Graduation day is right around the corner, which means job hunting is, too.
“I know it's difficult to navigate entering a new profession, and helping students find jobs upon completion of their credential is a priority of the teacher education program,” said Assistant Dean and Director of Teacher Education Sumer Seiki.
With that in mind, the teacher education program at the Graduate School of Education launched “February Job Preparation Month,” a series of workshops and events designed to prepare students for job interviews, to network with potential employees, and to build their resumes – and confidence – so they can successfully enter the teaching profession.
Partnering with the UCR Career Center, Dr. Seiki and her team developed a month-long series that included a resume writing and LinkedIn account workshop, and the program’s annual Mock Interview Day which provides student teachers with the opportunity to refine their interviewing skills in front of a distinguished panel of potential employers.
The event, sponsored by SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union, featured six district representatives:
- Dr. Marcus Funchess, Assistant Superintendent, San Bernardino City Schools
- Juan Cabral, Assistant Superintendent, Val Verde Unified School District
- Martha Duenas, Director, Multi-Lingual Programs & Services, Fontana Unified School District
- Daniel Brooks, Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources, Jurupa Unified School District
- Genaro Garcia, Principal, Moreno Valley Unified School District
- Dr. Jennifer Quezada, UCR Supervisor and Board Member, Fontana Unified School District
The district representatives provided feedback, and tips, to help the students prepare for their subsequent “real” interviews.
Dr. Seiki also programmed workshops aimed at helping students understand teacher contracts. “I wanted to include this piece because understanding the contracts they sign will have a lot of impact on their lives” said Dr. Seiki.
The month commenced with the Teacher Job Fair, organized by UCR Career Center, where districts had the opportunity to interview students for teaching positions.
Ashley Gallo, who will earn her dual Master’s with single subject credential this June, said that working with the Career Center on her resume earlier in the month helped her prepare for the event. “By the time the job fair came, I felt excited to meet and potentially interview with school districts. I found the job fair to be beneficial because I was able to talk with one of the administrators at a school district I was interested in for about 15 minutes online,” she remarked.
Dr. Paul Rosenzweig, a GSOE supervisor of teacher education and one of the co-organizers of the series, recounted how several of his students had job offers as a result of the month’s events. One student was offered a position based on their performance at the Mock Interview, while three others were offered positions at the Teacher Job Fair, without a formal interview, based on their performance in the district as student teachers.
“All four were able to sign on with the district even before "hiring season" had begun,” said Dr. Rosenzweig.
“Our students came with revised resumes in hand, their knowledge of teacher contracts, their LinkedIn and other prep materials, and I wanted them to shine. Our thoughtful design allowed them to have an opportunity to work with career coaches, Superintendents, and HR representatives,” said Dr. Seiki.