Future teachers get sober advice

Blake Humphrey
Staff Writer

Four local elementary and middle school educators from the Pomona, Monrovia and Bonita unified school districts supplied students with valuable information about how to get hired as a teacher or a counselor during an event called “Future Career Preparation in Education.”

The event took place on April 25 with and offered the 12 future educators attending two hours of harsh but realistic input on how to get an position in today’s economy.

“There was a budget crisis in the 1990s, but it is nothing what you are having to deal with today,” said Darren Knowles, director of personnel for the Pomona Unified School District.

The panelists covered a variety of topics and questions on how to break into the educational job market.

They agreed that confidence and being able to promote oneself are very important factors when trying to get a job.

“Get into the district any way you can,” Knowles said. “Coach sports, become a tutor, substitute teach, volunteer time, just make sure you get involved.”

The resume and letter of application are very important and have to be spot on, they said. A sloppy resume or letter of application is almost always an automatic dismissal from consideration.

“When subbing, dress professional, work hard in the classroom, take the job seriously and act professional,” Ron Letourneau said, principal at Santa Fe Middle School. “You have to be able to follow detailed lesson plans, as well as be able to adapt and construct your own lesson plan if a detailed lesson plan has not been left for you.”

“Watch what you put on Facebook because we all check for Facebook pages,” said Rick Crosby, assistant principal at Ramona Middle School. “I just let someone go because of the content on their Facebook page.”

Crosby also stressed doing background research to learn about the school and the district before going in for an interview.

“Learning about the school shows you care,” Crosby said. “I will not hire you without some knowledge about the school and the district, or if you ask me about how much you would get paid.”

At times the facts seemed harsh, but panelists were supplying students with what they look for when hiring a new employee.

There are certain areas that are in higher demand in the education job market than others. Special education, higher levels of math, science, language and speech specialists are needed more these days.

Stephanie Reyes, graduate success career counselor, was responsible for the event.

“I wanted to offer students who are pursuing counseling or teaching credentials answers to how they can get through this economy, as well as give them some hope,” Reyes said.

“It gave me comfort to hear about the opportunities, through better marketing myself,” said Sebastianna Maugeri, educational counseling graduate student.

“The different perspectives really allowed me to understand what it is going to take for me to get hired in this industry.”

“You have to go in knowing it is a tough profession, noble, but tough,” said Laura Solis, principal at Kingsley Elementary. “You have to have the heart to go in everyday and do your job to the fullest because your job performance affects your student’s futures.”

Blake Humphrey can be reached at blake.humphrey@laverne.edu.

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