019 Janice Jones Scholarship Winners

    Allison Moga, originally from Royalton, Minnesota is currently pursuing a dual degree in Spanish Education and Teaching English as a Second Language with a double minor in Music and Bilingual/Bicultural Education from Winona State University. Currently, she is studying abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina in an effort to increase her knowledge about the Spanish language and culture. She intends to bring all the rich ideas, traditions, skills, and cherished experiences that she has acquired through volunteering, studying, and traveling to various countries to eventually inspire and connect with her future students.

    Haley is from Peosta, Iowa. She is double majoring in Spanish and Foreign Language education at the University of Iowa with an aspiration of obtaining her ESL endorsement post-graduation. Previously, she has studied and interned in Santiago, Chile and fell in love with Latin America. She will graduate in Spring 2020 and hopes to teach English in Latin America for a few years and then return to the states to teach Spanish; bringing with her the rich cultural and language knowledge to share in her classroom. She hopes to bring the passion and excitement for languages and cultures into each of her students' lives by making the language classroom an immersive experience.

    The Janice S. Jones Scholarship Fund was established to honor the memory of Janice Jones, the 2002-2003 President of AAEE. Janice was a lifelong resident of Evanston, Illinois. Dedicated to the Evanston community, she began teaching Special Education. An ardent proponent of quality education for all, she was well known for her lifelong advocacy of services for students with special needs. She was also recognized as an outstanding mentor for minority students studying to become teachers. Janice was a consummate professional who exemplified the values of AAEE. The scholarship fund that bears her name exists to carry on her tradition of excellence in education and leadership. Its goal is to support emerging educators who have demonstrated promise and commitment, just as these two future educators have done. 

    The scholarship committee is inspired by their passion and dedication to the field of teaching. We wish both of our recipients all the best as they continue to complete their degrees and begin promising careers in education. 

    Congratulations to Allison and Haley!

  • 05 Feb 2019 10:18 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    In partnership with Upbeat, AAEE invites you to apply for the new National Working Group on Teacher Retention.

    AAEE Members receive a significant discount on Upbeat services!

    What is the Upbeat Survey?

    The Upbeat Survey is a carefully crafted and validated engagement survey designed specifically for K-12 education that uncovers actionable insights and trends around 21 key factors correlated with teacher engagement and retention.

    How Does it Work?

    • School districts will fill out the "I'm Interested" form to be contacted by an Upbeat Professional
    • Once contracted with Upbeat, school districts will administer the Engagement Survey
    • Districts will receive one-on-one consultations from an Upbeat specialist to build a follow-up staff engagement survey
    • School districts will convene twice this year to share best practices and troubleshoot issues with their peers as part of the National Working Group for Teacher Retention
    We aim to see measurable improvement in staff retention at the participating schools and districts while also gathering evidence and advice to help other AAEE members.

    If you have questions, email us at info@aaee.org or contact Upbeat directly at learn@teachupbeat.com.

    Fill out their "I'm Interested" form here!

  • 31 Dec 2018 12:28 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Be part of a prospective teacher's journey by contributing your knowledge and experience to them in the 2020 edition of the Job Search Handbook for Educators. Each year, the Job Search Handbook (JSH) falls into the hands of thousands of prospective educators preparing to enter the profession. Our JSH is designed to act as a guide as they enter the world of teaching.

    We invite you to be part of this journey by submitting an article for publication in the 2020 AAEE Job Search Handbook for Educators!

    The deadline for submissions is Friday, February 15, 2019. 

    We are currently seeking articles related to the following topics:

    • Employment applications, cover letters, resumes, and professional references
    • Networking, professional appearance, and social media
    • Portfolios and interview skills
    • Traditional and non-traditional employment options 
    • Equity, diversity, and cultural competence
    • Skills, salary, and the demand for educators
    • The positives of entering the teaching profession
    • Other topics which may be relevant to pre-service educators, recent graduates, and others interested in PK-12 teaching careers

    We welcome data-supported articles that are written in a conversational format. To-Do Lists, Top Ten Lists, FAQs, and/or quizzes are all excellent formats for JSH articles. Think about how you would present this information to prospective educators if you were addressing them in person.

    We hope you will consider being part of this wonderful publication that reaches and impacts thousands of prospective teachers each year. If you would like to submit your article, upload the information to our Google Doc. Find out more about our JSH by visiting the Job Search Handbook tab on our website. 

  • 12 Dec 2018 9:55 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    - Raquel English, Teacher, San Marcos Unified School District, California

    As a first year teacher, I woke up on the morning of my first day of school feeling an odd mix of emotions--intense excitement and sheer terror. The thought that kept running through my mind was, “It will just be me in there! It will just be me in there!” This recurring thought has both negative and positive connotations. I’ll start with the negative. 

    Going through the credentialing program, I was still a student. The very purpose of the student teaching semester is to grow under the watchful eye of a mentor teacher, and my mistakes had minimal repercussions. Even though student teaching was hard work, there was a huge difference between being the student teacher and the teacher. Although I was stepping into a classroom, it wasn’t my classroom, and these were not fully my students. Ultimately, there was an experienced veteran in the room, and I was always aware that if I looked to her for help, she would be there to rescue me. 

    As a student teacher, I did not have to respond to parent emails, create and implement a behavior management plan, or do report cards. Although I was teaching, I was not yet a teacher. I enjoyed a safety net that would soon disappear. The transition to being a first year teacher meant that I no longer had that person I could look to during a failing lesson. All the pressure, stress, planning, grading, and exhaustion would be mine. However, the successes of 27 unique little human beings would be mine, too. 

    Here come the positives! 

    Although the job of a teacher comes with stress, it also comes with a classroom and students to call your own. As a first year teacher, the first day of school is scary, but it is also the most incredible day--the day you get to meet the children who will forever live in your heart. I used to wonder how my teachers could remember my name years after I had left their classrooms. I now understand that they remembered my name because students affect the lives of their teachers just as powerfully as teachers impact the lives of their students. I refer to the students I teach as “my kids,” and even on the most challenging days, I cannot stop talking about them or thinking about them. 

    Transitioning to a first year teacher requires preparation for days that just go wrong. These difficult days may happen frequently during the first few years. However, there will also be days with the joy of a having a student say, “I love you”, or “You’re the best teacher ever.” You won’t be able to prepare yourself for the pride you will feel when a student has an epiphany because of something you said or an activity you did. You definitely will not be able to anticipate the number of times your students will make you laugh in the middle of class. Your first year of teaching will not be all sunshine and rainbows. It may be much harder than you expect. Please know that those tough days are absolutely worth it. 

    Tips from a first year teacher: 

    1. Focus your first few weeks of school on rules, procedures, and expectations to develop a firm foundation for the entire year ahead. 
    2. Be as organized as possible as quickly as possible. Have a folder or file for everything, and don’t allow paperwork to pile up. 
    3. Make time for yourself. You will struggle to pull your brain away from your classroom, your students, and your extensive to-do list, but in order to give your best to your students, you must also take care of yourself. Spend time with your loved ones, allow time for hobbies, and get enough sleep. 
    4. Use social media and online sites such as Pinterest and TeachersPayTeachers for amazing resources. 
    5. Embrace change. I changed my behavior management plan and rearranged my entire classroom halfway through the year. Change can be good. It means you are growing, learning, and taking risks in order to improve. 
    6. Ask more questions than you can count, and when you get an answer, write it down! Sometimes we’re afraid to ask questions because we don’t want to seem incompetent or bothersome, but you will never learn or discover without asking questions. Don’t be afraid to seek out help. 

    As I approach the conclusion of my second year as a first grade teacher, I can confidently say that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. During my second year of teaching, I’ve felt more confident, calm, organized, and efficient. I cannot explain how much better I feel. I would be lying if I said it wasn’t difficult, but that’s just the nature of this career. Each year will have different challenges. 

    Tips from a second year teacher: 

    1. Avoid putting unnecessary pressure on yourself. It is still okay to make mistakes, ask questions, and make changes when needed. 
    2. Consider online resources like ClassDojo for behavior management and GoNoodle for fun brain breaks. 
    3. Consider inviting parent volunteers into your classroom. 
    4. Keep lessons and activities for the week organized by day so that you can grab and teach. I use clear plastic drawers labeled Monday-Friday. This system keeps me organized and ready for the week ahead. 
    5. Keep your lesson plan books. They can be helpful resources to guide your year two lesson planning. 
    6. Give yourself kudos and cut yourself a break, especially on those not-so-perfect days. 

    The transition from student to teacher is not an easy one. You may be exhausted, cranky, and sometimes overwhelmed. You will also smile more than you ever have before because you have a class full of learners that are yours to teach. Teach them math, reading, writing, and other academics, but also teach them to be kind, to never give up, and to love others and themselves. If you do this, you will have successfully made the transition from student to teacher.

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