Skylar Plummer arrived at the Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD job fair with the goods: a stack of polished resumes and preprinted business cards with her name, certification area and professional website. As she stepped into the room, Skylar felt in her gut that this was where she was meant to teach—and she was prepared to prove it.
It’s no wonder Skylar landed her dream position on the spot. This fall, she’ll be a communications teacher in a self-contained class for students with autism.
You might think Skylar was just a rock star candidate (she was). But you should also know that she had help. She learned about the job fair and made connections at TEACH Week, hosted by TWU’s teacher preparation program and TeachDFW.
Making connections at TEACH Week
In April, Texas Woman’s University partnered with TeachDFW to host TEACH Week—three evening events to help future teachers get started on their careers. Anyone interested in teaching could attend the panel discussions and have the opportunity to connect with leaders from schools in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
Skylar was finishing up her BA in interdisciplinary studies with certification in EC-6 (that’s early childhood through sixth grade) with a special education supplemental certificate, and she was working as a behavioral therapist. Like many graduating students, she had finals to finish and so much to do to start a career.
That’s where TEACH Week came in. Skylar points to the Q&A sessions and networking as especially helpful.
“I enjoyed getting to ask questions to knowledgeable teachers and administrators. Participants got information about student teaching and got to ask all their gnawing questions. It put a lot of students at ease.”
At TEACH Week, Skylar also got the heads up about the openings at Carrollton-Farmers Branch, so when she walked into the CFB job fair, she was fully prepared to land the job she most wanted.
TEACH Week is just one of many events for future teachers. Check out Events for upcoming opportunities.
Skylar’s pro tips: Take advantage of opportunities and free help
Skylar arrived at TEACH Week ready to take advantage of the opportunities. She came prepared to talk to school leaders, ask questions and showcase her skills.
Here are her two pro tips to help you do the same:
Get involved where you can.
Skylar knew she wanted to be a teacher when she entered college, but she hadn’t settled on special education. She got involved in the Student Council for Exceptional Children and worked her way up to becoming the president of the organization by senior year.
This experience landed Skylar in DC, where she talked with lawmakers and advocated for public school funding. She was able to deepen her understanding of the education field and develop her leadership and public speaking skills.
Getting involved also gets you in the know. Skylar learned about TEACH Week as a TWU student ambassador. She was asked to help organize the event, So she got behind-the-scenes info.
Take advantage of free resources for future teachers.
In addition to TEACH Week, Skylar made the most of free resources. To study for her teaching content-area tests, she used a free month of test prep from 240Tutoring. She encourages future teachers to get the most from test prep and other resources offered by their teacher preparation programs and TeachDFW.
“TeachDFW offers so many wonderful programs. It’s such a helpful resource. Students who are working and going to school face extreme costs, such as certification tests, so fee reimbursements are really helpful.”
Next up—launch that career
Now that she’s landed the job, Skylar is packing herself up to move to Addison, where she scored a place 15 minutes from her new school. Then, in early August, she starts her new teacher training at Carrollton-Farmers Branch.
After that? Skylar’s already planning to get a master’s degree in special education. She’ll be headed back to TWU next summer.
You might think she’d be looking forward to break before all the action begins. Not so much.
“I am beyond excited. I’m ready for summer to be over!”
You can join Skylar as a teacher before you know it. Take a page from her play book, and get prepped with free resources: