I'm currently job hunting, and clearly it's been far too long since I've done it. Gone are the days of sending a resume and cover letter. Most school districts now require the following items to be sent in an "application packet" in order for you to even be considered for hire:
♦ Resume/cover letter
♦ PA Standard Teaching Application (5 pages, plus an essay)
♦ Letters of recommendation (3)
♦ Medical form (including a recent TB test)
♦ College transcripts = $13 (I went to 3 different colleges... two for undergrad, one for grad)
♦ Criminal Record Background Check = $10
♦ Child Abuse Clearance = $10
♦ FBI Fingerprinting = $40
♦ Copy of PA Teaching Certification*
A few days ago, someone pointed out that he got into the military with less paperwork. And I don't think he was exaggerating. So basically, it's easier to get a government issued rifle than it is to get a job as a teacher. Lovely.
The entire application packet is about 20 pages. Which means I have to get some big mailing envelopes and pay extra for postage when I mail them. The cost of all these background checks and fees doesn't bother me as much as the inconvenience of putting together a packet for a school that may or may not contact me. But most districts have made it quite clear on their website that "incomplete packets will not be considered." I wonder what they do with all the packets they reject? I hope they recycle... Save the trees!!!
Anyway, I've already started sending letters of interest and resumes to some districts. Keep your fingers (and toes) crossed for me. I just can't afford to be a Catholic school teacher anymore.
*FYI, here's what it cost me to get certified as a teacher in PA (excluding tuition from 3 different colleges):
♦ Praxis test = about $130 (registration fee plus test fee)... multiplied by 7 (I had to take 4 tests for Elementary Ed and 2 tests for Special Ed when I got certified in those areas in 2000. I had to take 1 test for Reading Specialist when I got certified in that area in 2008.)
♦ PA Teaching Certification = $80 ($40 when I applied for Elementary and Special in 2000... $40 for Reading Specialist, added this year.)