Hi folks,

While I haven’t shared the frustration yet, I can share the nervousness. I am changing careers in my mid 40’s. I’m in a 2-year part time program at Oregon State. I’ve finished the 1st year and am about to start my second year.

While I did a 3 week practicum last spring, my real practicum comes this next spring, where I do 12 weeks full time. The importance of that is that I will at that time quit my regular job to finish my Masters in Education. I will be out of full time work for a minimum of 6 months — pretty scary for a guy with a wife, 3 kids and a mortgage.

Today was the 1st day of school, and I asked my cooperating teacher about his experience and knowledge about how hard it is to get that first teaching job. He is in his 40’s and has been teaching for 15+ years. He helps with the interviews for prospective teachers at his school.

This past spring they had two openings for teachers. For those two jobs, they had 100+ applications. Of those, they called in six for interviews. Over 94% of the people who applied didn’t even get an interview! Yikes! It makes one wonder how a new teacher competes with all the teachers who have years of experience who are also applying for jobs.

Some advice and questions he gave me today were:

* How well do you interview?
* Do you appear motiviated and enthusiastic?
* You must be willing to take positions in less desirable districts and schools — especially in the first few years as you get experience.
* Do you come across as a team player?